Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 283

For this week’s prompt, write a natural poem. Some poems just come more naturally than others, and maybe you’re already furiously scribbling. However, here are a few ideas for everyone else: write about the natural world (plants, animals, etc.); write about all-natural foods or diet; write about human nature or animal nature; or write about nature vs. nurture. Those are just a few ideas. Go with whatever feels natural.

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Write a poem for a chance at $1,000!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25 poems.

The deadline is October 31.

Click here to learn more.

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Here’s my attempt at a Natural Poem:

“The Natural”

When I was a boy, sports informed
everything I did. I played most
of them. Football, basketball, and
soccer, of course, but baseball was

the big one. My favorite book
was Little Lefty, and I loved
The Natural film with Robert
Redford who, as Roy Hobbs, never

used his natural talent as
a baseball player until it
was nearly too late, but he did
on the last pitch with a new bat

and he found success the right way
by doing what came natural,
and there was hope in that movie,
because I could fail as often

as I needed, but if I tried,
things would eventually turn
out right. I’m no longer a boy,
but I still believe that message,

and I don’t care if people need
cars or books or a simple game
to hear it: that everyone can
find a path that feels natural.

roberttwitterimage*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He does not usually ramble in his poems, but when he does it feels pretty natural.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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216 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 283

  1. Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    death song
    by juanita lewison-snyder

    at last
    i am ready to die

    ready to go transparent against the rocks
    like the rest of my chinook brethren,

    wrinkled and spent,
    the wounds and broken bones breaking off

    my body like communion flotsam,
    back into the ooze from whence i first came.

    © 2014 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  2. ianchandler

    natural

    my marrow responds
    to the archaic notions of its shell
    carbon dated dust burnished with breath
    automatically yet nonnatively comforting

    i spend worrying in an odd mix
    though i suppose it’s typical
    of trembling and reconciliation
    because it feels like the right thing to do
    a line from the guidebook written by the marred Christ
    the shaking in my hands
    yellowing with passing hours
    remembering that my name is in Cimmerian
    so am i a phantom concierge
    waiting to be let go
    which is when you pull me toward you
    resisting the resisting
    as an anti-magnet

    the source of light
    is a bedroom awakening
    wherein you stargaze with laced eyes
    and cease my polyrhythmic tremors
    turning my sight to a regal plateau
    a cosmic reasoning
    and a warm cup of tea

  3. James Von Hendy

    Been out in the wilds of southern Utah these past two weeks.

    Moon Over Moab

    The city slides down the valley, after
    The solitude of wind in the mountains,

    The whir of swifts’ wings above ridges,
    A nexus of neon and noise, After

    The raucous calls of pinyon jays echo
    Down the canyon over grazing bighorn sheep

    In the defiles, diesel and disruption,
    Dismay, but the same moon rises here,

    Full and serene, as it does in splendor
    Over the washes high in the Reef,

    Stone filled with shadow and silence,
    Oblivious to intrusion. Oh to be that free.

    1. PressOn

      The same moon rises over Miami too, but it must like it better here, especially as you described it. I’ve seen similar places, and this poem conveys the wonder of it all. Beautiful.

    2. TomNeal

      I note that what is beneath this “Moon Over Moab” the “mountains” and the “diesel” is all held together in one sentence- one enclosed system. That is until the final line where the narrator pines “Oh to be that free.” Where is this narrator located? In a state of mind? In what way is the narrator bound or enslaved? Who or what has forged the manacles? (Yes, I am thinking of Blake.) Excellent work.

    3. BDP

      James: I see both places, the disruptive slide of the city and the swifts sweeping the sky, and see the rise of a light over all. Love the movement of this poem–even stone has moon shadow. The stanzas culminate in making me feel a sense of free. Barb

    4. drnurit

      The focus, for me, is on: “the same moon rises here, full and serene…” “Oh, to be that free.” The fullness, splendor, serenity, and freedom seem to be the narrator’s projective identification. Great!

  4. BDP

    “Footprint Fountains”

    Stiff breezes lift the water into mist
    smoke. Sun pays homage with a spill of fire
    on waist-high parapets, the loved names etched.
    Memorial twin squares, inside twin squares

    disappear, falling, floors, light, stories there
    yet gone. Plain talk, a kind of whisper-speak
    seems needed. Victims flooded on the stairs,
    the rescuers streamed up, toward. Help the weak,

    bring them home, that’s who we are. We adjust.
    Our second nature’s same, but underneath
    all’s changed. The sidewalk, subway, car, bike, bus
    lead, mentally, on this skyscraper sheathed

    Manhattan to Ground Zero. Future built
    with past present. We hear the bagpipes trilled.

