Tag Archives: Prairie

GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD MEMORIES

GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD MEMORIES

Slow driving west
down Saskatchewan 363

Paved now
but mud and gravel
fifty years ago when dad
came over from the home place
to help me build fourteen miles of fence

Half a mile from the old Fort Walsh trail
where the Mounties hauled supplies
for a starving Sitting Bull

A lot of history
and a damn good fence
still standing, still stretching
like time, and our time together

Smooth and endless
over the soft rolling hills

From this distance you can’t see
the barbs in the wire

THE BARNSTORMER AND THE BOY

THE BARNSTORMER AND THE BOY

In the little plane, just the pilot and me
up up up into the prairie air

Climbing and gliding and floating free
high above the county fair

The town looked small from way up there
but hell… it looked small from anywhere

It was the changing people into ants
that I loved the best and wanted again

Being on the wrong side of relative bigness
had been causing me a lot of pain

LONG HOT SASKATCHEWAN SUMMER SHORT POEMS

LONG HOT SASKATCHEWAN SUMMER SHORT POEMS

Hay bales pile
the sun stays to watch
will evening come

_____________________

Plow breaks again
metal too hot to touch
will evening come

_____________________

Girl in summer dress
more heat inside than out
fall is soon coming

_____________________

Beer is all gone
road weaves our way home
morning comes soon

_____________________

Sun rises at four
bones store summer heat
winter days are short

_____________________

Waiting for the crop
rain or hail, God decides
in the pub, politics

_____________________

Stopping for water
dry eyes turn westward
reading the clouds

_____________________

The farmer complains
gratitude too much like pride
outside the rain falls

JEANNE MARIE WRITES A NEW BOOK

JEANNE MARIE WRITES A NEW BOOK

When it rains in Biggar Saskatchewan
a bigger battle begins

Grass and grain sucking straws
to the slurping point

The sun trying as always to extract
far more than its fair tithe

Muddy waters swirling down drains
of gopher and badger holes

Settling through hollows of buffalo wallows
where the buffalo no longer roam

Remainders feeding underground streams
and deep raging rivers

If I put my feet or my ear to the ground
I can almost understand her last poem

Almost hear the next one

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