Poetry of Kansas

Kansas in Haiku

Windmill standing high,
Its greaseless bearings squeaking
As the wind changes.
 
Prairie grasses wave
Before the summer wind
Where once the bison grazed.
 
Once the redmen walked.
Dogs and squaws dragged tired travois
And trailed the bison.
 
Bold Spanish soldiers
Seeking gold then wandered here
'Mid awesome bleakness.
 
Here, in Shakespeare's time
They sought their El Dorado
'Til arrows found them.
 
Spanish horses ran--
The mustang race created;
And the savage rode!
 
His glory ended
As the European hordes teemed
Out across his land.
 
Longhorns replaced bison;
Then fat English cattle came
And the land was tame.
 
Ancient sod was tilled.
Wheat and corn replaced the grass
'Til fierce dust storms blew.
 
Relic windmills stood
Above the pillaged prairie
And the winds blew on.
 
Once more the grasses grew,
Springing back to reclaim
Torn and tortured soil
 
Windmill standing high,
Its greaseless bearings squeaking
As the wind changes.
____________________
 
Don Mock
(Manhattan: Soapweed Press. 2004)
Used by permission of the poet
 
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June 3, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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