In light of this month’s Art Issue, and my love for the outdoors, I figured it would only be appropriate to share some of the poetry I have produced from my outdoor experiences. My deepest inspiration stems from the natural world, and immersing myself in it leads to some of the most well developed poetry that bears my name. As I consider poetry and its reading an art form in itself, I hope you will take the time to contemplate these poems as you imagine the surrounding environments in which they were written. Nature writing is often used to describe a place or an outdoor experience, and putting it into poetry can really create vivid, colorful images. Enjoy.
Cabin in the Woods
Lichens grow on tree branches, pushing against my window.
Misty morning sunrise, and a campfire to feed.
The wood was used up when I realized I would not have a pilot light,
and I went hunting for the dry fir. There are no dry firs.
Ask a bear who lives in the rain, and he will not respond.
Ask the rain and all the rain will do is reign-
Over the forest, over my life, over and over again.
It piles up on the porch, inches warped into concave
and convex modules of water traps, and yet I trap.
I trap creatures who hide from rain in holes, and I trap
Myself up in this hole, my wet body believes in woodfires.
The ferns, fauna of parisitic value, sucking nutrients-
When they die off, they cannot burn, mist cannot burn.
They mold, decay into nutrients for mold to use in it’s expansion.
So I expand the land around my wooden door, covered in moss.
The only reason I keep shaping things to my liking
is because the forest shapes and molds my life into moss.
I feed off the wood and the wood feeds off the rain drops,
and rain drops flood the food for me to eat.
Every once in awhile the rain will eat away at the natural
Statues of the metamorphic rock-new forms will follow-
Although time will find me but a lichen on my tree.
Shatter the night, light from the sun pops any notion of darkness,
I ascend, transcend the city, depend on my legs, pretend peace.
Glow warm on heavy, drowsy mountains.
They know too much with their eroding old age adages,
Played on strings of grass-the notes soothing and tranquil.
There is a peace here some may never follow, but only whisper about
In run down art galleries.
Pika rise to the surface, bubbles squeaking, shining in the sun bath.
The ridge backbones, spinal cord fluid water flowing down its sides,
They lather the land in rich green.
The abortion of trees-Seeds are not seeds which never sprout.
Fingers bubble like swollen sponges, absorbing altitude in pores
And the sweet cold air plucks at my nostrils, blinks my arid eyes.
Stories held written in solid rock, its been ages since these mountains rested,
Or will rest.
Chatter like teeth the conversation drifts between friends, my lips only part to breathe
Deep frosted mountain oxygen. Peaks bow in their valleys under the summit,
I see she is called Gray’s for a reason, or should be. Desolate rock formations,
Dead skin flaking off above deeply embedded veins of magma,
How wise the mountains are-conversing only with the wind.
Solstice: Falling (after Hicock’s Voyeur)
I talked to the birds and the bees about the tall grass when I rose
with the sun on the last day of summer, my head floating
with the clouds where nature seems to begin, and me turning into
waves changing with daily high and low tides, just like the tides
turn in her hips, like lips spit water blasting into mine, living inside her days
while she waits for midnight, listening for life’s waterfalls, stoned
and traveling to nowhere in particular touching land, not emerging
from it, so I speak as if traveled, merely blowing in the gusts, trying
to open marigolds without sunshine, only to smell the absence
pouring out of my glands into glass, glass shatters, and I sit
on the moment where she changed her mind about creation,
when dying begins, and grazed my hand on the clear pieces,
diseased and wishing to hover in her shadow, dissecting each degree
of separation within, as she glistens inside the glass, her image dripping
with each droplet of rain, while I try to get inside before dark.
I used to think color variations
Put an end to elimination by predators.
She delivers a white spotted coat in summer.
I reside in a darker type of environment,
Finding I have to flash bright warning colors.
She does not respond to controlled experiments.
I molt my skin and begin to morph,
Putting on a thin layer of spotted sunshine,
but she migrates to dark lava flows.
I cannot stand changes with changes.
She needs to maintain more uniform light.
Unable to tame her, I sit quiet in the rain.
I get old with changing day length,
The strength of the snow is in retreat.
We may both be seasonal creatures-
The belly stays white.