Conflict

Man vs. nature
I would write in the margins
back when I was made
to do such things

I remember that
along with man vs. man 
and man vs. self
— conflict

Now, some forty years later
as I walk the trails
and see 
what I see

I wonder why
I never wrote
nature vs. man
I wonder why

back when I was made
to do such things

—–

Just a note: I understand we more-accurately say character instead of man these days.  This poem takes me back to the 70s.  A lot of things were different back then. (And a lot of things weren’t.)

13 thoughts on “Conflict”

  1. Tim, I love your questions. The conflicts man has ravished on nature have been relentless, and it shows. Maybe nature is ready to get back at us.

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    1. Denise, they have been relentless indeed. As we push things further and further, I do believe we’re going to see what could be perceived as pushback. Just ask folks who live on the coasts. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. The themes that power all the stories…yes, maybe the verbiage has changed a little but you’re right, some things haven’t, such as conflict itself. I could wonder “aloud’ here which conflict is worst or most frightening (man vs. man?-self?) but I am more intrigued by your current wondering about nature vs. man. It’s always going to have the edge…

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  3. I love the flip of nature vs. man. I feel like this is me all the time these days – not nature vs man, but the flip, the moment of “why did I never see it this way before?” Honestly, the older I get, the less I know. But hey, at least we’re still out walking the trails!

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  4. These big ideas here. I love them. And this idea of nature versus man. Part of me wonders if it’s because we know, always, who will eventually win. (Of course I type this and then go back to reading the comments – so…nothing new here.) But I also wonder if part of that connects with the invincibility of youth, the willingness to see ourselves as fallible in this world. I think I have some thinking to do…

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  5. I enjoyed the way the end of your poem brought us back to where you began. You left me wondering why “nature vs. man” wasn’t something we considered – and why we were required to write assigned thoughts in margins.

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  6. I like how your poem returns to a time when things were different (and, yet, the same). I also really like how it describes a change in thinking and a change of heart (maybe?) in our we see ourselves in (or part from) the natural world. I love how you provided questions but no answers. No excuses. No defensiveness. Just the way it was and that is enough to make you wonder. A priceless post, Tim.

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  7. Whenever you buy a used novel that has been used in a class, you can be sure to find one or more of those notations in the margin! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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