Poetry of Kansas

A Picture Of The Past

At dawn in Kansas five hundred years ago:
        The heaven's arch is streaked with golden glow,
Scarce brighter than the picture painted below.
        The month October. Plain, and hill, and stream,
Are clothed in riotous beauty, like a fairy dream,
        Studded with crystal diamonds that in the dawnlight gleam.
A herd of silhouette bison graze on yon distant hill,
        A bunch of dwarf-like antelope browse in yonder rill,
In the slough a coyote rends its luckless fowl kill;
        Like silken ribbons the mirror-surfaced rivers run.
Their bosoms dotted with winged water-fowl, and anon
        Leaping fish that sparkle in light of rising sun.

Beyond far distant horizon hangs purple haze--
        Quite characteristic of Kansas October days
When atmospheric conditions permit us to farther gaze--
        In which smoke rises lazily from Indian lodge.
That fits into the landscape like modern camouflage
        And drifts away to form a cloud mirage.
From river bed to rising, rolling, western plain
        The landscape teems with winged fowl and
And over all the Redskin enjoys full reign.
        Now above the horizon rises the mighty sun.
The millions of frost jewels evaporate one by one,
        As even so the picture that I have word-drawn

Stanzas For Kansas
Leonard Allen Prowant
(Wichita, Kansas: __. 1937) Page 16

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December 15, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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