Tag Archives: poems about nature

WIZ Spring haiku chain, 2017

2017 April 2 peach blossoms

April is the poetry month, coaxing

Odes out of the fund-cut land, upraising

Free verse and sonnet, arousing

A metered pulse despite uncivil chill.

Winter moils to hold fast, stifling

Voice by imperious squalls, periling

Spring’s sprung verse with rime-crust.

Continue reading WIZ Spring haiku chain, 2017

Call for submissions plus a few announcements from PK

Geese_Flying_Past_by Tony Hisgett of the U. K.
Migrate your creative work to WIZ

First item of business: Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature-themed prose: creative nonfiction or environmental nonfiction, eco-criticism, interviews, hybrid literary forms, and short fiction, including novel excepts, that reflect on humankind’s relationship to the natural world, wherever writers engage it.

We’re especially interested in writing that demonstrates the need for and effects of what I call “green language”–rhetorical prowess that taps into the fertile realm of language’s most vital energies. One of WIZ’s foremost goals is to advocate for better behavior in the teeming yet at-risk environment of human language.

So, got nature in your prose? Please consider sending it to Wilderness Interface Zone. Before you submit your writing, please read our About and Submissions pages.

Item two: Poets, please continue sending your poetry. WIZ loves poetry! Please send your nature-inspired poems to Jonathon at WIZpoetryeditor@motleyvision.org.

Item the third: For the past three years, starting on or around the spring equinox, WIZ has launched its Spring Poetry Runoff, an annual, themed poetry competition celebrating spring’s highly anticipated arrival. Each year, the influx of vernal verse has graced WIZ with a garden of poesy. It’s been one of my favorite times of the WIZ year.

This year, Jonathon and I have chosen not to run the Runoff. We’ll bring it back in 2014 in new and improved form. However, we will host an informal spring fling featuring poetry and prose that revels in the arrival of warmer and brighter days, the annual emergence of life, and the onset of spring migrations that change life’s scenery.

Spring rises before the sun on March 20. Feel free to add a ribbon to WIZ’s literary maypole. Even if your poem, essay, short story or novel excerpt merely mentions spring and nature, please consider submitting it to the festivities.

(Edited 3/12/2013 at 12:10 p.m.)

Pulling Off Spring by Ángel Chaparro Sainz

I grew up watching mountains as a promise.
A father wasted by the eternal fire on the shop’s furnace.
A mother whose mother was mother on loan.
Loving slopes. I grew up thinking that nature was trees
In a park.
Sometimes I drive my car far,
Pull off
Somewhere out of this urban ocean
And fantasize
That I am diving into wild.
But the wildest here is how we harvested concrete.
This pawn shop of natural spirits:
Landscape framed by the fast windows of the subway.
Today gave birth to another windy spring.
Does it matter anymore?
I sit neat in a terrace just to watch people come and go.
Rain left the asphalt clean and pleased
And I marvel at the flowers planted on the windowsills.
This is it.
Me?
This is him.
Springy boy dotting his landscape with promises of new horizons,
Achievable paradise
Where cars are grassy, buildings leafy and people flowery.
Meanwhile,
Daisies keep blooming upon manhole covers
And I still have hopes.
Spring in cities is rolling down the window
To pursue
The miracle of sight.
Nice rhythm while life cheers up the prosaic tragedies
Of common men like me.
I guess I look stupid sitting in this park,
Alone,
staring at that kid,
Knees deep,
When he caresses daisies before he takes them to his mouth
And sips
The gentle bread of time that he will store in mind
For days to come
When spring is done and darkness catches his breath.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To see Ángel’s other entry and his bio, go here.

*Competition entry*

Boneyard Song by Mark Penny

Down to the boneyard went the child to play
Rake-a-long snake-a-long
Laughing all the day
Laughing in the ashes
Leaping on the stones
Hiding in the graveholes, building with the bones

Down to the stickyard came the sun to play
Break-a-long ache-a-long
Shining all the day
Shining on the ashes
Shouting on the stones
Peeking in the graveholes, waking up the bones

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mark Penny lives in a world of people, books and guitars seasoned with a laptop and a bodhran. He first came to light on March 9, 1964 in the mill and market town of Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England, and led a nomadic existence between British Columbia, Orem (Utah), Haiti, Alberta (Canada), and Ukraine before settling in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, where he teaches English and raises feral children. In addition to sporadic pulses of poetry, he writes songs (music and lyrics), fiction (short, long and serial) and carefully graded TESOL materials, examples of all of which are available here.

*Competition entry*

Tree of Life by Coyote (as told to Patricia K.)

