The wild

I have seen flowers come in stony places,
Their fine roots crumbling concrete;
I have seen gulls nesting on sky scraping cliffs
And watched grass quietly creeping out over the lane.
I have held the gaze of a fox on a garden wall,
Heard a blackbird calling from a broken gutter,
Seen a tree growing from a long cold chimney
And ivy reaching blindly through a paneless window.

Who are we kidding? With our taming mesh of roads
And bridges, our glyphosates, our planned piazzas?
One day, this will fall,
In an orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
Between our sanded floor boards, and bindweed
Climb helter skelter up the lamp posts,
And deer will browse among the rusted frames
Of our bark chipped playgrounds.

The wild is always there,
Waiting to return.

 

It’s open link night at dVerse, and Grace is in charge. This is one of the first poems I ever blogged, in April 2016 – for NaPoWriMo. The prompt was “a borrowed first line” and I chose one from John Masefield. In fact the whole poem is only 4 lines long, so it’s one I can remember…

I have seen flowers come in stony places
And kind things done by men with ugly faces
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust too.

 

27 thoughts on “The wild

  1. The words of this poem remind me of a documentary I used to show 9th grade science students, called, Life After People. It scared them to think humans may go away… but they were happy about the plants and animals. I told them the ways I know to make it happen together. Only a few kids, but one never knows…. Beautiful poem.

    “One day, this will fall,
    In an orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
    Between our sanded floor boards….”

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  2. Wonderful, Sarah! The wild is always there,Waiting to return. David cut the grass on Saturday and by the time I got back from Cardiff, the wild was on its way back! You have painted such a tender picture of nature in the first stanza, it made my heart sing. I love that:
    ‘…orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
    Between our sanded floor boards, and bindweed
    Climb helter skelter up the lamp posts,
    And deer will browse among the rusted frames
    Of our bark chipped playgrounds’ –
    they do in my garden already!

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  3. I read that if only humans died from say a virus or plague that didn’t affect animals, that in a hundred years, zoo animals would repopulate earth and probably no humans would exist and natural flora and fauna would take over. Then of course there’s the Wall-E world where it became a matter of hauling away all human debris. I like your take. It’s not only poetic but pictorial. The images brought all this and more to my mind. Yet the picture you paint is of a lovely still life catching sun and shadows at sunset in my mind.

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  4. Herman Hesse wrote a novel on this theme. Forgive me, I don’t remember the title. I can’t help thinking of Glenn Buttkuss’s poem about the slaughtering of the buffaloes back at the time. I also can’t help wishing the wild taking everything back will happen soon. The way things are going it may happen sooner than we think.

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  5. Indeed! I think of the lattice of human invention as a bulwark against death — understandable for any living creature seeking to survive, but sentience wraps our brains with a hostility toward other life and our own death–and empowered brutality willing and able to destroy all life in order to live. I think of this Florida suburb underwater in a hundred years, what a strange reef it will be to the acidic host. Well done, and thanks for bringing it to earthweal.

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  6. It’s a joyful thing to find someone who has read Masefield. Your poem expresses so much that I have thought myself, with beauty and grace as well as a realism, similar to Masefield’s, that doesn’t put on airs. A pleasure to read, and very glad to find your work.

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  7. “One day, this will fall,
    In an orgy of vegetation – and daisies will sprout
    Between our sanded floor boards,”…This portion reminded me of scenes I had watched on You Tube about Chernobyl at present. One needs to see to believe this “orgy of vegetation” there. Once the human factor is totally eliminated this will definitely happen. The final line is chilling for the humans.

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