Written By Tyler Van Fleet.

Posted on January 19th, 2016.

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Do you feel good when you spend time in nature? I do. Sometimes just walking around and looking at things is enough. Other times, I do a quick, simple activity to sharpen my senses, tickle my brain, and enhance my experience outdoors.

Do you feel good when you spend time in nature? I do. Sometimes just walking around and looking at things is enough. Other times, I do a quick, simple activity to sharpen my senses, tickle my brain, and enhance my experience outdoors.

Today, I wrote a poem.

I woke up, looked out my window, and noticed the light changing ever so slowly. I grabbed pencil and paper and scribbled my observations. Here’s the result:

Darkest grey – nearly black with blobs
Of orange lamp light fizzing in the mist.

Cool blue-gray yawns awake
As the half-moon fades away.

Warmth washes through the morning air,
Photons slip and swirl among the vapor drops.

Now the faintest blue crests above my head,
Deepening as the world awakes.

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As you can see, this is no Shakespearean sonnet, and that’s ok. Forget what you learned in English class about what makes a “good” poem. There are no rules here: no rhymes, no set structure, no iambic pentameter (shudder). Just observe what’s around you and write the words down. You might find that you end up seeing more than usual.

Try writing a speedy nature poem during a “Five Senses” hike. Ask your friends or family members to each write and share one while walking your land together or going on a picnic. Did you notice something you wouldn’t have otherwise? How did the environment make each of you feel? What kinds of descriptions did you come up with?

If you’d like some structure to get started, try these simple poem types. And relax, you aren’t going to be graded!

HAIKU:

A haiku has 3 lines: the first has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5 again:

Cold days are here now
Fingers and toes are chilly
Time to make hot tea

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ACROSTIC:

In an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line, when read vertically, spells out a word, phrase, or name of something. This example spells out “winter”:

When I look outside my window
I see the sycamore tree all bare
Now its fruits can be seen clearly
The spikey balls shiver and sway
Echoing a fishing bobber and
Revealing the shape of the wind.

WINDSPARK

A windspark poem has 5 lines with the following pattern: (Line 1) “I dreamed”, (Line 2) “I was . . . [something or someone]”, (Line 3) a location, (Line 4) an action, and (Line 5) how the action was performed:

I dreamed
I was snow
On a tree branch
Blanketing the bark
Thick like frosting.

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