Wednesday, April 5, 2017

PAD Day 5: Mary Oliver and the Periodic Table

Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo:
(1) write a poem with an element from the periodic table in the title, and 
(2) write a nature poem in the style of, or inspired by, Mary Oliver.

I don't know how "Oliver-esque" my poem is, and I took the element prompt rather literally. (I could have made it a little easier with an element like "Gold", "Silver", "Lead", or "Iron".)  So here is today's effort.


neighborhood landmark
my flowering apple tree
is early this year
the bees, ahead of schedule
already on early shift

the hawk circling
while morning rabbits scatter
seeking tender shoots
new leaves begin to unfurl
green factories in the sun

on my morning walk
the thing that's seen and unseen
precious building block
we only think of it in
a charred match, a barbecue grill

it's in my exhaled air
the same air the plants take in -
carbon-based life forms
(oh no, now I sound too much
like a Star Trek episode)

primordial stew
invisible molecules
look how far you've come
the world bursts like a seed pod
with me just passing through it

Speaking of Mary Oliver, here is a poem I wrote as a tribute to her several years ago:


(for Mary Oliver)

Not a religious man,
I try to define what prayer is –
I like your metaphors.

Prayer for you
is a green grasshopper
flying from your hand.

A pond of lilies
is a prayer heard and answered,
you say.

I watch a rabbit, hip-deep in dew,
breakfast on morning grass,
then leisurely lope away.

I see red crescendo sunrise,
coloring clouds that slept
invisible all night.

Prayer is what we send of ourselves
into the world
and what comes back.

Prayer is opening
our hearts and heads
to the heavens,

when we think
of nothing
and everything at once.

And lastly, here's a "bonus" element poem just for fun:

Her Elements of Style

platinum, silver,
gold, but not zirconium -
not the cubic kind

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