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Day 22 Highlights

On Earth Day, I asked poets to write either a poem about nature or industry; many poets chose to write about both. Here are the ones that caught my eye.


A Haze over Holland

A haze over Holland

looks yellow and gray.

It comes from machines

of this modern day.

Those noisy leaf blowers,

plus busses and trains;

They all make their noises

and spew smoke like rain.

The brooks that are babbling

speak to no ear.

And the whispering winds

we no longer hear.

Loud honking geese

fly unnoticed, it’s true.

Long gone is the quiet

creation once knew.

So out to the country,

a day trip, I’ll take.

I’ll bask in the sunshine

where life’s not so fake.

I’ll listen to bird calls;

hear rustling leaves.

From the haze over Holland,

I’ll have my reprieve.

Sue Bench |hd_ultra_96AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


"Rantings of City-Folk"

I care about the Earth

and all that is in it

I really do realize

our only home is this planet

But out lives are much easier

with modern convenience

Technology improved

from the way we lived once

No longer a candle

or oil it need be

A flick of a switch

for incandescence to see

Forget the horse and buggy

or a ship to sail by

Cars go much faster

and planes let us fly

If you truly miss me

a phone is all you need

Better than waiting days on end

for a letter to read

I know the air is harsh

and the water is muck

And we do so much worse

just to save a buck

But I rather like living

in my city today

And I really wouldn't have it

any other way

Chris Granholm Jr. |chris7baAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com



Western Texas is a desert

so I shouldn't have been surprised

to see a herd of seven camels

in a field near the highway.

But I had only seen camels

in the zoo and at a live nativity.

I held the image close to me

on the long drive home

with the broken A/C

and the fuel tanker overturned

on the interstate, blocking all lanes.

We, and about a thousand other cars,

took the back roads, clogged them

with our impatience, traffic crawling.

Staff members from the nursing home

next to the road ferried out

cups of water to passengers

mired in sweat and road grit.

As the cool liquid passed my lips,

I thought of camels, seven of them,

their field impossibly green.

Sarah |MusicToKnitToAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


"Earth Day ‘08"

On the very first Earth Day

my first college girlfriend and I

helped plant trees on the campus.

We were naïve enough to believe

that putting a few saplings in the ground

would help save the planet.

We didn’t do enough – big enough,

hard enough, soon enough.

Now the future is a gamble,

but everyone is going green

because it’s very chic

and a hot-button business.

I did my part today –

walked to the supermarket

instead of taking the hybrid,

but forgot my reusable canvas bags.

Bruce Niedt |jackbugsAT NOSPAMcomcast dot net


Desert Seagull

Swirling hawk over man-made lake

Seagull of the desert

Dipping and diving

Looking for a single tasty fish

Ever vigilant in his watch

He is master of his domain

Water, land and sky

Satisfied to be soaring now

Looking for just one

Day’s worth of sustenance

Content to live only for today

And let tomorrow take care of itself

Tonya Root |booklet dot geoAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


Where is the Nature

Not in the lilacs beginning to bud

nor in those three rose tulips--

not in the leaves of the Japanese maple

beginning to unpleat themselves

like small hands made of feathers--

not in the plum blossoms that litter the ground

like yesterday's leftover snow--

not even in the ravine

where moss climbs the tree trunks

in shadows and paves the road a brilliant green.

You'll find no wildness here, unless

you can spot the possums, raccoons--

unless you can see the belly of the coyote

who comes out only at night.

Joannie Stangeland |joannieksAT NOSPAMmsn dot com


So easy

To get spooked on the lake,

Where deep water meets the bank,

Not near the houses with their sand beaches

Sloping into clear water where matted weeds

Support the squawky little birds that like

To walk on them, not there, but in the brown murky

Water near Leu Gardens where thick ogre fingers reach up

To rake the bottom of the canoe. And when

I look down, their ragged sleeves of moss

Give them so much life that I flinch,

Even knowing they are only

Dead tree branches.

Lyn Sedwick |LASMD925AT NOSPAMaol dot com


Nature's Kaleidoscope

Butterflies, ladybugs, bumblebees,

Lend color to the sky like a kaleidoscope.

Hush and hear the hummingbird

Adding his melody to the evening sounds.

Soon the sky will be filled with the twinkle

Of fireflies flitting about.

