Sunday, December 5, 2021



I wrote just a phrase
in 0.7mm HB lead
on a yellow sticky note
and that is how
a poem is conceived

Like that first spark
that draws the eye
creative desire plays
with the words

And you ask,
What was the phrase?
"grit comes on sandpaper"

As I mull over the phrase
I think much has been made
about the grit of people - courage, resolve

Yet, just perhaps…
to get to that grit,
the other grit is required
the grit of sandpaper that 
smooths out the rough character

The extra coarseness of 24 grit 
removing the chaff
then moving through the refining
to coarse, medium, fine, and very fine
Exposing and polishing the wood grain
highlighting the beauty
that lies just below the surface
so I can accept the stain

Poem 21-337A
#highplainspoet #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife

Sunday, November 14, 2021

O' Yellowstone

Memories float like cotton on your water
O' Yellowstone your grandeur and beauty
which is more cherished
experiencing you or sharing you as a family

Like golden hair wrapped around your sylvan neck
gracing the shoulders softly upon a maiden's breast
strands of water course over the edge of the Lower Falls
awestruck breathlessness settles as if a second first kiss

Lake Yellowstone crowned like a queen with majestic peaks
in a soft purple pink gloam at dusk
a finger tracing chill gathers crawling up one's spine
that intruding feeling of gazing on an intimate moment

Old Faithful spouting off like a best friend
belching forth steam and spewing water
drenching those who dare get too close with bitter waters
just as quickly receding back for a magma recharge

O' Yellowstone sulfur permeates the air
as if hell has opened a portal
a feeble attempt to
draw the eye away from you

Chill of 7000 feet in a tent in early September of 09
elk in rut calling out mixed with wolves howling
O' Yellowstone's soothing serenade
beckons us to stay and gaze upon you more

Poem 21-170
@highplainspoet, #highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife
Nature, beauty, Yellowstone
Image is © by the poet, taken in 2009 of the Lower Fall
185 words

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Fall Murmurations

Fall Murmurations

The beating of hundreds of wings
swiftly passing overhead
a murmuration
in daring contortions

The chattering looking
for a place to rest
soon alight in a cluster of trees
making a ruckus as if they brought
the party with them

Poem 21-312B

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Backer Rod

Backer Rod

As I look at the crack
in the 100 year old concrete
thinking, there's a place 
for backer rod and caulk

Then I ponder 
the cracks in my soul
somehow backer rod won't work
it doesn't go deep enough

The depth of fracture clear
I'm in need of a kintusugi
where I'm welded back together
with gold, silver, and platinum
Where I become the art
to the Master Artisan's craft
restored and priceless

Poem 21-304y @highplainspoet on ig
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #redemption

What is kintusugi? Go to
learn a little more.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

On Poetry

 On Poetry

Poetry moves the heart 
reminding me of 
the reality, that beauty
Poetry, or is it beauty? 
They weave tightly together 
and draw my soul 
like a moth to the flame, 
soothing the pain 
in the space created, 
that's too big for words. 
My heart and soul 
are naturally drawn to beauty.
Reminding me 
I am created 
in His image,
And in this fallen world…
He takes in all of me 
-- the broken, damaged, abused, and abuser parts -- 
and restores me again and again in beauty.

He doesn't see as I see. 
He sees beauty in broken people, in me, 
who He loves to:
to His original intent

...(wait for it)...

And His beautiful love, my friend....
That is,… poetry!!!

Poem 21-301A

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

To My Coworkers

To My Coworker

I see you…

I see you carrying that burden
shoulders hunkered
beneath the weight
of vaccine mandates

I see you…

Now wondering,
will I violate my conscious
and prostitute my beliefs
because I need a job

I see you…

I see you on the precipice
in weighing the consequence
between conscious and responsibility
all the while your will being broken

I see you…

I see you slowly dying inside
expected to work with soul bent
grieving a time that will be no more
when we treated each others choices
without threat to livelihood

I see you…

I see you wanting
to just live your life
being left alone
pondering if you will ever
sleep in peace again

I see you…

I see you carrying it home
the contention in your home
spouses not on the same page
rift that splits between the sheets
the mandate weaseled it's way like that seductress

I see you…

I see you coming back in the next day
bent a little more
tipsier than the day before
weariness rooted in your eyes

