Poetry Friday: A Villanelle for Mother Earth

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by my friend Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. About a month ago, Margaret invited Poetry Friday regulars to participate in “More Than Meets the Eye,” a photo swap “in which we’d send a photograph from our own geographic area for our exchange partner to write a poem about.” Margaret paired me up with Amanda Potts, who hails from Ottawa, Ontario. Amanda sent me several photos to choose from, but I was drawn to this photo immediately:

Mother Nature Sculpture, MosaiCanda

I chose to write a villanelle because I wanted to capture the cycle of the seasons. Also, as a French form that is now widely used by English poets, I thought it would reflect two cultures of modern Canada. You can learn more about MosaiCanada, a “horticultural wonder” that commemorated Canada’s 150th birthday last year with scenes from Canada’s past, here.

A Villanelle for Mother Earth

Seasons come and seasons go,
there’s not a thing she doesn’t see.
Through her hands, all life flows.

She wears a crown of rainbows,
perfumed by butterfly and bee.
Seasons come and seasons go.

Abundant gifts she bestows,
plenty pours from every tree.
Through her hands, all life flows.

Across the land wild winds blow,
an echo of her melody.
Seasons come and seasons go.

Rivers fill with melting snow
beneath bald eagle’s aerie.
Through her hands, all life flows.

Her gifts are ours to borrow;
“Care well for me,” her plea.
Seasons come and seasons go;
Through her hands, all life flows.

© Catherine Flynn, 2018

14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A Villanelle for Mother Earth

  1. Your poem sings and invites us to look closely at the photo of this majestic Mother Earth. This form was just right for your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful picture you got to write from, Catherine and your villanelle is both grand and sad, that final line we all need to remember: “Her gifts are ours to borrow;”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You did indeed choose the perfect form for a poem about seasons, and your repeating lines add to that perfection. Huzzah! One of your best ever, I think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well written, a fine poem;
      I wrote another for our mother,
      the earth – the blue planet.


      The earth is our mother,
      We will not have another.
      There’s no better place to find
      For animals, plants, mankind.

      Green woods, beautiful lakes,
      Nature has got what it takes.
      We have to keep clean the air,
      As environment everywhere.

      Put an end to coal mining,
      Nuclear power and fracking.
      Climate concerns all nations,
      Just as plastic in the oceans.

      For good living day and night
      Must change darkness and light.
      Our planet, so wonderful blue,
      We will always protect, We do!

      Rainer Kirmse , Altenburg

      Thuringia / Germany

      With kind regards


  4. Amanda’s photo of the meaningful sculpture/topiary with the highrise buildings in the background says a lot! I like the thought you gave to which form to use for your poem and congratulate you on crafting it so well. This line remind us that Earth is lent to us, and her care is our responsibility:
    “Her gifts are ours to borrow;”


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