The coward runs across the branches,

head down,

darting in and out of vegetation.


what are you afraid of?

There’s a turaco-sized hole in the rainbow.

Do you think God will require the return of his hues?

Then a raucous, hoarse “kok-kok-kok” bounces through the forest

and you unexpectedly leap from your hidden perch,

extend your wings

and stun the world with a scarlet streak

across the African blue sky.



DAY FIVE: Mary Oliver is one of America’s most popular contemporary poets, known for plainspeaking poems that focus on the natural world. You can read more about Oliver here, and read some of her poems here.

In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often.