Nature is bountiful giving to man
All that we require, however She can;
Food for the table and meds for the sick;
Gas for the car that can make our lives quick;
The air that we breathe and the water we drink;
The wonder of thoughts that our brains like to think;
Grass for the ground and sweet shade from the trees;
Wind for the waste and the cool summer breeze.
Nature can change though to things that are worse;
Things that can kill to disasters adverse;
Thunder and lightning with storms on the sea
Making great challenges for you and me.
Cyclones and hurricanes strike any day.
Nature the giver can take things away.
Fumes from our cars will not change Her vast health
Nor will depleting our national wealth.
Cultivate virtue and Nature will know
You are worth keeping—you reap what you sow.



LTC Roy E. Peterson is a writer, retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer, Foreign Area Officer, and Foreign Commercial Officer who currently resides in Texas.

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17 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Your poem expresses what true nature is – not the ersatz version we are fed to us.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Just one criticism, which I hope you will not take as an offense. You should not use the older -eth verbal conjugations unless you use them in accord with proper grammar. The ending -eth is limited to the third person singular, and can never be used with a plural subject. Here is the proper paradigm for the older verbal conjugation:

    I give
    thou givest
    he giveth

    we give
    ye give
    they give

    So you cannot say “we needeth” in line 2. In line 14 (“Nature once giveth can taketh away”) the usage is also incorrect, since the -eth ending is not a proper past tense, and any verb that follows “can” does not use the -eth ending.

    I suggest these revisions of the lines:

    Line 2 – All we require however She can
    Line 14 – Nature the giver can take things away

    As a general rule, these older conjugation forms should only be used sparingly. They should NEVER be used just to make stress position in the meter.
    In an otherwise contemporary poem they stick out like raw boils.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      I appreciate the critique and will make those adjustments in my mind, to this poem and future poems. I was writing with what felt good to me from an old English perspective and as one who still reads from the King James Bible.

  3. Eric

    Just one criticism: The Lord God made the earth, and the Lord God giveth and taketh away. Calling nature a giving mother is pure paganism–might as well say Gaia. And if nature were a woman, then she would be a murderous whore, as Jeffers pointed out.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      This is a poem, not a sermon. The poet can create whatever characters or scenarios he likes. He’s not subject to a religious inquisition.

  4. Eric

    I thought you were a Catholic, and that this was a prochristian site. Anyway, it’s sloppy thinking whatever else you call it.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      As I see it, this is a pro-formal poetry site, and a pro-Western aesthetic tradition site. Believers of all faiths (as well as skeptics and non-believers) come here to publish material and to read material.

      Judging a poem by its adherence to a specific religious viewpoint is not serious literary criticism.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Personification is not a sin
      Like faith of a mustard seed contained within.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Roy, I love the title and the message of your poem sings to me. Your words are the song of the world I live in – the world full of flora, fauna, unpredictable weather and wonder that I know. I agree with Dr. Salemi’s observations and think this marvelous poem would benefit from the small changes he suggests. Great stuff!

    • Roy E. Peterson

      I always appreciate your perspective and agree with the changes Dr. Salemi suggested. I have already made the changes for future use and am thankful always for all suggestions and support. Thank you, Susan. I admire every one of your poems.

  6. D.G. Rowe

    The speed!

    Lovely delighful speed delivered in those triple rhythms.

    I enjoyed greatly the prosidic fun, especially the first six lines of rollicking meter; moreover, the sentiment is spot on, pal.


  7. Jeff Eardley

    Great poem Roy. I like how the first half inflates, whilst you stick a pin in the middle to burst the balloon of optimism in the second. Good to read on a sad day in England where a much loved and verypopular politician has been stabbed to death.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      I mourn with you. I appreciate your comment and pointing out the mood change.

  8. Mia

    What a great theme. We rely on nature and
    are part of it regardless of where we stand
    as to our beliefs.
    I wrote a poem on another
    challenge on a similar theme. But I tend to make
    my poems either or and by that I mean either positive
    or negative. Will try and do both next time.
    But comedy and tragedy are from the Greek.
    And yet the motto was, Everything in moderation.
    Nature is bountiful as well as beautiful
    and just like people, it can
    be good at times and terrible at others.
    Also your poem made me think more about
    reaping and sowing as there is unfortunately
    such as a thing as bad harvests regardless of
    work put in and many virtues people do lose
    their lives and we have a terrible example
    of that in the UK this week.
    Thanks for such an interesting poem.


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