Poems of Nature and the Environment

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The poems in this group are primarily from the 1960’s, but some were created fairly recently.  Most were written for and printed in the newsletter of The Coastal Canoeists, a canoe club originally based in Newport News but now based in Richmond, Virginia.  I have made some minor changes and corrections, but generally I have left the poems as they were originally created.

You will note that some poems have titles and some do not.  I have made the titles bold so they would not be confused with the poem itself, and I have provided a break-line between poems consisting of five tildes or utilized the page break for the same purpose.






But not unexpectedly

Accompanied by confusion at Lloyds

It happened

Like the Great Chef

Cracking a mammoth egg

Black albumin drooling out




To become the familiar

Iridescence of the coastline






“. . . and in closing, ladies and gentlemen

      I would like to reiterate

      that this is indeed the penultimate of our hopes


Since the early years of Henry Ford

      from one-lanes

      to two-lanes

      to four-lanes

      to turnpikes

      to interstates

      to elevated internationals


And finally, with the fitting of this cornerstone

the coast-to-coast



solid concrete

North American Ceiling Freeway”





The Mighty Faucet


Take two measures (molecular) of hydrogen

Combine them stabily with one of oxygen

And you have rain

Which tends to drain

Into a main



A foamed delight

In roaring flight

Through flumes of curls

To spumes and whorls

Into a reservoir


The water from these placid pools

Goes to serve the flaccid fools

Who pump it into swimming pools

Car washes

Lawn sprinklers

Scented baths


And my grandchildren will think

Water runs only from faucets




Joys of Nature


Cry joyous

The magnificent multi-faceted beauty

      of a dew-jeweled pop-top

The scintillating radiance

      of a crush-textured ball of foil

The glowing opalescence

      of a bottle brindled pool


God Bless the American Dream




Two On the River


The beauty of each rhythmic stroke

      sun on paddles gleaming,

Slicing fast through snow-white foam

      down the rapids seeming

Not to fear the mighty river

      with her awesome power.


Hesitating not a moment,

      free from indecision,

Tempo, allegro, flashing blades,

      with metronome precision,

Shooting into pitched confusion,

      whirling spray to shower.


Eddies pushing now left, now right,

      cross-rip currents dragging,

Through haystacks, whirlpools, standing waves,

      aching muscles flagging;

Still jagged rocks and thundering falls,

      lesser men would cower.


With burning lungs and racing heart

      from turbid into calm,

Frustrations gone and tensions eased,

      fatigue a pleasant balm;

Relaxed repose with spirits soaring

      glowing egos tower.




Wild Ducks


On fog’s crystal hush

Wild ducks in the whistling bend

Fold around again




Bullpasture Gorge


Down across the river of pied beauties

Singing through her spelunked hills

Girdled in her narrow waist

Spending her ergs on boulders and men

Taunting with her Sirens’ roar


A foam-flecked odyssey

For those who would live




Silent River


Silent sounds of river’s falling

Sliding soft around its stones

Pooling brightly feeling flow

To sleep a night alone

Whisper smooth


Like ripples in a shadow




Marsh King


From the mud in color melding

With the day on cloudless drop

A languid haste in feathered motion

Riding whims around the bend






In shadowed days of rising whisps

The blended self in silhouette

Flees the night’s coronal heart

In leaping joy of freedom’s flight

To wash upon the face of men




Salvation for Rivers



wild river

channeled down gullies

scarring across bottom land

relentlessly seeking


in the sea






glimmering iridescence

shimmering stillness


fish like finned silver cigars

in helicopter movement

you look at me

I’ll look at you



a crow gives a freon-blast

a cicada whirls his noise maker

a frog makes his nimbus call

a pair of ducks explode from cattails

an acorn cap clatters through oak branches

all a harmony of silence


a color potpourri

but green has a photosynthetic dominance

and the spectrum grows wings

hold it



pleasant fatigue discharges capacitor nerves

While soreness is dulled in monotony


the self climbs back into its symbiotic womb


you become the glimmering iridescence

you are the shimmering stillness







the mountains are camouflaged ships

afloat on a brown wind-rippled sea

the tide ever rising

until their armor is stripped

by a withering blast from the north

leaving skeletal frames

and bare superstructures

as the fleet waits for help

from the south



with half-empty stares

of orange and black shopping bags

proffered by midget Frankensteins

and spat-less Mickey Mouses


from the uniform larva of summer

to brief-lived prism-refracted adult


waiting for the  Karma of metamorphosis




Sea poems


From the sea’s roar

Waves pad up

To lap kittenish

And purr softly

Into the sand



Of warmth pitched drafts

Wheels relieved on azure drop

In search of yielding life

To impaling plunge


Weaving in the spray

A slickered man

Plays the recurrent theme

Of guided hiss

Against the fugue

Of the sea


All the strutting giants

Fall to foam

In the wake

Of Stentorian death





ground styrofoam

Spore-like drifting

Some sublimating

Some melting






Like a morning dew drop

Refracting blossom brilliance

Out of the deep of night

Into the now of day







Riding steep on glory puffs

Sun-gilt coined in fame

Falling free in folded law

Of Machiavellian grace




Hungary Death


With fires of hunger alight

      in the paling October sky

The osprey soars with eyes that see

      through gold flecked diffraction

The swimming helix chain

      that binds each node

      and finds in death

The life to fly







River Morning


Pausing here on pebbled shore

My heart records in sunshine green

The death of care in birth unseen

Opening in on arms of love

To hold the whiskered frost



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