Category Archives: Nature poems

A New World’s Morning

Click on any photo to enlarge all and view as slide series.

 

Ubiquitous networks of  highways crisscross the face of Mother Earth–lines that age her fresh face. Pockmarks of potholes question their durability, whereas Earth lives on, in one form or another.

Dams crack and spill their water freshly across lake beds parched for centuries.
Bones of dinosaurs peek out from eroded banks of clay. Plants spread from potholes in gouged pavement. Somewhere in the arctic ice, the past lies thawing, ready to be reborn.

Who knows but that the
nightfall of mankind may be
a new world’s morning?

 

I don’t know what I did this week.  I seem to have collected prompts from a different week for each prompt site.  Perhaps I’ve been at it too long and should retire. The prompt words  I somehow collected were highway, durable, ubiquitous and morning. The form is for dVerse Poets haibun challenge.

Darn! I now find even the comments and Mr. Linky for dVerse are closed, even though they say they are open all week.  I guess this just isn’t my day, or I am as cracked as the pavement above…..Here are the “wrong” links I used:

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/01/fowc-with-fandango-highway/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/daily-addictions-2018-week-34/durable
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/ubiquitous/
https://dversepoets.com/2018/09/03/haibun-monday-good-morning/

 

Earthlings

IMG_0006

Earthlings

Children love to play in it,
while miners spend their day in it.
We grow our food and build each home
in our planet’s dark rich loam. 
If we are wise, we choose to mentor it,
lest too soon we’re called to enter it.

The prompt word for the dVerse Poets Quadrille challenge was “earth.” The only rule for a quadrille is that it must be exactly 44 words long, not counting the title.

Civilization

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I awaken to the insistent music of the morning. The cacophony of bird voices is disrupted by the squeaking of gears of the gravel truck climbing the mountain road past my house. Steam rises from the hot pool echoing the venting of Colima volcano, peeking over the shoulder of the mountain known as Señor Garcia. He has on his cloud sombrero today, which promises rain.

Crisp air of morning.
Mournful chorus of dog howls
echoes siren’s wail.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. The WordPress Daily Prompt is disrupt.

Simultaneous: NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 10

IMG_0553

Simultaneous

Galaxies spin out of sight
far out in this selfsame night
where I attempt to journey in
to universes within my skin.
Whole worlds inside that I can’t know.
I feel sometimes they guide me, though.
How else explain my need to range
into environments more strange.
Like many, thinking I’m unique
when many others who also seek
share a larger journey all,
trapped together on this ball
that spins our world through time and space
taking us all to the same place!

For Napowrimo.

Fruitless

 

 

Fruitless

I’m a branch of the family wild and free.
My branches are wide but there’s no fruit on me.
My roots go down deeply. They’re seeking a place
to spread underground while leaving a trace
of what is below by what’s stretched to the skies.
Each leaf is a word that lives and then dries,
pressed onto paper, preserved and collected—
read if I’m lucky, pondered and dissected.

I’ve spawned no additions to the family tree.
Only my words will live after me.

The prompt today is branch.

Above

jdb photos, 2018.  To enlarge all photos, click on any one.


Above

By putting so much beauty so far beyond our reach,
what truths of the universe might nature try to teach?
One story told by earth and sea, here within our clutch,
another told by what’s above, that only eyes can touch.

 

The prompt today is above.

Cruel Harvest

DSC00181DSC00184DSC00188
DSC00195

Cruel Harvest

In this middle morning,
pelicans drop like hail on the surface of the water.
This is not their usual style,
for they do not dive headfirst
and squeeze bills to necks
and swallow as before,
but merely float and dip their beaks
and raise their heads and dip again.

I hope it is not the tiny sea turtles
that we put in the water last night
that they are feeding on like hors d’oeuvres,
greedily.
But surely those turtles,
placed in to swim away 15 hours ago
are elsewhere than this,
facing other dangers, no doubt,
but at least, sad endings  I don’t bear witness to.

 We had waited until sunset
when the birds had gone
to lift the tiny creatures
from their plastic world
and set them,
confused and stunned,
upon the sand
to turn in circles
until we placed them right again
and again,
sometimes patting their tails
to encourage their voyage
to a new life shocking in its largeness.

 “What is this
lifting up and putting down?”
they must have thought,
“and then this broad expanse
that lifts us, spins us,
submerges us?”
Courageously, they lifted their  heads to swim,
only to be tumbled by waves—another  shock.
What more had life to surprise them with?
First, that bursting from the shell that had protected them,
then that thrusting into a colder world.

Children squealed with glee and were warned by elders
not to step back lest they step on the turtles that surrounded us—
all of us looking backwards as we stepped,
cameras clicking,
voices in English, Spanish, French—
all enchanted with these creatures perfectly formed
with black flippers and beautiful shells.
We saw their tiny heads like periscopes above the waves—
swarms of them at first and then separate,
swimming off to their individual fates.
Fifteen minutes later, the rising action
featured a solitary pelican that swooped for one
and then another and another
bedtime snack.
“No,” we screamed.
One woman threw a rock.
These pelicans that had enchanted me for weeks
as I watched their graceful flight and sure plummetings,
now prompted a new story
where they were villains, stopping new life,
bringing back the theme I have been so aware of here
for these weeks of my daily floatings in the sea.

Every organism, every animal, every person on this earth
lives only by merit of the death of others.
When life ends in infancy, how sad, how sad, we say;
but also say seeing the full grown pelican on the beach,
bleached to bones,
its beak sealed shut with a plastic circle from a six pack
or the needlefish, stretched on the sand and picked by carrion.
Never so obvious as here, this feeding of life on life,
and never so startling as when we placed the baby turtles
on the sand, wanting to save one for ourselves,
but knowing this action had a larger purpose than that.

We surrendered them to their life apart from us,
then moments later,
saw the pelican feed on them
guiltlessly,
living his place in the world.
Oh that I, too, had acted more selfishly—
palming one tiny turtle,
putting it in my loose pocket,
keeping it safe
away from that broad sea
that has so many means
by which to claim it.

Courage is the prompt word today. This poem is a rewrite of “Putting the Tiny Sea Turtles into the Sea,” a piece I wrote four years ago when the local sea turtle reserve brought dishpans full of the tiny creatures to La Manzanilla for volunteers to assist in releasing them to the wild sea.