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At Big Bone Lick River
J. Patrick Lewis

Deaf to raindrops peppering the water,
Two herons laser onto tadpole snacks.
Tadpoles glimpse the submarine (an otter),
Sublimely unaware of air attacks.
A thunderstorm is manna to the river.
Ambling cows have felt it all before.
“Hear the pitter-pattering?” says the beaver.
Her kittens bicker on a hickory floor.
A doubtful owl opens one eye. His ruling
On raindrop felonies: disturbing sleep.
Grateful snails and slugs begin refueling.
A log-lorn frog finally decides to leap.
Watching the stirring world becomes the humbling,
Magnificent event it’s always been.
Dazzled, I wonder what’s the point in fumbling
With my umbrella. I’ve come home again.

© by J. Patrick Lewis.
Used with the author’s permission.


J. Patrick Lewis was the U.S. Children's Poet Laureate from 2011-2013. Author of 85 children’s picture/poetry books and veteran of more than 500 visits to elementary schools around the world, J. Patrick spent many years as an economics professor before becoming a full-time writer. A resident of Westerville, Ohio, he is a twin, a fact he says "has shaped my life indelibly and delightfully from the womb." Pat is also the author of a collection of poetry for adults, Gulls Hold Up the Sky, and a nonfiction poetry primer for teachers. Learn more about him at


Post New Comment:
Metaphors and/or transfer of imaging from practical to modern. I walked through drizzle all day without rain gear. My hair was enough. No bumbershoot needed out on this prairie. Thank you.
Posted 10/06/2013 03:28 PM
Ross Kightly:
We can see here that the author has learned the difficult craft of writing transparent poetry through which depths can be seen - I love the comment about the umbrella, which suggests so much.
Posted 10/01/2013 01:58 PM
Wonderful use of words and rhyme. Enjoyed reading this.
Posted 10/01/2013 10:24 AM
What rhythm and fun in each line. A wondrous poem to start off a day, just right!!
Posted 10/01/2013 07:27 AM
Jean D:
What a wonderful poem, every line is my favorite! I hope we get to read more of him! Jean D
Posted 10/01/2013 06:06 AM
Oh, that ending! What fantastic details throughout--my favorite is "Her kittens bicker on a hickory floor." Wonderful to see one of our best children's poets here!
Posted 10/01/2013 05:42 AM

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