Wednesday, January 19, 2022

THIRD PLACE Nature’s Sanctuary



By Jory Westberry 

Dawn’s moisture shellacs

fragile targets in the deep prairie grasses

with glints of crystalline color,


as solar power intensifies and magically

they are invisible to all but the arachnid.

Pileated woodpecker stabs his beak violently

against the tree, jarring the reverie.

You’d think he’d choose the rotten,

spongy wood of an ancient cypress nearby,

a tiered condominium

for the winged creatures of the swamp

and the scurriers of the ground.

The limpkin family steps out

and around obstacles

in their quest for land snails

to feed their fuzzy youngsters.

Decorously, the adults remove the snail,

holding it for the tiny beaks to peck

and feel the accomplishment

of foraging for themselves.

Lettuce lakes wear miniature corsages

sturdy enough to support

the slender feet of the heron

and clever enough to hide

the ripples of the jouncing green frog.

Stymied again, the otter,

good-naturedly makes a leap

for another hillock,

like the entire mishap was planned.

In the stillness,

invisible breezes strum only the tops

of the giant timbers, cascading drops below.

Primordial aromas drift past,

reminders that we, the visitors,

are indeed, intruders.

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