Tag Archives: nature

Dusk, in Suburbia

On a hill just beyond the view of the Gulf

a seaside town with freshly repaired sidewalks

and paved, perpendicular streets

welcomes a walk at dusk.

The tops of the palms and oak gather darkness

as the backdrop of sunfall illuminates the cirrus clouds

and horizon of slated rooftops.

There is no hurry to run, but rather an urge for a strong-gaited walk

for energetic muscle and new shoes.

A whiff of cigarette smoke permeates from an open garage,

a front door is slowly opened,

potted plants, white gravel, and vine-encased trees

rest on manicured and unruly lawns.

Sprinklers of reclaimed water spray on some dewy earth;

other patches are dry as decayed bone.

The quiet of Sunday plays peacefully

with absence from blaring sirens and piercing landscape machines.

I bury my face in the descending sun as I wander the footpath at dusk,

in suburbia.

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The Sail and the Anchor

On a beach walk I saw a sailboat in the distance on the gulf of Mexico. From the shore it loomed nearer, although not in a morose way. It was big and sturdy and coasted easily on the calm, December water. Its sail was brown like dry earth, with writing I could not make out. All alone out there, no other boats crowding it as they usually do on a sunny, Saturday afternoon.

The boat made me think about people in my life. How some are just a long view away. Some are gliding along the shore, some so far away you can barely feel their presence. Others are lapping at the shoreline, either in happy rest or wanton attention. Some do not cast their nets. Some are long gone, or shipwrecked at the bottom of the sea.

There are the boats I try to hail and bring to me, to sit and take comfort in. Those I do not want to sail away. But sometimes they do, or will. And this brings a terror in me I cannot cultivate. It will end the peaceful stature I’ve tried so hard to bring forth and maintain.

Living in the present moment and letting things be as they may is not always simple. The past tries to spin me into its tormenting monsoon. Sometimes I want to moor the hailed boat on my shore and anchor it there forever. But the more I try, the more the boat wants to cast away to sail other blue waters.

If I let it go, will it come back?

If so, will it be solo or bring along a fleet of its own?

. . . . .

A sailboat glided along the distant shoreline

its stately stature coasting on blue December waters

The sail the color of dry earth with writing I could not make out

It appeared as so many people have

Some as that sailboat, just a long view away

Others so far away, their presence barely felt

And more, lapping at the shore line

In happy rest

Or wanton attention

Some do not cast their nets

Others are long gone

or shipwrecked at the bottom of the sea

I hail those which envelope comfort

and pray they stay

But some boats sail away

as they are meant to do

And I try not to think of this as a torrent of

sadness and regret

or fight to anchor them forever

For the more I struggle, the farther they sail

along other blue waters.

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The Intricacies of Mangroves

Splayed out like veins from wrist to hand

like neurons transmitting in the body

or spacetime in the cosmos

An elaborate (sinuous) network, arrangement

from dampened sodden earth

to root to trunk to canopy

The muted sky shines white

through the bored holes in the leaves

they dance ever so slightly

to the rythm of July

And the mangroves below intertwine

like so many fingers

in a connection

nature respite

so divine

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Under a Traveller’s Palm

I sat under a Traveller’s palm
watching church
and taking photographs of birds
a fresh warm March morning as it were
The Red-bellied Woodpecker and Northern Mockingbird
flitted from branch to rooftop
in search of seed and worm
Was that also a Cardinal I saw?
Or was it a Summer Tanager?
Its deep red body hiding behind oak leaves
then flying away with the breeze
And the sermon of the day
crested on my shoulder
let it be and go as it may.

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All the Flowers of my Childhood

In a dream I saw them
as clear as light
All the flowers of my childhood
The greens and golds
I walked past at midnight
Wispy dandelion seeds swept along cedar
by youthful breath
Clover necklaces
with knots in their stems
Distinct as the flowers of my adulthood
White and exotic and some
bearing fruit
Others only peeking long after
sun gone to slumber
Reds and yellows and umber
Some I cannot name
yet some the same
As those in the garden of
spirit’s infancy.

