The Ramingo’s Porch – “Oh No, Not Another Nature Poem” and “The Lake Isle of I’m Asleep” Two Poems By Ethan Goffman

Oh No, Not Another Nature Poem!

What more is there to say.

The hills are hilly

the grass is grassy

            and still inexplicable

as in Whitman’s day.

Leaves lie like litter, individual as snowflakes

each a jagged, textual miracle,

            woven, a brown blanket

            future fertilizer

            for new leaves of grass.

Occasional birds twitter

            a snatch of song

            a suite

of call-and-response.

The grass is brown now,

the vegetation sparser, the songs quieter than decades past

when legions whipped up a chaotic orchestra

chirps, blades, thrums, green shoots.

In the distance, cars hum

            as they have, it seems, for time immemorial.

A tiny spider descends

from some invisible string

lands on my notebook

skitters across these words as I write

disappears off the edge.

Reappears crawling up my jacket.

I would flick it away, but it’s so tiny

and fewer spiders crawl each day.

Once upon a time,

bugly hordes seethed, common as words scrolling a computer screen.

Now each minute life is precious.

In the distance, a lone hawk

prowls the sky.

How must if feel to fly?

            not in some contraption, but

borne aloft on one’s own flesh?

Columns of trees loom every whichway

naked in the late fall

unashamed.

Hills roll into the horizon.

This was a golf course.

Soon

it’ll be townhouses.

Nature’s encroachments

are

puny and sporadic.

So you see, I’m no Wordsworth or Whitman

not just through lack of talent.

These days,

poems celebrating nature’s grandeur

are an affront.

This poem is a hymn in its feeble way

to glorious remnants, fading, fading, fading.


The Lake Isle of I’m Asleep

I will arise and go now

and go to I’m asleep,

and wondrous dreams I’ll smell there

dredged up from islands deep.

Yes, wondrous lands I’ll taste there

of pungent cinnamon

from east of wakefulness, where

all consciousness is gone.

My soul will float so far from here

in the ethereal mist

I just might find Nirvana:

I’ll be totally blissed.

And marvelous beasts I’ll hear there

and vegetation bright

from curving trees to buzzing bees

to glowing eyes at night.

I will arise and journey

far from this fractured place

to doves and loves and glory

woven from inner space.

I may remain forever

and thrice as long again

in distant country of self

where there’s no here or when.


Ethan Goffman’s first volume of poetry, Words for Things Left Unsaid, was published by Kelsay Books in March of 2020.  His poems and flash fiction have appeared in Alien Buddha, Ariel Chart, BlazeVox, Bradlaugh’s Finger, Burgeon, EarthTalk, The Loch Raven Review, Mad Swirl, MadnessMuse, The Ramingo’s Porch, The Raw Art Review, Setu, Verse Virtual and elsewhere. Ethan is co-founder of It Takes a Community, a Montgomery College initiative bringing poetry to students and local residents.  He is also founder and producer of the Poetry & Planet podcast on EarthTalk.org.

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