I see you…

I see you and
I offer you my ear
to offload your burden
if only for a moment

I see you…

I see you and
I'm walking
down the same path
waiting to hear

I see you…


Saturday, October 16, 2021



What I thought was love
was really me chasing God
in a way that didn't bring life
only led to me performing for Him

that is no way to live

Love is a mutual chasing
where we run and play
moment of intimate embrace

playful glint in the eyes

As we start the chase
that flips from time to time
in pivots and sharp turns
until we tumble into one another

Poem 21-277A 
#highplainspoet #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife 
#play #joy

Thursday, October 7, 2021



One of those hot humid Illinois summer evenings
where fireflies blink like my synapses firing
putting dormant memories in a new context
while I feel the humid breeze and hear the corn grow

Places that creaks like that old wooden screen door,
the slow draw on the spring that groans in the stretch
until it lets go and the wooden slam
another Truth breaks free onto the front porch

I sit with him, Truth, on the porch swing,
we rock back and forth stirring up memories
like those cheap snow globes, one of those souvenirs,
in hopes of bringing back the emotions of the past

Reconsidering judgments made that smothered
all relationship, a saboteur of myself
without realizing what I was doing…
now I stand with Truth in the crossroads

Poem 21-200B

Monday, September 27, 2021



Beauty that once ran free
lifeless and cold 
in the autumn morning chill
stunned by the unexpected loss

To see hopes and dreams
without any breath
like an icy plunge
shocks the system

Still expect to see
you in your place…

in the herd…

in the rhythm…
of the in and out parade to the pastures…

Instead, a bare spot
in our field near a tree
where you were
laid to rest

That's what processing grief
looks like today

Poem 21-270y

Nashota passed away sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. Stunned to find her already gone in the morning. We buried her yesterday, Sunday, in the northwest field about 20 yards northeast of the turtle tree. It is where she once ran free among the herd. She was with us for 17 years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Skipping Rocks

Skipping Rocks

On this last day of August
a brume hangs in the morning air

one close to the ground
a gray mist that floats like a willow-0-wisp

A lot like my thoughts
that skip about like a rock
side arm thrown to skip across the water
finally losing momentum, sinking out of sight

I pick up another one and toss it
are there enough rocks on this sand bar
to toss all of my cares into the water one by one
where they tumble against each other in the current
until they are polished smooth


It would be better if
I wrote the name on each rock:

fear of…
anxious about…
worried about…
reconciliation with…
connection with…
past sins…
family fractures…
covid stress…
my own immaturity…
failures as a father…
failures as a husband…
failures as a son…
missed opportunities…

a belly dump full of regret

Poem 21-243y 
Image taken in the Snowy Range by author (c).

Tuesday, September 21, 2021



A warm meal
A warm conversation
A warm heart
A warm blanket

Soft cat snuggles
Wet dog nose bumps
A mother's supporting comfort
A father's tight embrace

A familiar bed
A full refrigerator
Pile of shoes at the door
Togetherness once more

Poem 21-065z

Monday, September 20, 2021


Morning light of late summer
softly filters through their tales and manes
a glow radiates in morning gloam
until the sun fully breaks above the horizon

Gloam fades and softness lifts
as if I've woke from a dream
perhaps this was a taste of Eden
as continue my walk talking with You

Poem 21-252A

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Gift of Another Day

Eyes open from rest
letting soft light of predawn in
like the blinds that allow
cracks of light to form shapes of what’s around me
The in-between of morning
like a ship passing from
one current to the next
catching a new wave of life from God
The gift of another day
to be human and walk
in communion with God
as originally intended
I am not alone
He walks beside me
He knows me and
most wonderfully of all
I know Him
Dwell in that place of being known
allow His presence to engulf me
healing and restoration
just flow in being with Him

#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife

Saturday, September 18, 2021

In the stillness I wait for You
    once I feared You wouldn’t come
    and now I know You’ve never left
You are like my skin I wear around
    impossible to remove
    wrapped tightly within and about me
I remember how I used to panic like
    a young child when I lost a sense of You
  now I know Your presence is within me
I didn’t know that Your Spirit dwells deep within me
    that all I have to do is turn and look
    and there You are in our sacred place

Poem 21-202B Untitled
Instagram @highplainspoet