Category: Nature

Senses of Summer

The scent of gardenias
Floating on late afternoon air
Sweetly fragrant and tender
Nothing can compare

Spanish Moss hanging in dreadlocks
On the old Rastafarian Oak
Summer warmed earth
No need for a hooded cloak

Monarchs fluttering here and there
Squirrels flying from tree to tree
Water trickling over rocks
Babbling stream to the sea

Brightness of tropical flowers
Flourishing in their colorful glory
Dramatic blossoms from lush foliage
For our pleasure contributory

Pelicans gliding above the water
Ready to dive when the moment is right
Something spied for their supper
No time to consider the fish’s plight

Peaceful moments spent on the dock
Boats parading along the water
Music floating across the air
A young couple with daughter

Sun’s rays kissing the skin
Freckling the nose
Walking slowly along the beach
Sand between the toes

Sandpipers scurrying
Avoiding the tide
Children playing
In sand liquefied

Random driftwood scattered
A horseshoe crab’s empty shell
Sandcastles left in ruins
A discarded bathing suit with a story to tell

Treasured moments to keep
In memories deep in time
Almost worth the winter freeze
To sip the last of the summer wine

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

In response to Kayla Ann’s End of Summer Poetry Contest:Senses of Summer

Word of the Day Photo Prompt Fragrant

Rag Tag Prompt Play

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Red Tide

There is danger down below

In the Gulf of Mexico

Southwest Florida’s coast

Today looks like its toast

There’s a commotion

In the ocean

The algae bloom

Is causing doom

Toxins are in the air

And can easily scare

The Red Tide

Cannot be denied

The event is not novel

But it’s certainly awful

Karenia Brevis as it is called

Has left us appalled

Causing humans to cough

A sign to keep off

Dead mammals and fish galore

Line up on our shore

The smell is nauseating

The result devastating

This is nothing new

Just another preview

Of nature doing its thing

Another gift she did bring

Although not manmade

It can still pervade

The planet is crying

Letting us know it’s dying

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Although it doesn’t always make the national news, Red Tide, doesn’t happen too often, but is very real to us in SW Florida. The loss of our sea life is so sad to witness.  Beautiful Manatees, Dolphins, Loggerheads and all kinds of fish washed up on the shore is heartbreaking. Tourism is also a large part of our economy and it can have devastating effects on businesses and visitors alike.  As if hurricanes weren’t enough!  If you would like to know more about Red Tide check out these links below:

https://mote.org/news/florida-red-tide

http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-red-tide-on-the/article_2e5a7aea-9669-11e8-a7c5-83dc11d9340f.html

Todays prompts:

Commotion

Ocean

Novel

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Thirst

Musical sound of rain
Against a corrugated roof
A wordless opera
Of drama and fraught
With worry of how to cope
What nature had brought

The planet’s frown
Sucking rain into its cracks
Giving breath to the roots
Of trees shriveling
Into dust on blistered ground
Parched and crippling

The deluge continues
Day after endless day
The energetic monsoon
Providing the needed fuel
Protecting earth’s mortality
In its season of renewal

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Words Prompts:  They were definitely not easy today but I think I managed it!

Cope

Blister, Frown, Opera

Monsoon

Energetic

Renewal

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Moon and the Sun

The moon struggled to rise
One night, as the sun
Gasped towards the sea
Leaving the day undone

The earth overheated
From disregard and denial
Left us breathless this night
Waiting for the moon’s arrival

An arrangement was needed
To placate the moon
A possibility of compromise
But communication inopportune

With neither ever meeting
At anytime in the sky
An intermediary is required
Our actions yet another black eye

We are the conduits
For continual balance of the Earth
We must care for it with love
It is suffering from a dearth

Losing precious inventory
With ignorant decisions
Responsibility disregarded
Leading to ultimate derision

Shooting ourselves in the foot
Leaving a permanent disability
With nothing for our children to inherit
Except the irreversibility

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Daily Prompts:

Moon

Possibility

Placate

Arrangement

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Sky

The flaming sky at the end of day
Brazen colors like molten lava
Streaking across the canvas
The sun a bursting yellow-pink guava

The breeze refreshing the body
The heat of the day a lingering memory
Twilight closing in, cooling the sand
Under bare feet, a feeling sensory