Living creations on a miniature scale

Painting a moving canvas if we but pause to observe.

Dragonflies, moths, and cicadas too

Wear their camouflage to blend in.

As they move the patterns change

Never the same view but always beautiful.

Iris Deurmyer |mfumcyouthAT NOSPAMsbcglobal dot net



"and then awakening naked

to be tattooed by the rivers"

---Pablo Neruda

Rivers all leave their mark

as easily as ink---

your pink flesh stamped

blue-green forever,

colors shifting in the sunlight

turning muddy brown

when your mind

is troubled with grief.

The pain of the rivers' needle

will never fade. Each prick,

10,000 tiny stabs, will all

prove unique, seperate pains

& while you lay beneath the stars

rubbing the place they claimed,

the rivers will call to you

& you will remember their many names.

Justin Evans |evjustinAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


As I drive

rays of sunlight

seep through

gray, indifferent clouds.

Soothed by

my passenger's Jamaican lilt

I ask,

where are you from.

St. Mary's.

It's a lil country town.

It's quiet.

No chasing after

ten o'clock.


you wonder

where it is.

I dream of

sitting on sandy shores

as blue see-through water

laps at my toes,

with a plate of

green bananas

and callaloo

balanced on my knees.

Will you ever go back home

to live,

I ask.

No, he says.

We all say

we will

but we don't.

I suddenly close

the windows

as smoky air

leaks in.

I clear my throat

trying to expel

the odor

of progress.

Carla Cherry |cmcmagiconeAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


Chance Encounter

They were there as we rounded the bend

on the highway, myself not driving so I

had the chance to glimpse them for a

second and turn my head to the right

And the wonder I never quite got

over from seeing their delicate brown

bodies suddenly dart across my vision

filled me with amazement and fueled

my every breath as if watching them

were powering my soul.

Nibbling on the tender grass shoots

their heads down and close to the

earth I felt an intruder in their world.

Heedless of the speeding cars passing

them they dined on their favorite dish.

Dozens crowded the two spaces gathering

together from their hiding places during

the day to appear at twilight as if in a

dream holding still like a Seurrat painting.

Their eyes weren't visible from the road, but

I remembered close up eyes innocent and

startled staring at me in horror from past

encounters and prayed no eager young fawn

would venture too far off the grass into the

incoming traffic. Nature needs a boundary

to survive these days.

Barbara Ehrentreu |lionmotherAT NOSPAMaol dot com



These days, my clean mugs and dinner plates

spend their drying time in a chrome dish drainer

that glints with pride at its airy and streamlined efficiency,

and where my belts once flopped over the rod,

now they hang, subdued,

on a maple rack near the lightswitch.

There’s a silver basket for soap

stuck with suction cups

to the back corner of the shower,

it is so easy to get clean,

and I’ve wound the hose into respectable coils

on a keeper by the spigot out back.

Little by little, I’m replacing the clunky

ordinariness you left with good design a lá Target.

I can find the paring knife, my spices are all in a rack

and there’s no one home to cook for.

Devon Brenner |devonAT NOSPAMra dot msstate dot edu



I stepped outside

into a spring

so alive

I could feel

my pupils shrink.

JL Smither |jlsmitherAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


Spring in the Fred Meyer Parking Lot

So what if the keys are locked in the car,

it’s warm sitting on the hood in the spring sun

and the cherry trees are blossoming, pink popcorn

petals waft by in the breeze, scattered like confetti

on the sidewalk.

The smell of fried chicken permeates

the air, a crow flies by with a French fry

in it’s beak, dusky sparrows peck at weeds

coming up through the pavement, the AAA man

arrives but we are in no hurry.

Kate |kberne50AT NOSPAMhotmail dot com


A Cold Spring

Every year it’s a scheduled surprise

How fast the buds take their leaf shape

From tiny nub to eager crumpling

Of green ready to photosynthesize.

Too fast, as it turns out, this time-

After a cold winter, a colder spring

(It seems)-the pummeling breeze

Snaps the seedlings at their tethers,

The sparrows pretending to be plump,

But only full of frosty air and feathers,

And the pale leaflets hang from meager

Branches while the tiny ice balls

Flail and fall.

Hope Greene |hopeAT NOSPAMhopegreene dot com

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