Calling for a New Kind of Song

There was a time that nature touched us
In the way of a teacher or a lover
And poets could sing blithely of her wonders

When Shelley wandered lonely as a cloud
Keats heard the song of the nightingale and
Wordsworth saw intimations of immortality

But it was Yeats who looked beyond the swans
To the widening gyre and told us of rough beasts
Approaching and that the center could not hold

So what are we to do when we behold a tree
That beckons us to come close and then
Whispers in our ears please help me

We want to just let go of everything
So we can hold the wounded bird
And hear a new kind of song

We want to step into a river that is dying
And hear the murmurs from the current
That says we can’t step twice in her waters

So we enter into a new kind of relationship
With the once wild world that needs us
As much as we have always needed her

So we listen, we listen, we listen
And in the silence we forge a bond
As we vow to never let go, never let go

– Carol Flake Chapman

Following a career as a journalist and author of nonfiction books, Carol Flake Chapman returned to poetry, her first love, after the death of her husband on a wild river in Guatemala shattered her world. Poetry, she found, was the language of healing and of deep connection to the natural world. Her memoir Written in Water is in part the story of how nature helped in her process of healing.