This segment is from a longer piece, Plato’s Alcove, which won an honorable mention in Torrey House Press’s 2011 Creative Non-Fiction Contest.  You can read the entire entry here. Plato’s Alcove is about my first trip to the desert back in 1982.

In the desert one day I met Coyote, the Trickster-God.  We greeted each other and sat in the shade.  I opened my canteen and drank then offered Coyote a drink.  When he thought I wasn’t looking he wiped the canteen’s mouth.  Then he drank.

“Thank you,” he said, handing it back.

I asked Coyote, “Why is this place so beautiful?”

He laughed and said, “I’ll tell you a story that explains everything.” Continue reading Tree of Life by Coyote (as told to Patricia K.)

Epithalamion* by Gerard Manley Hopkins (and friend)

Danced and dandled Cascata delle Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

HARK, hearer, hear what I do; lend a thought now, make believe

We are leafwhelmed somewhere with the hood

Of some branchy bunchy bushybowered wood,

Southern dene or Lancashire clough or Devon cleave,

That leans along the loins of hills, where a candycoloured, where a gluegold-brown

Marbled river, boisterously beautiful, between

Roots and rocks is danced and dandled, all in froth and waterblowballs, down.

We are there, when we hear a shout

That the hanging honeysuck, the dogeared hazels in the cover

Makes dither, makes hover

And the riot of a rout

Of, it must be, boys from the town

Bathing: it is summer’s sovereign good.

Leafwhelmed but Unseen Cascata dell Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

By there comes a listless stranger: beckoned by the noise

He drops towards the river: unseen

Sees the bevy of them, how the boys

With dare and with downdolphinry and bellbright bodies huddling out,

Are earthworld, airworld, waterworld thorough hurled, all by turn and turn about.

Sweetest, freshest, shadowiest Cascata delle Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

This garland of their gambols flashes in his breast

Into such a sudden zest

Of summertime joys

That he hies to a pool neighbouring; sees it is the best

There; sweetest, freshest, shadowiest;

Fairyland; silk-beech, scrolled ash, packed sycamore, wild wychelm,

hornbeam fretty overstood

By. Rafts and rafts of flake-leaves light, dealt so, painted on the air,

Hang as still as hawk or hawkmoth, as the stars or as the angels there,

Like the thing that never knew the earth, never off roots

Rose. Here he feasts: lovely all is! No more: off with—down he dings

His bleachèd both and woolwoven wear:

Careless these in coloured wisp

All lie tumbled-to; then with loop-locks

Forward falling, forehead frowning, lips crisp

Over finger-teasing task, his twiny boots

Fast he opens, last he offwrings

Till walk the world he can with bare his feet

And come where lies a coffer, burly all of blocks

Built of chancequarrièd, selfquainèd rocks

And the water warbles over into, filleted with glassy grassy quicksilver shivès and shoots

And with heavenfallen freshness down from moorland still brims,

Dark or daylight on and on. Here he will then, here he will the fleet

Flinty kindcold element let break across his limbs

Long. Where we leave him, froliclavish while he looks about him, laughs, swims.

Enough now; since the sacred matter that I mean

I should be wronging longer leaving it to float

Upon this only gambolling and echoing-of-earth note—

What is … the delightful dene?

Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love.

And who the gamboled groom? Kingfish Christ-our-Saviour

Or his son. Who the gangway, brindled, bridling bride to shear the very sheep of him?

Church and churchgoing churchcoming churchliving churchloving

Christkeeping. Who, indeed, the latecome, lightshorn, grinning, gaming guests?

We. Us. Poor. Oh!


After the Wedding Cascata dell Marmore 2009--Jonathon Penny

Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends

Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns

Rankèd round the bower leap! assemble! and withdraw the veiling world

And witness there the sunblonde, brightburned waking

And the wedding of the Word: wellspoken, wild, child, grown

Aggrieved, grieved, and greeted

Gastly, good.


___________________________________________________________


*A fragment posthumously published in Hopkins, Gerard Manley. Poems. Ed. Robert Bridges. London: Humphrey Milford, 1918. The complete text can be found here.

