Tag Archives: Nature poetry

Hudson’s Geese: Reprise

(For Leslie Norris)

By Tyler Chadwick

Day’s last reflections
catch on wind-swept ripples
as two geese throw shadows
across watered silence.
Embraced by echoes,
each circles the other.
Tracing this current,
I watch Hudson’s pair
venturing back
across the continent:
Her wings bear no scars
of hapless encounter
with fox or wolf or man;
his body carries
no hunter’s spray,
the lead that felled him
to the dogs. They bask
in this dusking plane,
watching the horizon
gather them, leaving
phantom indentations
in the eyes of those who
understood their love.

 

Tyler Chadwick is an academic refugee from Utah living in Idaho with his wife, their three daughters, and their Miniature Schnauzer, Bosley. He leapt into the Mormon blogging scene at A Motley Vision (his home away from home) when Theric Jepson’s post about Onan’s sin coaxed him to finally plant his rhetorical seed in the field of Mormon letters. His poetry has appeared in Metaphor, Dialogue, Irreantum, Salome Magazine, Black Rock & Sage, and on WIZ (here and here) and AMV (here and here) and many of his poems and his Mormon Poetry Project can be found on his personal blog. He enjoys chasing clouds and draws his natural philosophy from Whitman: “You air that serves me with breath to speak! / You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape! / You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers! / You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides! / I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.”

“Hudson’s Geese: Reprise” was originally published in Irreantum: A Review of Mormon Literature and Film 8:1 (2006).  For Irreantum’s home page, go here.

If you would like to read Leslie Norris’ poem “Hudson’s Geese,” go here.

Dead Horse Point

by P. G. Karamesines

The weedy clouds of spring
Grow on the peaks, break off, then drift
In tall gardens over sandstone blue
With the bruise of squalls.  I stand
Two thousand feet above the coils
Of a river that has burnt its way,
Leaving behind the red stubble
Of the canyons.  Buds of lightning
Burst and wither at once;
The air is rutted with breezes;
Stones lie where they fell cracking
At the roots of cliffs.  The land
Twists through bands of light,
Like a juniper through soils, at the sun,
And if my blood did not burn, like the river,
The clays of its country, I would see
The horizon ripple with growth.
Here I am only slightly longer-lived
Than the lightning; I may not last
The next stone’s throwing.

Continue reading Dead Horse Point

Summer reading

I’m getting ready to crack the spine on Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World.  Over a year ago, I heard her read a little from the pre-publication draft and attended a workshop she conducted.  It was apparent to me that she had changed her approach to her audience somewhat as well as to people she does not expect to be in her audience but are part of her expressed concern with the stances human beings take in or against nature.    

If anybody would like to join me in reading this book, we could discuss it here on WIZ as we go along.  If nobody else wishes to read with me, then I’ll put up a review, probably in August.  It takes me a while to get through a book because I take copious notes but I’ll try to keep up a reasonable pace.

Also, if anybody has reading suggestions for nature-themed fiction, non-fiction nature writing (ex. Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods), or literary science or nature writing, including nature-themed poetry, Mormon or un-, please list them in the comments.

If you would like to read my Field Notes from Williams’ writing workshop, go here.

The Peach

by P. G. Karamesines

Blake’s angel, for all his winks and nods,
Wouldn’t have it, though it hangs for having:
Drop of down and blush quavering on the rim
Of ripeness, playing at a fall.

Pendant at the tip of a branch astray
From the greater fruited spray
Where sister peaches cluster meekly
Beneath green custom, this one sweet dangle
Trespasses air my side the fence
Where sunlight fires its skin and any breeze
May dance it.

My neighbor who set the tree as start
Is a man of strict authority, armed, invested,
An officer of our active legion laws.
He knows where all the lines are drawn,
Where fences stand, where right leaves wrong,
And keeping his faith good is wise.
Although this juicy prodigal does seem
To trail a gray gulf, he may better know, 
And so the peach appears to plump and glow
With consequence, a nectareous world
Ripening on a branch of orchard heaven
Under scrutiny from many angels’ eyes.

Taking such creature to tongue suggests
That becoming as a god by fell choice:
Will birthing, her first cry, Desire;
Light, on which the eye opens suddenly,
That infant slit of lid permitting
The flash from good and evil springing apart
To change the eye forever; then, vision:
Probability, lively, everywhere at once,
Refiguring the garden, reforming
Every place the eye alights each time;
Gleams of possibility sparking like drops
Of dew, infinite, engorged with sudden sun
As far as the eye dares see—to the stars—
And, clinging to skin, so wet and cool,
Instant thoughts of nakedness
Blush the body and Will seeks clothing,
Her prior choicelessness seeming comfort now,
If unfitting, and inaccessible as the opened womb.

Such first physics infusing All and Now,
Poised to go at breath, I too partake.  So:

Day by day shall the peach hang unmolested.
With its toys of luster it shall bob and sway
Till summer drops its sun, till it is swept
From splendor by timeliness or wind,
Or till he whose lawful peach it is
Decides its fate by his own hand.

________________________________________________

Published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2005): 178.  “The Peach” won Dialogue’s “Best of the Year Award” in poetry for that year.

Thrush

by P. G. Karamesines

Low morning, and low light.
Past years’ leaves edge under the ivy.
A brown thrush
Mentions the flowering pear
And the box turtles coupling
In the grey shade of white oaks.
The moss is warm; the air, fern moist;
A bright fox
Walks in the stream.
The thrush tells it,
Leaping from one branch to another,
Going down deeper into the greenbriar.

Watching the Sunrise in St. George, Utah

10 May 2008

by Tyler Chadwick

I wish I knew the names
of all these birds: I’m sure that’s a sparrow,

wings wound tight against the wind,
dropping to the tip of a cypress

before re-mounting the sky; and
two more there, circling the birdfeeder,

vying for seed. And there, a robin, breast flared
even at this hour,

sifting the xeriscape for a meal,
prouding its head to swallow, then

vanishing down a nearby bluff.
And there, scrambling from beneath

a tuft of backyard sage, what must be a mourning dove
throws dust and air at my presence. And yesterday,

as we came into town, I’m sure it was a raven
that arced across the road, tilting its wings

against the updraft from our car
to gather sky around its violet-

blue gloss. But that brooding coo,
too long and low

for the dove, covering the crickets’ trill,
charming light from its clay vessel—

did Adam, at first,
even really know that name?

 

Originally published in Irreantum 9.2 (2007)/10.1 (2008): 206-7.

Tyler’s personal blog:  Chasing the Long White Cloud.

The Enkindled Spring

by D. H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.