Saturday, August 18, 2012

A poem: A surprising encounter with nature

This poem is based on a real incident that occurred as I traveled to Richmond on a back road one morning years ago.
I’m glad my hit-and-run obsessive-compulsive disorder was not active at the time, or I would probably still be at the scene, driving back and forth, checking for bodies.
The incident still raised my anxiety level and affected me enough to make me write about it.

On the Road to Richmond

By Tina Fariss Barbour

I thought it would get out of the way in time.
Buzzard, black and gray crypt
around the squirrel/rabbit in the road.
I thought it would sense my car,
would know when to rise,
to crook over the hood and roof.
I’d look behind to see it attack again.
But it miscalculated,
greedy for another bite.
I pulled on the steering wheel as if it were reins,
as if the car could rear back, swing hoofs,
but the bird knocked into the windshield,
flogged the glass.
A swerve, a brake.
It flew off into the woods,
Not ready for the call.

  Have you ever had a surprising encounter with nature?


  1. Really cool poem, Tina. What a great way to work through your anxiety. I should give that a try (not that my poem would be nearly as good).

    About a decade ago, our car was totaled when a very large deer ran into the side of our vehicle on the highway. That was unbelievably scary. You should have seen the large antlers on this guy. I'm glad my husband was driving. My first question to him was, "Oh, no was that a person???!!!" For some strange reason I was convinced a person had run out into the highway. Just like our car, the poor deer was totaled too.

    1. Sunny, unfortunately, I've had the experience of hitting a deer, too. It's awful, isn't it? My car wasn't totaled, but it was a mess. But I felt so bad for the deer. It ran right out in front of me at 10:30 in the morning. The state trooper who responded said dogs were probably running it--it was during deer hunting season :-( , a season I really don't like.

  2. Thankfully, my surprise encounter with nature didn't involve injury....canoeing on a Maine lake with a friend many years ago, we came upon a large rock/small island in the middle of the lake. The surprise came when the island moved and lifted its was a moose! I had no idea they were so huge. Boy did we reverse directly quickly!

    1. Oh, my, I bet that was a surprise! I can imagine how startling that would be. I've never seen a moose--I didn't know they were that big either!

  3. This is really good. Really great images. Love love love it.

    If this works, here's a link to my surprising encounter with nature:

    1. Thank you, Heather! Your link worked--wow, a beautiful poem about a beautiful experience. I love the images you use to describe the beauty of the fall leaves, and your relating it to God's grace.

  4. My daughter was married in the Ozarks and family came from all over the country to the wedding. We rented a house and stayed 5 days and one night after dinner my mother, my sister and I drove back to the house in my mom's car. My sister was driving and a huge deer ran across the road and we hit it, but it kept running. The road was winding and on the side of a cliff, if my sister would have swerved we would have gone down the side of a mountain and probably died. I know I would have swerved..I was so impressed that she did the right thing. Noone was hurt, the car was messed up and my sister and I just cried and begged the police to try to find the deer and save it because we were so sad that it had to have been hurt. Of course the police thought we were crazy because they were not about to search the woods. Living in the country I see dead animals, raccoon's, deer, squirrels, etc. on the side of the road and my heart just aches for them.
    You are a fantastic poet Tina. You took a rather gruesome encounter and turned it into a very grand poem.

    1. Krystal Lynn, thank you! I am so glad no one was hurt in the wreck with the deer. I know what you mean about being sad about the animlas that die. That bothered me a lot when I hit a deer, too.

  5. Beautiful poem with very vivid images!

    I'm glad the bird lived!

    I had to laugh when you said if your hit and run OCD had been active at the time, you'd still be there driving around checking for bodies.

    Once a bunny and I stared each other down for several moments and that was a really cool experience since bunnies usually hop away at the first sign of a human.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I love those moments when a wild animal lets us watch for more than a second.

  6. Thank you for sharing your poem, I'm glad you did. It's very good!

    My only real encounter with nature would be when I hit a deer on the highway. I am pretty sure I closed my eyes as my car ran into him. It was incredibly scary and I felt terrible. :0(

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Hitting a deer is so shocking, isn't it,? It was an awful experience for me, too.

  7. Beautiful poem Tina, I enjoyed that!

    In Africa we once hot a kudu. They are HUGE! Fortunately for us it got a fright from the car and slipped and fell sideways, and the car went over it. If it would have hit the wind shield I doubt of we would still have been alive. My husband stopped the car on the side of the road, to pull the poor unfortunate animal, which had died, to the side so no other vehicles would run into it, when the kids shouted "murderer" at him from the back seat. I don't think they realised we very nearly all lost out lives. It was horrible.

  8. Thank you, Klaaske!

    I am so glad you weren't hurt in that incident. It does sound horrible. I was not familiar with what a kudu was, so I looked it up--and they are big!

  9. I like this poem Tina, very expressive.


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