I think on this blue planet,
slant of rain, scud of cloud,
surge of river, the glittering sea,
flocks that flit, dart or soar,
wandering herds, encircling wolves,
coral blaze, fish, whale and krill,
leopard lazing in curve of tree,
myriad life given and accepted back
over aeons as the spinning earth treks
through the black void of space.
I raise my eyes from the fallen tree
to the tree tops and to the sky.
The abundant cycle of life and loss
stretches endlessly beyond
this transient moment where I live,
yet why should I regret its brevity?
I embrace its mystery and privilege,
thankful that for at least this brief moment
I have lived to gaze upon the earth
in deep wonder and in awe.
By Neil Creighton
First Published in Praxis Mag Online
Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au
Photo by Xalanx
We trailed along the Willamette as we moved into the basin,
Mountains soared on either side in an ominous formation.
The Sun struggled behind the peak as evening drew near,
In the lingering moments of daylight, the water’s sparkle so clear.
We felt the temperature drop as we were blanketed by shade,
The wind picked up and blew so hard all sounds began to fade.
On the right side of the valley, the Earth had formed a gorge,
Hardly visible through the pines, the path was ours to forge.
As we approached the foot of the hills, we could hear the water flow,
Cascading off the cliff above, into the forest below.
Leaving behind a misty spray that vanished into the sky,
Painted with jet trails as the distant planes streamed by.
Up on the highest ridge, a dusting of snow remained,
Isolated by it’s altitude, for just below it had rained.
The soil at our feet still damp, moss everywhere was thriving,
The cycle of life before our eyes, the kingdom of flora reviving.
A thick layer of fog trickled gradually down the slopes,
Enveloping the evergreens like a mystical cloak.
Evidence of a wildfire permanently stained the trees,
But the scent of their victory traveled gently through the breeze.
Reeking of resilience, her beauty undisturbed,
By the fearlessness of her organisms, Nature had emerged.
By Remy Dambron
As a California native, Remy always had many opportunities to get out and explore the state’s numerous and diverse natural environments. Although the beach is a special place for him, he considers himself to be more of a mountain man who relishes the opportunity to be out in the wilderness, especially if snow is involved. Writing is a newly discovered passion of his and he is currently working on his first big publication centered around politics, rhyme, and reason. He blames his happiness and inspiration on his girlfriend, with whom he lives in Portland, Oregon.
Photo of Sahalie Falls, Oregon, USA, by M. L. Estivill
Sitting at the edge of
Sessions Pond, I paw
The ice cold water and drink.
Geese and ducks, unthreatened, glide by
On its glassy face. The blunt horizon
Of pine trees, clouds, blue sky, and
Hills surround me. Commerce churns
By land and by air. Its distant roar never
Escapes earshot. Here, time was once muted,
Or it melted away. Now, all of it is on the clock.
Lonely backwoods trail
Sun & shadow
An expression in being
Dollops of green & white
It is dusk now
The last fingers of sun-
Light bathe in the creek
High with snow melt
I felt three thousand miles
Rushing through my heart
The whole world only
A dream I saw it
Through farewell tears*
By Tom Lagasse
*Matsuo Basho. Narrow Road to the Interior. Sam Hamill trans. Shambala Press. Boston. 2000. pg 4.
Tom is a frequent contributor to Edible Nutmeg magazine. His other writing has appeared at The Feminine Collective, Faith, Hope & Fiction, The Artful Mind, The Sun, and Catholic Digest. He is an avid gardener and hiker. He lives in Bristol, CT and works at The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, Connecticut, USA.
Photo of hiker in mountains by NejroN
What The Flower Does
Consider that the flower blooms by itself
It needs no instruction on how to open
And does not want for attention to do so
Just displaying the colors, just doing what
It does best just because that’s what it
Hearts-a-Bursting in the woods on the edge
Of a country yard
Red fruit hanging from open pods, twins
Love showing there
All through the woods, up the hillside grows
These woody-stemmed plants
In abundance they grow here, spreading
Love to all who see them
Brown fuzz with a streak of black hairs
This year there is no white like last
Crawling slow across the ground
Counting the days until the winter
Out of sight under leaves of grass
Keeping from the grasp of birds
A sign of changing season like the seed
Of the persimmon fruit that when cut
Reveals the severity of winter’s coming.
By Josh Lanier
These 3 poems were written in early fall, on one of my daily walks through the woods on my property. I go there to seek solitude and inspiration. The natural world is always the centerpiece of my work, whether it be fiction, essays, or poetry. My blog can be found at Wildcat Creek Journal.
Photo of path on the edge of the woods by Jon Bilous
Smallest of flames — a spark.
Globs of white crystallized water
cling to spruce needles before
bowing to pressure in the only
direction worth mentioning.
existence, or not.
Next to something peaceful,
By Brandon Earl MacLeod
Brandon Earl MacLeod is a poet, photographer, and teacher from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. He resides in North Spirit Lake, Ontario where he taught journalism with Journalists for Human Rights’ Indigenous Reporters Program and now works with students primarily on literacy and humanities. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Brandon is of Métis heritage and looks up to his Auntie Connie, a watercolour artist, for inspiration. Spending time outdoors has been something of a healing process and place of discovery and his poem Marie Creek was written among the trees and creeks in the forests of northern Alberta. Much of Brandon’s poetry is written about and while surrounded by the natural world and is available, along with his selected photos and published works, at brandomaclo.tumblr.com.
Photo of snowy creek by Wildman