The Balance of Nature

"Balance of Nature", Thomas Hirata
“The Balance of Nature”, Thomas Hirata
It hangs so striking, vivid and serene
Upon my featured well-lit bedroom wall,
I know from years of staring at its theme,
Since then I understood: I was appalled.
When first I saw the nature scene, it called
to me; so pure, authentic, numbered print,
I saw a bird (not creatures dead and mauled),
But drama was unfolding, sky was hint.
Alas, it seemed “It fluttered for a moment,
magnificent in its struggle, then wilted
and lay still.” I fixed upon the rodent,
Delusions of a lovely scene were jilted.

As canny as the fox with glaring eyes,
I now see “Goshawk” shedding his disguise.

Painting by John James Audubon, celebrated artist and naturalist.
Painting by John James Audubon, celebrated artist and naturalist.

Your post must be dated April 27, 2013, or later. Submissions must be 750 words or fewer. Submissions must be fiction or poetry. You must include the following sentence ANYWHERE in your submission: “It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.” You must also include a reference to the media prompt.

13 Comments on “The Balance of Nature

  1. Great sonnet! 🙂 I read this as a loss of innocence, and in that light it’s a little sad and wistful. Nicely done.

    And iambic pentameter is my favorite meter. (No, I’m not being facetious – was a time I practically *thought* in iambic pentameter.)


  2. I love this. It’s often easy to overlook the realities of nature by simply seeing it’s beauty. The painting is great also, the barbed wire seems to strike a nice contrast between manmade and wild.


  3. Wonderful poem, Joanne! Great subject to choose – the duality of nature is such a complex thing. Beautiful painting too! 🙂


  4. Wonderful poem! Nature is striking (gorgeous), yet brutal at the same time. It’s funny how we can still see the beauty through the harsh reality of what nature is… survival of of the fittest (or quickest!)


    • Thank you. This was painted by the son of a colleague, years ago. When he offered me the opportunity to obtain a numbered print I jumped at it, because I truly thought it was just a gorgeous bird. Then I realized that it was a dramatic peek at nature. The Artist, Thomas Hirata, went on to win a Duck Stamp award, though I don’t remember where he placed. Through the years I’ve often gazed at the print and I always marvel at the artistry and “The Balance of Nature.”


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