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
for new leaves of grass.
Occasional birds twitter
a snatch of song
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
Hills roll into the horizon.
This was a golf course.
it’ll be townhouses.
puny and sporadic.
So you see, I’m no Wordsworth or Whitman
not just through lack of talent.
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.