As this poem began to take shape, I thought of how movies sometimes begin with a wide shot and then move gradually to a close-up. I have tried to do that here, moving from wide shot to close-up, but then drawing back again to a wide shot. I hope that this movement suggests both how the boy in the poem is part of the scene and how he may be affected by it.



a sere plain from this view     from the skyblue view     of pasture

and wheat    small town off to the side     if you will move in

to note telephone poles     along paved roads      dry ditches

along the dirt ones     and a boy on the bridge     staring at a

still object in dried weeds bent by wind and finally

you can see what he has seen for months:

coyote’s corpse      flesh taken by crow

and vulture and dust-storm     a bit of

fur tangle     in the black-eyed susans

the body     itself      become a


the boy staring

at the bones     as he does

with the wind hissing through dry weeds

the wind moaning over the telephone wires

every day      along the road to and from school

that sits     in the nearby town     which is always

on the periphery of his view enclosed     as it is     by broad

pastures of cows and cacti      blonde wheat      near ready

for the combine beneath the too-blue sky in which bob-white

and crow fly over      from this view      the parched Kansas plain



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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

7 thoughts on “Movement”

  1. This is a very interesting concept. Part of my Montessori teacher training included lowering my body to the different eye levels of various aged children. It made a big difference in the way I perceived the world around me – Very creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for your response! i didn’t know about that aspect of montessori training, but of course it makes sense. i have been carrying with me this memory of the coyote for about 65 years now, so undoubtedly what i saw from the perspective of a six-year old had a big impact, as did living on the plains for those early years of grade school. your comment gives me another “lens” with which to see the memory.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was caught up right in the heart of this poem. It also brought back my own memory of the first time I encountered the death of anything…walking to school, front yards finally melting months of snow cover and the mummified carcass of a small dog uncovered in the melt. I don’t remember having any thoughts…just grisly fascination, I guess.
    There were a lot of good lines in here…”a bit of fur tangle in the black-eyed susans …the body itself become a bone room” so evocative. I really was able to get a sense of place with the zooming in and out. Nice writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s interesting how this kind of experience can be profound to children, isn’t it? “fascination” is a good word for it. i suppose the recognition of death is an early step into an adult’s consciousness. i’m happy that you found some good lines in the poem and that the changing of “focus” was effective for you. thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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