Leave Enough Deadwood

View of Seattle's Green Lake

View of Seattle’s Green Lake

with respect to Seattle’s Green Lake
Habitat Restoration

Leave enough deadwood
to feed the bugs,
enough bugs
to feed the birds,
enough small birds
to feed the big.

Leave snags and stumps
to rot and die, to silhouette
the Northwest sky
before the ants and termites
carry it all away
in the beak of a wren.

Lay in a few old logs.
Plant cottonwood, willow,
aspen, and birch. Spread ferns,
salal, and huckleberry.
Lay moss on soggy wood.
Skirt the lake with yellow irises.

Don’t rake up the leaves
in these hidden paradises.
Add the leaves from the lawn.
Let the cedars, redwoods,
pines, and cypresses slough
their glistening duff!

Hire a poet or two
to write what they see
in prose or straight haiku
to publish on a public site—
What old species return,
what new ones arrive?

What eagle, egret, or heron,
what wood duck, night hawk,
junco, sparrow, or vireo appear?
What red-winged blackbird,
what darting hummingbird,
what kestrel, owl, or jay?

Make the crazy world
a masterpiece, if possible.
Make way for all of life to live.
Leave us all the ground
upon which to sleep,
to eat, to play.

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19 thoughts on “Leave Enough Deadwood

  1. Well, now, Rick, I think that may well be the best poem of yours that I’ve read. To me, the imagery and the message are inextricably perfect. Thank you for including me in your mailing. Love, Dad

    >

  2. Wonderful poem, Rick. A nice little reminder that we don’t need keep everything super tidy and that most decay is a good thing, something to nourish the bugs, birds, and beyond. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Rick. Very thought provoking and beautiful. I am gardening today and will certainly leave extra leaves to feed and house the bugs……….x

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