Praise Song for the Natural World

As National Poetry Month draws to a close, it’s time to put the month in perspective (my OWL for 2020). Twenty-four poems in thirty days is short of my goal of posting a poem every day. BUT, it is more than I have ever managed in April. I’m not going to bore you with reasons or rationales for why I didn’t post everyday; you know them all. What I will say is that even on days I didn’t post, I was writing, reading, thinking, observing. In other words, I was being a writer. I have learned much during this month of writing that I will strive to carry forward. Thank you to everyone who followed along on my meanderings. And congratulations to everyone who completed 30 poems in 30 days. I admire your perseverance!

This poem was inspired by and is modeled after Elizabeth Alexander’s stunning “Praise Song for the Day,” which she read at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

Praise Song for the Natural World

Each day, wild creatures go about the work of survival.
A vibrant bluebird flits through the undergrowth
in pursuit of an alluring female.

High in a pine, a nesting hawk surveys
the countryside, screeching in protest
at a mob of pesky crows.

All around, color is brightening the drab world.
Brilliant yellow dandelions are open for business
and hungry bees buzz joyously among them.

Violets sprinkle the hillside like confetti
And every shrub and tree is wrapped
In a fine haze of green or pink or red.

In the pond, clumps of frogspawn
are silently, mysteriously on their
journey of transformation.

Praise song for their confidence, their
optimism in the face of a fickle world,
for their honest pursuit of life.

Praise song for every blossom, every nest, every egg.

Draft, © Catherine Flynn, 2020


Previous “News From the Natural World” poems:

April 29: A Flamboyance of Flamingos
April 27: A Northwoods Lullaby
April 26: A Paddling of Mallards
April 25: World Penguin Day
April 24: Save the Birds
April 23: An Earth Day ABC
April 21: Nature’s Harmony
April 20: Crowns of Moss
April 19: Propagation
April 18: At the Pond
April 17: The Red Chair
April 16: Dear Venus
April 15: Listen
April 14: Ode to a Tide Pool
April 11: What Does A Bird’s Egg Know?
April 10: Clusters of Clover
April 9: Song of the Pink Moon
April 8: Jewel of the Jungle
April 5: Phantom of the Forest
April 4: To Build a Nest
April 3: Apple Cake
April 2: Specimen
April 1: Forest Snail

5 thoughts on “Praise Song for the Natural World

  1. I’ve noticed and felt grateful for every.single.dandelion, the color brightens my day always, Catherine. I’m so glad you included them, bee’s first food! You know I loved the praise poem when you shared it & now the praise for nature, your praise, is wonderful! Thanks for all the nature praise, really, all month! And Happy May!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Catherine, this is so beautiful!. I love the violet-stanza and those final four lines really say it all for me. On another note, I think the natural world has effected you even more than you realized–instead of OLW, you wrote OWL! lol Love it! Congratulations on a month full of productive poetry writing


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