Category Archives: Nature poems

Grand Circle

(Click on first photo to enlarge all) There is a poem after the photos. Someone just suggested I note that here because he didn’t notice it the first time he looked at this post.

Grand Circle

Circle of sunlight, orb of the moon.
Each of their passages over too soon.
What we may find as the day or the night
gives over to nature in its swift flight
is only the present. It isn’t forever.
No matter how talented, selfless or clever
we’ve fashioned ourselves, we’ll all come around
to serve our real purpose, to nurture the ground.

Time chisels away with its constant cruel rasp.
The hold of a lover loses its grasp.
Circles of friends are too quickly diminished.
Everything started soon seems to be finished.
Each rolling stone must encounter a wall.
The dough of the universe rolled in a ball
still lives by the edict that rules us all.
Whatever has risen is certain to fall.

The very stuff of the bodies we live in
are atomic circlings that we’ve been given
to use for awhile before giving them back
to continue their course on whatever the track
is the larger extension of what we’ve been given—
the next destination to which we’ll be driven.
This circle we live from year’s start to December
is simply the circle that we can remember,
most of us hoping we’ll be up to par
for inclusion in nature’s recycling bazaar.

 

The prompt today was circle.

Kitchen Nativity

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Kitchen Nativity

I crept into my kitchen to see
what caused this morning’s cacophony.
The high corner of the cupboard wall
seemed to be the source of all
the peepings and it’s then I guessed
a mother bird had made a nest
there above the kitchen ceiling,
where I thought the paint was peeling.
Instead, that white spilled down the wall
outside the kitchen is not at all
what I thought—salitre’s heavings,
but is instead the nestlings’ leavings.

The watching mother stays aloof
on the next-door neighbor’s roof
with mouth filled with a juicy grub.
Now she flies from roof to shrub,
objecting to my presence there,
so close to nestlings in her care.
And so I leave the bird’s domain,
lest nestlings’ voices be raised in vain.
Minutes later, all is still,
although I know ten minutes will
bring more protests from tiny beaks
for wormy treats that mama seeks.
So it is this year again
that Mother Nature invites guests in.
My house now shelters more than me—
my family stretched from “I” to “we.”

Afloat

Afloat

A hand releases mooring lines and I go floating free.
Unmoored and unamóred, I float upon the sea.
Each time I find a tether, it lets loose of me,
for nature seems to be at odds with propinquity.

Nothing lasts forever or even long enough.
Each time the tattered sleeve of time shakes me off its cuff,
I am again amazed that the rules won’t change for me.
Each time I am newly surprised by mortality.

So many friends and lovers, so many family members
who once were bonfires in my life, flicker down to embers
then fade to ashes in a jar sitting on a shelf.
and once again my tether becomes only my self.

It is a cruel truth of life, this ephemerality
that severs every hawser as ones we love go free.
No matter what allegiance, what solidarity
is promised, still the vow that lasts is mutability.

 

The prompt today is “unmoored.”

Planting Seeds: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 22

Planting Seeds

My father planted row on row,
straight furrows where the wheat would grow
nourished by the winter snow.

He knew the how of planting, and when.
He’d watch for all the signs and then
plant his yearly crops again.

Though farming’s in my family tree,
the seeds I plant are furrow-free.
I scatter seeds, then let them be.

Fanned out by an erratic hand,
they grow wherever they may land,
or thirst and wither where they stand.

If planting were a matter of need––
if I’d a family to feed,
of course, I’d plow and water and weed.

But as it is, the mystery
of what might grow means more to me
than the science of agronomy.

And though he worked from dawn to dark,
Dad’s life was anything but stark.
He paused to watch the meadowlark

and trace its flight from post to limb.
He watched the clouds catch light, then dim––
and a single drop course down one stem.

 

The NaPoWriMo prompt today had to do with planting a garden.

What Is of Value

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What Is of Value

Now that the grass is freshly mown,
the sparrows can’t leave it alone.
Though we prefer the lovely green,
they prefer what’s gone unseen.
The dry grass underneath is best
for weaving into this year’s nest.
What has value for you and me
is not the same for all, you see.
For the way the world’s devised
is that everything is prized.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to compose a poem out of overheard conversations, but since I’ve been in a solitary mood lately, I went down to eavesdrop on the birds and other sounds of nature. Hearing a loud chirping in the huge cactus near my hammock, I noticed birds making repeated trips to the planter full of grass I put near the pool so my Scottie dog Morrie could have a place to lie to drop his tennis ball into the pool for me to retrieve and throw back down into the garden for him to chase after.  The long grass was pretty, but constantly being torn off by his repeated jumps up to and down from the planter and making  a mess in the pool, so I’d had the gardener trim the grass.  Earlier, I’d noted how ugly it now was as the grass underneath had turned brown, but upon closer observation, I realized that it was now a treasure trove for birds building nests.

NaPoWriMo, Day 21.

Morning Matins, NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 12

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Morning Matins

Cuddled and chirruping, choirs of birds
trill from their tree limbs in boisterous herds.
Like broken crystals, they tinkle in showers,
cacophonous clashings from high hidden bowers.
We cannot see these hermits in their hiding.
Until the sun rises, they will not be gliding
smoothly on air currents, sliding and slipping,
deft and most daring while doing their dipping.

Now a clashed chirping, like the chipping of ice.
The cooing of doves and a rooster crows twice.
The masked moon is waning, obscured by the light
as the first rays of day do away with the night.
Then the wrens take to wing and the grackles glide in.
Flycatchers and orioles desert where they’ve been.
They make their curtain calls, then spread their wings
in pursuit of their breakfasts and other bird things.

vermillion flycatcher jdbphoto2017

Being a night owl, I am so rarely up at 5 in the morning that it has been years since I’ve experienced the awakening of birds in the full moonlight before the sun has yet come out.  It was like a concert listening to birds awakening, still obscured by darkness and their sanctuaries of trees.

The NaPoWrMo prompt for day 12 was to use alliteration and assonance in a poem.

Autumn Schmautumn

The Prompt: Autumn Leaves—Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

Autumn Schmautumn

The only colored leaves I see are going to be faux,
for autumn never visits in my part of Mexico.
In fact, those piles of autumn leaves are far back in my past.
Green on the leaves in Mexico just lasts and lasts and lasts.
It’s true that each leaf everywhere must one day be defeated,
but down here where I live, the only way leaves are unseated
is not by frigid temperatures. There’s no cold to unglue them.
Our only leaf-removal means is cutter ants that chew them!
The ones who cut them down are all the bravest and the best.
Their comrades wait below to carry them all to their nest.
Their robberies completed without the slightest peep,
their piles of leaves depleted in the nighttime while we sleep.
Our guard dogs doze on soundly as ants pass by in the dark,
letting all these thieveries go on without one bark.
And so I fear that this far south no autumn colors are viewed.
Our trees create no spectacle. They go from green to nude!
And though ants harvest all our leaves—just chew them off and take them,
at least they grant us favors in that we don’t have to rake them!

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