A bog, a marsh, a swamp, a fen

All of them make me smile.

They are, regardless of size,

Not for us.


Their owners slither and creep

Or hop or cruise with spiny fin

And watch us with beady eyes

They warm my heart.


But some can’t stand their insolence

And so they plot to drain the swamp

and leave those creatures high and dry.

A pile of dust and rot.


All a matter of use they say

No one wants a smelly swamp

A fetid morass of bugs and snakes

Better a field of well-groomed grass.


Sucking mucky bogs and marshes

Such a dismal waste of land

Drain it, burn it, plow it, plant it

in something like ethanol corn.


Who needs the rat-a-tat-tat

Of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker

The guttural roar of bullfrogs

Or the slithery silence of snakes


Driving by in our ethanol powered

Automotive symbols of success

Windows up in creature comfort

Most will never miss the swamp.


But a few, with Huck Finn childhoods

Spent afloat in sloughs and swamps

Will remember and quietly mourn

Their pirogue days

Views: 149

Comment by Arthur James on November 13, 2017 at 6:22am


What a smiley post and

Play with words...

I've mentioned You

to my Grandson...

He wears a Black Patch

over His Left Ewe?

no left Eye

Lewis was Hammering

a rock and a sliver from

The Hammer sliced His

Eye, He looks cool with a

Patch Today wish Lewis

Luck. He visit ` John


He likes rocks and

collects rocks and

views under the


He has a Great

Collection. He

saw Rocks on

wood Pedestals

at DC's National

Bonsai Museum.

His Father is acting

Curator there. This

post  is worth a few

reads and savor...




Comment by koshersalaami on November 13, 2017 at 6:39am

It is worth a savor

Comment by Steel Breeze on November 13, 2017 at 6:51am

this is about a boat,right?

Comment by Rosigami on November 13, 2017 at 9:17am

This is so evocative. What lovely and insightful imagery. 
I grew up in a neighborhood next to a woods with a little stream that passed through it. We played in the woods an the water all summer...of course it's all gone now. It's likely the houses built on that land get their basements flooded during bad rainstorms. 
My own kids grew up near the bogs and marshes that surround the ill-fated Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island's North shore.
Every so often some politico tries to fly a plan to build a bridge from there to Connecticut (to create more access to the casinos, of course!) which would destroy those wetlands and turn that quiet little community into a worse traffic nightmare than it's already become.

It seems as though it just gets harder and harder to hold on to what's good. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on November 13, 2017 at 11:28am


Excellent reminder of the good kind of swamp... poling your boat/pirogue/(canoe for us) along.... ducks nibbling up algae up ahead, kingfishers swooping along, great blue herons around the bend.

It's hard to grasp the kind of mind that only sees development potential in the swamp, forest, plain, rather than the inevitably dismal emptiness of all things natural and wild and beautiful.

Nicely done.

Comment by Anna Herrington on November 13, 2017 at 1:25pm

When I was a kid I thought the parts of Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Florida, I knew and loved must've been a natural paradise, back in the day, long before industrialization, white people showing up at all before that.... incredibly beautiful country under all the cultural history. It was paradise still (though even more gone now) through this little kid's eyes, the natural world I knew there. Easy to imagine the original pirogues silently gliding through swampy inlets with this poem, the humans at one with the world (maybe, more than we, at least). Had to come read again today, it's been sticking with me.

Comment by Anna Herrington on November 13, 2017 at 2:00pm

Monkey I missed your second comment! Ha! 

Potato. yes. yum!

Comment by Rodney Roe on November 13, 2017 at 3:44pm

Here's the image:

Comment by Rodney Roe on November 13, 2017 at 4:01pm

I built a raft.  Wish I had had a pirogue.  I met a Cajun man once who grew up in the Louisiana swamp.  He claimed to have poled a pirogue six miles through the swamp to school and six back. (I wondered if that was equivalent to walking uphill 5 miles to school through the snow and 5 miles uphill back.)  The swamp all looked alike to me, but he knew where every tree, mound, gator hole; everything was.

My haunt was a big slough off of the Arkansas River.  It really was full of snakes and frogs and catfish and gar.  it got low in late summer and filled back up with spring rains.  I stepped, barefoot, on a cottonmouth water mocassin there.  Scared us both.

I used to fish and swim in creeks that came down out of the Ozarks.  That is where I saw the Great Blue Herons, and kingfishers and dragonflies and dove down to the thermocline where the water suddenly turned ice cold.  None of that looks the same today.  Abandoned farms that let those streams alone were bought by real estate developers who built homes fro retirees from Chicago.  The creeks silted in from the run-off.  No more small mouth bass. 

I guess the retirees deserved their dream vacation home.  I just wish it could have all been done without bulldozers.

Comment by Arthur James on November 13, 2017 at 4:12pm


Bulldozer bare ruinous...

Folk Blunder... WEAR...

Wendell Berry

has a poem



Great Blue Herron...

I lived in the in the '

Missouri Ozark's post


I an so=peepholes?

no... Speechless and

must hop asap in my

bed sack & hush up.






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