from The Prairie Rolls On
 


for
Winnifred Alice Harris, 1887-1974,

and Floyd Logan Harris, 1885-1930.

 

                 ***
 Exhausted from
        riding in a wagon all day
        through this country of Sioux and foraging cattle,
        
we stop to unload
        rough boards for our shack,
        a few dishes,
        
a trunk,
        
and two suitcases,
        and break sod to grow Iowa corn.
        A light breeze brushes us,
        as
fresh as any back home.

 

 


                                   See PREFACE/BACKSTORIES
   

        Las Ramblas

 

Las Ramblas, a medieval sewer

tiled rose and gray,

rises in Cataluña Place,

to stream toward Portal de la Pau and

Monumént a Colom,

Admiral of the Ocean Sea, turning

his back in arrogant conceit,

pointing to lands beyond these shores.

 

I, a traveler,

naïve and without fear,

venture this quixotic mile of

 

pickpockets and beggar thieves,

mimes and prostitutes,

Indian cloth and jewelry,

fawning tourists,

green grocers and butchers, and

tile without grout for exotic birds’ droppings,

 

with coins dancing in my pockets and

a gullible desire for tastes and pleasures,

thinking only of poet García-Lorca’s words:

 

Las Ramblas goes forever!

                                                               

                                            Barcelona, Spain; 2000

    Sarabande

 

The sun rises in Seville,

echoes Lorca’s daybreak,

dances in orange parterres,

 

glints Faith’s smile

into barrio shadows,

the sultan’s chair,

 

and filigreed portico.

Little bees collect

honey on bitter orange

 

petals, drizzle

golden dew on

Andalusían tortes,

 

and bittersweet preserves

on breakfast toast

of Oxford dons.

 

I look away and rest

my eyes on gold,

ochre, and snowy white.

 

Carmen pirouettes

from the “telly.”

Her sensuous notes

infuse me with

 

“Love is a bird,”

bitter oranges are sweet

when the tune is played

upon a blue guitar.

          Seville, Spain; 2000
Richard Lee Dick Harris

I. Places (excerpts)

from Seized by Beauty

I stand at the brink of a cataract,

five times Niagara’s reach,

a poet basking in October sun,

searching for words.

 

A thrush rustles the sage,

wind gusts purge its brush;

wood ducks flutter in flight,

breaking stillness of steel-blue pools;

rodents squeak and scurry beneath rocks;

rattlers stretch in a dusty crevasse.

                                         

I see truth for the first time,

in the beauty of this austere mystery,

      seven million years in making,

      new with each breath—

as a poet from the last century saw,…

“through the flame-lit surface into the real and bodily

And living rock.” (Robinson Jeffers)

                                            Dry Falls, WA; 2001