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Florida Wetlands: A Quartet of Poems

Updated on November 14, 2017
juneaukid profile image

Richard F. Fleck is author of two dozen books, his latest being Desert Rims to Mountains High and Thoreau & Muir Among the Native Americans.

Gum Drop Swamp

Gum Drop Swamp, near Land O' Lakes, FL
Gum Drop Swamp, near Land O' Lakes, FL | Source

Florida Quartet


Gum Drop Swamp


You stand and stare

at these tall gum drop-

cypress trees reflected

in a pond and in the

mind and in the memory

as though time has fused

inside and out until

a white heron splashes

down sending ripples

right up to these trees

under a brilliant blue sky.



Restless Birds

While swamp cypress bend,

mockingbirds chase a marsh hawk

out of a drooping pine tree draped

with grey-green Spanish moss

until an owl lands on its sagging top

to frighten mockingbirds away

as palm trees begin to sway

in advancing winds of a hurricane.


Madeira Beach

While we await our lunch

in a tiki hut at Madeira Beach,

forceful gusts of wind drive rain

into the restaurant to create

pools of water at our feet.

When our shrimp finally arrive,

perhaps their ghosts are satisfied

with new oceans splashing in.


Swamp Blossom Amulet

As you look, they bloom,

they bloom a delicate white,

white in sun on lily pads--

lily pads spread across a pond,

a pond with a palm tree growing,

growing straight out of the middle,

the middle of this dark pond,

a very dark pond white with blooms,

and as you look, they bloom.



© 2016 Richard Francis Fleck

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    • juneaukid profile image
      Author

      Richard Francis Fleck 18 months ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thanks, Audrey, I appreciate your comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 18 months ago from California

      I particularly like the the middle piece--such a wonderful set of images