Tag Archives: Prairie

A PRAIRIE VILLANELLE

A PRAIRIE VILLANELLE

If prairie wheels again had I
I’d chew the gravel and the air
with prairie roads to fly

I’d plume the earth into sky
to show that I was there
If prairie wheels I had again

Past placed where dead neighbours lie
I’d not linger, who would dare
with prairie roads to fly

Dust to dust gets in your eye
I’d look for other things to share
if prairie wheels again had I

Then greener farmyards I’d pass by
in mem-mirages free of care
with prairie roads to fly

I’d roll past all that makes you cry
afloat I sunsets clear and fair
in prairie wheels again had I
with prairie roads to fly

MOTHER’S POEM

MOTHER’S POEM

The kitchen has always been the center
of the universe of any farm or ranch

She feeds their sleepy forms in morning
clothes them for the cold or warm
and prays them safe from harm

Looks out her window to the East
where barn shadows and rolling hills
greet them as they start their day

Men in firm direction to their work
children scattering to play

The South across the lake to catch
the water’s mood foretelling wind or calm

Sometimes
sees in morning
mirages of cut banks rising
like mountains along the Eastern shore

Or more directly to the South
forms of her old neighbour’s homes
rising and shimmering
like memories of her youth

Seasons spiral out and in from this center
crocus and buttercups in the greening grass
cactus flowers and the joy of newborn calves

The growing season of the grain
and golden glory of a well stooked field

The shortening of days into winter
and the ever present stars
joined by the dance
of Northern
lights

Within each season she has watched
the play of seasons of each day
men return from roundup
children from their play

While she waits always at the center
to warm and love and feed

and safely tuck away

THE DAY I SAW THE UFO

THE DAY I SAW THE UFO

I’m sitting
with my back against the tractor tire
eating lunch in the long field by the lake

It flies over
directly South to North
plenty high and far from humanly fast

It is made of a metal that shines out of itself

I rise with a smile
brush the crumbs from my jeans
set my eyes on the furrow
and let out the clutch

BLUE EYED BOY

BLUE EYED BOY

Blue eyed boy
blasts off from breakfast like a quail on a rail
Collie dog leaps on board
they sail out across the prairie
barely touching the tops of hills

Sun gives warmth or cloud gives shade
all depending on his whim
birds and rocks and swaying grass
everything living embraces him

Burrs don’t stick and thorns don’t prick
fences join in the play
happily turning their barbs away

Floating along on the wings of four
not long now till they’ll slam the door

ODE TO THE FARMER

ODE TO THE FARMER
No one will be surprised by the report
that farming is a very dangerous sport

What flapping empty fingered gloves
point back to momentary lapses

What limbs with what power
have been taken off by
power take offs

What tendons snapped like glass
and bones cut clean as grass
by unthinking mowers

And what of those neighbours dead and true
who for a minute forgetting what they knew
through red machines combined
with their grain

And these have earned his dusty tear
and many a “who’s next” fear

Year after year, after year, after year

And yet deep in the soils of time
the seeds of his goodness are growing
While the world turns in slow seasons
And he will be ready
when at last they declare
a true war on poverty
and are willing to bomb with wheat