Category Archives: Nature

Waiting Long – a poem for moving on


I recently attended a party held outdoors in farming country. Near the road was an old piece of farm machinery, slowly rusting.

I wrote this poem for what is past and unchangeable:

Waiting long:
For men to bind me to their task.
For sun and wind and dirt and grass.
For purposed motion past that tree.
For harvests that are not for me.

waiting long - but we can change

As the sun set I was struck with the awareness that each of us has had times of achievements — of getting things done, of doing well — but feel now that time is passing without the arrival of new successes.

Looking at this rusting machine, I realized that I too have rusty parts — signs of wear, not quite as fit, and holding on to old ideas of how things should be done and said.

But looking at this rusting machine, I realized that I am changeable — that my rust is reversable, that I can be renewed.

There are truths of purpose and truths of things worth doing. They all involve people, helping each other to move forward, even if moving forward means to sit and share a smile.

We are not a rusty machine or a tree stuck in the ground. Shake off the rust. Shake off the dust.

Try hard. Be kind. Make more of today, together.

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The Robin is calm

the-robin-is-calmEach of us have birds native to their area of the world. The two birds that I love the most are the North American Robin and the Red Tailed Hawk.

The robin is a gentle bird — happy to co-exist with people on the lawns of Eastern North America. This year, I saw my first robin in my own backyard, on March 9th, amidst the melting snow piles. It was sharing space with a black squirrel, with both of them probing the early Spring lawn for something to eat. At one point the robin and squirrel were within 2 feet of each other, and neither was troubled in the least. In fact, I have never seen a squirrel and robin interact, let alone quarrel.

By the time summer fully arrives there will be thousands of robins across our city, using their hopping motion to move around the yard in search of worms to pry up, either for themselves or their little ones. That robins also lay beautiful, light-blue eggs is another reason I like them.

Robins are independent. Unlike other "city" birds like pigeons and geese, they won’t badger you for a snack. They can get their own, thank you very much!

The robin will happily co-exist with humans. Cars don’t startle them (unless you drive onto the lawn) and walking by a robin gets you only a brief glance — you have to be closer than 10 feet to get what I would call a wary glance from a robin. This makes the robin a wonderful companion, and a great way for children to enjoy nature up close and at its most peaceful.

The joy of robins is that they are calm. In that way they are a role model for all of us.

They know there is food to be had. They know most people ignore them. They know they have few enemies, and rarely have to flee. They are good fliers, and can move to a fresh lawn any time they wish. They also have fun: flying like acrobats, standing on tree branches, and singing.

Robins are also unique in their community styles. They are often on their own, and seem quite content with that. When they find a mate they are dutiful in building a nest and finding food for the young ones. And they can also be seen in larger groups, particularly in the autumn when they are getting ready to migrate south to find warmer worms.

I love robins. They are calm, close, and beautiful singers.

Robins make me feel that nature loves me too.

Here is the first robin I saw this year, which was in my backyard, amidst the snow.

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A Poem for Raking Leaves

My Twitter friend, Mike Todd (miketodd07), was out raking today, and sent this tweet: Raking leaves in the sunshine, listening to Owl City on the iPod, thinking about poetry. So I wrote this poem on Twitter: Leaves & sun, together, sounding crisp & smelling soft, like earth and summer memories, fallen but still remaining and… Continue Reading

Just a bit different – Cats and Dogs

While some people cannot tell the difference between cats and dogs, there are actually ways to tell them apart. Cats can be eaten by frogs. Unlike the more manic and fast-moving dog, sleepy-headed cats can find themselves gnawed on by a stealthy frog — particularly the Wide-mouthed Couch frog. Cat owners should be checking under… Continue Reading

Trees only get one channel

When we get out into nature one thing becomes clear: nature is a fantastic experience, in all its variations. Nature is reality TV in its purest form. A friend and I went walking yesterday in a hill-top park that holds our city’s water supply, suitably called Reservoir Park. It is an inspiring combination of urban… Continue Reading