What else is left?

Dad stretched the wire, full of double twisted barbs
Along the newly dried section line, where drain tiles run so deep.
Cud chewing cattle eyeing the sweet uncut clover
Guarded by the fence line, too high for cattle to leap.

Above the geese keep flying, historic wetlands gone.
Potholes once patrolled by rows of twisting sentries; Ash, Elm, and Oak,
No longer guarding fragile prairie life, no longer providing forest cover
Cut down, bulldozed, and covered by a brittle honeysuckle cloak.

Land once turned by a single bottom steel edged plow,
Farmer guided oxen powered cutting knives, that changed a prairie stage.
Working from sun-up to down, unknowingly ensuring the family’s doom.
Extracting a generation’s promise, for less than a living wage.

160 acres homesteads, bought by five years toil.
Advertised as paradise, with fertile land to secure.
Desperate Swedes and Germans, Russians and Norwegians too
Most ended up with nothing, except crumpled railroad brochures.

-Clarence Holm

Something In My Shoe Today


There’s something poking my foot today
It’s been bugging me all day long.
Not big enough to cause dismay,
Just enough to feel it’s wrong.

I have on shoes I seldom wear
Cause I’m dressed up for a meeting.
Lucky for me they are easy care
And slip off with no one seeing.

I rub my foot on my other shoe
In hopes this stops the jabbing.
Next I twist the shoe for a quick review,
To end the persistent stabbing.

Alas there’s trouble with my sock today
Cause there was nothing in the shoe.
I pull and twist my leg in lithe ballet
Seeking a better view.

Drat, it must be in my sock today
Deep inside the cotton fleecing.
I plot my move to slip away
To turn it inside out for shaking.

I’m feeling so much better now
The irksome itch has departed.
For when I shook it when time allowed,
It the best I’ve felt since the meeting started.

– Clarence Holm

Sliding Home Again

- Clarence Holm

I saw us last night, as we were 50 years ago.
We were running and screaming
Yelling each other’s names
Staying out late and misbehaving.

You were a pitcher – I caught the ball
We mowed down every batter!
With pitches just striking corners,
How they swang made no matter.

Your waist was thin
My hair was thick.
You grinned like Friday mornings,
When we wuz faking being sick.

Teddy was our buddy
Sandy hung around.
Dale rode his bicycle
And followed the big Greyhound.

Schoolyard friends never grow old,
They live in special memories.
Where kids only get faster
And dreams preserve my reveries.

Slow Dancing Prairie

Sadly, it’s much easier to create a desert than a forest.

- James Lovelock

Before mankind struggled on this land, the prairie was home to a vast amount of life. With no one to interfere, the land flourished and provided sustenance for the prairie animals and flora. It was only with the introduction of the steel plough, allowing the prairie sod to be cut and turned, breaking the ancient bond of heaven and earth, was the balance broken.

Slow Dancing Prairie
– Clarence Holm

Summer spirits ride with the wind and throw lightning bolts
Rolling like tympani to echo the hillside’s delight.
Fox and coyote runs to cover, forsaking easy prey
Storms clouds are churning adding terror to nature’s plight.

Twisting, turning, slow dancing prairie winds
Carving and cutting bold rhythms in the earth.
Partnering with rivers and cold seasonal streams
Transforming terrains, allowing grassland’s regular rebirth.

Buffalo look to heaven, casting a wary eye
And begin bracing for the storm.
They’ve roamed these meadows for eons
And have mastered every norm.

Nature and spirit working in harmony
Making alterations and feeding the land.
Balancing changes following cosmic instruction
Working for heaven, just as God planned.