There was nothing so wonderful

pink flower field
As messing around in that ravine.
Its' slow slope slant carried my feet
past our garden's last fence post

Into a cool dark pattern of mottled
light leading down to a skinny clear
rivelet that I immediately stirred.

To see quartz grains of sand, tan soils,
whirl, set my heart flipping. To watch
flowing water clear my mess in a flash

Set me free to uncrouch,
explore. In season,
I walked among woodland

Lady slipper
jack in the pulpit

My family taught me to leave
the wild, be. It will die
in our garden and you will have

Stolen something sweet from
where it likes to live. It confused
me to think that sunflowers

loved our garden, but tended rows
that brought Hunterdon County fair
ribbons, would kill

may apple

there was nothing so wonderful 
I captured them anyway
but, only on paper.

In 4th grade,
Wildflowers of New Jersey
earned A+. Long miles away

I wonder, Do they still bloom?

Jan Godown Annino

Poem note: my inspiration for the title and opening line is from Kenneth Graham, Wind in the Willows: "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

Messing around in fields, woods and shores of N.J. formed Jan's child days, until Florida shores became her nature home in middle grade. Her collaborative title with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, SHE SANG PROMISE, The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Book Festival. Jan's debut in TSL, Nov. 2, 2022 is "Assisted Writing," with her occasional poetry credit: JG Annino. Her MFA is Hollins and BA, UF. She tends organic trees and plants with her family, in Tallahassee.