    –Barb Peters

      1. TomNeal

        I agree, that is a superb enjambment. The “Future” enters the present, and then encounters the “past” in its future (the next/final line). I also admire the artful way that perfect and imperfect rhyme is used- especially in the closing couplet.

    1. James Von Hendy

      Barb,

      I appreciate your close feeling and interpretation both of the memorial and the way all Manhattan leads us there. Lovely work. Tom already commented on the subtlety of your ryhmes, which so strongly mirror the subtlety of the poem’s tone as well.

    2. drnurit

      For me, the subtlety of the poem — in contast to the enormity of the events described — reflects “that’s who we are. We adjust. Our second nature’s same…” And yes, as someone who witnessed this horror and is still working with victims’ post traumatic stress — “underneath all’s changed.”

    3. BDP

      William, Tom, James and Nurit, I very much appreciate your thoughts on this poem. Nurit, I visited NYC last week, my first time since 9/11. I felt a quiet and deep strength during my morning at the fountains and museum. I am sorry that you witnessed the horror first hand and with my heart and soul commend you for your work with victims. Barb

  5. Marie Therese Knepper

    Oops! Missed the deadline for the Terzanelle Challenge (not that I’d win or place anyway)
    Here’s my terzanelle:

    Backyard Stratagems

    The war between dog and squirrel rages
    On each side claiming bragging rights
    A no-win scenario for all the ages

    Though somewhat amusing their to-the-death fights
    ‘Round the solitary oak in my backyard
    On each side claiming bragging rights

    One little Shih Tzu bravely stands guard,
    Scanning and sniffing alert to any sign
    ‘Round the solitary oak in my backyard

    That a fluffed-tail intruder has crossed the line,
    As said fluffed-tail plots his offense
    Scanning and sniffing alert to any sign

    Makes a run for it. Oh, the suspense!
    Paw to earth. Claw to bark. The pup’s too late
    As said fluffed-tail plots his offense

    Tsik’s and chrrr’s “I stole home plate!”
    The war between dog and squirrel rages.
    Paw to earth. Claw to bark. The pup’s too late
    A no-win scenario for all the ages

    Marie-Therese Knepper

  6. MsGenuineLady

    Naturally Beautiful

    Water washes over your face
    Erasing today’s make-up
    That took the place
    Of your natural beauty
    Your eyes shine
    No longer confined
    Behind the layers of mascara
    And black penciled lines
    Your natural lips appear more luscious
    Than the bright red ones you colored on
    With the mask gone your face glows
    No longer covered up by cover up
    Your natural beauty shows
    You are naturally beautiful

  7. Cynthia Page

    Fourth Stage

    A well spring
    springs into light
    among seer brown blades,
    welcome liquescent source
    for another stage.
    Cycles cycle back;
    ascendance descends.
    The beetle forgets the larva
    was tended by ants like
    doting aunts.
    I cannot forget tomorrow.
    Tiny shafted sunbeam
    centers the hive
    in layers of
    parenthetical leaves
    and dust coated years.
    A depleted queen
    lays in her crisp
    honeycomb bed,
    fruitful no more.
    The nest – empty
    as the justifications.
    The cure for hunger
    destroyed fertility.

  8. LeeAnne Ellyett

    Human Nature

    Her nature is to keep aside,
    what might be inside,
    to open the door, to explore,
    a new splendor,

    The moment in time,
    It’s almost rhyme,
    you come into her life,
    taking away the strife,

    Breathing in her, a new life,

    You calm and nurture,
    her body and soul,
    being with you, her heart flew,

    On a cloud,

    Sharing tears and cheers,
    new adventures,
    memories of love,

    Until the day your nature obeyed,
    and she caught you with the maid,
    blade in hand, she swayed.

  9. taylor graham

    SUNDAY HIKE OUT OF SEASON

    You should have been at mass;
    this climb is church to me. Early October,
    we won’t make the trek again this year.
    Wind off the high slopes blows
    jacket-chilly, it crackles through lupine
    gone to pod and mules-ears brittling.
    Clouds gather dark over Nevada.
    I remember how you invoke the God
    of thunder on any soundless afternoon.
    Is He also the lord of lightning-
    strike? At the creek-crossing I cupped
    my hands, took not a sip but great gulps
    as if this were my last drink
    till we’re over the summit, as if thirst
    should ever be satisfied. Tonight’s
    predicted the season’s first real snow.
    Must I look for miracle in every transition?
    Enlightenment, at least. Dawn drew
    me driving upcountry out of dark.
    An eagle crossed, winging silent above
    asphalt that bowed to wet meadow
    where frost has touched the willow-
    stringers so they glisten sweeter
    to the soul than wheat-grass. Look how far
    we’ve climbed – to just below the pass.
    When will I be content to say Now?

  10. shellcook

    Nature? Nurture? Now I Get It, Then…Not So Much,

    I didn’t understand the tangles of that phrase,
    until I had my own phrase to untangle,
    until I participated in the adoption process
    of my own little boy and later, my grandson;
    I didn’t understand.

    Deepest joy reciprocated by the new fam
    brought a catch in my throat,
    I didn’t know I had.
    It’s an old one, a wound, still open, filled with pain
    that is topped by ancestral trees
    that look like asparagus, instead of broccoli.

    Old family, made worse by the bitterness of a time
    when old money fell through, like a shoe-boy shoe shine.
    Not smiles for my son,
    nor grandparents alive with joy,
    no parties or introductions,
    just a learning of impossible rules
    for a five year old boy, a baby still.

    I did not know just how much I had missed.
    How unacceptable I truly was
    to my own new in laws at the time,
    until I became witness to unfolding life.
    Nature v nurture has no scientific basis
    when the variables are skewed
    by the inflated superiority of small minds.

    It does no good to confront anymore.
    Do not offer to help in any way,
    love me, accept me, blow sunshine up my skirt,
    It’s buried and forgotten in the light of this blood moon,
    though… the shooter forgets the nuance of the bullets,
    the target never does.

    I watch my grandson with such joy on his sweet impish face,
    Held up to the light and spun high like a plate
    heaped up with love, and shared with the world
    and I see oceans of endless possibilities for him.

    I guess all it really means is that nurture can work,
    it just depends on how you define the word.

    Anne Michelle Cook
    On the 30th anniversary of my son’s adoption into my married family.

    1. PressOn

      I think this is profound, especially “Nature v nurture has no scientific basis / when the variables are skewed / by the inflated superiority of small minds.”

  11. Susan Schoeffield

    THE GENUINE ARTICLE

    To fall in love is a natural thing.
    From when it’s first planted in early spring,
    we nurture its growth until it takes wing.

    Our passions ignite from a heated sun,
    alive in the warmth of what can be done
    when two summer souls are meshed into one.

    And sometimes like leaves that change in the fall,
    the colorful palettes begin to pall,
    becoming the victims of autumn’s call.

    But those who continue through winter’s blast
    find comfort in what they have both amassed
    to weather each season by standing fast.

    Relationships fail if only a fling.
    With no real foundation on which to cling,
    love morphs into an unnatural thing.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  12. grcran

    within that stillness

    in the stillness of his upstairs room
    where he toiled away the time
    writing thinking considering tinkering
    writing
    he felt a praeternatural current of something
    it moved across and through him
    the windows were closed
    this was not a natural everyday flow of air
    he completed another line
    and the writing seemed to move on its own
    as it had many times before
    but not since he lost her
    he felt the current again
    and, as he finished the piece, one final time

    years after he died, readers found the work
    inspirational
    in fact, some commented that it went beyond
    marvelous
    it was supernatural
    and learning of this, in that new place where they met again after he died
    they smiled

    by gpr crane

    (from Wikipedia: “Thomas Aquinas argued that the supernatural consists in “God’s unmediated actions”; the natural is “what happens always or most of the time”; and the preternatural is “what happens rarely, but nonetheless by the agency of created beings…Marvels belong, properly speaking, to the realm of the preternatural.””)

  13. TomNeal

    Nature’s Way

    In a moment of rapture
    Or rape or maybe a lab
    Life begins its journey
    Towards a predestined end.

    Wounded as it winds
    Past cancer and war
    On a serpentine path
    To the ovens of age

    Where Nature humiliates
    Before it exterminates
    All it once did generate-
    Some mother, some nature.