Calm sea turning silver grey
From the sky’s purple haze
The evening moon still light and pale
With the last of the suns rays

Shadows slowly disappearing
Sails silhouetted against the sky
Birds now quiet from a day of fishing
Footprints in the sand to identify

Sea grasses blowing in the breeze
Fragrant blossoms scenting the air
Laughter travels in the distance
A romantic time to share

Inviting shallow waters
Lure the fortunate with sensitivity
Sand dollars and shells to be found
Beauty in its simplicity

The moon now full in the cycle
With its silvery iridescence
Lighting the cloudless night sky
The day ends with evanescence

Christine Bolton

Word Prompts:

Sensitivity

Shallow

Fortunate

Travel

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Trees

I was watching a drama on Amazon yesterday and there was a dialogue between a man and woman who were walking in the city of Dublin getting to know each other.  She was from Cuba and he was Irish.  She asked him what kind of tree she was looking at and he answered, it was a Sycamore.  Admiring it she loved the different shape of the leaves. They talked a little more and he was intrigued and attracted by their cultural differences.  Although a nurse in Cuba, her qualifications were not recognized in her adopted country so she resorted to do cleaning work.  He asked her if she was homesick and she answered that sadly she was.  She said from faraway everyone looks the same, just like the trees.  It’s not until you get closer that you can see the differences.  In her job she would say hello to people and some would respond, but as a cleaner she was invisible to most and they wouldn’t even bother to acknowledge her.  Her words saddened them both while they thought about it.  Then she said, “We are all just like the trees, beautiful, and not all the same.”

I love moments that make me think about what was said. It was a comparison I had not considered and found it very relevant.  Like the trees, we are all different, indigenous to where we came from, and not always familiar with others and their habitats.  We migrate to different corners of the world in search of a better life, adapting to various cultures, lifestyles and living conditions.I celebrate our ethnicities and varying backgrounds.  I started to play around with these comparisons and came up with this poem. Hope you like it!

Trees

We are all like trees
Coming in different shapes and sizes
Some come tall, others bushy
Thick with foliage and in other guises

Trees manage to survive
Planted in many places
Like us not all are native
We come with differing faces

Their leaves are varying in size and shape
Some are shed every year
Others remain and are evergreen
As a Christmas tree, bringing good cheer

The leafless trees of Winter
Offer no refuge from the coldness
Sending inhabitants south
To avoid becoming homeless

The swaying southern palms
Majestic and evergreen they remain
Welcoming all who arrive
Giving shelter to sustain

The lofty Bamboo
Strong and slender
Producing melodic sounds
A calming effect rendered

Tropical flowers in December
Bringing joy to your heart
As a good friend would do
When you have been apart

The beauty of a blossom tree
Bringing smiles in the Spring
Reminiscent of a newborn child
Another beginning for everything

The characteristics of trees
And those of the human race
Caution us to study the subject
Before we question the birthplace

Christine Bolton

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The Plastic Sea

The Plastic Sea

Seabirds trussed like turkeys
On Thanksgiving Day
Dolphins’ dorsal fins cut with fishing line
Is just another way for us to betray

Sea creatures swallowing grocery bags
Thinking they are jellyfish
Turtles strangled in synthetics
Surely you couldn’t wish this

Our commitment to save the planet
Includes the oceans too
Choking their inhabitants
Is really askew

We are filling our seas
With torturing plastic
Shame is what we must own
Act now, this situation is drastic

Christine Bolton

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Does the Sandpiper Fly?

I woke this morning and feeling a little tense.  I couldn’t put my finger on any one thing but knew the best way to deal with it would be to get out into nature to clear my head and find some inspiration for the day.

I headed to the beach with towels and chair in hand.  The day was bright, the sky a cloudless blue, and I knew the moment I set foot on the sand that I had made a good decision.

I felt the energy coming from the sea and with the sun on my shoulders it was like instant medicine for the soul.  Nature is always the best remedy and I can usually find the answers I’m looking for, whether I am at the beach or just walking in the neighborhood.

After finding a good spot, I took a few minutes just to do a little people watching.  I live in a resort town on the coast and the beachgoers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Some are on vacation, others are walking the beach for exercise, a few are doing yoga, a couple are cycling and others are just working on their tan.  I then turned my attention to the beach birds.  Noisy Seagulls, diving Pelicans and the fascinating Sandpiper.  This small, busy bird is tireless.  You will find him running across the sand constantly in search of food and giving the impression that he must never get wet under any circumstance!

