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Prairie Cathedral

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  • Prairie Cathedral

    Along horizon’s distant thread appear
    cathedrals built on endless, prairie skies.
    The spires, ascending heavy atmosphere
    with moisture-laden charges, energize

    as cattle low concern. Cows nudge their calves
    toward the barn before approaching rains—
    their steady movement quickens. Rutted paths,
    worn smooth from many hooves that cross these plains

    in search of food and shelter, now run slick
    with mud. The floodgates burst and open wide
    to slake the thirst of fields below, soon quick
    with seedling crops, the farmer’s earnest pride.

    Then, drop by drop, the storm depletes its strength—
    cathedrals fall and dissipate at length .

    * a Sonnet inspired this afternoon while driving across western Manitoba between Birdtail Sioux First Nation School, where I'm working this week, and the small town of Virden, where my accommodations are. The weather has recently warmed, and I was blessed to see the formation of the first storm clouds on the horizon—there is nothing like watching a storm approach across the open prairie.

  • #2
    Wow! From scene to inspiration to sonnet in the blink of an eye!
    The first quatrain is very visual, painting a beautiful pastoral scene. I love the second quatrain. I feel right there with the lowing cows and their pungent cowpats.
    Very lovely pipersfancy!


    • pipersfancy
      pipersfancy commented
      Editing a comment
      I often find myself in a bit of a quandary, MHenry... The experiences of my work and everything associated with it (such as the long, solitary drives between schools) is a constant source of inspiration for me... unfortunately, I often find the experiences of my work and everything associated with it leave me little time to write! Today, I was so intrigued by the clouds building behind me that I pulled over and stood beside my car on the highway, jotting down quick observations and thoughts as they came to me. (And this evening, instead of writing reports, I allowed myself the time to write this poem!) Thank you, as always, for your comments.

  • #3
    Thank you for distilling your experience of home turf in this engaging way, pipersfancy. Word pictures like this express aspects of a place that photos and paintings can't.


    • pipersfancy
      pipersfancy commented
      Editing a comment
      The old adage says, a picture paints a thousand words. As for me... I like to challenge myself in that way; to paint the picture with the words (and, to do so in considerably fewer than 1000!) I so appreciate your kind comments, Grant—thank you!

  • #4
    Very nice and vivid. I have often stopped and got out of my car for something of beauty. Open prairies and mountains I miss. For in the South
    they farm pine trees along with crops. I love storms and rain and lavender clouds.


    • #5
      Western Manitoba may be the actual setting - but the beauty of this verse brought back memories of the place I grew up - western Kansas. I love the thought of painting a picture with words. Because so much of my verse is in strict rhyme, I sometimes struggle with that concept. Your poem here motivates me to try anew.