Category Archives: Nature poems

Bird Chorus

Bird Chorus

Birds perch on countless branches, each a separate bell
ringing out the cadence of stories they must tell.
Around them, eerie silence, for no other sounds compete.
No calls of children playing. No pattering of feet

up and down the pavement. No playing girls and boys,
for all the busy humans, infamous for their noise,
are staying in their houses and no amount of blustering
from their scattered leaders is bound to stop their clustering.

Families draw in closer as friends all fade away
into their particular intentions for the day.
Offices turn cyber. Schools are merely screens.
Mothers sit at kitchen tables, perusing magazines.

Fathers pace on carpets and worry about money.
How are they to make it now that the world’s gone funny?
Now and then, the silence split open by a bell
tolling for the human race who haven’t done too well

at going with the scheme of things. They prefer to take over,
making malls and parking lots out of fields of clover.
Trashing up the landscape. Peppering the tide
with their plastic mountains grown too big to hide.

Is it any wonder how nature responds?
We’ve held her prisoner long enough. She’s sloughing off her bonds.
She’s given us broad hints, but still we do not mind her.
So she’s erasing her mistakes and putting us behind her.

 

Prompt words today are countless branches, amount, eerie, infamous and bell.

Magic Circle

IMG_8947

Magic Circle

Pardon my astonishment that rhyme and allegory,
as well as words like firmament and comminatory—
billions of rules and concepts, laws and definitions,
as well as music, laughter, a mother’s hands, munitions,
all evolved from stardust—clouds and soil and lake,
bow tie, fingernail and love, liver and wedding cake.

Movie star and  surgeon, macho, bi and femme
evolved from cosmic particles that wanted to be them.
A baby’s cry and earwax. Ribald jokes and laughter,

all the plots and schemes and lies to get what we are after—
all were once identical and so they’ll be again,
as after our becoming, we go back to what we’ve been.

Prompts today are rhyme, allegory, astonishment, define and lake.

Sub-tropical Skies: Open Book

Open Book

Here beneath the Tropic of Cancer,
the sky is a book opened to the wrong pages.
The Big and Little Dippers?
Pages ripped from the spine.
Orion a well-thumbed page,
held directly overhead like a book
read lying on my back.

And is it fact or fantasy
that once I saw the Southern Cross
stretched on its back
near the horizon 
to the south?

Floating half-asleep with mists
of water hot from the volcano
rising around me,
was it a dream or real,
those four twinkling stars
seen just once before that night our boat
slipped over the equator?

Then, as now,
all time seems wedded—
afloat in a universe
of stars and water—
tiny no-see-ums
forming their own active constellations
as they whirl up over the water
and back down in clusters.
Wee moving
stars.

Unlikely Pairing

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 9.55.20 AM

Unlikely Pairing

One ungainly orphan elephant, wandering and uncertain
of where his journey’s leading him, comes upon a curtain
of mist that rises from the plain, shimmering, evanescent.
The stars now muted overhead, the moon a fuzzy crescent.
He splits the curtain, comes upon a lone and lost impala
split off from the herd during some wild stampeding gala.
They form a duo and plod on, each looking for a herd.
Such an unlikely couple. Impossibly absurd.
And yet they struck a certain chord, each one with the other.
She was the sister that he lacked, and he her missing brother.
One thing led to another. She fit him like a glove,
and before they knew it, the two were fast in love.
When the baby came, it looked a bit like a nyala,
a bit like a rhinoceros––an elephantiala!!

Prompts today are intent, orphan, elephant (good grief) and evanescent. Add this one, too: curtain.

After Seventy: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 29

IMG_8364 (1)

After Seventy

Is it gain or loss to feel contentment—
no wild surges of emotion,
no bodily electricity,
no need for thrill or wild abandon?
Is this not the time for settling, for thrusting all
those wild venturings back to a safe place
on a back self of memory?

The universe is built on repetition 
and change. This last stage, a sinking back into.
Communion with birds and dogs. 
A return to the careful watching of childhood.

Of  discussions with self as though you were
two people—one listening
as that inner person does all the talking.
Wisdom melding into sleep in the afternoon
in hammocks or on sofas.

Trying to distill wisdom from the flight of birds
or the observed quizzical reasoning of a small dog.
Old age, with one stiff arm I hold you at a distance.
I am studying up for you by reading books and by observation.
By reading myself for long otherwise empty afternoons.

