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

Wednesday, July 21, 2021



   beauty is found 
       in a weed.

Poem 21-202c
#highplainspoet, #nebraskathoughtsandlife, #nature, #beauty, #paradigm

Monday, July 19, 2021

Red Elderberries


Red Elderberries

Regret like red elderberries against lush green
stain relationships with shame
until able to see with new eyes
how scars create a new beauty
along the fault lines of life

Poem 21-200y
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtandlife, #redemption, #healing, #hope

Image © by author, taken in Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Drops of Dew Gather

Drops of dew gather
on tips and blades
teardrops that pull
verdant green
onto the knee
in humble prayer

Poem 21-197
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #prayer, #nature, #beauty

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

What Our Love Feels Like Today

What Our Love Feels Like Today

Cloaked sunset like a closed curtain
teases my hazel, sometimes gray eyes
to take that second look
knowing the next thunderhead builds

Thunder's low rumble causes
the ground to quiver
as if the fear of the impending outburst
will rattle the windows and doors

Spider webs of lightning
lace the platinum silver horizon
rain approaching like a plague of grasshopers
'til it comes in sideways
soaking anything not wrapped
like an iphone in an anti-theft case

The instant temperature plunge
like a dive into a robin egg blue mountain lake
that invigorates in a polar bear moment
with heart stopping excitement
of my life shared with you

Poem 21-195s
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #love, #joy

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Not So Bad

Solicitude wells up like that unwelcomed guest
that comes at the most inopportune time
like when the timer on the stove is going off
and have to pull the pizza out of the oven

Change creates a moment of lip licking
contemplating a new response
while fear wants to shout at me like my
little league baseball coach when I strike out

Then just sigh as I process the mental gymnastics
swinging between the parallel bars
gyrating hoping grip holds
desperate to nail the dismount

The adrenaline surge when it's over
and wanting to do it again
learning it wasn't so bad
didn't even hear the crowd

Poem 21-194v
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskthoughtsandlife, #anxiety, #change, #fear ©



Platinum sky
a gossamer sheet
smoky haze 
bashfully veils
the sun

Vivid tangerine
sinks below the horizon
leaves that soft 
sunset orange afterglow

Linger as the gentle breeze
brushes against damp skin
that matches the sunset
of this mid-July day

Poem 21-193z about the sunset last night
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #western_US_on_fire, #beauty_of_sunset, #high_plains, #western_nebraska

Monday, July 12, 2021



That crooked road
winds between bluff and canyon
through passes and onto plains
looking for internal manifest destiny

Caught in the open
storms that weep ice
heat that sucks life like a leach
sting of the not yet home

Poem 21-192x
#highplainspoet, #nebraskathoughtsandlife, #pilgrimage, #home

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Soft Words

Soft Words

Soft words float in the evening breeze
like the cotton from the cottonwood tree
dancing in currents of air
lighting softly on only to
be caressed in the wind and
carried away once again

Poem 21-191y
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #love, #tenderness, #intimacy

Saturday, July 10, 2021



Merging stripes us
in tints of velvet cake red
delicious to the eye

Poem 21-190y
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #tulips

Friday, July 9, 2021



The melancholy cry of a dove
emotes the moans of
what's been locked away
all of these years

Dampness of morning
still clings to leaf and blade
as grief evaporates with each moan
in the warm breeze of pain
as time frozen parts thaw

Shamrock green of early summer
before relentless heat withers
leaving only roots and nubs
tears like rain trickle down
finding the genesis neglected
from generations past

Soon an oasis appears
from tears planted
the well tended internal garden 
where hope springs
that life rises from ashes

Poem 21-190z
#highplainspoet #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife #recovery #hope #redemption

Wednesday, July 7, 2021



In the irrigated grass, down the hill
a doe stands meandering until
she senses me and Molly the dog
in the distance, we at the top of hill
she down below in a standoff of sorts
until she has enough and goes under
the three wire fence and glides over the electric fence
to the edge of the property where 
buffaloberry bushes and scrub blend her
invisible to my eye so our walk can resume

Into the pasture where the gurgle of water
rushes through plastic ditch and
boots splash in song with the satisfied loam
Molly pauses to cool her paws
always on the lookout for the wayward snake
today the shovel only is used to 
deflower those invasive Canadian thistles that
easily breed like rabbits to ravish a pasture
with thorns on the thistle and deceiving purple bloom
a twist of the beauty of a wild pink rose 

Poem 21-186z
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #summer, #ranch_life



Last night,
another apricot sunset
leaves parched lips
puckered in anticipation
of a sloppy wet kiss

This morning,
the young doe rises
 in the long shadows of dawn
 from the verdant alfalfa field
leaps gracefully over the electric fence and
concrete irrigation ditch in one smooth motion
in a reminder of the beauty of God's creation

So I pause once again
as the babbling of water
through blue and white plastic ditch
calms my wound tight heart
pondering how the holy hush of daybreak seduces
and remembering His goodness to me

