Tag Archives: Nature

In the Darkness

In the darkness

the guiding radiant light of the sun

fades from sight in a burst of glory

In the darkness

the fragrant, vibrant flowers close up their luxurious petals

In the darkness

pinpricks of light gleam through the sable cloth of the heavens at night

In the darkness

birds, mice, deer, life goes to sleep

and those that don’t, are prey for the predator

In the darkness

there is hunting to be done

In the darkness

the moon replaces the sun as our guiding beacon

except the moon is more a fickle creature

here one night

and changed the next

and gone the other

pock marks on its visage

and yet the moon only pretends to light our way

for its illumination is of false pretenses

In the darkness

everything seems a little more mysterious and dangerous and wondrous

In the darkness

However, on the other side of the world

there the sun’s luster waltzs amoung the milky white clouds

there the birds fly across the bright cerulean heavens

there their euphonious melodies can be heard on the earth below

there the mighty, verdant trees sway in the gentle breeze

there life lives

In the darkness life lives, but in only a different way



It Was Written In the Sky

On a long bus ride, I was reading Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 over again. I can tell how good of a book it is by how much it has impacted me. This is going to be my fourth post inspired by it. Few books do that, where you read it and instead of wanting to just devour more of its glorious ink marks on tree pulp that was inspired by life itself, you want to compile the building thoughts from the novel and write about it.

But this time instead of applying a truth learned, I wish to write how I came upon the truth.

So there I was on the ten hour bus ride with 33 high school students who smelled like peanut butter and too much cologne. Did I mention that it was a ten hour bus ride? I think I did, but I’ll say it again, a ten hour bus ride . . .

With a book in my face and head phones (or should I say “Seashells”?) turned up loud playing Beethoven, I tried to block out the rap music and the girly-girl talk.

Across the country we went, mile after mile, page after page, song after song.

I was looking for wisdom and wonder in between the lines of a 63 year old book. Trying to block out the youthful folly around me.

Coming to one of the quotes from other books, I search for the quote on Google. While it loads, I look up.

So focused I had been on the book and on the teenagers that I tried to block out, that I had blocked out what had been transforming around me. Winter dreariness with bald trees and fallow fields, had been transformed to spring animation with blooming trees and sowed fields.

So focused on the inside, I had not looked outside. I had only seen one option, and by my lack of observation, I had deprived myself of choice.

In trying to find wisdom I originally looked to a book, and forgot the world.

What I was trying to find in a book was already written in the sky, all I had to do was look. Wisdom and wonder and life was written in the sky. No ink or graphite or typewriter or digital “little black box” needed. Only eyes or ears or hands or mouth or nose needed, to understand what was written in the sky.

Oh, how precious are books, yet even more precious are the things that inspire them.

After marveling at what had been out my window all those hours and miles and pages and songs, I looked back at my phone, and of course it was still loading.

I looked back out the window and wanted my phone to keep loading so that I would never have to look away.

“‘It’s not books you need, it’s some the things that once were in books . . . No, no it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.'”

-Page 79 in Fahrenheit 451

More Questions Than Answers

Back in November (when it was surprisingly warm for the season) I did a writing exercise where the group of us went out to a grassy area just beyond some trees to write. There were different prompts to write about, below is my responses. Enjoy!

Why is it that I cannot look directly at the sun? The plain answer is that it hurts my eyes. But Romans 1:20 says that God reveals Himself through His creation. The sun is our giver, God is our life giver. I cannot look directly at the sun, I cannot see Gods’s face. I need a certain degree of light and a certain degree of darkness to see, what does that mean for my relationship with God? I need a certain minimum amount of good in me to know that good is positive and I need a certain minimum amount of good in me to see that God is good. And yet I also need an amount of bad to see that God is better than me and that because of that He created me because I could not create a being better. The worse cannot create the better. From less, more does not come.


I can see forever in the sky – how far into the blue can I see? I can only see as far as an obstruction to my view, so does that mean I can see at all? Am I only seeing a difference in the sky because of the obstruction? I can’t look at the sky for long without an obstruction – a cloud. Not because of the blue, but because of what is behind my head – the sun. What does this mean? I can only see as far as my end (an obstruction, a cloud), but it is so much more. Wondering ceaselessly is what I feel and what I wish.


Why did I choose full sun instead of partial shade? The leaves and grass are fin beneath me, not a cushion and not rough, just there. I’m on a slight hill – maybe twenty degrees elevated. Most of my skin is covered with clothing and my fingers have gone into a state of apathy. I could feel my surroundings best with my lips and cheeks because they are not traumatized by the many materials of life. I don’t like it when my blood concentration slowly rises upward, from my feet to my head and hands. I can feel my pulse at my fingertips. My life signs at my fingertips. My life in my hands.


