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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Photography and Poetry Together

Pond on Stallion Park Place
small healthy pond (Photo credit:
Sometimes the poem is later captured in art.

I have another poem to share with you. I wrote this one after watching the scenery on my drive to work change dramatically over the course of a decade. Along both sides of the very scenic route 133 I could see wetlands with dead trees growing in and around newly formed ponds.

Where once we'd had vernal pools (spring time water accumulations that fostered tadpoles, salamanders and other amphibious life) we had a new growth of trees that, before reaching full maturity, were literally drowned by the rising waters. What had caused the change in seasonal water levels, I thought? I spoke with others, asking whether they'd noticed the changes in our location. Few had.

 I looked in other locations, farther from my commute, further north in Maine, and later further south, in Connecticut, and Delaware. I didn't see the stark failings of young trees. Our losses troubled me. I continued to wonder, and ask. And what I learned brought me to an understanding.  I posed the issue in a poem.

And then one day, I saw a photograph taken by a young friend -- one that captured my poem perfectly. I'll offer it here:

Picture credit:  Owen Ricker, Georgetown, Massachusetts 2012
 A Standing Death of Nature

by Terry Crawford Palardy

Still pools filled with melted snow 
Spring rains raise the water levels
Changing scenes over seasons.

Once a pretty woodland sight
 Flowering trees, peeping frogs 
Wild rose offering scents at night 

Not this decade, now it's changed
 Bordered by ghostly, bare tree trunks 
A standing death of nature 

Why would trees root in water? 
They grew before the water rose 
 Branches were plenty; their leaves, green.

The pool was a puddle, nothing more 
Home to small polliwogs, peepers, frogs 
This space offered dampness to keep nature fed.

What happened, then? Why is it changed? 
Why did the water rise so high? 
They say the beavers built a dam.

The vernal pool became a pond 
A body of water that stays the year long
 A new world with new life and more.

The roots of trees then drowned in time 
There would be no leaves come the spring 
No bark would shield the tree in summer's heat.

Man views the naked sun-bleached trunks
 Reflecting in the pond:
 a standing death of nature,
Caused by nature,
 mourned by man.

This poem is found in Poetry to Share vol. 1, which is still offered at Beyond Old Windows webstore for 50% off, with a personalized autograph included. I'll give you another poem and art link, from Poetry to Share Vol. II, later this week!

Both volumes are currently on sale at Beyond Old Windows webstore. Both will be autographed and mailed out quicker than Online Stores can do. Shipping is less expensive as well. Paypal will accept your credit card. If you prefer to mail by check, email me for details at
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  1. Hi Terry,
    As you know, my book DEAR EARTH is largely about our relation to the natural world. I'm not active as a participant in any environmental organizations now, though am still a member of several. As someone who notices--and is concerned--your poetry speaks to me.

    1. I've always enjoyed reading books that feature nature; I think my first local read was Rachel Carson's Silent Spring' but my first true love of a book about nature was Green Mansions, read when I was old enough to appreciate the beauty of the setting but young enough to not really remember much of the story line.

      I am so happy to know that you've read and enjoyed my poetry, Radine. I'm going to post another one for tomorrow, titled "Wildflowers." I invite you to watch for it.


Welcome! Thank you for reading here. I look forward to your comment!