Category Archives: Green Poetry

The Way

File:King Ridge Road - Terry Morse.jpg

“Bicyclists wend their way over the rolling and twisting King Ridge road, on the ridge top above the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County. Golden hillsides, dense oak forests, and row of immaculate vines make up the landscape.” Photo by terrymorse, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Way

The road may twist, though on the rise
I turn, the sun shines in my eyes,
But then a hollow drops before,
And so I see the sun no more.

Could we but know the way to go,
Straight as the furrows farmers sow.
With detours neither left nor right,
And childlike sleep into the night.

— Virginia Gambardella

Virginia_G

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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Ode to the Ginkgo Biloba tree and to her leaves

File:Gingko biloba JPG2b.jpg

Gingko biloba trio in Mariemont Park, in Morlanwels-Mariemont (Belgium). Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont, via Wikimedia Commons.

I was very happy to hear great news from dian today. She’s signed two book contracts in less than six weeks! Congratulations, dian! This is her favorite ode from her book of “odes to common plants,” honoring an ancient and beautiful tree that embodies romance, mystery, and magic for so many of us. ENJOY!
— S.K.

 

Ode to the Ginkgo Biloba tree and to her leaves

Now it comes to me that you fan-shaped leaves right in front of the Hermann’s house, in Brooklyn on New York Avenue next door to my old house cause we had a parking sign pole instead of a tree and there were those leaves now I know were from a Gingko Biloba tree—fell yellow. I didn’t know your name then or why your golden fall lobed leaves, like tiny Japanese paper fans, fell differently than the Giordano’s maple tree. Now feeling the fresh fall air just reminiscing about you. You are not like the maple, the sycamore, or the sweetgum tree. Thinking of always seeing you in yellow fall on the avenue with your parted cleavage scattering in sheer fall camisoles with one missed blouse button and though you are classy, you are from a street tree, a living fossil 350 million years old making you the oldest tree on earth from the era of dinosaurs. You are the earliest of my leaf-time memories of not thinking you were really a leaf.  You Ms.—silver apricot—maidenhair tree, every leaf brings me right back to you.

— dian parrotta

 

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Ginkgo biloba Fallen Leaves, taken at Tyler Arboretum, Media, Pennsylvania by Derek Ramsey, 2007 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Dian is a proud alumnus from the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University which had taken her for the first time away from Brooklyn. She also holds an M.A.T degree from George Mason University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University. She enjoys writing about the health benefits of eating delicious dandelions, broad-leaf plantain, purslane, garlic mustard, common nettle and the very tasty pigweed.  She harvests words into odes that celebrate the common plants, trees, shrubs and roots. She does dream to retire from teaching after 30 years at a local high school within the next year or so to join her two sons, who are both living in Prague and in Madrid, Spain. She says she wouldn’t mind spending her retirement writing garden, flower and plant poems.

 

 

 

 

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Ode to the plantain weed

Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) by Bob Embleton, England, via Wikimedia Commons. “On the grass verge on May Day. Also known as fighters, soldiers, hard-heads (as they can be used in a game similar to conkers), fire-weed and fire leaf.”

 

I was so happy to “meet” dian this last week. We’re birds of a feather, interested in literature . . . and eating weeds! Ha!
— S. K.

Ode to the plantain weed

a Brobdingnagian broad leaf
plantain
a circular universe

this round leafed plant
low circles of leaves,

low-growing pressed
close squatting real low

with flower stalks 12-18 inches tall
spike shells like firing silver bullets

cone-shaped bloom
bending its stem tight

arrow heads fly
You are your own macrocosmos

an intercontinental ballistic missile
control facility center

with medicinal properties with edible leaves and seeds
appreciated from far back

Anglo-Saxons remedies for scapes, wounds, burns, sores
bites and bee-bug stings.

a wide rosette spread
a common weed with wide, oval leaves

by Roman armies
on conquests

You, so remembered as the white man’s
perennial foot print

— dian parrotta

Ribwort_plantain_by_sannse_Plantago_lanceolata_Essex_England_via_WC_

“Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Essex, England” by sannse, via Wikimedia Commons

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dian_parrotta_August_2019

Dian is a proud alumnus from the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University which had taken her for the first time away from Brooklyn. She also holds an M.A.T degree from George Mason University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University. She enjoys writing about the health benefits of eating delicious dandelions, broad-leaf plantain, purslane, garlic mustard, common nettle and the very tasty pigweed.  She harvests words into odes that celebrate the common plants, trees, shrubs and roots. She does dream to retire from teaching after 30 years at a local high school within the next year or so to join her two sons, who are both living in Prague and in Madrid, Spain. She says she wouldn’t mind spending her retirement writing garden, flower and plant poems.

 

 

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Summer Performance

Virginia sent me a charming poem this morning via email and I found a photo that seems to fit just right. I hope you enjoy both!

— S.K.

Miscanthus_sinensis_Graziella_Photo by David J. Stang. First published at ZipcodeZoo.com., WC

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella.’ Photo by David J. Stang. First published at ZipcodeZoo.com. Via Wikimedia Commons

 

Summer Performance

I watched the tall slender grasses
Dancing to the beat of the wind.
They gracefully dip and twist
Ballerinas in green tutus
Swirling silver-tipped curving heads
Nature’s Corp de ballet
A summer performance.

— Virginia Gambardella

virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

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Pola Vortex

A badass poem about the polar vortex, defined as “a low pressure area—a wide expanse of swirling cold air—that is parked in polar regions.” We know it as the force that wreaked havoc here in the U.S. last week.

Tricia Knoll first published Pola Vortex as part of a “poetry marathon” put on by Tupelo Press, an indie press that publishes books of poetry. It was part of a 30-30 challenge—30 poems in 30 days.