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The Wild Spring Breeze and All It Brings

My eyes cannot view the sea from here
but its brackish scent wafts through
with the course of spring wind

It reminds me of times spent in its warm, emerald waters
and the passage of time

So fleeting time, in its uncharted path
ever shifting like the wild spring currents

If I could go back again
however I cannot

Here I sit in calmness
breathe what the breeze brings
And know we will again
someday.

Spring Breeze

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The Time We Have

Some of us find ourselves with more time on our hands lately. Some of us are deemed an “essential employee”. Whatever your situation, and I hope everyone safe, healthy, and financially stable throughout this strange journey we’re all moving through, there is TIME– to capture, seize, harness. Our state is on a “Safer-at-Home” order. My neighbor says he’s “going out of his mind” yet in that same breath he said he wiped the grey dust off his guitar and clumsily yet earnestly strummed the strings, something he hadn’t done in years. Our community pool is closed due to the current situation. Last Thursday I strolled around the neighborhood for a much-needed leg stretch after work (I’m considered an essential employee and have been sitting in front of a computer every day for hours, not something I’m used to as a Montessori teacher). A mom and her young daughter had filled two blue paddling pools, placed them in their driveway, and were giggling and playfully splashing each other.

Although we have implemented distance learning at our school and conduct regular Zoom meetings, some of my students have taken up knitting. Some have baked sweet, chocolaty treats. Some have FaceTimed for 6 hours while watching the same Netflix series.

I have seen even more families taking walks together than usual. My brother said it is the same where he lives, 700 miles away from me. I’ve smelled the waft of charred food on grills more nights than not. I’ve heard an unusual abundance of birds singing in the tops of the oak and Norfolk pines. Gone are the shrieks of sirens every hour, the blasting hum of airplanes overhead, the smell of air thick with the pollution of car exhaust and industry.

Even though I’m still working, I’ve had a few more moments to enjoy the sound of birdsong, make brownies from scratch, read my current fiction of choice, water my neighbor’s garden, connect with friends I’ve haven’t talked to in months. At first I was consumed by the news and social media but I’m making a concerted effort to put the phone down for chunks at a time (there are some funny memes out there, though).

This week is my son’s 16th birthday. There will not be a car in the driveway with a bow on it (that wasn’t happening anyway). We will not have our usual hibachi feast with friends and family. But we will celebrate in the quiet and simple fashion we’re all becoming familiar with.

I’m just embracing the good that can come from a dire situation. And there is good here. And there is time.

(But I haven’t been to Walmart to buy toilet paper).

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Night Jasmine

Welcome night jasmine 
to winter’s party
of cool breaths below
and indigo skies above

Welcome to shivery winds
before dawn
and another blood moon
to come

Your scent reaches February’s corners
ticklng the eyes of the passerby

Within that aromatic
flowery sweetness
a place nestled
among fronds to hide

Welcome night jasmine
will you linger
past the season’s
final song

And dance to spring’s
chittering cadence
I feel it
coming on.

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Filed under Sunday Night Sonnet

To the Garden of Butterflies

To the butterfly garden I ran
its beckoning pulsed against the imminent sadness
of mourning and fading dreams
Its lush green vines and scattered wildflowers
a magnet to the journey of my feet
And just as I longed for and expected
when I entered there was no one there
Only the Longwing and Cloudless Sulphur
to flit on flower and autumn wind
to taste the nectar and dance again
And take with it the heaviness and suffering
endured
release it to the sky
so the sorrow would not weigh upon
so heavily
and my spirit may too
freely fly

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Walkabout in the Land of Fallen Trees

And we passed the place
where we weren’t supposed to go

A hidden corner
on a rare chilly morn

Crunching of foot upon acorn husks
and withered needles of pine

She kicked sawdust
on me unknowingly

And he could neither
be still nor quiet

A spiderweb clinging
to the last branch outstretched

The hawk gliding high above
keeping a close eye

This is where we found
the dying babes of the forest

The wind tumbling them
to their last breaths

But this is where we sang an old song
I did not know you knew

And held hands distended
in our wooden circle

in the land of the fallen trees.

fallen trees

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