Day Two: Using All Your Senses To Connect With Nature
Here, on my lichen painted stool,
cold air blown in from the sea collides
with my own extremities till flesh
becomes hill and glen together
with tear choked streams,
and the winds blow ragged spoor
of a haunted wilderness to me.
I know I am not alone.
Hidden in hillside scrape, gnome-like,
squarely placed at the median
like the old duke of York, neither
at the bottom nor the top, ice eases
in when I inhale, foretelling snow,
but I am happy and will cast
out nets of dream to catch
myself a wish.
Elsewhere in this liminal landscape
filled by emptiness and secrets,
a bird pipes once, twice, thrice,
but before I can eyeball it it’s gone –
a Boojum my inner ornithologist says.
Yes, truly I should have come
in the spring, when everything
was fresh and green.
Still, I will bide awhile. I’ve come late
and I’ve come old, but yet I’ll wait.
For maybe then I’ll see again the lands
beyond our home, where trows play
and giants stravaig.
Trow: fairy creature of the Northern isles
Stravaig: wandering journey
-Maxine Rose Munro
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Barrel rolling through currents and tides, you ventured
too close to the edge of the world. The ocean swell
delivered you, a parcel spilling helpless mystery.
Out of your element, you toiled in our alien gravity,
Your lustre drying in the sun. I came upon you
in the evening. You were quite dead by then, your
stilled frilled limbs like soft blown glass. Your bell,
with its grey fishmonger slab sheen, had settled
like a parachute in the sand. Beneath your skirts
you were the ancient oyster pink of corsetry.
If I wade into the shallows, let the water lap
around my soft white legs, will I make sense?
Will the world you came from be my life support
if I lie down and let my body float out to sea?
Or will my muscles slacken, robbed of resistance,
my bones slowly softening in the salt? Your sea
would dissolve me like a slug. I’d drift, defenceless,
silent, stingless, until all that was left was a shadow
and a sigh, my voice whispered in a wave’s breadth.
Fading like these jellyfish, whose dehydrated
pink rosettes are shadow printed on the sand.
-By Clare O’Brien (Originally published Northwords Now, April 2020)
For days and months
I sit and watch
for hours on end
receive with happiness
what Nature does send
birds on the trees
singing with the breeze
or silently praying
while I shivered and sneezed
but again the clouds would stay
and I would know the rain will pray
take away the sadness and the pain
and then let the sun shine
all the way
Life is in the clouds
in the skies
if we turn our eyes
and hearts and listen
we would know
there’s no one else
no place to go
Nature is The One
Nature Takes Care
-Anjum Wasim Dar
Loud birdsong, speaks of more than I believe.
Nature’s struggle to survive gives me peace of mind.
Breathe in slaughter of those who must leave
hungry young to murder another kind.
Delight in tranquil forest where spiders
chew on trapped prey. Where they find energy
to keep going on I wish I’d their verve,
strength to up and out, answer mystery.
Where’s the sense, where’s the good in going on?
You struggle and then you die. Why bother?
The dead are dead despite the wild birdsong.
Folk say how I moan while others suffer?
Wish I wasn’t so selfish, cared a little,
not enough for myself, but I will, I will.
Bios and Links
Born a Londoner, for the past two decades Clare has lived by a sea-loch in the north-west of Scotland, which suits her much better. She’s currently working on a novel about atomisation and disconnection, called ‘Light Switch’. Her recent fiction and poetry credits include Mslexia, Northwords Now, The London Reader, Lunate, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Ekphrastic Review, and anthologies fromThe Emma Press, Hedgehog Poetry and Unimpatient.one.
-Maxine Rose Munro
writes in English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK and beyond, both in print and online. She runs First Steps in Poetry, which offers feedback to beginner poets. More here http://www.maxinerosemunro.com