Every day, at different times, I visit our pond with notebook and camera. I jot down some notes, and take a picture or two, if a good photo op. presents itself. Then I head home and write a four line acrostic using the letters P, O, N, and D. The other caveat, which makes the project so interesting to me, is that I cannot use any of my first words more than once. I need a different P, O, N, and D word every day for a year.

7.55 a.m.
21 degrees

Purfling of sparrows along the wetland, and a single nuthatch
objects to everything—the frozen ground, the cast iron pond, the
nagging bitterness grinding east, but most especially to me,
darkling presence that bears the cold to offer him food.

7.07 a.m.
44 degrees

Pleasant to hear the chipping sparrow in the cedar every day—you are
overfull of your own vibrant song which lights up the coarse tree, your
negligible size no matter, you singer of singers, the branches’ movement
dallies when you take flight, making the still pond seem to ripple.

John L. Stanizzi is author of the full-length collections— Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallelujah Time!, High Tide—Ebb Tide, Four Bits— Fifty 50-Word Pieces, and Chants. His new collection will be out later this year with Main Street Rag. His poems have appeared in American Life in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The New York Quarterly and many others.