The poems will be up through February here.

Thanks, Tricia, for sharing this one with us.

— S.K.

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“Bodypainted Snow Queen” by by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, via Wikimedia Commons. Licensing agreement can be viewed here.

Pola Vortex 

am the witch’s tit.

You people never get me right. My bitch bra is made of silver, not brass. I make mirrors and hand you froth. I go by many names, but call me Pola. The lusty wind diva. Cringe all you like.

Be warned: Jail break! I am no longer stuck to the cloverleaf of north. I swoop down to kick ass on your sad little towns, clog your straight-arrow roads, shiver your timbers, and kill your weak. ICE? You ain’t seen nothing yet. I lock you homebound.

I rub you raw. Push me with plows? I keep coming. I’m higher than your kites, clouds, skyscrapers and drones. My slip shows – flakey lace. White and quite long-wear-you-down. Hah! I’m a swirling hurl-a-girl layback spin, skating your way every chance I get on ice-sharp blades. Flashing my flowing skirts – silver thaw and midnight blue.

You ignored me. You favored rant-chants about warming. While the sea beneath me went soft. We are going to dance, you and me. Like it or not, I lead. Buckle up your boots. Snowshoes. All-wheel drive and all-weather coats.

You don’t have time to tame me. I’m counter-clockwise. Pola revolutionary.

Fools unlocked the gate. I’m no more stay-at-home dame. Good times Pola Mama. You get what you deserve.

—Tricia Knoll

 

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Tricia Knoll’s latest poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She lives in Vermont and you can read more about Tricia and her books at her website.

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Trees, Trees, Beautiful Trees

Bamboo_and_tree_canopy_Unsplash-2015-WC

“Bamboo and Tree Canopy”, October 19, 2015, by Kazuend, via Wikimedia Commons

My friend Karla (who supplies all the great links and quotes for the “Monthly Museletter”) sent me a poem last week that she’s turned into a song. (We were corresponding about how happy the trees were to finally get some much-needed RAIN!)
Karla shared that, “on morning walks I often sing this to honor the Trees.”:
Trees, Trees, Beautiful Trees
Trees, trees, beautiful trees,
They sway and they bend in the bountiful breeze.
In summer they shade and in winter they freeze,
Make new little homes for the birdies and bees,
Make new little homes for the birdies and bees.
The sap goes up and the sap goes down,
The trees turn red, orange, yellow, and brown.
The seeds fall off and stick in the ground–
Make new little beauties when spring rolls around,
Make new little beauties when spring rolls around.
I asked Karla if she’d created the song. She said no, it came from a BC cartoon strip she’d kept from years ago.  “Then,” she said, “my friend Judy Feeney wrote a song called ‘The Ants Dance’ (on her CD of the same title).  Out walking one morning, I realized the tree poem perfectly fit the melody of the ants song!”
Thank you, Karla, for sharing this poem and your story!
—S.K.
(Note: I tried to find a link to Johnny Hart’s BC strip with this verse, but had no luck.)
 
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Monthly Museletter – June 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s getting very close to the longest day in the northern hemisphere. Can you believe it? The days are their longest, yet if you’re a gardener you’re probably still short on time, right? I still have things to plant!

Thank you, Karla, for sharing some of the interesting links and quotes you found last month.❤ —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s full newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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The_planet_Earth,_view_from_the_American_Side,_view_type-_Satellite_WC_2018

“The planet Earth, view from the American side, View type, Satellite”. 2018 by Educator57, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Honey_Bear_-_Backlit_WC_(20302280285)

“Honey Bear Backlit”, 2015, by Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA via Wikimedia Commons.

My fave ideas in “50 Ways to Save the Honey Bees (and change the world)”, a book by J. Scott Donahue, are:
1. Bee Bathfill a wide shallow dish or plate with water & a pile of gravel in the center for bees to land on.
2. Ban the Bear—those plastic bear-shaped honey containers likely contain non-local honey and mostly high-fructose corn syrup & cooked honey.

 

Biomimicry at work: 14 inventions inspired by Nature.  See the “Very Fish Wind Farm” and “Firefly Lightbulbs”.

Check this out (below). A real “green team”!

 

Put a house for non-stinging pollinators like mason bees in your backyard! The Giving Tree Montessori teachers found this one at Costco.

What looks like a toy train, swims like an eel, and gathers pollution information? Find the answer to this riddle here.

Today I dug out Bernie Krause’s 1988 audiotape GORILLAS IN THE MIX, on which ALL songs are mixed voices of NATURE, from Hippos, Fish, Sand Dunes etc., . . . then I bought a new CD of it!

 

Some Bad News (from The Years Project):

For every dollar the oil/gas/coal industry spends on campaign contributions and lobbying, they get back 83 dollars in handouts from our taxpayer pockets!

The Lullaby of Our Language:
“We will never, we cannot, leave animals alone, even the tiniest one, ever, because we know we are one with them. Their blood is our blood. Their breath is our breath, their beginning our beginning, their fate our fate. Thus we deny them. Thus we yearn for them. They are among us and within us and of us, inextricably woven with the form and manner of our being, with our understanding and our imaginations. They are the grit and the salt and the lullaby of our language.” —Pattiann Rogers

Visit aurorasaurus.org where the crowd-sourced data about the Northern Lights is compiled.

Aurora_Borealis_and_Australis_Poster (1)

“Aurora Borealis and Australis Poster”, posted February 9, 2012, assembled by 14jbella from images found at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

We are praying for Hawaii, even as we are lava-ing this song!

And . . .

 

“If you need sunshine to bring you happiness, you haven’t tried dancing in the rain!”
—Unknown

 

Until next month . . . have a beautiful June!

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