Note: Italicized words are Jonathon Penny’s. The poem ends, originally, thus:

Wedlock. What the water? Spousal love.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Father, mother, brothers, sisters, friends

Into fairy trees, wild flowers, wood ferns

Rankèd round the bower

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

GerardManleyHopkins

When I See by Ashley Suzanne Musick

Honeybee_gathering_nectar Photo by Fifamed

That industrious black-banded yellow worker, the bee, and a dragonfly soar swiftly, silently through the sky

The glowing rosy crescent rising slowly after the iridescent sunset and the stars glinting like jewels amidst a sky as black as tar

The fresh greenery mushroom every spring and the rolling hills with their lush grassy frills

The sun shielded by a cloud as if by a shroud, illuminating its edges with its beams, and the multi-hued glow of a rainbow—

When I see the magnificence of my environment–

I witness

The talent of the Great Artist.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ashley Suzanne Musick was born in 1989 on the twenty-sixth of February in the California city of Fountain Valley and raised and home-schooled in Anaheim.  In 2010 she moved to southwest Kern County, where she currently works on a farm and writes in her spare time.

Seeing is Pleasure by Sonnet Mondal

The 7 o’ clock was hot again, hotter than any 7 o’ clock.
A drop of sweat travelling down my cheek
In search of destination stopped suddenly
And I rubbed it off, removing its existence.
I went up for a glass of glucose to see
Ants caving in there;
The glass had one inch water with dead ants floating—
Perhaps they have committed suicide.
I went for a bath where water was in drops first,
Then there were none.
From the corridor, I saw people
Working with pumping lines.
They were so happy, the gushing water
That rode on them sometimes seemed
Like the child of a waterfall. Quite refreshing—
My inner being had its bath from the scene.

_________________________________________________________________________

To read Sonnet Mondal’s bio and more poetry, click here.

Vote for your favorite 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff poems

Thanks to a gorgeous stream of entries, WIZ’s 2011 Spring Poetry Runoff Celebration ran even deeper into the season than did last year’s.  And indeed, this year’s Runoff has been an inspiring show of green and fertile language, above and beyond what I had hoped. In fact, I’ve been wowed, not just by the craftsmanship of the poems that came in but also by the wide range of styles.  Many thanks to those who joined the dance in whatever way they did!

Now, Dear WIZ Readers and Poets Participating in the Contest, it’s time to have a little more fun and play at being poetry judges for the next six days–part of the informal nature of this contest.  But rather than limit each judge (that’s you) to just one vote, we’re asking each voter to choose her or his 3 favorite poems of the 25 contest-eligible entries.   The poll opens today and runs until 10:00 p.m. (Utah time) Saturday, May 14.

While readers and participants choose the winner(s) of the Spring Poetry Runoff Contest Popular Vote Award, WIZ admin will be choosing the winner of the Spring Poetry Runoff Admin Award.   Winners of both awards will be announced in a post on or shortly after Monday, May 16 and will receive their choices of Mark Bennion’s Psalm and Selah: A Poetic Journey Through The Book Of Mormon (Bentley Enterprises 2009), A Metaphorical God: Poems (Persea 2008) by Kimberly Johnson, or The Clearing (Texas Tech University Press 2007) by Philip White.

Rules for voting:

1.  Each voter should select his or her 3 favorite poems of the 25 eligible.
2.  Each voter can vote only one time–no multiple-vote-ballot-box-stuffing shenanigans, please.
3.  Voters are encouraged to read every poem before voting.  Click here to read all of the eligible poems. Please note: Because there are 25 poems total, you’ll need to click on “Previous Entries” twice in order to read them all. The full text of longer poems won’t display on the list pages, so right clicking and opening each poem in a new tab or window is a good approach.
4.  Participating poets and WIZ readers may encourage friends and family members to read and vote.
5.  All participating poets are encouraged to vote whether their poems were published in the contest category or in the non-contest category.

Instructions for voting:

Click on the small square box next to the name of the poem that you wish to choose.  A green or black check mark will appear in that box.  If you accidentally check mark the wrong box or change your mind, simply click on the box again and the check mark will disappear.  After you have check-marked your 3 favorite poems (you will see 3 check marks on the page), click on the “Vote” box at the bottom of the page.   Clicking on that box will end your voting session, so be sure you’ve finished voting before you click “Vote.”  To see the tally of votes so far, click “View Results.”

[poll id=”5″]

March Morning, New York City by David Passey

At last the world leans the cobbled street
between Church and City Hall
in line with the sun.

The host of sparrows in the barren aralia vines
catches fire again, flickering and dancing so quick,
like a scaffolding of glad candles.

The forsythia hedge at the Mansion gate–
yesterday a row of tattered sticks,
today a bustling brass parade.

And we, the grey coated regular strangers
befriended by this old street,
drink the new light with our eyes and faces,

partaking maybe in the very beginning of time
when the sun first made the world
a thing that could be filled with joy.

___________________________________________________________________________

David Passey works as a lawyer in New York City.  He won the BYU Studies 2009 Annual Poetry Contest.

*contest entry*