Here is a collection of nature poems by Michael Chanteur. Copyright 2005 ,all rights reserved.

Two Worlds
Summer Stock
Children of God
December Dusk
The Ascent
The Steward
Nature's Child
Late Spring
Mother Earth
Not for Man
Dry Earth
October Wasp
Two Deer




Never again will that cloud
Have that shape,nor even exist.
Never again will that flower bloom,
Nor that leaf reflect,
Nor will the wind blow that way,
Nor the light ever be the same.

Because God's song is both
Infinite and transient.
We know, we see, we want
To believe that moment
Will last forever.
But it does not.

So we photograph,or paint,or write,
Anything, to stop the moment,
To wake us up to the beauty
Of everyday.
We are Zen failures, doing what we can.

Someday, in a time transcendent,
We will see, and we will know,
and we will love all that is.
That cloud, that flower,
That silent smile shall remain,
In the twilight of Infinity.

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Two Worlds

Too bad we live in two worlds,
The mundane and the sublime.
Too bad we like what we see more than what we know.
Too bad. But God understands,
And saves us from ourselves,
From our remarkable stupidity He saves us,
And sends us Truth.


Well, rain, you come again.
Just as our mud and mediocrity
Have made us stagnant,
You come booming down,
Winding through our souls
In cool rivulets.

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Little wooden churches
Within whose heartwood soma
Men praise their God by day,
And sleep beneath at night.
White, barkfree temples, who in
Time will bless the Lord in
Blue-stem and sunflower,
And with each season and year,
Will love in yet another way.
Until within a green-canopied cathedral
Will animals praise their God by day,
And sleep beneath at night.



I just want to watch the day come in,
And see the creatures that have no sin.
To hear the wind talk to trees
And feel the warm, caressing breeze.

I want to know why a mouse digs there,
And why the swallows churn the air.
Why do sunflowers face the sun,
And why are hydras always young?

How pleasant just to watch and see
The natural .lives of vole and bee.
With their daily chores they tell
A secret that is hidden well.

To spend my life in the wild,
Becoming Nature's foster child,
To see her creatures in play and strife,
As they weave the cloth of life.

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Its the greatest show on earth,
But the audience is preoccupied;
Few anticipate.
I, the stagehand, open the curtain,
And then, just a little.
The stars are already performing:
In the night sky, on the ocean floor,
In the fields next door.
In the wings I stand in awe,
But will the audience applaud?


Every morning now, for several days,
Common sparrows visit my patio.
They are still fuzzy from the nest,
And descend like balls of fluff.
Brash and dumb like most young,
They disregard my territory,
And feast on weed seeds and gravel.
One tries repeatedly to walk through
My patio door, refusing to accept
The reality of glass.
Like poor children, they seem
Unaware of their plight,
Of the harsh winter to come.
Rather, they fill their little bellies
With the seeds of plants we despise,
And move across the yard like the Farmer's chickens.

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The sumac heads grow,
Soon to turn red.
The grass is green - in spots.
The trees seem oblivious to
A late spring drought.
Yet, there is a lot of dry yellow
In the landscape, and crops
Teeter on the brink of insolvency.
But the real surprise is the resilience,
The way nature goes on, even in stress.
You'd think after forty days,
Plants and animals would give up.
But they withstand the temptation,
And go on to work miracles.


Summer Stock

It was quite a show.
Performers signed their names in song:
Chickadee and peewee,
Mourning dove and towee.
Downy and redhead tapped as well as sang.
Swallows danced.
The mockingbird did imitations.
And the whip-poor-will sang the closing song.

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Children of God

Children are our primal selves;
They have knowledge not found on shelves.
They delight in creatures adults would scorn,
And have a special love for the newly born.
A cave, a cove has a magic lure
For those whose primitive hearts are pure.

Children pretend so well, it seems,
Their minds still full of ancient dreams.
Children know our real roots,
How we once conversed with brutes,
How man and nature are truly one,
And how God made us from the Sun.

December Dusk

So, darkness comes to the woods.
At last we get our chance.
Opossum , raccoon, mouse-
All the creatures of the night.
We can emerge and play.
What fun.
Above, the stars wink at us.
Engulfed are we by the smooth darkness,
Told by each an angel what to do.
We, the stuff of stars, animated by
The Great Creator, the God of all.
What fun.

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The Ascent

Our images flowed from within,
But had constraints without.
Silver crystal by crystal.
We edged along the cliff
Of creativity

Fearing the fall, but also
Fearing the ascent
To God, to Man, to the
True Self that resides within,
We struggled

"What were you thinking of
When you took that picture?"
Asks one puzzled Scott,
An engineer of this artistic

We should have answered,
"We were thoughtless, mindless-
Embracing the Zen of photography,
Hoping that the God-Force would
Shine through"

Sometimes it did.
For some the Eternal Light
Was bright; but for others
It was a candle flickering
In the dark

Had we only known the secret:
"Let go; you are only a channel,
A conduit for the Universe.
Trust. Wait.
The images will come"

And so they did.
When we let the Universe
Flow through, the images came,
And identified themselves:
"We are you"

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The Steward

I am the steward, I am the one,
Who checks the rising of the sun.
I , the watcher, I take care,
That each creature has its share.