Pinned in a backyard hammock by a small dog and by lethargy,
one foot on the ground, I steer us side to side—
A pendulum sweeping my life away, into corners,
fueled by the hovering of hummingbirds,
the quick flutter of butterflies
from throat to throat of the tabachine.

That seesaw of mind between the inner and the outer
as though practicing for that time when the one will claim me
and I will spiral forward or backward
with that wise knowing, perhaps, at last,
that they are precisely the same thing.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that was a meditation.

If

IMG_7205

If

 

 

Prompt words today are coast, natural, aghast and venturesome. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/rdp-saturday-coast/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/04/06/fowc-with-fandango-natural/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/your-daily-word-prompt-aghast-april-6-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/venturesome-2/

The NaPoWriMo post is: Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Our Better, Nature

 

Our Better, Nature

We hoard her in our gardens where we force her into plots,
confine her in our vases, crowd her into pots.
Ambitious men plan towers—trade grass and trees for gold.
They overlook one simple fact. We’re all in nature’s hold.
Man’s illustrious plots and schemes always come to naught,
for the power of nature can’t be sold or bought.

I found it in the city, extending from the curb—
a simple little chain of green, a subtle rus-in-urbe.
Where men would install order, nature overrules.
Those trying to best nature are always proven fools.
For eons, we have buried her, time and time again.
Yet still she prods up from her grave. Nature will always win.

 

The prompt words today are order, hoard, illustrious and rus-in-urbe.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/rdp-saturday-rus-in-urbe/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/16/fowc-with-fandango-order/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/your-daily-word-prompt-hoard-march-16-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/illustrious/

Evolution

 

Click on first photo to enlarge photos and see as series.

Evolution

If we took every advertisement
that we saw under advisement,
envisioning ourselves in cars
filled with TVs and guitars,
food choppers and Barbie dolls—
everything we saw in malls—
we might buy it all and after,
fill every house to every rafter.

Blenders, stereos and blouses
would pile up in our many houses.
Consumerism would be the key
to  how happy we would be.
Lethargic children would sit about
staring at phones in hands, not out
into the world their windows face.
Imagination would replace
a reality no one could cotton.
Our old world would be so rotten—
all it was so ill-begotten
that it had to be forgotten.

Our present world now so diluted
(nature being so polluted)
that the animals our kids would see
would not be out and roaming free
but in some zoo with air protected
and no fluorocarbons detected.
All these things that we could buy
would be what caused our world to die.
Plastic world and plastic lives
would seal us into plastic hives
where we could buzz around in cells
creating our own private hells.

How hard would it really be
to imagine this reality?
How close are we to it already—
Our brains scrambled into spaghetti
by barrages of consumerism?
Could we even heal the schism
that our plastic world has wrought?
Would we give up all we’ve got
for the greener simpler earth
of our great-grandfather’s birth?

Man will speed on toward his doom
in his air-conditioned room
that screens the poisons out while he
sits rapt in front of his tv.
His children, who can no longer stand,
sit, each with eyes glued to his hand.
Only robots will go out
to shop for us and walk about
in air that’s suited only for
machines to venture out the door.

They’ll greet each other in the street,
smiling at each bot they meet.
Perhaps the plastic revolution
was the next step in evolution.
They’ve locked us all within their lairs.

The world they sought is finally theirs
as every human sits and stares
at the unreal world he shares
with every other other fleshly being
that gave up doing for simply seeing.

The prompt words today were key, lethargic, advertisement and envision.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/rdp-monday-key/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/18/fowc-with-fandango-lethargic/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/your-daily-word-prompt-advertisement-february-18-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/envision/

Roadmap

Roadmap

I’m held captive by your wrinkles, dear, enraptured by your ripples.
I love your freckles and your moles and all of nature’s stipples.
They are sacred landmarks. When I find one that is new,
I must give thanks to nature for adding more of you.

Sometimes with the darkness around us rich and deep,
my mind goes on a walkabout as you lie asleep.
The roadmap of your body is the terrain that I pace—
the ravines and the gullies and your face’s fragile lace.

Some bemoan the changes that nature brings about,
and they bring a different beauty. It’s true, without a doubt.
But as I trace each special feature of your body and your face,
I’m reassured that nature’s carving instills a deeper grace.

 

The prompt words today are ripple, special, enrapture and sacred. Here are links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/rdp-monday-ripple/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/12/10/fowc-with-fandango-special/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/enrapture/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/your-daily-word-prompt-sacred-December-10-2018/

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/