Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tom Hennen: "From a Country Overlooked"

There are no creatures you cannot love.
A frog calling at God
From the moon-filled ditch
As you stand on the country road in the June night.
The sound is enough to make the stars weep
With happiness.
In the morning the landscape green
Is lifted off the ground by the scent of grass.
The day is carried across its hours
Without any effort by the shining insects
That are living their secret lives.
The space between the prairie horizons
Makes us ache with its beauty.
Cottonwood leaves click in an ancient tongue
To the farthest cold dark in the universe.
The cottonwood also talks to you
Of breeze and speckled sunlight.
You are at home in these
great empty places
along with red-wing blackbirds and sloughs.
You are comfortable in this spot
so full of grace and being
that it sparkles like jewels
spilled on water.

"From a Country Overlooked" by Tom Hennen. Text as published in Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected & New Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).

Art credit: "Tallgrass Cottonwood Sunset," photograph taken at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Flint Hills, Kansas (USA) by Kevin Sink.

From the caption: "For me, the Cottonwoods have an existential quality. Standing alone on the prairie, they take the full brunt of wind, storms, and lightning. They face all these hardships and unpredictability alone, yet as a result become stronger for it, and then can offer shelter to other wildlife in their branches and shade. Sounds a bit like the human experience!"

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