    1. drnurit

      I agree with William: wry and wonderful. Interesting contrast between the title and the poem’s allusions and metaphors. Is the journey “nature’s way”, or human interventions (from “lab” and “rape” to “war”, “oven”, and “exterminates”)? Or does it proceed to “a predestined end” from “a moment of rapture”? And, in between – nature or nurture (“mother”)? Are “cancer” and “age” nature, or nurture, or predestination? The questions linger…

      1. PKP

        I’ll be a third “me too” here … agree with my compatriots and I’ll add that the philosophical nature of the poem juxtaposed – or perhaps more accurately enveloped in a light almost nursery-like rhyme adds a chilling effect that closely approximates the spectrum of life itself … Bravo

    2. BDP

      I’ve read this several times over several days. Conception to grave in three small stanzas that speak volumes about nature’s way. A wry interjection, that last line. Spoke to me.

    3. TomNeal

      Thank you: William, Nurit, Pearl, Marie Therese, and Barb. Your comments are enormously helpful.

      I started this poem headed in one direction, and ended up going somewhere else- such is the nature of poetic investigation. I still haven’t found the words for what remains to be said, but will continue the search. Once again, thanks.

    1. PressOn

      I enjoyed this, and thanks: you gave me an idea.

      ARRESTING SIGHT

      One day, after walking a spell,
      Miss Miranda was placed in a cell
      because of her loathing
      for pieces of clothing;
      she preferred to go au naturel.

  14. JRSimmang

    GREATNESS NEEDS WATERING

    A great civilization
    rots from the roots

    by rusted
    daffodilapidation.

    It is the way of the world,
    they say.

    A towering Everest of
    municipal mountains,

    canopies of cast-iron,
    and they fall.

    Fall, Spring, Winter and an
    endless Summer,
    washing down-river
    our concrete ground cover.

    Budding I-beams in bloom,
    waterfalling windows glistening,
    what must the seeds be like?

    Lilackluster and dusty,
    a once dandy-lion
    now counting down the day-sies.

    -JR Simmang

  15. Shennon

    Her poise and her natural charm,
    Were cause for a father’s alarm;
    The boys came each day,
    Just wanting to play,
    But touch her and they’d come to harm.

    –ShennonDoah

  16. Shennon

    The natural lilt in her voice,
    Derived from her accent of choice;
    Her face, though mundane,
    She dared not complain,
    Her vocals a nice equipoise.

    –ShennonDoah

  17. Shennon

    The natural gait in her walk,
    Makes all of the rich sailors gawk;
    Her skin-tight blue jeans,
    She wears while she cleans,
    The small store in front of the dock.

    –ShennonDoah

  18. Shennon

    The natural wave in her hair,
    Did lend to her style and her flair;
    If only she’d read,
    That bottle instead,
    Of washing her head with some Nair.

    –ShennonDoah

  19. annell

    When Asked

    As a child when asked? “What would you like to be
    when you grow up?”

    My answer was “I wanted to be an artist!”

    Of course I had no idea what that would mean
    What is it to be an artist or that the journey would be
    lifetime

    I loved the world In which I found myself

    I loved to draw and paint

    This has always been a constant for me

    It was not until I was grown
    That I began A serious study to become an
    Artist

    I enrolled in art school My life was filled with
    the study of drawing and painting
    and learning the vocabulary of
    art

    Note: My beginnngs as an artist.

  20. drnurit

    DAWN OF A NEW DAY

    By: Nurit Israeli

    Though my bed
    holds me in its embrace,
    I push aside the blanket.
    I am suspended between
    cozy softness and gravity
    that pulls me down.

    In my morning coffee,
    the boundary between
    dark brown and frothy white
    blurs, as last night’s
    dreams melt into this
    morning’s sunlight.

    In the garden,
    a change of guard:
    summer flowers recede −
    their season over,
    as fall newcomers
    burst with vivid colors.

    I am here, now,
    on the border between
    my reverie and my schedule,
    at the dawn of a new day −
    amidst a gone yesterday
    and a presumed tomorrow.

    And though the now
    fades away, unwilling
    to pause at the gate of
    a still empty day, I inhale
    this symphony of in-betweens,
    holding on as long as I can.

    1. TomNeal

      Very artful use of the 3rd stanza to shift the balance of the poem. It is the only stanza that does not include “between”. It is the balance point (fulcrum) where the guard changes. So subtle and beautiful.

      1. drnurit

        Thank you very much, Tom, for being such a careful and insightful reader! I tried to hint at the shifting of the balance in the third stanza by using “a change of guard”, as well as “recede” on one side and “burst” on the other.

  21. writinglife16

    Naturally.

