Sunday Morning Lyricality, September 27, 2020 is generously sponsored by Danielle Dufy Literary and Stone Gathering: A Reader. Every issue of powerful, memorable poems, small fictions, and short essays, edited by Deborah Jacobs and published under the imprint French Press Editions, is a treasure trove of “portable, affordable, collectible literature.” 

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Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer, followed by a prompt to help you write your own poem.

“We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality,” the novelist Ayn Rand wrote. But was she correct? It seems people are entirely capable of ignoring nature’s messages, of refusing to see the evidence that shows us the costly consequences of human destruction of natural habitats and species. In March this year, as the Coronavirus caused lockdowns world wide, UN environment chief Inger Andersen said, “Nature is sending us a message.” That the failure to heed a warning is costly, is something most of us learn only through experience–if we ever learn at all. Minnesota poet Judith Feenstra was educated in Social Gerontology, and maintains an interest in the field of aging by paying special attention to works of poetry that reflect the aging perspective. One of those perspectives, which she brings to this poem, is the wisdom of experience, formed by a life attuned to the messages of nature.

Tracy Rittmueller

It’s Not As If Destruction Can Simply Be Undone
Judith Feenstra

It’s not a storm I hear rumbling from the north
charging up the hill, raw power in its breath

it’s a giant, eight-wheeled tractor 
towing a monstrous cultivator, 40-feet in width

look now, as it roars along my border
leaving the land churned to rubble in its path

then sharply it turns east
a pair of geese – firmly nestled in moist hollow 

flees helter-skelter 
destruction looming from this thunderous, rolling threat

as a second pass descends
as black dirt yields a cloud of drift

the birds swoop panic 
back and forth, back and forth – in evidence.


Judith Feenstra currently lives in a Wright County country home surrounded by trees, fields, and wildlife. This environment along with life experiences are often the focal point of her poems. Her work has been recognized with awards from the League of Minnesota Poets (LOMP) competition and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) competition. In addition, her work appears in the 2019 anthology publication Upon Waking and in the 2020 publication Stone Gathering.

“It’s Not as If Destruction Can Simply Be Undone” by Judith Feenstra ©2020, as it appears in Stone Gathering published Summer 2020 by Danielle Dufy Literary. Appears with permission of the author.. (Buy Stone Gathering Now)