Friday, August 10, 2012

Nature takes all

***

Urban Mangrove

Spicy orange ants
fiesta, scatter
on the coarse sandy

mudflats;

low tides
at the mangrove

allow human intruders
to retrieve belongings
tossed at sea.

A spider hunting,

sand flies, mini roaches
in a mass of discolored rags
and discarded nets

scamper, scatter
burrow deeper.

It's theirs now, these oily
colors, these slime covered
straws
and plastic wrappings,

these entanglements
of fraying nylon rope,

this one sneaker,

this worn truck tire.

Adopted,
adapted
urban habitats,

human reflects.




Volunteers clearing the mudflats of rubbish.
Discarded clothes at the edge of mangrove.


































More pics at: Gathering Dust Locally

Poem posted for dVerse Meeting at the Bar -- Impressionistic Writing, with Claudia.

37 comments:

Victoria said...

I felt I was there, too...thanks to the very specific details that make this come alive.

Daydreamertoo said...

Isn't it sad how others just toss their things away so thoughtlessly. It's a good thing some people don't mind volunteering to go and help keep it clean and tidy or else we'd all be living in piles of trash as high as our eyes by now.
Very nice poem, I love that you care about your environment Raven, as should we all.

pandamoniumcat said...

One of my most favourite things in this world is the mangroves, they are forests with a personality all their own. They do so much to protect us and the creature that depend on them. Natures vacuum and filtering system, and defender against natural disasters.
They indeed need protecting, and your poem is lovely, it allows us to picture the beauty of these eco systems and how they show people up for the littering bugs we really are... Love your poem!

Mystic_Mom said...

You care about the land, and the water and that shows so well in this piece. Well done!

Jerry said...

this made me imagine these synthetic items coming to life. if only they could transform to living organisms. I am glad that someone is willing to clean up after others.

hedgewitch said...

The small lives off the discards of the wasteful larger, and the planet turns and life finds a way, amazingly, and here, despite the ugly in all our waste, beautifully. The brushwork is sure and effective here.

Brian Miller said...

really cool...i first read the last line as human artifacts...our cast off things, our refuse and how it becomes a bit of their landscape a place to call home or pick of anything edible...and some it kills...

nene said...

I like your take and calling attention to mans uncaring footprint especially in specificity.

Thanks mi amigo

Susan Daniels said...

This is so very well done--I am there with you!

Margaret said...

Well done!

Dulcina said...

A nice picture made of beautiful word strokes, both impressive and impressionistic!
You have achieved the challenge!

Bodhirose said...

It's amazing how quickly discarded items become absorbed by small insects and other critters...making them a part of their lives. While some of it is harmless...others can wreak havoc...

Fred Rutherford said...

Raven, love your word choices here. Really a fantastic job coloring the poem in a way that prompts the readers mind into fully detailing each "daub" or brush-stroke you set forth. Really nicely done. Thanks

Claudia said...

Adopted,
adapted
urban habitats,

human reflects... great... and i love that you included the not so nice things as well...put them into the picture...there's art in the ugly as well...but we need eyes to see

me_duress said...

Very cool - fantastic take on the prompt.

Ravenblack said...

Thanks for all the great comments everyone. :)

PandomoniumCat: You've summarised perfectly how role and richness of mangroves.

I learned recently that the mangrove actually provides a safe haven for fish and sea creatures to come in during high tide to lay their eggs. As such it would greatly impact coastal and ocean life if these mangroves are damaged and destroyed. The mangroves in Singapore are in small patches, but nonetheless rich with unique marine and plant life.

Thanks again for reading and all your thoughtful feedback.

me_duress said...

Minimalism and yet so effective.
Great theme.

hollyannegetspoetic said...

You can feel the scampering insects and the subtle movements of the mud... nature indeed. It gets everywhere! ;)

John (@bookdreamer) said...

One mans waste... Captures a paradox of nature.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Very vivid picture you've painted with so few words. I could feel the flies on my ankles! Well done!

Laurie Kolp said...

Vivid... lovely POV.

Mary said...

Pictures along with well penned words definitely leave their impression!

kaykuala said...

It's sad that rubbish carelessly thrown in such undisturbed mangrove areas can affect their growth. It would not be easy to do a cleaning as sea movements would spread out the effluence into bigger areas. Great write Raven!

Hank

Ravenblack said...

Hollyanne, Charles, John, Mary, Kaykuala and Laurie: thanks a bunch for your comments.

Kaykuala: A lot of that stuff came from the opposite coast. One washes to another, sometimes. There's a lot that gets stuck and buried in the sand and mud, there are many things that have become far too entrenched in the soil or entangled in the plant life that it is impossible to remove without even more destruction.

I never hated plastics so much until I started helping out in this.

Susan said...

A powerful eye opener of a poem! This line got me:
"It's theirs now, these oily
colors, these slime covered straws
and plastic wrappings,"
It should never be theirs as it can not be broken down. Is that what makes it urban? Kind of you to say so!
"Human reflects."

zongrik said...

i have a property in the desert, and people dump there. must be like 40 tires, and it cost $4 per tire to take them to the dump, so this really hits me hard.

foam

Ravenblack said...

Susan: One aspect that I observed: when I picked up each of those clothes scattered there, it revealed a nest of offended insects. There was a plastic cone (those orange ones they use for road works) and there was a spider who made an elaborate web in it and was sitting there. I was thinking, sorry, I'm taking this out, you gotta go. I don't think those creatures can ever figure us out. Human beings are ever disruptive.

Tammy: sorry to hear about that. That's really awful.

ds said...

Oh, the power of that lone sneaker. Thank you.

Heaven said...

Great descriptions of nature ~

I find it sad when we throw our garbage and plastics in rivers and forest ~

Enjoyed the visit ~

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, ds and Heaven for visiting and reading.

Ravenblack said...

Apologies if I miss reading anybody's piece this week. I reckon I might have being somewhat scatter-brain lately.

Raven said...

Ah Ravenblack ... I love that you just cannot stop, cleaning up the earth. This is wonderful. The poem is excellent. I am glad you added the photos ... it places you right there in the thick of it! Bravo!

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, Raven.

I enjoyed being there very much and working with these wonderful people too.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wonderful use of language and detail. Well done.

Jannie Funster said...

All that trash does break the heart.

You sure painted some lasting images in this.

And what are the chances we should both have "entangle..." in our poems today. I guess we are all more entangled than we probably realize.

xoxo

Ravenblack said...

Thank you, Madeline and Jannie.


Jannie: I agree. :D Been pretty crazy these days.

zongrik said...

are they really allowing the human intruders?