    That’s how our love grew.
    Like peaches
    Ripened on a tree.
    Rock hard at first.
    The fights never stopped.
    Marking territory
    Like cats do.
    A little spray here,
    a tuff of fur there.
    Then the trust came.
    And comfort filled us.
    As the sun touched us,
    our love became plump and juicy.
    Like peaches
    Ripened on a tree.
    That’s how our love grew.
    Naturally.

  22. Misky

    The Devil’s Own

    I want to be swept clean by wind,
    Salty, and so cold that it feels hot.
    I want to be reminded of how
    Nature feels. Sounds. Tastes.
    And that can only happen for me
    When winter whips its tail
    Like the Devil’s own deeds.

  23. taylor graham

    WILD

    Mini-cougar in domestic guise,
    the cat assumes his Crescent Moon pose,
    a motionless dance. You hardly notice
    how he segues into Extended Sphinx.

    He radiates indifference, a mime
    of Consciousness Exhaust. Claws retracted,
    energy uncharted. Never mistake it
    for giving up the more than possible. Now

    the dog, who’s journeyed farther with you
    from the wild, lies down facing him.
    Palms reaching, Dog touches finger-tips
    with Cat. Silence gaze-to-gaze.

    Do you dare lie down with them,
    speak to them as friends –
    you with your load of expectations
    in a language they don’t share?

  24. Sara McNulty

    Lover of Animals

    He was drawn to animals
    at an early age, bringing
    home samples of nature’s fine
    specimens. As a teen,
    he cared for birds
    with broken wings,
    fed neglected, starving cats,
    and bandaged wounds
    of hobbling dogs. An adult
    now, he is a Veterinarian,
    his office packed with
    animals ranging from dogs
    to pigs. He has fulfilled
    his nature, and he is happy.

  25. taylor graham

    NATURAL

    On TV, someone is worrying
    beyond all patience
    what he calls “the valuables of life.”
    It’s early October, a chill
    that falls between summer and
    the serious shopping holidays. Not
    even overcoated, I walk out to discuss
    this morning with a dawn
    just now making silver hills
    of what were black, as the sky
    of fading charcoal begins to keep
    its promise of blue.
    Overnight the wind has done
    a decent dusting. All I have to do
    is listen for what the first
    bird says. Everything is new.

    1. drnurit

      I love this — the contrast beween the discussion of the “the valuables of life” on TV and the discussion of “this morning with dawn” and “what the first bird says” (= the true valuables…) There is so much hope in the shifting of colors: from charcoal black to silver to the promise of blue, as well as in the purity after “the decent dusting by the wind”… Beautiful.

  26. shethra77

    Beautiful Autumn Weather

    Zephyrs blow the clouds away—blown too far
    for us to see them. There are none left to
    wet the earth, but that’s only where we are.
    Lying radar shows rain clouds chasing through.
    Although the state’s completely green, we wait
    in vain for water here, and none can say
    how long it’s going to be when it’s so late.
    It’s still attractive here for deer at play.
    Amaranth fills with happy honeybees.
    But grass and weeds are drying, browning, just
    fall accelerating. The playful breeze
    busily steals the damp and raises dust.

    May gentle rains come soon to bless this earth,
    and give our woods the sap for spring rebirth.

  27. icandootoo

    Aging Well
    A Luc Bat, by Naomi Poe

    She is proud of these lines
    On her forehead and finds it strange
    That the others arrange
    Themselves to appear changeless. She
    Wonders why they swiftly
    Erase their lives and flee the proofs
    Of laughter, love. In truth,
    She wonders if the youth they save
    And cling to, which enslaves
    Them, was good, if they crave their best
    Years because they have messed
    Up that youth as they pressed for more
    Money, love, power… or
    If they simply abhor the fact
    That the decks are all stacked
    Against women wracked by years,
    If irrelevance, feared,
    Is the reason they’ve geared up. Then
    She sees her lines again
    In the mirror, and when she does,
    she smiles again because
    she knows who she is, was, will be:
    and her relevancy
    hangs only on how she defines
    it. Yes, she’ll be just fine.

    1. BDP

      Naomi–I hadn’t heard of a Luc Bat before (though I see that this blog has employed it in the past). I thought there was much wisdom in the poem, ending with “and her relevancy / hangs only on how she defines / it.” Fine, just fine. Barb

      1. icandootoo

        Thanks so much, Barb! This blog is where I have been learning about different types of poetry – and where I discovered the Luc Bat. I think this may be one of the most autobiographical poems I’ve written, so your kind words mean a great deal.

