Divine Nature – Sonnet VIII – Bat Sequence Grand Finale

The last of the bat sequence, presented as a story in sonnets and images.

I’ve read so much about you, seen you in
   pictures, videos. Merlin Tuttle wrote
   well about you and him together, and
   now all I want is to have you up close.
At dusk I’ve gone out, hand in glove, in hopes
   that you’ll fly to me by divine command.
   I’ve hopped in car, with kids, drove over land
   to Arabia Mountain, to AWARE,
thinking maybe I’ll find you there by chance.
   I’ve walked to bridge over Yellow River
   ducked beneath to see if you’re roosting there.
   To know you distantly is not enough.
You are worth much more than all of life’s cares.
   To spend time with you up close would be wealth.
Underneath a bridge that goes over Yellow River
The folks at AWARE referred me to a
   place in Alabama where I might see
   you up close. But, somehow, I lost the name
   of that place – it seemed unnecessary
to have to leave my own vicinity.
   “You should be at hand.” I thought to myself.
   During Fall break, I searched the internet
   and found you at North Georgia Wildlife Park.
I made a call and expressed my mindset
   and though there was doubt, the prospect seemed dark,
   I bought a ticket with faith in my heart.
   Saturday, I drove up north and met face-
to-face with guardians of God’s great art
   and to my delight, they granted me grace.
Bat, chasing bugs, in front of our house.
In Georgia, native wildlife species
   cannot be kept as pets. I learned this from
   our park guide. (Was this why they referred me
   to Alabama? Can it be that some
states cannot boast about conservation?)
   Exotic species, handlers are allowed
   to keep, to educate ignorant crowds 
   (such as capybaras, world’s biggest rats – 
and, did you know that rats’ minds are quite sound?)
   which is why I saw Egyptian fruit bats,
   instead of bats from local habitats. 
   I would’ve liked to see, to touch, those in
my front yard – to give thanks for where I’m at.
   But, wow! At least I touched bats. I’m content
Four adult fruit bats huddled warm inside
   of a zoo-sized bat house, built by Boy Scouts.
   Bat-mama, Hope, opened door; breeze and light
   sent an introvert swinging back to crowd 
in the corner, where they all hung around
   upside down (like bats do) inside cozy 
   little sleeping bag, that was made by proud
   foster-parents of wildlife. Rosy
cheeked Hope, in hip pouch carried a fuzzy
   pup, and explained she had to raise the chap
   because mother bat didn’t touch baby
   after he had fallen from roost. With rapt
gestures she showed how pup, to her, had clung - 
   and I saw scratches, scars: trophies she’s won.
Feeding the pup before bringing him out of his warm, cozy place.
Hope shows me the young fruit bat that she has helped to raise.
Large, round eyes, looking at me; bats aren’t blind.
   Quick, purposed movements; bats know what they need.
   Rapidly twitching ears, aware, alive
   to voices, noises, foreign and routine; 
bats know their family’s sounds and mama’s speech.
   Flaring nostrils, sniffing snout discerns scents, 
   rejecting berries, wanting apples, please; 
   bats have preferences for their nourishment.
Spreading, flapping wings, showing nervousness,
   scurrying to a warm, familiar place – 
   bats need relief from over-engagement.
   It was a pleasure to meet face-to-face
with one of the world’s most obscure creatures.
   I was blind, but now know bats’ true features.
Up close.
In this moment, this bat preferred apples.
The bat’s fur is soft and silky.
Thanks to Hope and Ethan, at North Georgia Wildlife Park, for the bat experience.

Thanks so much to all of you who have subscribed, and have been reading my sonnets, and recommending them to others! It encourages me a lot and challenges me to continue on.

If you are enjoying my writing, you might desire to support my work and encourage me even more by “buying me a coffee”. Clicking on the “Buy me a coffee” button below will take you to a website where you can learn all about it, and do so, if you’d like.

If you do send me monetary support, specifically as a result of this bat series, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Creation Encounters Ministries, which is a ministry, in partnership with North Georgia Wildlife Park, that helps kids and youth encounter Christ in his creation. (Please indicate in your donation that you are giving toward the “bat fund”.)

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