Nature & Poetry

We met at Hewnoaks Artist Colony for the fifth annual gathering of writers to enjoy poems by beloved poets and, using themes of the natural world and a wide range of techniques, wrote poems and shared with each other. Wind blew off the lake as sun warmed us. The following week, writers from the Hewnoaks workshop and others from surrounding communities read poems at the Charlotte Hobbs Library. Thanks to all participants and to the Charlotte Hobbs Library, the Greater Lovell Land Trust, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony for co-sponsoring these events.  We hope you enjoy these poems.

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Kin

by Susan W. Golder

 

Spoons and cups clatter.

Conversations brew.

Clans sip and gab in a communal chant to the awakening day.

I steal away.

Measuring my steps until voices fade, 

I go to the place that beckons me 

          to be still …

               to be silent. 

I land, as I mostly do, under the canopy of a mighty pine.

I watch its needles fly and float in silent homage to the dawn.

I feel its trunk, solid and strong at my back.

My feet settle onto its tangled and ancient roots.

I am still. I am silent. 

Here, with the mighty pine, I am one.

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Snapping Turtle

By Mark Cadman

A moving hulk, moss covered stone

The snapping turtle stands alone 

Traveling far from its watery abode

Crossing field, farm and road

To lay pearl-like eggs in warming sand

A new generation close at hand

 

This slow moving relic of eons past

A dinosaur that was built to last

A tank built of leather scute and bone

Yet graceful and free in its watery home

A testament to the great mystery 

Of God's greater plan for turtles, you and me.  

Wild Things

by Judith Steinbergh

 

What is it that makes us love wild things?

That after long patience and a kind of thirst,

after speculating on the slap of water, whir of wings,

out of the grainy dusk, some wild creature bursts

from the forest. Before we focus on its shape,

almost before it can be named,

it twists back, leaps, makes its escape.

Whatever it was, we know it can’t be tamed.

 

Do we want the whole deer quivering under our gaze,

the fox frozen as a statue in its track?

No. Only the glaze of eyes, the lightning bolt of legs,

the otter’s wake. We want the power to attract

wildness. To be skimmed, sensed, not faced.

 

We want to love wildness, to feel that we’ve been graced.

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Growing Up

By Dakota Ward

Do you know what it’s like to fly?

I don’t, but sitting at a window

Rain pattering on a tin roof and

Dripping down the windowpane

I flew

Maybe the crow i saw helped me

Awkwardly falling out of home

Then catching himself

To soar over the world,

To fly

I flew up into the unknown, the mist,

visible to the world, but unnoticed

A young thing with wide eyes, taking

Wild guesses upon how to fly, listening for

Wingbeats

For a moment the world was gray but

Filled with hope and ideas and plans for tomorrow but

Among the raindrops, an acorn, and i was back

At the window, listening to the past in my

Heartbeats

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A Leap Across The Road

by Ken Rose

 

Sighting a young deer,

leaping from the road,

landing on  grass and gravel,

my vision was hijacked.

 

The fawn climbed a hill,

head turning, bright dark eyes

like headlights staring at me,

the white tail vanishing into the woods.

 

A fleeting moment,

escaping to places unknown.

Memory frozen in time.

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There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
— Rachel Carson