Akwaba, to a second edition of Poet by Nature.
Poet by Nature is our new NaK poetic corner for rhymes, prose, and lyrics.
Inspired by my upcoming book, The Art of Rooting, Poet by Nature is to serve as a community for people connecting with their roots and nature.
The Art of Rooting is due to be released in August 2023. You can pre-order now the e-book or contact me for an autographed copy.
I am a firm believer in the virtues of nature for our mental and physical well-being. All my published books, and the majority of my poems, and artwork, are a celebration of sorts. Where nature is my undeniable muse.
Today's poetic pleasure is shared with Basil B. Clark, a decorated Vietnam War Veteran, an author, and poet whom I have had the pleasure of meeting over five years ago when I had my very first book signing at Barnes & Noble.
Enjoy the poetry and please share your thoughts afterward!
Upon, learning that I was from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Mr. Clark told me of his relatives who once lived there. It is quite rare for me to meet people in Tennessee who even know where my hometown is.
I am grateful that over the years we have managed to stay in touch and that I can share some of his beautiful soul with you.
Among many things, we share a love for nature, gardening, and hiking and I asked Mr. Clarck to share some of his poems with us.
Something in a Garden
Something in a garden shows that miracles occur,
Giving daily lessons on how to persevere.
On death, on rebirth, and on not enough care.
Droughts make roots go deeper,
dry to long can kill,
Water transforms into growth, too much destroys still.
Yes, miracles are still around, in the garden they are caught,
With balances and cycles ever being taught.
Peace Like a River II (an acrostic.)
Possibly the most relaxing thing
Ever is to sit on the bank of A River - or stream -
Looking at the waters flowing
Into their next phase, one
Knows, senses deep inside,
Every trouble is being soothed.
A river offers
Repair for the soul; how
It happens is beyond me.
Very often I’m not
Even aware of how much I’ve
Really settled, until I stand up leave.
I wanted to know more about what Nature means to him and learn a little more about his books.
" NATURE’S MEANING TO ME...
I have a multi-faceted relationship with nature; one of my earlier recollections as a child was growing
a small flower garden by the clothesline where my mother hung clothes out to dry (air drying, nature’s way, btw.)
As an adult, except for a year in the Infantry in the jungles of Vietnam, I always had some sort of garden, even if it was a container or two on a small entryway in a housing area. But several times in my life I have been blessed to live where I could have larger gardens, both flower and vegetable.
I’ve always liked animals, especially cats. And recently, since the death of my wife from Lewy Body Dementia earlier this year, my three cats and one small terrier mix have not only been comforting companions, they give me purpose and a pleasant motivation to get out of bed every morning and meet their needs.
In the past I hiked either with my sons, or alone after they were heading in different directions to college and then adult life with their own families. To this day they take hikes when they can with their families.
The summer I turned 52 I did a solo backpack hike of the lower half of the Long Trail in Vermont (150 miles.) Now I’m more limited by some health issues, but when it’s not sweltering, I enjoy putting Buddy (my terrier mix) in “his” backpack and taking him on short hikes with me.
I’ve authored four books, none with a specific theme of nature, but WAR WOUNDED: LET THE HEALING BEGIN has four chapters focused on aspects of nature (Chapter 41, “Wine of Nature - Drink Deeply”; Chapter 42, “Everybody’s Best Friend - and a Stray Cat or Two”; Chapter 48, “In for the Long Haul - the Twin Trekking Poles of Faith and Perseverance”; and Chapter 50, “Peace Like a River - or Maybe a Lake “.)
In BARABBAS: SON OF A FATHER (Biblical fiction), the main character climbs rocks to his meditative/reflection spot where he can see the surrounding area of where he lives.
In MASSACRE AT HILL 303, a true story of James M. Rudd who was one of five survivors of a POW massacre early in the Korean War where 41 of his comrades died, James related how later in life some of his most peaceful moments came when working in a garden or walking in the woods with his wife.
In my anthology LIFE CHANGING EVENTS: WHO WE ARE NOW, at least four of the people who told me their stories linked peace in their lives after traumatic experiences with being outside in communion with nature.
Like many of us, Mr. Clark also shares a love for sunsets, here are some of his words and photos about sunsets...
" I frequently take pictures of sunsets as I find them peaceful, perhaps even providing a parable of sorts about the beauty awaiting us when our days are fading away. My wife and I were blessed to live for a little over two years with a view of Lake Chatuge and Jackrabbit Mountain (NC) out of our sunroom windows. It was the last two years of her life as she descended into the darkness of Lewy Body Dementia, but she got to enjoy many beautiful sunsets. Also, her favorite place to sit during the day was in the sunroom. "
Which of the poems did you like the most and why?
Which of the sunset photos is your favorite?
Basil B. Clark is a retired associate professor from the University of Pikeville (KY) where he taught public speaking, voice and articulation interpersonal communication, political communication, mass media, and fundamentals of theatre and acting. He served fourteen months as an Infantryman with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam where he received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars (one for Valor), and a Purple Heart. His interests lie in writing, gardening, art, photography, and spending time with his three cats and his dog.
MR. CLARK, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, AND FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP.
I have come a long way for the shy new author he first met a few years ago. When I learned more about his professional background, I asked for advice and I still remember what he said to me, to be myself, and " to keep that smile"!
I am smiling now as I get to reminisce and celebrate the poetic in our intergenerational friendship.
In my culture, we are taught to be teachable and honor the wisdom of our elders. Far from home, I still see the value of this tradition and as you can see, I still honor him.
For more nature-inspired poetry: You can order my poetry collections on Amazon or contact me for autographed copies.
For a more interactive experience: You can book a session for a classroom or an event. Both of which can be accommodated virtually regardless of your location and time zone.
For submissions: If you are interested in sharing some poems relating to nature that are kid-family-friendly, please email us for inquiries.
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