Nature At A Distance – NaPoWriMo 2017 – Day Five – prompt: nature poem

Rainbow trout 001

Self, fishing on Lake Waikaremoana. Poem inspired by Mary Oliver who writes alot about the sea

Nature  At  A  Distance


Two men setting lines;

sustainable the catch.

It’s a good day,

a day they’d like to match.

At sundown back to shore,

keen men asking no more.


As far away as it can be

a fishing show on Sky TV.

I watch a boat far out at sea

in the oceans of the tropics.


Next segment sees our presenter

on a virtual factory;

less sustainable, “net” fishing.

Prawns, quick to the belts

and quick the sorting .

Other live fish, not required,

ride the fast belt back into the ocean.

(What was the percentage of their dead?)

Live prawns, here, the only payroll.


Then, alarming the fast sorters.

the fast sea-snake slithers amongst

the catch. He’s discussed, then

quickly dispensed of. But back

to work to sort and box and pack.

By this time, stowed four thousand

boxes, then head for home to work

through the night unloading.


When the preliminary

to the next segment shows

I turn away from the screen.

With no desire to watch men hunt

and grapple sea-going crocodiles;

that today was all I want to see

of nature at a distance yet I am captured,

stirred; can smell the sea and seaweed

so I strike out for the local beach I’ve heard

pounding not too far away. Avoiding

the boardwalk I tread the shoreline

feeling nature close and raw, the soft

air and the brine. To see, feel and smell;

nature close I stand in awe.

I stand in awe, even at a distance.

Benita H. Kape © 5.4.2017

Day Five (as always, the prompt is optional). In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal.