Friday, June 05, 2015

Iowa

still an hour from ames
sits discouraged ‘n th’roadside weeds,
notices it’s hemp
(7-16)







red and blue streamers,
white tablecloth – best sweet corn
in all ‘f jones county
(10-16)






barbeque, sweet corn,
all kinds ‘f iowa salads –
corner ‘f th’farmyard, th’flag
(2-16)





prairie's tall grass, pond,
sound of trucks - this new eighty
cut through th'heart 'f iowa
(12-14)








hoover’s meetinghouse
guide turns on th’fan, tells how they’d
separate th’boys ‘n’ th’girls
(11-16)








iowa house painter’s
choice: farmhouse white, john deere green,
internat’nal red
(11-16)






combine takes up th’whole road,
there’s th’ditch, ‘n’ th’linn county cornfield
way up ‘n th’cab, th’guy waves
(12-15)



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linn county backroads,
th’dust’s flying, then, over th’hill,
th’enormous combine
(4-17)

 

at th’ramp t’solon road,
redwinged blackbird seems t’own th’place –
don’t stop ‘n her grass patch!
(8-16)









english river bridge,
th’amish kid stops t’strum th’hanjo –
polit’cal statement
(10-16)







ladybug climbs map -
up thirty, uphill, upwind
beneath, cyclist sleeps
(3-10)






slows down ‘n th’small towns,
fills th’summer night with hist’ry –
this one’s napoleon
(8-16)






there weren’t any monks,
says th’kid, pole in th’des moines, ‘t’s named
as th’middle river
(3-16)









about t’get married,
th’folks ‘t gabes beer garden wish’m well –
this will be his sixth
(12-15)









des moines ramp traffic
spares grasshopper - patiently,
northwest to southeast
(2-10)










outside dyersville,
fields of ripe corn and baseball -
fantasy's bullpen
(3-10)









tall corn hides th’hazards
‘f th’d’buque county back roads – look’n for
th’endless game ‘f baseball
(6-15)






picks ‘n’ hulls th’black walnuts –
poison all th’iowa farmland,
he’ll still be sitt’n here
(2-17)







neck deep in wapsi -
she's miles from retribution,
five feet from nettles
(11-13)






goes ‘cross iowa
looking f’r th’wild pears – used t’grow them
near th’old farm houses
(4-17)





how t’look ‘t th’ vast cornfield,
th’way th’what cheer farmer does, ‘n’ know
when it’s time t’harvest
(4-17)





lisbon biker gang
town’s policeman doesn’t hear
its deafening noise
(6-15)











near dubuque, th'trappists
farm 'n silence - but th'hiker hears
locusts, ev'ry step
(11-14)









highway one onramp -
truckers' fumes, and the shrill cry
of redwinged blackbirds
(7-05)











english river bridge
to yonder amish window -
a banjo carries
(5-11)








dog hits tire at night,
when towns like ware are asleep -
but crickets hear it
(10-05)









ames farm's barbed wire fence -
monarch catches morning sun,
dance 'f monday's freedom
(2-14)









lincoln highway bridge
shelter from thunder, lightning
summer storm moment
(5-10)








these small town churches,
best thing ‘bout ‘em, says th’britt sage,
th’meetings in th’basement
(5-15)









iowa falls feed caps –
tale ‘f th’corn silo accident,
‘n’ th’time he couldn’t breathe
(6-15)









reads plates on eighty,
commutes through midsummer night
coralville - hey, maine!
(7-05)









says th’state fair maiden,
t’get th’pig ‘n th’truck, stick th’bucket
on his head, ‘n’ back’m in
(8-15)









quarter in th'wapsi -
wish floating downstream, through corn
ready for harvest
(1-07)







just off th’coralville strip,
th’apples fall on some old guy’s
collection ‘f edsels
(7-16)







hills ‘f one, th’corn turns brown
th’eternal damnation sign’ll
catch you by surprise
(11-16)











