Friday, December 14, 2012

History Of The Prairie

Death whelped

white
walks-on-two-legs dogs
with iron, root ripping jaws
and open maws
for hands,

wire
fences surrounding
sod busting,
soul rusting
allotments
numbered like graves,

and wind
at the backs
of widows
and wet-eyed children
weak and wandering
west
to get ahead of the storm.

For Hannah's challenge at Real Toads

27 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is breathtaking. From the two-legged dogs with open maws for hands, to the widows and wet-eyed children, yes, the prairie can be a harsh landscape. Great write, MZ!

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow. I keep writing comments and deleting them. Your writing sometimes leaves me speechless.
Wow again.
K

Susan said...

Ouch. Monsters crossing the plains and mutilating in the hands of the two legged white dogs! Death should never have whelped to weaken so the land and its widows and children.

Sioux said...

Mama Zen--You do so friggin' much with so friggin' few words.

Brian Miller said...

love all your Ws...it drives the pace of this....wicked imagery...scary...real in its surreality....

Isadora Gruye said...

I love the dust bowl feel you have invoked here with out hitting me over the head with it. Onward, pioneers. Forget the dust shaking freely in cupboard. Viva la

Emma Major said...

speechless with awe

my heart's love songs said...

took my breath away, too! extraordinary!

kaykuala said...

A lot of happenings in the prairies. It gets one scary of two-legged creatures and of what they can do!

Hank

Grace said...

This is beautiful MZ specially the last stanza ~

Grandmother said...

This is amazingly fitting today. Such a description of death.

Fireblossom said...

I knew you would do something special with this challenge. I know how deeply you love the place that's home for you.

That opening takes no prisoners. It has "get the fuck out!" written all between the lines. And then, as if to "sow the storm and reap the whirlwind", the earth itself, without its prairie grass to anchor it, blows them west and out, despite their efforts to tame the land. Note to them: some things do not care to be tamed.

Mary said...

White, wire, and wind -- yes, that is indeed the prairie!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Having just completed The Grapes of Wrath, this poem seems especially relevant to me - I feel I have been driven across the plains of the dust bowl myself.

Margaret said...

One has to earn the privilege of passing through or living upon that land, I guess. I truly hope to drive through it one day, stopping to take photographs, of course! :)

Gail said...

Wonderfully written.

Shawna said...

"Death whelped white" is an incredible image and opening---death is typically considered to be black; I love that you flipped it, giving it an even scarier feel. White is lonely and pure and hollow. White is the color of slit-wrist scars and the lack of thought. It is the quietest color. The death of an innocent. Sidewalk chalk without children.

"and wet-eyed children
weak and wandering
west
to get ahead of the storm"

Your ending leaves me speechless and pondering.

This is an attempt to outrun the takeover of pain. I hope it works.

Helen said...

An overwhelming write ... one word 'maws' setting the stage for everything that follows.
I'm awe struck right now ...

hedgewitch said...

This gave me quite a sense of both terror and futility--as in 'resistance is futile.' Been watching the documentary 'Dust Bowl,' and it shows how we ourselves, with our 'root-ripping jaws' and greed caused it, all those huge black earth-eaten clouds, for money. The middle stanza for me is the most striking--section lines the boundaries for graves...fine writing, MZ.

Ella said...

Damn those white dogs stealing from the red hawks! Your poem really brings the raw reality of what was!
So well done...I love your imagery!

Claudia said...

wow..very vividly painted...dang...

Dr. kold_kadavr_flatliner, MD said...

You'll like 'SubliminalZealotry', dear --- GREETINGS, EARTHLING!! While I can only stay in this existence finite for a while (gotta run back to the Elysian Fields soon), take anything and everything you wanna from our wonderfull, plethora-of-thot to write the next, great masterpeace -if- I can but kiss your gorgeous, adorable feets and/or cohesively cuddle withe greatest, ex-mortal-girly-ever to arrive in Seventh Heaven!! Think about it. Do it! Get back with me Upstairs, k? God bless you, doll: pleasure-beyond-measure is waiting in the Great Beyond for you and eye. Love you proFUSEly, girl (the name of Lenin’s newspaper, the FUSE). Thus, if you can read-between-the-lines, the musical term MORENDO means ‘dying-away in tone-and-time’. How very apropos for U.S. …thewarningsecondcoming.com

anthonynorth said...

You're getting better and better. Great write.

happygirl said...

This feels so harsh and sharp and cold and gray and hopeless. It is reflecting my feelings, today.

Vicki said...

the prairie sounds like a harsh place in a snowstorm... i feel their struggle.

manicddaily said...

Really beautiful poem, MZ. k.

Bodhirose said...

Intense life out there on the prairie. I always wonder how people managed...