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Poetry, Nature and Connection

One Earth Conservation's newest Board member Eric Kreuter introduced LoraKim and I to a concept that was new for us – poetry as therapy. In addition to being a member of One Earth Conservation’s Board, Eric is also a member of the Board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. To demonstrate the power of poetry for nurturing oneself and others, Eric invited LoraKim and I to write a group poem with him on the topic of the “immutable beauty of nature.” The process of doing this not only inspired individual musings about the nature of nature, but created new connections, understandings and nurturance among the participants. With Eric’s guidance, the three of us then created an article about our experience that will be included in an upcoming 2017 issue of the Journal of Poetry Therapy (published by Taylor & Francis).

Here is a link to an abstract of the article and below that is the resulting poem (which is also included in the Journal of Poetry Therapy article):

Earth Inhabited and Nurtured

By Gail Koelln, LoraKim Joyner and Eric A. Kreuter

A poem for the world

The Way It Really Is

The immutable awe of nature beckons the admiring eye.

Vision lost in thought at the ethereal majesty of creation.

A kaleidoscope of color, sound, texture and imagination.

Flora and fauna abound to survive, flourish and delight.

Our Response to It

I nurture the old bird

Who is eternally so, so very sweet

.Before he’s gone, I miss him already

It’s hard and bittersweet watching life’s decay

The Way It Really Is

Of course, the flip side of grimy feathers

Passed by in the rush to get somewhere

Road rage within us all,

Is that beauty never dies

Our Response to It

Noticing the flight of the bird

Saving the trapped insect from certain doom

Admiring the wild animal for its import

Caring for the land so plants can grow

Reality and Response Interwoven

Growing my garden

Who would have thought I’d love it so much?

Life is full of surprises

The pure joy of fat, shiny, purple eggplants on the vine!

Nature Quietly Responds

Pushing through the warming spring soil

Reaching for the bright sun refreshed by cool rain

Providing nectar for visiting bees and butterflies

Resilient to storms and dreading winter’s onslaught

Our Response to It

Helping the bees

My fear has turned to compassion

Despite the possibility of a mortal sting

I respectfully keep my distance in awe and gratitude

Acceptance of Nature’s Way

Relinquish the control we never really had

Allow the free reign of nature to arbitrate the battle

When the moth becomes food, another survives

The dormancy of winter seeds life come spring

We give ourselves over to a grander thing

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