Unnaturally Out of Place

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I could never be a poet

Of Nature and Place.

I have no literary skills

To describe how the ground

Gives way underfoot as

You walk into a bog unawares.

I don’t notice the coal tits,

Kestrels, grouse, pheasants,

Or even curlews with their curling call.

I know neither the names nor

Topographical features of

Kinder Scout with its downfall,

Mam Tor, Eccles Pike, or Werneth Low.

I see a squirrel or two,

But I never notice a shrew,

Fox, badger or hare,

Though it may get my attention

If I ever see a lynx coming my way.

I guess I now recognize

Himalayan Balsam, and

It’s imperative to know

The dangerous giant hogweed,

But I know nothing about

Bell Heather, Bird’s-Foot-Trefoil,

Black Bryony, or Bogbean.

I’m not sure how people

Learn so many trivial

Details about their surroundings.

As I walk through dales, pikes, and moors,

I am usually too lost in thought or

Distracted by unanchored anxiety

To learn insignificant facts

About my nondescript environs.

🌷 (4)


◄ What I Never Told My Students About Descartes


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Colin Hill

Fri 10th Nov 2017 11:29

excellent Randy - and the conversation it provoked - made me smile and think and smile some more. Col.

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Randy Horton

Fri 10th Nov 2017 10:24

Thanks for all the kind comments. John Locke claimed it is impossible to know something and not be aware of knowing it, but sometimes knowledge just seeps into the brain as water seeping into the socks nestled in "waterproof" boots.

Martin Elder

Thu 9th Nov 2017 23:29

I know that you are the master of philosophy and I am not but there does seem to be something about this poem that would suggest that what you think you cannot achieve you have in fact done. I wonder would it be something in the nature of dualism.
either way its an excellent poem.

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keith jeffries

Thu 9th Nov 2017 22:19

Hello Randy, this poem I am certain speaks for many. It is beautifully and thoughtfully composed. I belong to a generation in which we were taken on nature rambles at school and to this day I can name so much of what I see in the countryside. Thank you again. Keith

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 9th Nov 2017 22:10

It is an interesting and provoking piece Randy, almost the Anti-poet but not quite.

It does seem true though that as much as we can use the beauty of nature to distract ourselves on occasion, it is just as easy to be immersed in our own nature and notice nothing else.

I have heard it said by those who have experienced it, that in moments/times in which it seems life may be lost everything becomes enhanced and they exist for that time in a heightened sense of awareness. Is there something of the subconscious in here too, of how we do take in things without realizing it.

"My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun"

Or maybe you're just taking the piss.

Apologies for rambling, enjoyed this.


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Graham Sherwood

Thu 9th Nov 2017 15:43

I think you're a big fibber! Randy.

You've squeezed just about everything into this piece. Well done!

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