After a time wandering
the asphalt labyrinth
songs of the pastures
promising peace and quiet
simplicity and beauty — a melody
inducing amnesia, erasing
mosquitos, ticks, thorns, flies,
snakes, fleas, burrs, chiggers
But one desert moonless morn’,
a breeze slides across my skin.
As the sun flirts with the night sky,
I recognize a certain flick
on a wire overhead.
His notes dance around the pole,
slide down among the pebbles
and over the driveway
into my feet and hands
before he stretches his wings —
streaked with concrete white —
into the eastern sky.
True story. Obviously, I’ve messed with the “pastoral” concept quite a bit here, but as my students might say, “it’s valid.”
The prompt: “Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?”