Poem 21-188z
91 words
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskthoughtsandlife, #nature, #beauty, #holiness

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Come and Go

Come and Go

Ebb and flow
  they come home like the rising tide
  excitement of son and daughters
  reunited once again
  unloading the car at the door
  like a cargo ship at the dock
  they are in between ports
  today they are safe at home

Poem 20-229A from 8/16/20
#highplainspoet, #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife, #family, #empty-nest

Monday, July 5, 2021

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic Memory

Midsummer's heat
relents in the cascade of dawn's
long rays of soft yellow that
dance upon the golden corn silk
stalks waving in the Nebraska breeze

Awakening this buried place of haze
as walk upon parched earth epigenetic memory
of a slight taste of Eden's glory
a shadow of former days and
days to come

Poem 20-230A
#highplainspoet #nebraskathoughtsandlife #nebraska #nature #redemption

Sunday, July 4, 2021



It's one of those fourth of July's
that wrings the moisture from the air
where the heat is stifling
like a suffocating wet blanket

Pasture's thirst for water
greedily gulping in the irrigation water
having to add plastic ditch to
prevent it from dehydrating the next 90 feet

Horses miserable in the stillness
tails swooshing attacking all things buzzing
bucking when can't free from
tormenting horse flies who win leaving a welt

And here I am observing it all
drenched in sweat fending away
all the mosquitos and gnats
that gnaw at the ankles

Poem 21-185y
#highplainspoet #westernnebraskathoughtsandlife
nature, summer, heat

Friday, July 2, 2021




Summer on the high plains
is as unpredictable as a politician
in the morning starting out as friends
by evening cursing like sailors at each other on Twitter

The rain of yesterday hammered in fury
a gully washer with intermittent pea size hail
like a cowboy without a spittoon
spitting away with that cheek bulge of chew

It did clear the air between those politicians though
like one of those infomercial things
wondering if the warranty is good
because of how the parts don't quite fit

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the wind is stout today
out of the southeast with a sticky bite like hard cider
that's never good, its an open invitation for another storm
fermenting this afternoon like the head on good amber ale

Less than a month ago on a Sunday in June
with malice the sky opened
raining golf balls like lead grapeshot
shredding the siding like harsh words on a tender heart

The insurance check came two days ago with
the unwanted strings attached to it
the lender like that unwanted investor
gets their say in how we repair our own home

So, in this sticky air I'll check the irrigation early
to see if any of the syphon tubes have plugged up
irrigating is a symbiotic rhythm of having horses
so when the cold winds and bitter chills come they stay plump

Maybe I'll find another red-tailed hawk feather
those small things that catch my eye
I carry it as a trophy as I walk through the fields
letting my thoughts fly around in dizzying circles

Poem 21-183y
263 Words
Just a summer day in July and practicing using metaphors. © 5 minutes ago, Brian    misc • life • rambling • ranching   

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Upon the Wind

Upon the Wind

Like the ache in joints before the storm
memories ride upon the wind
with highs and lows expanding and contracting

Dust swirls upon tongue taste of you
before the first drops of rain
upon this parched heart

Soon softened as thunder booms
shadows of past flicker with each lightning strike
exhausted in the aftermath of the deluge

Poem 21-135z
#highplainspoet #nebreskathoughtsandlife #love #memories #journey #relationship

Saturday, April 17, 2021



 Over the years

    the ruts get deeper

     as remember all the times

       together we've traveled


Tree roots

   like fingers

    poke across the path

     tripping me with fond memories


A bed of pine needles

  line the sides of path

    and fresh pine cones scattered

      randomly in the worn ruts


Just like my thoughts


21-099z Thoughts

A poem about walking in the Wildcat Hills with memories of our kids and family hikes so many years ago.

#highplainspoet #nebreskathoughtsandlife #family #memories #journey

Monday, February 15, 2021

January Lingers

January Lingers

Dull blue gray lingers upon the horizon
like the neighbors stray farm cat
reluctant to leave in hopes of finding
one more mouse or unwary bird

Gray black fear hovers as covid's effects linger
masks hide expression once exposed
distance kept to calm anxious hearts
intentionality in every action to calm soul

Tracks of snow linger where tires compressed
two ribbons of white remain surrounded by
wet brown sandy loam desperate to drink in
the remaining ribbon tracks

Barren branches linger with a few stubborn leaves
brittle and brown holding on to the past season
reluctant to let go until there is something green
to release themselves into like a bad memory that cycles

Poem 21-030z January Lingers

Monday, February 1, 2021



Interior clutter with years of accumulated debris
all the work to purge years of now useless things
beliefs that no longer produce fruit
branches hang barren and lifeless
no blossom of fruit

Left wondering why clung so tightly to the trunk
what was so comforting about the bark
that pulls off in my grip exposing the deadness

Perhaps it is time to let it go
grieve the loss and enjoy the warmth
burning the trunk and humus brings