PONY EXPRESS

Small young men,
fast ponies
to carry mail
between the ends
of eastern and western
rail lines
over empty prairie
and mountains.
They ran flying
in relays
to move the mail
in the shortest time.
Only nineteen months
this business ran
until telegraph wires
were strung,
yet in that time
legends had begun.


FRONTIER TRAIL

Wagon traffic passed:
activity and earnestness,
desperation, effort;
all vanished now.
A faint line
prairie winding
shows the way,
and only hints
the way to Santa Fe.


BUFFALO SURPRISE

On a lonely country road,
gravel,
winding through hills,
along the creeks;
two friends,
a drive of relaxation:

Where does this road go?
What will we see?

Around a curve
suddenly
in the trees -
a herd of buffalo
standing
but too still to be true:
silhouettes with details
accurately painted,
quickly passed –
wishing they were real.


NIGHT NECKLACES

Strings of flames
strewn across hillsides.
Large and small
flaming jewels
form lines and loops
here and there,
up, down and around.
At night the sight
is awesome to behold.
Darkness hides
grass from ash
and contrasts
smoke towering high
lit by flames
illuminating.

Necklaces
adorning hillsides
in prairie spring
is normal.


WIND BLOWN

Abandon farmhouse,
tilting barn,
dead trees
and flowers gone wild:
tell-tale signs
of family life
and hopes and dreams
that lived and dried.
The well remains
with cemented top
that never again
will provide,
and lone windmill,
broken parts bang,
no longer
source of life.
The farm has died
but the wind blows on.