Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

What came out of today’s prompt was a poem about North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, where I feel very happy wearing no make-up.

Nature Spa

No make-up on North Uist
hair salt-washed, wind-blown dry
face tanned by circling sun
of summer’s stretching days.

Drift of bog myrtle where I look up
to high lark’s song floating
and touch the croak of corncrakes
in flowered meadows.

And when sun dips low and gold
I tread the beach, hear sea music,
feet smoothed, exfoliated
by shellsand shining white.