  28. gloriajean

    A natural occurrence
    Some would say
    Like winds that blow
    And trees that sway
    The words they dance
    In delicate play
    Tumbling and twirling
    Awaiting my say
    A cluster of colors
    Drip down like rain
    Bold and vibrant
    Distorting the haze
    My mind awash
    With free flowing verse
    For some is a blessing
    To others a curse
    A natural occurrence
    This rhythm, this rhyme
    My lyrical world
    Transforming my demise

    10/08/14
    gj

  29. jhowe

    Hairball

    “I’m a natural blonde,” she said.

    “Of course,” said the brunette.

    “Are those highlights?” she said.

    “Just to add texture,” said the brunette.

    “I tried highlights once for fun,” she said.

    “Nothing like a little peroxide though,” said the brunette.

    “My red hair comes naturally,” the redhead said.

    “Of course,” they said in unison.

    “Blondes do have more fun,” she said.

    “Remind we to ask one,” said the redhead.

    “Do I detect doubt?” she said.

    “Of course,” they said in unison.

    “Ladies, ladies…please,” said the frazzled hairdresser.

  30. De Jackson

    Affinities
    (to Infinity and Beyond)

    She’s a natural
    -born (not bred)
    sworn and slightly shredded
    poetical soul.

    She’s only whole
    when filling holes
    and days
    with phrase, spilling
    bowls of soup
    and song out
    into a star-stung sky.

    She’s got a pen
    -chant for indigo
    ink, and an un
    -thinkable amount of
    black clacked long
    and loose, a trail of ant
    -oh
    -nyms
    and sin
    -oh
    -nyms
    and pseudonyms
    learned and kerned and
    soldiering on into
    the sun.

    Give her a blood
    moon, a transfusion
    of seawater, a scribble
    of bright chalk and a
    long walk under a
    leafy ceiling. Give her
    a lake and some fairy dust
    sand. Give her a stone.

    And somewhere far
    to
             throw it.

    .

  31. Jane Shlensky

    Predictable

    The oak trees hurl their acorns down
    as if the nuts were missiles, random,
    freed from silos, pummeling villages,
    pulpy projectiles popping like shots
    slashing through leaves and branches,
    pounding the deck and roof–
    seasonal gestapo invading space,
    seeding the ground with ankle breakers,
    searching among acorn caps, bounding.

    The old ones say this winter will be hard,
    more ice and snow, power outages,
    and trees down. They cite oak trees’
    abundant yields, migrating birds, and
    wooly worms, as weather predictors.
    We don’t want to believe, but we scan
    the hovering trees for weakened limbs,
    for slanted tops, danger among the trunks.

    Squirrels and chipmunks pack away
    acorns; deer forage at dawn, fatten
    now while they can. The leaves blush
    at long nights, dogwood berries red
    and clustered, grasses seeding before
    their fall. They put me in a hearty
    soup frame of mind, robust heavy
    sweatered foods, mindful of a future

    frozen day, no going out, the old ones
    smug with told-you-so’s, sniffing
    the air for second snows and spring,
    watching the sky drop its own
    terror down, feeling peckish as
    migrating birds, praying for sunlight.
    That’s when I’ll make an apple pie,
    rejoice in electricity and gas logs,
    admire nature from my window.

  32. Domino

    Moon

    Moving through
    all the cycles of the moon, the
    key is to remain calm.
    Every breath even.
    Inside, stay focused,
    too strong to change,
    strong enough to keep
    the wolf at bay. At…bay…No!
    Oh, my God,
    please… can’t… change…ahhh-wooooooooo

  33. Connie Peters

    Nature

    We walked toward the golden sunset.
    A bare tree protruded from the earth
    at a sixty degree angle,
    its limbs curved like snakes,
    tapered and spread out like veins
    in an oldster’s hand.
    Surrounding it, lively bushes
    swayed in the breeze,
    like a host of youngsters
    giving homage to the aged.
    I wish people were more like that.

  34. creilley

    FOWL PLAY

    The hen fluffs tail feathers, hoping for a glance,
    from the cock of the walk, a cackle and dance.

    Scratching so gentle amongst the hay,
    with dreams of her cock coming to play.

    Alas! She sees the one of her desiring,
    mounted atop another, in the process of siring.

    This fowl wench will not be left out in the cold,
    she strolls over to them, so quick and so bold.

    Flipping her feathers just under his beak.
    thinking to herself, “I shall have what I seek.”

    The hen whispers low, with barely a care
    in the ear of the cock, “Her eggs come out square.”

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