Daily Word Prompt: Aware

Aware

I don’t see a bird in the sky
I see it’s a turkey vulture circling on dinner

I don’t see an apple core on the side of the road
I see a hawk that will be hit by a car

I don’t just see a glue trap
I see the glue on a songbird unable to fly

I don’t see styrofoam plates and paper cups
I see a pile of waste taking up space

I don’t just see a broken wing
I see the tears where bullets ripped through

I don’t see snackfood and makeup
I see a rainforest destroyed

Once you become aware
You can never see just the surface again

rtha

via Daily Prompt: Aware

Chicken Hawks & Lamb Hawks

At a festival, a child came up to me while I was holding Captain a Red Tailed Hawk. In response to seeing the hawk, he said in his country accent, “My daddy likes to shoot those with a shotgun!”

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Trying to stay composed I nodded my head, but before I could say anything else he added, “They took off with our chickens!”

Smiling at him, “Did you know that a hawks favorite food is mice?”

“And chickens, ’cause they chicken hawks.”

“Actually, a hawk like Captain very rarely goes after the chickens. But I bet they do hang out around your chicken coops?”

“Yeah, all the time to go after are chickens!”

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Smiling again at his persistence, “Well it’s because mice hang out at chicken coops to eat the chicken feed. And where there are mice, there are hawks.”

Intently watching Captain, I could tell he was absorbing this information. Finally, he spoke, “So they aren’t really chicken hawks?”

Joy filled my heart at his realization, “Nope, and it’s actually against the law to hurt these guys or even keep a feather.”

I say that knowing I have a stash of beautiful feathers in my car. Collecting feathers is a small illegal kind of obsessive hobby. It’s illegal in the United States to have possession of feathers from any North American bird species. That’s because if you have just the feather how are you going to prove you obtained that feather humanely.

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Since Captain is a male, he only weighs about 2 and half pounds. Females can weigh up to 4 pounds.

My favorite response that I ever heard a child say when they saw me holding a red-tailed hawk was, “Did you know that red-tailed hawks eat lambs? And that there strong enough to carry a baby sheep away?

Nope, I never realized a bird that barely weighs over three pounds could carry away an animal that weighs up to 200 pounds. At least the kid was enthusiastic about hawks.

Daily Word Prompt: Yellow

Yellow

Yellow Yellow Yellow

“Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts.”

-From sensationalcolor.com

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Just a yellow fuzzy caterpillar that happened to be chilling on the sidewalk last spring. 

In Jamaica A/C is a luxury so many buildings like this school, as sections of walls that allows for ventilation. These ornate designs were on many of the buildings, and I wish we had them in America.

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I love the colors of the Goldenrods against the blue backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

via Daily Prompt: Yellow

Daily Word Prompt: Filter

“Oh my God,” I muttered, the words slipping out of my mouth before I could consciously register the impact of those three words.

The small groupomg of third graders I was tutoring at the moment became utterly silent. Ironically it was the first time I got them to actually be quiet and pay attention. Then they gasped in horror gaping at me. Low murmurs arose, “You just said the Lord’s name in vain!”

Backpedaling, I struggled to amend what I had said and regain my place of authority as a teacher. After receiving an admonishing lecture from my students and they had received my promise to respect the Lord’s name, the tutoring blessedly continued.

The words had slipped out in response to a student who had said something inappropriate and in return, I had said something that crossed the line of appropriateness. In fact, my words had broken one of the Ten Commendments. The same Ten Commandments that have absolute rule over the rural Southern Appalachian town I live in. A town where the locals are loyal, kind, and above all God fearing folk.filter

I knew that learning to be a teacher also meant learning how to filter my words but the filter is not the same in every town, in every school. It was a harsh lesson to
learn but one that I will never forget. That was over one year ago, and I am proud to say that my filter has been refined and that phrase has not been uttered again in the presence of my students.

Image from http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3oc1a3 and http://nancybethguptill.blogspot.com/2015/06/choose-your-words-wisely.html.

via Daily Prompt: Filter

Daily Word Prompt: Devastation

What Was

A rhino lays slain
Its horn hacked to a bloody stump
Driven by ancient Asian myths

Skies empty of large winged beauties
Pinned to a board for greedy collectors
Who claim to love butterflies

Sharks swimming without fins
Hopelessly drowning
All for a delicate soup

Buffalo slaughtered into oblivion
To cloth the latest trend
Survivors are shaggy ghost of what remains

Prized snakes snatched
Breed to rare exotic specifications
Sold to a collection

Elephants fall to their knees
As bullets rain down
Their magnificent ivory  stolen from them

Grizzlies murdered are left rotten
Their stomachs are torn open
Once a gall bladder, now an empty hole

It’s the biggest mass murder in the world
Magnificent African savannas and Asian rainforests empty of horns
Skies no longer dotted with tiny rainbows
The bloddy ocean is missing a few fins
The legendary buffalo is all tales of the days
Grounds empty of slithering hisses
An African bush feels lonely without giants
Toy shelves filled with bears serves as a reminder of what was

People will take notice one day
When the lands are depleted
When the skies are emptied
When the ocean is drained
When the planet bleeds the blood of the voiceless

 

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Image from https://www.pachamama.org/effects-of-deforestation

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Devastation

Daily Word Prompt: Exposure

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First time out of the states

To an impoverished place

Exposed to a lack of care for

Children with mental and physical handicaps

Without care, without support

Exposed to the happiness

Children with very little

With love, with happiness in their hearts

Exposed to a world unlike my own

Children in homemade wheelchairs

With the biggest smiles on their faces

 

Exposed to the idea that America is with things

But with children who lack true happiness

Without gratitude for what they have

With contempt for what they lack

 

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via Daily Prompt: Exposure