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

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.