It made me realize how similar we all are. We as humans go through the same motions day after day whether going to work or tending to our lives in general.  Just like the Sandpiper, our existence depends on these repetitive rituals that are necessary. However, every now and again we should really just stop, take a breath and appreciate why we do these things.  If we work, at least enjoy it. If we are on the run taking care of our families, remember to be thankful for the happiness they bring. If we are in school or college and are feeling the pressure of our studies or from our peers, we should take consolation in knowing this time in our life is temporary. A means to an end and it will pass quickly.

I found the little Sandpiper so intriguing I was inspired to write this poem.

 

The Sandpiper

The Sandpiper runs along the shore
Searching for insects and the odd crustacean
Concentrating hard on the task at hand
With such intent and dedication

Moving swiftly down the beach
He flirts with the water as it ebbs and flows
With seconds to spare he quickly escapes
His legs taking him quickly wherever he goes

He is tentative and unsure
Of how it might feel
He errs on the side of caution
And avoids the thrill

Up and down the beach he goes
He repeats the ritual often
This is his life day after day
Nothing is forgotten

Fascinating to watch
I am enthralled with the scene
Will he do the same tomorrow?
And will he remember where he has been?

A Pelican and Seagull cause a commotion
They are squawking on the boat dock
The Gull loses interest
And rejoins his flock

Meanwhile the industrious Sandpiper
Is scurrying on the beach
To and from the water
Everything he goes for seemingly out of reach

The ceremony of his life
So fascinating to observe
His repetitive action, over and over
Never missing a curve

I watch the tireless efforts of this little bird
Rarely do you see him on his wing
His existence is staying close to the ground
Constantly searching for any little thing

I wonder does he walk home
To his little nest somewhere nearby
Thinking about tomorrow
And whether he should fly

Christine Bolton

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The Death of a Cardinal

Just last week a neighbor called to ask a favor.  She was at work and received news that her 97 year old mother-in-law, who lives in an assisted living facility, was not doing well and was taken to the hospital with a suspected stroke.  Our neighbor requested that we help with her dog while she rushed to the hospital.  We listened to her instructions as to where the leash was kept, how to coax the dog down the stairs to go outside, and lastly where the reward treats were kept.  Of course we were happy to help our dear neighbor but felt sad for what could be her impending loss.  As we walked next door we stopped in our tracks because laying there on her driveway was a beautiful male cardinal, dead.  He was so beautiful.  Of course his color was striking but to see him laying there, with no outward signs of distress, was quite shocking considering the task at hand.  Was it an omen?  Was it a sign of inevitable passing? All these crazy things went through our minds.  We were worried for our neighbor, her dog and now this.

As it turned out, her mother-in-law improved later that day and there was no evidence of stroke.  She was experiencing some kind of infection so everything turned out well.  So what of the Cardinal? I picked him up and buried him in the garden with a covering of leaves.  I said a word of thanks for his life and felt a sadness come over me.  Who knows what happened to him.  Perhaps he flew into an oncoming car, or just died of old age.  It was hard to tell but it did stir something in me. I began to think about birds in general and how their behavior is so similar to humans.  They mate for life, building a nest to share with their partner.  They raise their family in that nest until the young are ready to spread their wings and fly away. The melancholy feeling stayed with me for several days and I subsequently wrote this poem.  I hope you will understand and enjoy it.

Death of a Cardinal

A flash of scarlet caught my eye
A cardinal had come down from the sky

I wondered how could that be?
He was too old to have fallen from a tree

He lay there with not a sign of breath
So beautiful but clearly this was his death

I found him alone in someone’s driveway
With no visible damage as he peacefully lay

I imagined his mate full of concern
What did she think when he did not return

Do they mourn like us when a loved one is lost?
Save face in front of the babies no matter the cost

These things always go through my mind
Is sorrow just for the likes of mankind?

Birds have partners as humans do
We all breathe and breed and need food too

We love and nurture those we love
So why did this Cardinal come down from above

It made me realize that life is to be treasured
Who dies and why is not to be measured

This beautiful bird was laid in a leafy grave
With my word of thanks for the joy he gave

Christine Bolton

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