I check the prairie's morning dew,
Make sure each flower has its hue.
I insure the ice goes out,
And that redwings fly about.

I see that cattails grow and bloom,
And the sky has enough room.
I watch to see that water's blue,
and that rain is always new.

My work is hard, but has its joy,
As I labor in God's employ.
And with the setting of the sun,
My steward's work is finally done



Enter the realm paenespring
Where the blossom buds are shy,
And the birds have not been told,
Its time to fill the sky.
The hills do not realize that
Brown is obsolete,
And the creatures of the forest floor
Have yet their love to meet.

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Nature's Child

There she went.
A deer into the woods.
Sprung loose from her graze
By a barking dog.
Puzzled first, more than scared,
Camouflaged so keenly
Against the leafless trees.

There she went.
White rump flagging,
As if unaware of this giveaway.
Bounding, then walking.
Confident even in the noon sun
Of an April day.

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She would share my coffee,
Drunk slowly on an open porch.
Brazenly she lands on the cup,
Wanting a drink,
Though the spring has been wet.

Fearful creatures, really.
The mere sight scares most.
Me too, until my brain kicks in.
Harmless, most of the time,
Unless you're near their nest.

But I chased her away,
Not minding the company,
But familiarity has boundaries,
And she ought to know that,
Since she also guards her property.

Late Spring

The lilacs are gone
and the sun is setting.
Robins warble relentlessly
In this new spring,
Wet, fresh, green and ready
For the surge of life.

Biomass will increase.
The Mass of the earth begins
Again, another time,
Holding up as victim
The death that winter meant.

And we celebrate that death
In the hope of life,
And in remembrance of the
Life that was lost,
Until that final re-birth
and final resurrection.

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Their name evokes grimaces:
Dirty birds, pests, a noisy blight
Upon the land.
Unimpressive in flight, ungainly on foot,
We see no beauty or grace
In this rude import.

Yet , we brought them here,
For Shakespeare's sake,
And ultimately are to blame.
Like the dandelion, they are
Captives that prospered
With our help.

Why then, do we blame these victims
Of our short-sighted ness?
And why do we begrudge them their
Success, against all odds?

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Mother Earth

You sigh, we tremble.
How badly we have treated you
Over the millennia,
Violating the laws
God set in place for your care..

Native peoples knew better,
They knew how your milk
Nurtured them, and kept them whole.
We, bastard children of technology, know less,
Know nothing of our debt to you,
Our Gaia.

Like your Creator,
You are endlessly patient,
Forgiving our obscene trespasses
Which have left you scarred.
But , unlike God, you are not immortal,
But could succumb to our rude

One day, you may die,
Overcome by the wounds
We heap on you each day.
And if you die, what will
Become of us ,
And what will become of…
The New Jerusalem?

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Not for Man

We can't go there.
We can't go where the caribou graze
Nor ptarmigan browse, nor where
Any wild creature goes.
Oh.we can drive ,
Or hike, or ski there,
But we can never really be there.

Save for a few, we cannot
Risk like the animals do.
We know too much.
We cannot follow the flow of nature,
For,in so doing ,we would die before out time.

The brute beasts do not know,
Do not care, where the path will lead them.
We see, we marvel at their feats,
But can never duplicate them,
Except at the peril of our lives.

We admire, project, dream,
But realize that our intellect
Has forever sealed us off
From the wild abandon that
Makes nature so alluring.

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Dry Earth

I like the dry, dusty earth
That precedes spring.
When winter has left its flotsam and jetsam
Strewn over the landscape.

 There is, as yet, no sign of life.
The only hint is the now-warm sun,
And the dry, cracked earth
Awaiting spring rain.

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October Wasp

What must it be like
to be an October wasp?
Not a queen who will survive
Until the spring, but a worker,
An infertile sister with no future.

Those early October days are warm,
Almost hot, in the microworld of wasp.
Maybe it still seek nest sites,
In a vain, tragic search, or seeks
Sweet nectar of the last flowers.

What must it be like?
Does it realize the end is near?
Does it know that, warm or cold,
It will perish, like autumn leaves?
Or is it clueless of its fate?

Once fearful, the faint buzzing now
Is more like a sad refrain of despair.
We know, I suppose, better than she,
The sad end to its life’s journey,
As it flies about, thinking it is spring.

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Two Deer

Two deer in the wood.
Sad, really. Only yearlings.
Orphaned by hunters in the fall.
They wander the hills like spirits,
Tenuously going here and there,
Appearing and disappearing,
As if unsure of their reality.





 Michael Chanteur is a friend of mine I met when I was in college at the University of Illinois
in Urbana. He studied literature while in college, but never got his degree. Now, he basically
wanders around, doing odd jobs while writing poetry. I like his work and so asked him if he would grace my web site with his verse. As you can see, he agreed. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

-Alan Spevak