As our northern hemisphere bows toward the ecliptic the days lengthen and the cool spring rains fall bringing forth new life from the damp, dark humus. Leaves emerge flowers bloom birds nest insects fly and the Earth continues on — and in — its way.
Today’s post is another Tanka. I am really starting to enjoy this form, and I love the “haiku-plus” aspect of the thing. The challenge of bringing what I start with down to 31 syllables is fun.
This photo was taken on the Land Trust of North Alabama’s Chapman Mountain property a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful day after a very recent rain. In that post, I said I came off the trail with a list of poem topics. This is one of them.
It’s a small sign on a simple post placed beside the trail, its paragraph striving to explain the growth in the area just beyond it.
The just beyond is a stand of young trees mostly eastern red cedar, sweetgum, a few elms and the rest loblolly pine.
Brambles claw at their modest trunks while Virginia creeper and poison ivy work their way skyward, green-red and springtime shiny.
I understand the “succession” part of the sign but — not to be difficult — I have to take exception to the word “natural.”
At some point in the recent past a bright yellow behemoth (more than one, I’m sure) made its way across this place
ripping and rending
all that stood in its path.
The land was left devoid of anything organic, bare and raw silt-red rainwater running in rivulets through the track-tread trenches.
But, yes, nature is succeeding Birds fly from tree to tree, and the blight is becoming harder to see and more of a memory.
For that, I am thankful.
Just a note: I truly am thankful for the donation of the lands I spoke of in the poem above, and I’m thankful for the stewardship and conservation efforts of the Land Trust of North Alabama. That said, I hope we get to a point where it’s not necessary to go on biggering and biggering. If I’m not mistaken, that’s how the Onceler put it. The Lorax’s response: “Unless.”
One of my favorite animals is the eastern chipmunk. While it’s safe to say they’re a common animal in the woods of north Alabama, it seems as if they’re either ubiquitous or nowhere to be seen. I suppose it’s a matter of food.
Anyway, I’m out on the trail the other day and there’s a lot of chipmunk activity–this was a ubiquitous kind of experience. The little guys were all over the place (my theory: it’s springtime and love is in the air). Chipmunks are funny, because they have a warning chirp that almost sounds like a bird. They’re running around, so there are leaves rustling, and the ‘munks were chirping up a storm when suddenly one of them stops on a rock some 15 feet in front of me.
He (?) faced toward me, sat up on his back legs, and just started barking at me! It wasn’t a dog-like bark, but it certainly wasn’t just a chirp either. This went on for a few seconds, then he jumped down, ran between two rocks, and was gone.
And then it was quiet.
Okay, I’ve been in the woods a lot. I’ve seen a lot of chipmunks. I’ve never experienced something like that though–it was strange and a little bit funny, all at the same time.
In keeping with the strange and a little bit funny theme, I had the sudden urge to share the experience on Twitter. I’m not a big Twitter user, but that’s where I chose to share what had just happened.
In keeping with the strange and a little bit funny theme, my sharing turned into a haiku, compliments of Jean LaTourette (@mz_lat).
Thanks, Jean, for a fun experience as fellow writers, technology, and an irritated chipmunk all came together on a Saturday morning!
Today’s post is just a simple quatrain that came to me after I spotted a small tree frog out on the trail yesterday. I’m oftentimes surprised when I actually see things like this, because I know I walk by them all the time. Camouflage is an incredible survival adaptation for so many animals!
Sometimes I find myself surprised by the things that catch my eye Though they often make me wonder ‘bout the things I walk right by!
The month of April is National Poetry Month! This is the first time I’ve done anything to participate as a poet, and I’ve made a few decisions about how I want to do so.
First, I’m going to work off the theme A Walk in the Woods. Walking in the woods is something I’ve done quite a bit lately, so this seems like a natural fit (no pun intended).
Second, I’m going to share original poetry throughout the month if I’m able to do so. I enjoy writing short forms (haiku, tanka, cinquains, etc) as well as slightly longer (12-20 lines) works, but if I’m not feeling it, I don’t want to force it. I’ll share finished pieces, as well as drafts I’ll revisit later. In addition to my stuff, I’ll be sharing other poetry I like. Some days I might do both.
Third, I’m going to probably miss a day, and that’s okay. I thought about missing today, just to get it out of the way, but I wanted to share a short poem I found, so I set that plan aside.
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with an American Kestrel. Held under permit by Rise Raptor Project, an organization with which I volunteer, this bird we call Blue is a feisty little guy who is unfortunately non-flighted. That doesn’t affect his attitude and personality, though, and I enjoy working with him.
This found poem is a cinquain that I took from The Sibley Guide to Birds, Second Edition (pg 326).
kestrel small and slender flight is light and buoyant often hovers in search of prey falcon