Thursday, June 04, 2015

Kansas

even’n th’modern day,
th’fort scott man, ‘n th’warm night, wants t’know
which side ‘f th’war you’re on
(12-16)







pride ‘f greeley county,
five hundred acres turned t’wheat
traders made more’n him
(2-16)






longhorn by old fence,
plains rising, weeds grow up sign -
wichita, 50
(2-10)







way up the flint ridge,
spits back at steamy lowlands -
drier on high plains
(2-10)



 

boxcar’s open door –
past hays, watches th’wheat, ‘n’ won’t sleep –
afraid they’ll slam it
(3-16)






no soul on high plains,
sun beats on barren rock - hawk
finds "toronto" sign
(3-10)







lawrence exit blues
busker, played in town through fourth -
last place 'til denver
(5-10)








walking the u.s. -
wind drags him back t'salina
sun pulls at his shoe
(1-13)









longhorn guards weed patch
on road west to wichita
sign of things to come!
(7-05)






longhorn’s doleful look –
guards th’weed patch, seems t’question why
you’d go t’wichita
(2-16)






wyandotte county
backroads cricket song lyrics
lost in translation
(9-08)







phone poles on th’straight’way –
window’s open, but missed th’sign
f’r th’road t’ garden city
(1-17)






circle water tow'r
find kansas town name in sun
class of sixty two!
(9-05)







field of sunflowers
following sun to the west
over the flint ridge
(7-05)


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uphill, west near grant
wind in th’face, sun on th’shoulder,
‘n’ th’sunflowers follow
(1-17)



boot hill’s ‘n illusion –
hot dusty town, nowhere t’go,
she says, now that’s real
(11-15)






no way out of dodge,
says th’actress, but where she’s gone
there’s no coming back
(11-15)






sunset, th’arkansas,
th’calm august waters, th’mem’ry
her dust-streaked cheekbones
(11-15)






longhorn ‘t th’wich’ta sign
though th’field's wide, th’grass's plenty,
knows full well he’s trapped
(1-17)







weeds on th’cross ‘n’ flowers –
coffeyville man shows where th’kids
died playing chicken
(1-17)







parents 'r harvesting,
but she's back'n this cafe booth, off
massachusetts street
(1-15)









bar on mass’chusetts
knows her parents’re harvesting,
she takes ‘nother drink
(10-16)








wakes up in th’acorns
blue sign ‘n th’clear lawrence morning –
free state fence comp’ny
(10-16)






for th’bed ‘f leaves, climbs th’fence –
this part ‘f th’kaw valley’s got th’room,
fence sign says ‘free state’
(1-16)






whole field 'f ripe milo,
clear crisp air t'the m'ssouri line -
train whistle pierces
(7-05)








back t’ward th’m’ssouri line
field ‘f ripe milo turns dark red,
setting in against th’drought
(10-16)








state line road houses
face each other – on th’kansas side,
at sunset, th’shofar
(7-16)









cardboard ghosts in th’trees –
even th’slightest dec’ration
makes parsons cheerful
(12-16)






pittsburg student's shocked -
roommate's thanksgiving dinner
had no spaghetti
(12-13)







on through emporia,
light snow dusts golden flint hills -
change drivers, make tea
(1-15)






woods ‘f eastern kansas
welcome th’dry country hiker
even as they sleep
(1-16)





kansans always know
which way is west, to lean in
to the bitter wind
(7-05)






parsons schoolteacher –
at th’hol’days, tends t’overdo
her decorations
(12-15)







flint ridge longhorn warns
westbound traffic: high plains drifts
leave no sign of road
(9-08)






they'd mined galena-
one new year, sixty six caved,
car fell twenty feet
(1-07)









kids want t’go sledding
th’only hill ‘n southeast kansas,
th’bridge over th’highway
(1-17)








mass street breakfast joint –
babe cries, winter comes through th’door –
th’poet finds th’lost pen
(12-16)



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couple ‘f old silos,
frozen road t’topeka, th’time
t’think about injustice
(2-17)





big traffic – b’yond th’sign,
tonganoxie eudora,
th’foggy, icy fields
(12-16)







marais des cygnes sky,
warm wind billows northbound geese,
road weighed down by cars
(9-08)


 






just one wall stood when
lent'n twister razed flint hills church -
that wall had th'picture
(9-14)









dust storm stirs mem'ry -
old man in hays tax office
remembers childhood
(8-05)








place like leavenworth,
common man's rage against feds -
post office, tax day
(11-14)








phone poles in a line -
with no roads, how did spring rains
find garden city?
(2-10)









born at home ‘n th’high plains –
now th’flow’rs bloom, ‘n th’state ‘f kansas wants
th’doctor t’prove he’s real
(2-16)








tornado chaser,
dying t’run out t’pratt county
has t’grade th’stack ‘f finals
(10-16)







cross ‘n’ flowers, road t’pratt
th’kid needs t’hit th’gas, his dad too
died playing chicken
(6-17)






geese ‘t th’marais des cygnes
like most folks, it’s rare when they
don’t know which way’s north
(12-16)



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dark walls on th’inside
protect you from th’kansas sun –
nothing, from th’march wind
(1-17)






spring rains, pratt county
wait years for th’good rainfall, then
spend three days on th’roof
(12-16)









flint ridge view - behind,
steamy east; below, monarch,
up from mexico
(2-14)



 

prairie grasses flow’r
dawn hits th’locked church near pratt,
he peeks in ‘t jesus
(2-16)





red and blue balloons,
drunken graduates still in robes -
parents load the van
(5-10)








ott’wa man’s complaint –
june tornado took his barn,
slipped under th’radar
(12-16)



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