World Turtle Day Poetry

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World Turtle Day Poetry

  • Ancient chelonians of lineage primeval
    Their survival now threatened by man’s upheaval

    We gather together to celebrate our perception
    Of turtles and their need for preservation and protection

    For turtles forever to play their part ecological
    To prosper and maintain their diversity biological

    For turtle and tortoise, terrapin and kin
    Their kind to preserve, their future to win

    We must work together, I tell you from the heart
    Whether we work together, or apart.

  • A Turtle,
    So Green Was He,
    But Also Blue,
    A Turtle,
    So Nice Was He,
    But Also Mean,
    A Turtle,
    So Human Was He,
    But Also A Prisoner,
    A Turtle,
    So Free Was He,
    But Also A Shell,

  • I had cried a sea of tears
    And began to drown.
    Trashing out, Unheard screams
    Bubbles filled my lungs.
    I long for safety and a home
    Not this empty black cavern that’s sinking very near.
    I look up out of desperation
    far above my  pain.
    And then black tears turn purple,
    I see a Turtle swimming near.
    The sea Turtle I’ve always wanted
    I reals all my fear.
    I float upward crowned in a bubbling glow
    My sea Turtle loves my bubbles.
    And away we go.

  • You died one day in your little round dish
    and my sister found you lying there
    when she came to feed you that morning.

    Your shell had softened, I believe.
    That can happen to little turtles,
    bought from the department store.

    I hope you didn’t hate your name too much.
    She just liked the sound of it, dear Bing.
    She never called you der Bingle.

    You were a quiet little pet
    and gave my sister pleasure.
    Now it’s your day.
    Hope somewhere you know that.

  • I am a turtle
    I live in a shell
    through all the cold weather
    its treated me well
    I am a turtle
    I dont move very fast
    i walk down the path
    I see rabbits run past
    I am a turtle
    Im old and im wise
    I see a whole world
    out in front of my eyes
    I am a turtle
    Im happily green
    if you are a turtle you know what I mean
    I am a turtle

  • A painted turtle carries eggs
    to plant in warm sand
    in this her time,
    as mother did,
    and grandmother,
    and her great- and greats-
    stretched back deep
    into the spiral dark
    long before the dinosaurs.
    Her features are fixed, but
    if we see expression there,
    it’s of a mother implacable
    knowing none of the above
    but knowing this is her time.

  • “She, Our Turtle Home.”
    Through the dark heavens She carries us.
    Darkness does not blind us.
    Between the bright stars She carries us.
    Their brilliant fire does not burn us.
    Past many strange planets She carries us.
    Their heavy gravity does not weight us.
    Through the endless centuries She carries us.
    Time does not end us.
    Beside Her sweet waters She carries us.
    Thirst does not dry us.
    Among her green jungles She carries us.
    Hunger does not ache us.
    Joyfully and eternally She carries us.
    No burden does She see us.
    Blessed by Her generous love are we.

  • Down among the water-weeds,
    Darting through the grass,
    Round about the tasseled reeds,
    See the minnows pass!
    See the little turtles there,
    Hiding, half asleep,
    Tucked in tangled mosses where
    tiny crayfish creep!
    Watch the trailing grasses string
    Strands of purple shells
    That the lazy ripples ring,
    Sweet as silver bells;
    Watch the sunshine sift and drift
    Down the eddy whirls,
    Whence the laden whiteweeds lift
    Loads of blossom pearls;
    While the limpid shadows slip
    Softly in between,
    And the pussy-willows dip
    Lightly in the green
    Of the mocking trees that grow
    Down the water-sky,
    Flecked with fleecy clouds that blow
    Where the reed-birds fly.

  • Let me tell you a story
    about a turtle named Terrell
    He had a knack for walking slow
    as you can tell,
    He was all of ninety years
    for ninety years he walked
    And never once had to sleep
    in someone else’s hotel
    He had a painted shell
    half-round colored and true
    From where he poked
    his head to view
    The things around him
    even the fox that stranger
    Out came his head eyes ready
    focused for danger.
    The birds would pick on his shell,
    ’twas very irritating
    They  would never even let
    him get some sleep,
    The bear and wolf would
    pick him up contemplating
    A quick supper
    they’d hope to reap.

  • The day has not come
    when from sloughs, the great salamander
    lumbers through snow, salt, and fire
    to be with him, throws the hatchet
    of its head through the door of the three-room house
    and eats the blue roses that are peeling off the walls.

    Uncle Ray, drunk for three days
    behind the jagged window
    of a new government box,
    drapes himself in fallen curtains, and dreams that the odd
    beast seen near Cannonball, North Dakota,
    crouches moaning at the door to his body. The latch
    is the small hook and eye.

    of religion. Twenty nuns
    fall through clouds to park their butts
    on the metal hasp. Surely that
    would be considered miraculous almost anyplace,

    but here in the Turtle Mountains
    it is no more than common fact.
    Raymond wakes,
    but he can’t shrug them off. He is looking up
    dark tunnels of their sleeves,
    and into their frozen armpits,
    or is it heaven? He counts the points
    of their hairs like stars.