Off and on over the years, I’ve posted photos and short pieces about the enchantment of the South Louisiana prairie flatness. I found some pre-writing notes for an unfinished poetic expression from a couple of years ago and decided to bring it to some closure as a finished piece, or at least start the process. This is the result, which may or may not end up being the final version.

How far can you see on the prairie?

How far can you see on the prairie?

The Flatness of the Prairie

At random points of travel along the way,
epiphanies of place dawn
across the South Louisiana prairie:
Flatness stuns.
Sight absorbs an expanse
of fields: flooded, fallow,
nurturing crops in season,
all spreading away to the end of sight
and the beginning of imagination,
disrupted here and there
by a treeline
that marks the course of some bayou or coulee
or
a farmstead with homes and buildings
or
batteries of creaking oil wells heaving mechanical booms
up and down, up and down
or
a herd of grazing cows at pasture
tended by flocks of snow-white egrets,
who amicably strut and peck the seedy grass
among their gentle pasture mates.
Praise be to the author of this prairie!
Flat but not featureless,
a land form rich and vast,
spawning poems of earth and place.

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