Poem: 4:53 Sunrise in Surry

Here is poem #2 of a 3 poem series from my grad school residency trip to Surry, Maine.

4:53 Sunrise in Surry


Every morning my body woke me

At 4:50 am

Same time.

Every day.

My body was waking me on purpose

It knew I had never seen the sunrise

That I really wanted this experience

But I did not know what time it was at

With some prying

I discovered my body was already aware

4:53 sunrise in Surry

It was time to witness

The beautiful reflection of the sun

Coming up

And making an impression on the clouds and me

Alone, by the ocean

As I walked through the forest path

That led to the shore

I was apprehensive of my solitude

But when I arrived, I saw the horizon

The gradual lightening of the sky

The sun was blocked from my view

From the tallest, greenest trees

Yet that did not matter to me

I still saw the pink, purple and orange

Wisps of sky

The clouds reflected the colors back at me

When I looked down into the water

On the rocky shore

This mirror effect was telling me:

You were meant to be here, right now

In the quiet, calm, beautiful world


You never allow yourself to have

And you deserve it.





The return of my poetry (and myself!)

Hey! So I know I promised I would eventually write three more poems to complete the 30 poem series that was part of NaPoWriMo.

I finally have three more poems!

They were inspired by my residency trip to Surry, Maine for my graduate program at the Institute for Humane Education.

Additionally, I have a mixed media painting inspired by my time there too!


Here is one of the three poems (I will be posting the other two later)

The Journey to Maine and Back

The clouds looked more beautiful–

The contrast of blue and white, more pronounced

The Earth looked rounder

The  stars shone brighter

The fireflies were more numerous, reflecting the stars

The ocean was rockier

The forests greener

A field of wildflowers, the first I ever walked through

The sun rose earlier than I imagined

Yet I awoke every morning just in time

And I stayed awake to the beauty of nature

As I drove myself back home

Now the clouds here look just as beautiful

And the Earth as round

I may not always see the stars, but I know they are there

Sometimes if I look close enough I may see a firefly

Bringing the stars back down to my level

The oceans are more sandy

The forests are more lush

Though I’m in a different environment

There is just as much beauty to be found

And I must stay awake to it!

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Stream of Conscious

Hi! Yesterday in my environmental ethics course, we had to give presentations for our course capstone via video conference. One of my classmates shared some really inspiring poetry and she had us write stream of conscious poetry for 3 minutes and then share what we wrote on the topic of being a source of light (or something to that effect, I’m forgetting now). Today I decided to do the same thing, instead with the topic of “Environment.” To my surprise this actually brought up some further thoughts about lightness (and darkness). Here is what I came up with:


(Stream of conscious poetry)

The earth


We have to protect it

Turning round and round

Changing every day

Global warming

Climate change

Oceans boiling

Air temperatures rising

CO2 emissions


Animals are dying out

Will we?

Why do humans think

We’re in control

We are not perfect

Just because we’re intelligent

It does not mean we have all the answers

We are in the darkness sometimes

Feeling around in it

Can we find the light?

What if we can’t?

NaPoWriMo Day 16: Recycled Soul

This is another poem about my uncle who died when I was five but left me with so many life lessons in such a short amount of time. I am writing about him again because he has given me so much inspiration for the way I teach about caring for the Earth and its creatures and environment. 

Recycled Soul

You are no longer present

In your previous

Living form

But your energy is here

The organs

You volunteered to give

Before the accident

Brought new life

As with all things

Energy is reshaped and recycled

Never destroyed

You are still inspiring action

To have fun

To be present in nature

To be kind to all creatures

To respect the earth

You call me to teach others

In a gentle, caring way

Yet you were firm in your objectives

And so am I

There is no room for harm

From the teacher or the student

And in that sense

You live on in me




NaPoWriMo day 15! Half way point: Thunder and Lightning

Before I did this challenge, it had been ages since I regularly wrote poems to express myself. I gave up calling myself a writer in my first year of college back in 2004. I wanted to write poems and other stuff every day. But when I shared my writing, people would tell me my poems that followed a particular form were done wrong, or just said really mean things because they could. So in my immaturity at the time, I gave up! I’m really glad I’m doing this now though. I am hesitant to write any kind of stylized poem except a haiku, possibly because of the past, but also because I like to make my own rules or lack thereof. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing these and it’s a helpful and a nice way to think about the subject I’m exploring/studying through the poems.

I think after this is over I won’t limit myself as much to my poem subject matter and write on my own. I’ll share the ones I think are really good here still…but less frequently so I have room to write other things. 🙂 

Today I want to write a poem in honor of my uncle, who died when I was five years old. He was studying environmental science and taught my family about recycling before it was widely practiced. He also taught us to cut up plastic items that could strangle wildlife, and various other environmentally friendly concepts. He inspires me to continue on this path of educating others about the environment, animal protection, human rights, and all the intersections of social justice.

I think I might write several poems about him in the next few days or so. 



Thunder and Lightning

The thunder boomed

The lightning flashed

I cowered in fear, crying

You took me under your wing

I was safe

As we sat on the step outside

Watching the sky

My fear was replaced

With awe and respect

And every time the sky rumbles and flashes

I think of you


NaPoWriMo day 14: Put the Pen Down

So, this poem is more about our relationship with the environment through the products we use and produce which is also an important aspect of environmental ethics. I am always surprised by how little we know about how the products we use are made and what they are made of. The inspiration for this particular poem came from an assignment in my Environmental Ethics course, where I will be researching a certain pen’s impact on the environment and the ways in which it is produced. I am excited to eventually (hopefully) answer some of the questions posed by this poem.

Put the Pen Down

They say

That the pen is mightier than the sword

But could the pen

Be more like the sword itself?

What is the pen made of?

Solvents and alcohols…

Ethylene glycol and monobutyl ether…

Encased in an attractive, plastic package

Millions of them exist

Produced in a factory by people

Who likely shield themselves

From the contents

And can you breathe the air

That surrounds the facility?

How do they handle

The waste they produce?

Trade secrets

Proprietary formulas

It’s not a food

Don’t you dare ask the recipe

The writing utensil

Seems so innocent

Convenient and useful

We do not ponder the risk

Yet given thought

The pen could be like poison

Accurate information

Is mightier than the sword