state natural area poems #16: sander’s park a, b, & c

a.

elms tower the swale

and feathered honey understory

stop listen see

canopy
jack in the pulpit down
zigzag goldenrod

.

b.

thick-cut rivers of bark

spleenworts humbling below

root yourself in the made

canopy
agarics doing what they do best
sky

.

c.

zygomorphic spikes

of great blue lobelia

crowding our hasty retreat

great blue lobelia
woodland sunflower fading

.

sanders park state natural area is set within a park and ringed ’round by exculpating road(!). two different kinds of forest grow on swells and swale, an ancient terrace of lake michigan. an intermittent stream flows thru the whole; lots of wildflower and fern species.

thanks to racine county parks for keeping this patch of earth.

state natural area poems #15: muskego park hardwoods a, b, & c

a.

waxy white sentinels

urge the leaf-litter

bowed and tremendous

b.

turkey tail splaying for the world to see

gill-bearers make life from death

the deep wet black of rot

c.

jack-in-the-pulpit lobed rubies

frogs in the rain-filled tracks

under-story going to sleep

Muskego Park Hardwoods is an old-growth southern dry-mesic forest in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Some past grazing has brought in new species of wildflowers, and a healthy blend of different hardwoods stand strong. Thanks to Waukesha County for preserving this old-growth community!

state natural area poems, supplementum #11: urban ecology center-riverside a, b, & c

a.

a foot in boggy fossils

and cousins thrive together

your eyes a slippery flame

cousins

b.

you play the possum joey

on slick bare trunk

an image for when you’re grown

polypores pushing their margins

c.

mud on your boots and leggings

you sniff out gold-decked trails

and lead me to new crossings

river’s edge
birds-foot trefoil

the urban ecology center has three absolutely fantastic sites in milwaukee. check them out whenever you’re in the city.

this is a trio of “found living poems” for my kids, one for each.

state natural area poems #12: rock river prairie

the rock calls us home

evening primrosing with open arms

waves and waves of petal

evening primrose

field bindweed

(Some evening primrose and field bindweed growing in the prairie and its edge.)

Rock River Prairie SNA is a dry prairie above the Rock River b/t Janesville and Beloit. Lots of grasses and flowers, though woody species are encroaching. Still great for a walk, and several first IDs on flowers. Thanks to the Wisconsin DNR for tending this plot of earth.