Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nature Poets are Needy

I might have this memory filed off balance, but I think Finley believes that "Nature Poets" tend to be high maintenance and needy, kinda like self help poets that right entire catalogs on topics like rape, addiction or mental illness.

Finley said that a persons need to define nature is convoluted in a way.

And yet when you read his Yukon Gold collection......he embraces the elements.

This baffled me for a time, I wondered if the "Masters" point of view was skewed....or even hypocritical.

But then I studied Mikes "Nature Poems" and realized that often times his view of nature is different.

It is as if he believes nature is an extension of our consciousness.

As if we don't belong to it, but it flows from us.......

The more I thought about this...the more intrigued I became.

Remember when I shared with you his poem "Wolf House"?

That poem took place in nature, but the logos of the message was human frailty and abject horror.

Tonight I will leave you with another Nature poem from Yukon Gold.......it too takes place in nature.....

But is it really a "Nature Poem"?

I Saw a Deer, Now I Must Write a Poem

By Mike Finley / Yukon Gold

I saw a buck bolt onto Highway 5, down by the airport,
where workers are fixing the bridge.
Suddenly it was there, standing by the shoulder,
its side all rough as if scraped against stone,
then bolting into traffic, dodging cars,
leaping over the lane divider,
skidding away from a trailer truck, then vaulting
onto a bank of unaccustomed slag, and dancing, whitetail
bounding, back into the trees.
The wrong place at the wrong time, rush hour,
it was lucky it didn't get run over.
Motorists were shocked, workers stared open-mouthed.
The frantic look in the deer's eyes spelled
terror, confusion, the suggestion of reproach.
Deer and construction sites don't mesh,
the deer so fragile sprinting between bulldozers.
The overarching sense that road construction is wrong
and cars should pull over and give the natural order
the right of way and any poet seeing a deer
in the wild must file a complete report,
express solidarity with the animal,
remorse for the thud of mankind,
acknowledge complicity in the hazing
of innocent blood.
I was thinking that if deer
had short legs and made grunting noises
there would be fewer poems about them.

The End


  1. I am not against nature. My point was that two common ways to be shallow are to paint a picture of nature and call it a poem, or paint a picture of yourself (usually a morose one) and call that a poem. Both approaches "fill the form" of what we think poems are supposed to contain ... but that's all they do. To me a real poem, whether it is about nature or whatever, should be a gift of thought passed from one mind to another. Here is my book of "all-nature" poems: