Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

April 28, 2013

Watershed Critters come to life in children's poetry

Ed. note: The following poems were created during Watershed Critters school writing workshops conducted by poet Terry Wooten. Because a production issue caused a problem with the way they were printed in Wooten’s column last Sunday, the Record-Eagle is republishing them today.


Caw! Caw!

My deep black feathers

gleam like an igneous rock.

Many like me are hated.

I sweep over land

like a jet on a mission.

I see a woman’s shiny jewels

in a box,

calling me to snatch.

I go to a field

of edible corn,

free for me to swallow

like my ancestors snacked

on whole fish.

Footsteps full of hate.

Farmers! Dogs! I flee

to represent my defeat.

Caw! Caw!

We sing as one in a chorus.

We steal as we fly.

It is what I am. A crow.

Samantha Strang, 4th grade

Glenn Loomis Montessori


Autumn is when I mate.

My mate will kill me

if she dislikes me.

She will eat me

if I am liked.

I’m a male Praying Mantis.

A female picked me.

She is gigantic

like a sumo wrestler.

My mate loves me.

She devours me

like lunch.

I am inside her stomach.

It’s dark as black ink,

boring as watching you sleep.

Levi Dimon, 4th grade

Fife Lake Elementary

River Otter

I wish myself among otters

and I find myself on the rocky shores of a pond.

Diving into the once still water,

I swim after fish, crayfish, mollusks, amphibians, reptiles

any meat I can get my paws on.

With my mouth full,

I drag myself to the surface.

I’m about to eat when…

A beaver rises from the water,

slaps its tail, then goes under.

Although otters are beaver’s enemies,

we know that a slap from a beaver’s tail means danger.

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