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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

7 Poems to Remind You of the Beauty of Nature

In honor of #NationalPoetryMonth, some of our favorite submissions from the 2015 Reader's Digest Poetry Contest touch on the many wonders of the natural world.

1 / 7


I want to tell you
about the sunflower I found
on the sidewalk yesterday.
It is wilting and curled and gorgeous
and knows it.

I want to age like that,
never forgetting my own beauty,
never forgetting how to say bloom.

By Anna Voelker

2 / 7

The Inevitable Puppy Poem

On a puppy’s sleepy
spotted tummy
the sun connects her dots.

Her back legs tricycle.
Her pink snout-
of-a-velvet church

beads with milk;
a muffle; an eye
swims under its lid

as her brother’s tongue
takes her ear up
like a flower petal.

By Stephen Lindow

3 / 7


My favorite color is navy blue,
the color of a childhood book about stars.
My father read it to me on the couch,
took me outside and showed me
the Big Dipper, and the Little Dipper,
and how to find the North Star.
All of this was right in front of our house.
We looked up into the sky until it looked back.
The book said we spin without realizing it.
It told where we are in the Milky Way
but my father and I don’t know how we got here.
Neither of us mentions it.
We do not know how to do the math
on astronomical odds as big as that.

By Loueva Smith

4 / 7

Snow Vision

Lovely tree,
wild winds of winter combed
your black and twining hair.
When dawn blinked
You emerged
softly capped in ermine,
star-kissed with diamonds.
Wind’s sharp breath caught in his throat
and sun, stricken sun,
can’t turn his eye from you.

By Rita Reed

5 / 7


Soft comes the hush of eventide
And songbirds hide
In limbs of budded trees
To bid farewell to setting sun
With lullabies they’ve sung
Each night for centuries.

A lark is winging swiftly home –
Black dot alone –
Beneath auroral clouds.
All nature makes a homeward rush
As twilight’s rosy blush
The eyes of night arouse.

By Margaret Yacavace

6 / 7

Red Bird of Winter

Every morning you call to me.
Long after the leaves have fallen,
you still come
to perch on thorny branches.
Today your song
is a reproach:
tsk, tsk.

I couldn’t sleep again.
I rise from bed,
my hip aching
and watch you pick your way,
through frozen tufts of grass.
Your red does not fade.
I want to be like you
and never lose my appetite for morning.

By Annette Opalczynski

7 / 7
Borut Trdina/iStock

Elm against sky in brittle winter
creates a puzzle of blue pieces
a game of chance and glass seen below
or is it ice I wonder
do you see it too across vast snow fields
where birds fly cawing into sky
their black wings
satin and shining purple against white
so far away
they could be twigs themselves
in a moment, caught
encased in ice

By Sandra Adelmund

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest