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Alyssa Dearborn

Flying on moonlight
above Onondaga's waves
Eagle’s wings dancing

I grew up in the Syracuse area and always had an appreciation for Central New York’s wildlife and scenery. When I was a young girl, I remember how polluted Onondaga lake was. Many of the lake’s beautiful creatures began disappearing and the water was getting full of unnatural particles. I was a very sensitive and nature loving child, so seeing the destruction of a natural place close to my home made me sad. As an adult, I am happy to see how much our community has worked to restore Onondaga Lake to better health. It was especially incredible to see native creatures—like eagles—begin to live and breed near the water again. While illustrating this poem, I wanted the design to embody joy, community, and the magic of the natural world. As the eagle dances through the clouds—catching fish and soaring freely—the city of Syracuse looks over the swirling waters of the lake.

Winter's white blindfold
blankets fields of dormant grass.
Blue jays bloom in trees.

When I was an undergrad at the University of New Haven, I would spend a lot of my free time with the local wildlife. One of my favorite creatures around campus was the blue jays. I enjoyed being around them whenever I’d read underneath my favorite patch of trees. I used my memories of walking through the trees and listening to the birds to inspire the design of the poster. I tried to give each bird its own spirit and personality to reflect the beauty and wonder in our everyday wildlife. Since my days in Connecticut, I have been writing for the Syracuse Woman magazine and exploring the exciting world of freelancing art and writing.


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