I keep cats away from the catbirds, and commercial chemicals away from my columbine. I cherish my native sedge grass, my cardinals and cardinal flowers, my maidenhair ferns. I leave all the leaf litter under the boxelder maple, because, really, are the leaves mine to move? Whose planet is this anyway? I let the acorns fall all around under the oak, and I reap the reward of squirrel antics. When I trim a bush grown too near my house, I consign the clipped branches to expand my backyard stick pile, where somebody—a possum, I suspect— fashioned a fine den at the bottom. I don’t peer in with a flashlight. And I don’t harass my caterpillars— because if I kill them, I’ll be killing baby chickadees. Squishy, gooey caterpillars are — chickadee baby food! On summer evenings, I celebrate shiny beetles and pollen-pushing bumblebees, and once I spied a brilliant orange newt. We city humans “oooh” and “aaah” over colors and acrobatics at galleries and concerts and half-time shows, and the décor at cute eateries, but Nature is the best painter, the most crazy-creative entertainer, if you let it all alone, and discover how to listen, and look. The wilder I let my little yard remain, just letting plants and insects and birds and mammals who belong here have space to do their thing here, live their lives here, right here in my yard, here— the wilder I find my joy, musing on this multiplex, this Noah’s ark of crawling, flying, ambling, yowling, nibbling, thriving creatures in my humble, natural little yard, my little piece of Eden, my own, homegrown, national park.
Too many poems
There are too many poems about nature, they say, but it’s human nature to say that. What does Nature say? Nature converses in kaleidoscopes of fall leaves pirouetting; in tranquil ponds whose cattails stretch to paint the sky; in embroidered lacey snowflakes; in epic poems of warbling wrens. Her secret message everywhere is that there are too many poems about humans. And too many critics. Nature votes for more crickets.
©2022 Christine M. Du Bois
All rights reserved
Christine M. Du Bois…
…is an anthropologist of immigration, race relations, and agriculture. She has published three books, plus poems at BourgeonOnline.com, the blog of Prospectus magazine, PonderSavant.com, the CAW Anthology, Pif Magazine, Central Texas Writers and Beyond 2021, The Dope Fiend Daily, Open Door Magazine, and Valiant Scribe. Poems are forthcoming in Psychological Perspectives, the Canary Literary Magazine, and Words for the Earth of the Red Penguin Press.