NaPoWriMo Day 5 - The Dreaded Nature Poem

The prompt on this morning was to write a poem about the natural world. I find nature poems really difficult because I just associate them with school and boring English lessons. Since the age of 13 I’ve read some nature poems I really like; I’m more inclined to give Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes a go than I used to be and Luke Wright has some poems about Englishness and English countryside which I like.

But I really struggle to write it. This is pretty clunky but it’s alright for half an hour’s work.

What Will Survive Us

He was here with my sister

the day my Grandad died

digging up parsnips for dinner

late eighties and mobileless

my Mum screaming over the fence.

Then me in rolled up dungarees

being generally unhelpful

with a watering can

before teenage angst

and furious sighs

every time I caught sight of him.

And now between hospital trips

and scans and tests and ECGs

we all pile over here

for a glimpse

at his secret weekend retreat

of seedlings and makeshift scare crows

wood plank walkways

a bottle of Brew Dog

and the wind up radio

a remnant left from

before I showed him podcasts

and Bluetooth headphones.

He says

every third person here’s on Warfarin

he’ll be in good company

they nod and wander over

to trade stories

of potatoes

and heart valves

and cutting down

confirm the date

of the next

seed swap

cider press

bonfire day

what morning is the leaf man coming?

Dave points out to Sadie

a building he’s done some work in

and she can successfully find

Nana’s school

where Nana’s the big boss

and I’m tasked with rotavating

or pruning a Buddleia


generally unhelpful

and wishing that I’d listened more.

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