by Elisabeth Birky
Beyond a cloudless horizon
a giant quilt.
Waving gently to the baton
the perpetual breeze.
and varied grasses
every shade and hue
with open palms
these majestic flint hills.
by Bev Lethem Davis
packed a thermos full of coffee
the trip to Philly. Not THE Philly,
what Phillipsburg High graduates
call their hometown.We called
the Burg. Lately, when you eat
the Third Street Bakery, you can
Phillipsburger. It's big,
well-done and it's covered in goop
huge bun of white flour meal. Not a lick
fiber in the thing. But it fills you up.
think weíll try one on arrival.
the way to Philly, we drive the old roads,
two lanes. 281 out of Russell, home
former Senator and Presidential candidate,
Robert Dole. And through Plainville,
boyhood home of Jerry Moran. Both men are
Republicans. We arenít. Itís Republican Country,
home state we share with them. This
doesnít keep us from returning the wave
receive as we meet friendly
farmers in mud-covered pickups
traveling along the highway. The
is of the first finger, barely lifted off
steering wheel. A sort of tip-your-hat
greeting along a lonesome road amidst
rolling Kansas plains dried
auburn under winter's sky.
husband calls our old Durango
lumber wagon as it lumbers
carrying supplies and paint
help my recently widowed sister
her full-to-the-brim house
memory. Maybe it will help loosen
chain of pain and move her to more
comfortably remodel her very different life.
Losing Larry changed us all.
the redo is done,
husband and I will slide furniture back
against the walls, hammer in nails to hang
photos of old memories
leave room for new.
Afterwards, we'll take the interstate home,
in the Prairie Rose Wranglers cd
cover our quiet thinking
don't miss the Phillipsburger
didn't try, one-fingered waves,
two-lane roads, or our brother-in-law.
Expatriate Kansan Rides
the Train of Remembering
by Tom Reynolds
trip into the vanished past
prodded by springs in my seat,
cracked vinyl scraping an elbow,
thirst for water, not truth.
train ainít bound for glory,
a slow sixty miles down country,
through thickets and shorn fields,
weaving on unsafe tracks.
Todayís train ainít no showpiece,
an engine and three rusted cars,
seeping through cracks,
I wonder what I was thinking
traveling into Kansas this way,
life there on that Oswego farm
surrounded by woods and trees,
slow trickle of a muddy creek,
below the wooden bridge,
a black hawk circling the hedge,
farmhouse beyond the hill,
despite all, enduring love.
should have gone first class.
By Greta Isaac
wheat field, green and low,
tipped with ice. Sunshine
Lights each emerald row.
pheasant, slow and fine
the silvery green,
solemn, flashing king.
Behind him, his brown queen
high. The finches sing.
shining pages trail
regal pheasant pair.
plane, no car, no sail,
match the beauty there.
hunters did not find
flying radiant thing.
catch the glory, bind
tight. The finches sing.
by Lee Mick
Just East of
the Miltonvale turn off
between a narrow strip of old highway 24
smooth, gray ribbon of the new two-lane,
little, well manicured patch
one above the other,
past sharing of the two lives.
A oneness ofÖ
only once amongst my hurried passings,
To try and
answer the questions that overcome me
Each time the
two come into view.
But with the
darkening evening hour
that had worn soft upon the little, white, stone faces
straining of my tired eyes.
will set aside the time
again... to discover
Until then I
will be content
blonde curls and white cotton dresses,
their endless game of tag
To wave with
As I pass by
by Karen Cerio
oceans of wheat,
hands, fields all neat
folks, warm smiles,
jokes, at home style,
4th of July,
stars in the sky,
mare, dances at night,
features, friends for life,
help in strife,
warnings, siren blasts,
morning, faith that lasts,
blue, thunder clouds,
dew, funeral shrouds,
deals, respect of man,
kneels, God and land,
home, love and laughter,
roam, forever after
Originally Published in Life's Dusty Roads,
copyright 2012 by Karen Cerio, all rights reserved
Publishing & Enterprises, LLC
Purchase this book online at
KANSAS FLINT HILLS
by Russett Stubbs
burnt blacken grass.
Sunsets, bold storms.
Lovely, Kansas Flint Hills.
A Prairie Churchyard
hot, summer day in the land of my birth.
visit my parents resting Ďneath a cover of earth.
lone Kansas churchyard dating back to the past,
the territory first settled in the hopes it would last.
relic of history, built so long past gone,
pioneer town flattened by a prairie cyclone.
of thin, fleecy clouds float idly by,
traveling ever so slowly Ďneath the pale blue sky.
merciless sun is bent on spreading its heat
the vast, waving fields of ripe, golden wheat.
Scanning the grave stones defining this plot,
sadly the number has grown quite a lot.
There are the graves of my parents.
my grandparents too.
There. And there - kinfolks before them,
that I never knew.
aunts, cousins and more,
schoolmates and friends who Iíll see nevermore.
wander about. Skyward motion catches my eye,
raucous crow caws noisily by.
Melancholy floods me and I wonder why
creatures live when so many folks die.
spell is broken. ItĎs time to take leave.
visited my people. Itís past time to grieve.
gate, I look back with longing, each eye with a tear,
soft, muffled sound of shuffling feet reaches my ear.
those generations before me marching on to their due,
generations behind me taking their place in that queue.
hushed, whispering chorus says ďDonít weep. Be now of good cheer!
waiting - - and lovingly will greet you when your time is here!Ē
by Frances Enloe
the night sky
In the deep
blue sky of
Evening or at
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2011, 2012, 2013