A Guiding Force
by Cristina M.R. Norcross

I will let the outside become the inside,
let the tall grass grow,
a quiet covering at the pond’s edge,
protection for rabbits,
chipmunks, and mice.

I will skip the kitchen bin.
The apple core and carrot shavings
deserve a home amongst the trees,
becoming a dinner menu
for thankful creatures.

I will let clean water flow,
replace bleach with white vinegar
for natural whites in the wash,
for nature’s sake.

I will be mindful of the energy of words,
speaking only colors of compassion,
the soft touch of gentle hands,
using thoughtful tones,
in recognition of what tender ears have heard before,
what they deserve to hear today.

I will let my connection to
every green frond,
every tangerine leaf, every imperfect grain of sand,
every trickling stream,
every earthworm moving the soil
be the guiding force
in how I move through the day,
how I tread lightly on this borrowed earth.
I will breathe deeply.
I will give thanks for every breath.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In writing an offering for this prompt, I wanted to focus on the gift of connection, as a guiding force, when reflecting on how we can each do our part to help heal the earth. What came to mind was fostering a deep connection to nature’s inhabitants, as well as a deep connection to those around us. I wanted to explore how our energy affects the lives of all beings co-existing with us — in the backyard, in the lakes, in the sky, in the house next door.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cristina M. R. Norcross lives in Wisconsin and is the editor of Blue Heron Review. Author of nine poetry collections, her most recent books are The Sound of a Collective Pulse (Kelsay Books, 2021) and Beauty in the Broken Places (Kelsay Books, 2019). Cristina’s work appears in: Visual Verse, Your Daily Poem, Poetry Hall, Silver Birch Press, Verse-Virtual, The Ekphrastic Review, and Pirene’s Fountain, among others. Her work also appears in numerous print anthologies.  Cristina has helped organize community art/poetry projects, has led writing workshops, and has hosted many open mic readings.  She is the co-founder of Random Acts of Poetry & Art Day.  Visit her at and @firkinfiction on Twitter.