The tiniest movements of the grass and the leaves I can only hear because of the inaudible wind. The wind makes no sound but it affects are heard, some from silences and some from natural disaster.


The leaves and the students are the same – scattered in different concentrations about. Husks of what they once were. For the students countenances give away their thoughts like the condition of the leaves – fragile and wanting life.


The juxtaposition I saw while coming back to the building was the dying nature of autumn against the solid unchanging institution with lively youths. Dying next to unchanging next to life. Spots of green leaves against trees in an early winter slumber. Green of hops against signs of winter of death. A warm day in November. Normally November is when people bring down coats, hats, boots, and gloves, not shorts-wearing-weather. The dark blue against the bright yellow of the building flag. Opposite colors, we see and read the world by juxtaposition.



A Storm

Above the world is water dancing in the sky. The humidity rises and water vapor can waltz and flow across the sky. The wind pushes and pulls the water from one end of the heavens to the other. The water dances in the sky.

It collects and combines into clouds, some puffy white others dark and stormy. The clouds eat each other up to form massive congregations of water. Each with its curves and edges and corners and boundaries. Each with its shapes that people transform in their minds. Each with a tummy darker than the rest of it, no matter if it is puffy white or dark and stormy.

The air is heavy with water, and not just the air up in the sky. In through the nose it is heavy and moist, almost tangible to the taste. It is the smell of new leaves and wet paper and fresh skin and cooked greens and clean glass. The skin gets a little cooler and the wind gives it a little kiss. The air is heavy and cool with water giving sign to a storm.

The clouds hover over the earth, waiting and watching. Waiting to collect enough water to drop on the earth below. Watching over everything, but seeing nothing. The clouds above the world, in the midst of dancing water, only waiting to drop what they have collected. Waiting and watching.

And they wait no more.

Down they let their precious cargo, down they let their treasure, down they let their trash, down they let themselves. The rain pours. Each drop sways in the wind, but with a final destination. The water does not dance in the wind anymore. It does not have time to frolic in the sky, but must get to the grass, pond, rooftop, hair, log, leaf, clothing. The rain has a destination, with no mind of its own. And so the wind still tries to get the raindrops to dance.

Off in the distance is a wonderful strike of brilliant light, here one moment and gone another. The lightning shines and shows off its beauty, silently calling to it lover. Waiting for the response back.

One second away

Two seconds away

Three seconds away

Thunder makes itself known, thunder bellows its response to its darling. Thunder yells to all the world that lightning is its mate. Thunder calls to its heart that he will be with her once again. Thunder tells lightning that he will come closer, try harder, be nicer, be softer, be faithful, be kinder, be there. But thunder is known for being rough and far away and being loud and being strong and being free, not a lover. Of breaking promises.

Lightning flashes and dances and spins and twirls and does everything it can to be the best. To be the most beautiful, to be the most stunning, to be the most daring, to be the most of everything. Lightning tries to the win the heart of her lover. Lightning tries and tries.

One second away

Two seconds away

Thunder is enticed and comes closer, wowed by the majesty and splendor of the show lightning put on for him. He wants to use her, he wants to watch her out do herself in competing for his heart. Competing only with her former performance. Thunder watches her dance and dance and try and try. Thunder watches. Waiting for her to fail, for him to find something better.

Lightning breaking trees and sets fire to them, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the stars look dim compared to her radiance, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the sun look pale, trying to impress thunder. Lightning makes the night sky light up like day, trying to impress thunder. Lightning tries to impress thunder.

One second away

Thunder slowly, sarcastically claps, seeing if he can make lightning try harder to impress him. He wants a show, he wants beauty at its finest or none at all. Thunder waits for more.

Lightning is tired of giving thunder her all. She wants him to love her for who she is – a force of nature meant to be. Not meant to impress because is not she already impressive enough for just being? Lightning wants to see if she won her lover’s heart, not his eyes. Lightning stops trying to impress. Lightning stops. Lightning waits.


Thunder is not there to be impressed. Thunder is only an effect of lightning. Thunder cannot be won because he is only a reflection of lightning. Thunder is nothing without lightning.

Lightning has stopped dancing and so has water. But wind still tries to make the raindrops dance.

