Sunday, October 23, 2005



prairie's tall grass, pond,

sound of trucks - this new eighty

cut through th'heart 'f iowa

ladybug climbs map -
up thirty, uphill, upwind
beneath, cyclist sleeps

des moines ramp traffic
spares grasshopper - patiently,
northwest to southeast

outside dyersville,
fields of ripe corn and baseball -
fantasy's bullpen

neck deep in wapsi -
she's miles from retribution,
five feet from nettles

town’s policeman doesn’t hear

its deafening noise

near dubuque, th'trappists

farm 'n silence - but th'hiker hears

locusts, ev'ry step

highway one onramp -
truckers' fumes, and the shrill cry
of redwinged blackbirds

english river bridge
to yonder amish window -
a banjo carries

dog hits tire at night,
when towns like ware are asleep -
but crickets hear it

ames farm's barbed wire fence -
monarch catches morning sun,
dance 'v monday's freedom

lincoln highway bridge
shelter from thunder, lightning
summer storm moment

these small town churches,

best thing ‘bout ‘em, says th’britt sage,
th’meetings in th’basement

iowa falls feed caps –

tale ‘f th’corn silo accident,

‘n’ th’time he couldn’t breathe

reads plates on 80
commutes through midsummer night
coralville- hey, maine!

quarter in wapsi,
wish floating downstream, through corn
ready for harvest

football saturday
cars backed up past hawkeye drive
beat minnesota!

crisp fall morn, cold look -
don't walk on the don't walk sign
in cedar rapids

born in bluffs - one fall,
in town, couldn' get off eighty,
and never came back

read through dead leaves on bumper,
frames this license plate

stone city gravel
roads sneak up on its buildings -
orion watches

leaving for padre,
champagne, map on small table
in winnebago

thirty five 'n' eighty =
warm tea, numb fingers, a choice:
texas or west coast?

burg poet's topic
as blizzard pushes through door -
ash and omelet grease

on one, near annie
drunken rider, car in drifts
argues which way's north

offer 'f place to stay -

in ames blizzard, th'pastor shows

a genuine faith

amana tourists
pick up mill workers' german -
outside, a blizzard

worst cold spell 'n twenty

years - jeff county farmer blames

the maharishi

amana woolens-
outside the mill, icy glaze
covers corn and brick

icy solon road,
eternal damnation sign
frames empty cabin

orange triangle -
buggy blocks kalona road,
wood wheels on packed snow

named this town lisbon
railroad, dreams, cities, people
but dreams don't till weeds

shiloh road farmhouse –

pink porch means she’s marryin’ age,

he says – nice flowers!

kalona dairy –

she hides behind engorged cows,

th’men talk ‘f barn raising

her buggy, mud road

near one – always ‘n outsider,

but she’d have it worse


fresh rhubarb, cups of
sugar, sharp pie - black coffee,
ready for wellman

place called ivanhoe,

where one hits th’cedar – he’ll fish

n’ pick th’ripe mulberries

flood of ninety-three
june rains push skunk river - can't
leave town fast enough


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