or’nge leaves, amana,
hear th’german, back room of th’mill –
some things’ve never changed
(11-16)











fall leaves, dubuque cliffs –
th’hiker ‘n’ th’eagle are impressed,
th’local kids, less so
(9-16)







football saturday
cars backed up past hawkeye drive
beat minnesota!
(7-05)











from th’farmhouse window,
th’corn tassels dance ‘n th’solon breeze –
she pours th’rose hip tea
(6-16)







crisp fall morn, cold look -
don't walk on the don't walk sign
in cedar rapids
(5-10)











born in bluffs - one fall,
in town, couldn' get off eighty,
and never came back
(1-13)








pottawattomie,
read through dead leaves on bumper,
frames this license plate
(9-08)









first frost, road t’d’corah
th’abandoned house ‘n’ its hist’ry
‘n a single flash ‘f lightning
(11-16)








stone city gravel
roads sneak up on its buildings -
orion watches
(2-10)











leaving for padre,
champagne, map on small table
in winnebago
(4-10)









highway one downtown,
th’steepest hill for th’kids t’sled on
th’cars’ll have t’take th’side streets
(11-16)











thirty five 'n' eighty -
warm tea, numb fingers, a choice:
texas or west coast?
(12-11)






b’hind th’k’lona buggy,
impossible not t’notice –
stops better on th’ice
(11-16)






burg poet's topic
as blizzard pushes through door -
ash and omelet grease
(12-11)







th’burg’s writers, coffee
in hand, judge – as each couple
lets th’blizzard in th’door
(6-16)









on one, near annie
drunken rider, car in drifts
argues which way's north
(3-10)








offer 'f place to stay -
in ames blizzard, th'pastor shows
a genuine faith
(12-14)







amana tourists
pick up mill workers' german -
outside, a blizzard
(2-10)










worst cold spell 'n twenty
years - jeff county farmer blames
the maharishi
(12-14)








amana woolens-
outside the mill, icy glaze
covers corn and brick
(7-05)









icy solon road,
eternal damnation sign
frames empty cabin
(7-05)









orange triangle -
buggy blocks kalona road,
wood wheels on packed snow
(7-05)




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stone building, wool hats –
out ‘f th’ice, th’amana mill folks
speak their own german
(4-17)






named this town lisbon
railroad, dreams, cities, people
but dreams don't till weeds
(7-05)









shiloh road farmhouse –
pink porch means she’s marryin’ age,
he says – nice flowers!
(5-15)











kalona dairy –
she hides behind engorged cows,
th’men talk ‘f barn raising
(5-15)










her buggy, mud road
near one – always ‘n outsider,
but she’d have it worse
(5-15)



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café near des moines
argued ‘bout th’war all winter,
vet’s back, ‘n’ he looks down
(4-17)






brown street dand’lion
when sued, th’court ‘f law, he calls it
flower, not a weed
(1-16)










brown street, wooded yard –
plants th’rose t’show, it’s all there b’cause
he wants it that way
(11-16)








fresh rhubarb, cups of
sugar, sharp pie - black coffee,
ready for wellman
(3-10)










oskaloosa lass –
waiting for th’rhubarb t’spring up,
make th’sharpest pie f’r church
(11-16)







kalona amish
ask him t’mow, but he lost th’leg
for th’freedom not to
(2-16)









place called ivanhoe,
where one hits th’cedar – he’ll fish
n’ pick th’ripe mulberries
(5-15)




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cedar ‘t ivanhoe
eats from th’bucket ‘f mulberries,
throws a few to th’fish (4-17)






burg poet lingers –
got a job as a gard’ner,
points out th’smell ‘f bacon
(3-17)






th’workshop kid borrows
th’journal ‘f th’trav’ling – class ends ‘n may,
th’journal’s still out there
(1-17)






flood of ninety-three
june rains push skunk river - can't
leave town fast enough
(1-07)

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