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THE BIRD GIRL OF SAVANNAH

by Noble Collins

"Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time" *

  • John Keats -- Ode on a Grecian Urn

For years, among the ancient oaks,

you danced your chaste ballet to silent music --

your lithe Glissade unseen

beyond the reach of Bonaventure.

With each demure Plie,

gray ringlet curtains of old moss made way

in glad anticipation

of your entrance on the stage.

A place of long forgotten life

briefly heartened, stirred for a moment

thrilled to Terpsichore

as your unfettered dance

breathed sweet warm youth to old earth.

A gentle curtsy, then, you made

to faint applause of Live Oak leaves,

as Tybee's breezes rustled through the wood.

But on a day when you were resting,

hushing secret longings from dark vaults,

they captured you and gave you to the crowd,

placed you on the cover of a book, an icon for a sordid tale,

and bound those dainty feet for all eternity

not knowing the profound loss.

Soon, came leering groups to gawk and whisper,

and trespass sacred grounds,

so you were moved,

no longer Chatham's ward but Telfair's,

behind museum walls

And here, in stark cold beauty,

resigned, obliging,

poised in First Position

you wait for new music

Collins received third place overall in the Artists Embassy International "Dancing Poetry" contest for "Bird Girl of Savannah." He will read the poem live onstage at their event this fall in San Francisco, Calif.

"There is a story which goes with the poem which not everyone may know," Noble said. "It concerns a statue in a cemetery in Savannah, Ga. which was photographed and used on the cover of a book -- "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." The statue was of a young girl holding small plates in each hand, as if to feed the birds. She was thus known as "The Bird Girl." The scene became so popular that the statue had to be replaced with a replica, and the original moved to a small museum in a nearby county."

Collins' poem "Margie," was a finalist in an American Journal of Poetry contest.

The following poem was submitted by the Lucek family:

PAYSON NEW AND OLD

Some of you know her as Kitty,

Some of you know her as Kate,

Some of you know her as Miss Kitty,

Some of you Know her as Kathryn,

Some of you know her as Kay,

Some of you know her as Mary,

Some of you know her as Mary Kathryn and some of you as Mary Kay.

I know her as Mom and it must be fate,

She is turning 90 in September and it is not too late.

Stop by or give her a call,

I know she would love to hear from you.

She is still going strong and has a lot to say.

She is a real fixture on the Payson scene.

She has traveled the Bush Highway and the four lanes,

She has seen the flash floods on the Verde and the summer rains.

She has traveled the Beeline in a goat cart,

She has danced on the bar at the Candlelight.

She has raised a few bucks for the animals along the way.

She has seen the Big Snow in '67.

She thinks Payson is a slice of Heaven.

Hidden treasures are her passion,

Moving furniture is what keeps her thin.

So stop by and see her and wish her the best.

For those of you who don't know her its ok,

Just call, write or stop by the one that this reminds you of today,

Just to say, ‘Hey.'

We can all learn something this way.

Hopefully you too will be blessed with a long stay starting today.

Life is worth living each and every day.

We love you Mom -- Brad, Lisa and Austin Lucek

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