Oh, the magnificent science behind a storm, behind clouds, behind the sky. How everything is just right for the water to collect, for the water to fall. For the sky to be illuminated with lightning and to make its presence known with thunder. The science and precision in its own right is a glorious beauty. To be seen with eyes, to be heard with the ears, to be felt with the skin, to be smelled with the nose, to tasted with the mouth; that is another miracle. For one event to bring in all the senses and equally electrify them, is an effect few events have.




Not Wasting Time

Isn’t amazing how just one time outside

can make me want to do nothing for the rest of the day?

The sun’s burning kiss on my skin

the eerie florescent lights just do not feel the same.

The wind rustling my hair

the air conditioning vent just is not right.

The uneasy ground beneath my flip-flops

the gum-plastered floor is not quite the same.

The hidden blue sky with a fluffy coding of clouds wisps

the tiled ceiling does not quite make the cut.

The sound of leaves rushling and birds calling

the chorus of sniffles and coughs is not the sound I prefer.

Oh, does a minute or two outside

make me not want to do a day’s work?

I just want to lay on the grass and

stare up at the sky

with no thoughts in my brain

and just be.

I just want to be and

not do.

I want to ponder about nothing

and not think constructively.

I just want to lay here

and write poems in my head

and feel no obligation.

I want my world to be small

and notice the little things.

I want to breath deeply and

enjoy the breathe for what it is.

I am not wasting time

I am just using it.

When I have everything to do,

I want to do nothing.

When I have nothing to do,

the idea of soaking up the moment does not cross my mind.

Oh, the joys of priorities!

Isn’t amazing how just one time outside

can make me want to do nothing for the rest of the day?

It is not amazing.

It is simple.

It is beautiful.

It is just being.



The Water Falls

Everything is perfect

Everything is fine

Everything is lovely

The wind is softly blowing

The water is cooling

The birds are quietly chirping

The river I’m wading through

is not gushing

or heavy current

Just peaceful

But without notice

there is a drop-off

Rapids appear

The water that was once calm

rushes and spills downward


The water falls

But once the water reaches the bottom

It is stirred, but now beings to sooth

As if nothing ever happened

Sometimes our lives are like this

Everything is perfect

Everything is fine

Everything is lovely

and then something huge changes in our lives

Our reality begins to toss and turn

and we start to get mixed up which way is up

and swim the wrong direction

Then we hit the water

and have a sense of clarity

We have a new understanding

and a hard learned life lesson

But nothing truly changes

The water streams along

and the rapids begin to go unnoticed

and soon forgotten

until the next rapids come.

A picture taken on my recent vacation

A picture taken on my recent vacation

His Creation

During my vacation (which quite a few poems will be written about) the words of Mary Shelley in Frankenstein were ringing in my ears. In different passages of her book she warns, “If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasure . . . then that study is . . . not befitting the human mind”. Now none of us are going to construct a man of dead bodies, but the busyness of our job, family, calendar, even our thoughts can keep us from enjoying simple pleasures. We don’t need to go on vacation to experience them, but vacation can be a good awakener.

Also during my time away I had the pleasure of reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. One of the many lines that stuck out was this: ““Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning.” He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable.” To me it is astonishing to think that someone doesn’t know that there is dew on the ground in the morning.

I don’t want to lose connection with God’s creation like that. Then I realized, I already have. Yes, I know there is dew; except I don’t find simple pleasure in sunsets, the sound of waves lapping at the beach, chirping of insects at night, the beauty of trees. I could just blame it on me being more of an ‘idea-person’ and not a nature-person, but it is so much more than that. I mean, I was on vacation – with basically all the time in the world – and I took no pleasure or time in watching the sun sink beneath the clouds over the crystal clear calm water. God created the sunsets to cast colors over the sky and take time to set when He could have just made it be hidden for night. And I don’t enjoy that.

So I forced myself to enjoy it. I would stand there looking at the waves, the beach, the trees, the land in the distance across the water, any and all of the beauteous works of God’s creation; putting ideas, processes, and poems to the nature.

Now I never want to leave. I have found my God again, in His creation.

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!

Watching the World Go By

I’m watching the world go by.

The dew drops on early morning grass

How the leaves move to the wind making silent music

The cool water seeping through to my soul as I float

Rough rocks and bits of sand and how they are forgotten

A worm wiggle out of the soggy ground from the rain, only to die

Twigs that fall from trees, are stepped on and broken in half

Sunlight that almost crackles when it hits your skin

The soft temperature that is not baking or sticky nor cool

The buzzing of bugs and the chirping of birds

I’m watching the world go by.

And maybe that is all

No more or less

Not thinking ‘Am I a part of the world that is going by?’


Just watching

Just watching the world go by

sunlight 2