Puritano

Posts Tagged ‘nature’

To a red spider lily

In writing on October 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm

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All day long you shone,

a bride of the light.

Apotheosis of the crimson curve,

ballerina in the breeze,

your rosy petals arch coyly around my thoughts

as your stamen bravely stand ready to

hold up the sky.

A long delicate swan-neck of a stem

places you one foot up and a million leagues over

the grass, nodding regally at your kingdom.

Symmetry-breaker,

Cynosure of my moments,

Avatar of a million woodland gods,

when low trade and fruitless empire have turned to dust

it will be your fate to redeem this broken world.

 

 

 

Last Testament (for Greta)

In writing on September 29, 2019 at 10:44 am

Last Testament
Dear children, listen:
We who have stolen the world from you
And then broken it into a thousand fragments
Now wish to give it back.

Do not accuse us with those pure, terrible eyes.
You see, there was money to be made and
Fun to be had.

But how you would have enjoyed the snow,
Birdsong, or a teeming coral reef!

We are sorry, we truly are.
Shall we shed a crocodile tear or two?

Please believe us when we say that
We came close to changing our ways
On this occasion or that,
After those floods, those droughts,
Or when the birds dropped dead from the trees,
And the trees burst howling into flame.

Yes, we did consider a tax on greed, short-sightedness,
And lack of vision, but there was always
A prize to catch, or a train, or our favorite show.

Children, do not fear!
We, the wise ones, have a plan.

It’s true the world we wished to give you is gone,
But there is another.
It is rich in dust and stones, and
We have thoughtfully cleared it of
All the animals and plants that could have harmed you.
That’s how much you mean to us!

So, receive our legacy with gratitude and pride.
Put away your childish dreams of
Woodland jaunts and summer picnics,
Cool fall evenings and gentle spring showers,
Of clear waters alive with fish.

Trust your elders, these memories will only confuse you.
Let such images fade into the mists of time,
So that your children, and their children in turn,
Will one day think of Nature, if at all,
As we do of dragons and fairies,
Creatures of fable and myth.

Children, you must prepare for the long, hard struggle ahead,
For the desert of lean and burning years,
When all the stories your parents told themselves
Will prove to have been foolish excuses and lies.

And when you have at last carved out a bitter victory on the
Harsh face of a new and sullen world,
If there is an iota of mercy left in your toughened hearts,
We ask that you now and then think of us, and
Say a prayer for your mothers and fathers,
Who will be judged for what we did, and
Did not do,
In this world and the next.

There

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Having lost the habit of being

I found myself in a new place.

It was emptier than the one before,

one had room to breathe.

There were walls all around

but I did not mind.

On the principle that expressing oneself

is good, I screamed at the walls:

“Once I too had a child!”

If anyone heard me, they gave no sign.

Somehow then, I was wandering down

streets that were quieter than they had a right to be.

On the outskirts of a nameless city I paused

to give a finely patterned moth a testament of sorts:

What we cannot imagine will certainly occur;

Have little faith in the deceptive shine of the world;

Endeavor not to recapture the butterfly years of

youth with the torn net of memory, etc.

I traveled on.

Nights I slept huddled at the base of statues

of figures whose names I did not know.

The buildings, bridges and roads had

fallen into disrepair, but I had lost all my tools.

So many crossroads, so many paths to choose from!

At times I sensed I was near the coast,

but I never saw the sea.

Were those years then that followed one another down

like autumn leaves?

I knew I was almost done.

In some forgotten valley I lay on my back

sky above, earth below, stream by my side.

Peace came then, combing her long black hair,

someone was drawing the curtain,

and I glimpsed home.

Just Another Day

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

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Once

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2018 at 10:06 am

Sky

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2018 at 9:30 pm

November 5

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I waded through thickets of green and gold,
on the hunt for my own Eldorado
like a stalwart conquistador of old,
wandering far from all that is known.

A slow tyranny of clouds overhead
–stolid in denial of this earth–
crept along, scratching woolly heads,
indifferent to maudlin death or birth.

The quiet, honeyed heat melted glades;
panting leaves murmured meditative,
and I realized then that every thing obeyed
one timeless rule: live, try to live.

I drifted on through dry cicada tears
and the bluish dreams of doves,
exchanging memories for years,
and visions for a long forgotten love.

*

*

Painting by R. Waiksnis

September 14

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Stinking bloom will out
though we have denied
this pulsing in the vein,
sought sanity in angle
trusty borders which remain.
Still green rages– riots
couples with foul earth
spews a rank vermilion
soiling its own birth.

Photograph by Mark Johnston