Eye on Nature

ducks swimming in algae-filled pond

their young eyes
learn to see hidden
birds and beasts
under shrubs
on still logs to soak in sun
hear their gleeful cry

his young hands
pinch the greening leaves 
crinkled nose 
wary breath
whiff of cucumber and mint
welcomes sudden smile

her young ears
strain to hear the song
subtle notes
dance on wind
a beguiling pied piper
hidden from her sight

This is a trial run with a Spanish poetry form known as a shadorma,
which is a six-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines. Multiple 
shadorma can be linked together. This experiment is my attempt to capture 
what I saw shadowing Eye on Nature volunteers at the Billy Frank Jr. 
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Introducing and encouraging youthful 
love of nature is a great thing; watching these young people respond to the
experience was inspiring.

Week Two on Review

April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge
A poem a day for 30 days — Week Two
Day 11: An attempt at Shadorma poetry
So still as
cotton fluff descends.
Snowflakes chill
sun burnt ills.
Peace out of time never ends.
Peace will come again.

Day 10: Woolie Socks

 Woolie socks are really tops
For keeping toes toasty and warm.
The brand doesn’t matter
So, don’t stand there and natter!
Just dig in your sock drawer
And grab the first pair.


Day 9: A Nod to Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book X

Was my soul not naked to you?
Good, simple, and content just to be?
Eyes drift down golden head to painted toe,
liquid fires in your lingering caress . . .
fingers trailing ‘cross trembling breast.
False visions, hopeful teasing, painted in vain
moments of clarity, quickly buried,
replaced with impressionistic studies dulled
by jeweled wine and stolen time.
Was my soul not naked to you?
Good, simple, and content just to be?


Day 8: First Thing This Morning


You called first thing this morning,

No greeting beyond, “God, mom, you sound like shit!”

Your head wrapped up where 20-somethings’s sit.

I pondered the apple, and its distance from the tree —

Set aside the measuring tape, considering

The long years and paths that lay ahead.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we could walk together again?


I suppose I should answer for this odd division

Of concern for your friends, for yourself, but no other.

On the one hand, I admire your careless compassion.

On the other, I find your heedlessness quite tiring.

A curious mixture you bring to life’s field,

Of independence and boldness, of an uncertain child.

You called first thing this morning.


It’s a long-standing habit, this idea of yours

That parents’ hand over scant money, scant time.

I could point my finger at other devotee’s

Of giving in to the whim, to the moment, to the plea . . .

How many fingers would then point back at me?

So, no wonderment is allowed — that when you called there was

No greeting beyond, “God, mom, you sound like shit.”


“No money, no time” deepened the pause

You struggled and mastered the terrible frustration:

“I need to get home,” you said, “my friend is having a

hard time, I can help him, I should, he needs me . . .”

I bit my tongue on the burble of harsh judgment.

Tasting metallic coppery fluid, breathing deeply, knowing that

Your head’s wrapped up where 20-something’s sit.


Just a phase, a space, a piece of time

That reflects honestly your own curious mix

Of life’s lessons learned and choices long made.

Small lumps of clay held in cupped hands long ago

Patted, petted, cuddled and loved

Paddled, scolded, molded – now gone. Silently,

I pondered the apple, and its distance from the tree.


So much hope, so much grace, the promise you bring

To a world in need, to a world that laughs, a world that cries

To a world more often known for its wars, its battlements

Stark and forlorn.

You reject that vision, and like the babe of old

Keep reaching up and out, to have and to hold.

I set aside the measuring tape, considering

That in two long decades

You survived and thrived where many would not.

Vulnerability and strength go hand in hand

Not usually an even mix

But there nonetheless

As you forge your own trails into

Long years and paths that lay ahead.


And they are long, and sometimes weary

The years and paths ahead

When a mother’s mind is stuck in perpetual rewind.

“Do-over, do-over!” wee gremlins shriek

“No good, no good!” they poke and prod . . .

The unkind voices give substance to a dream —

Perhaps, just perhaps, we could walk together again?