It isn’t possible
to describe what happens
when 9 women gather
on the prairie with poet Jane Taylor
for a day of encounter
with landscapes—
of place
and heart.
With photos
and a few poems
perhaps you can get a hint
of what it was.

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Jane’s Zip poem
(each line, the number of syllables)
for Turtle Rock Farm’s zip code, 74651:
Rain has filled the pond again
defeating drought
two inches at a time.
I love the way it
lives.

Emmy Ezell’s Zip poem
for 79014—Canadian, Texas,
(in the panhandle):
Prevailing winds shape this world
Mesa, valley, sand hill, north-bent tree
Curl of stetson, squint of eye
Grit
of character.

My Hinge Poem
for “Turtle Rock,”
its letters beginning each line:
Too, we come to
Understand
Real life and real
Time as old as stone
Like that ancient ocean dried yet
Ever
Rolling
Over the
Crest of
Kildeer’s plaintive call.

And Candace Kreb’s
“Hinge Poem for Turtle Rock Farm.”

This wild prairie
unbridled until the homesteaders arrived,
ran fences, built structures, drilled for water, survived;
their confident vision
latticed the landscape with livestock and crops,
etched the occasional pond into shallow low spots.

Random human imprints?
Or rather don’t we all inherit our ancestors’ dreams—
continue them or reject them or re-imagine what they mean?
Keepsake lake a reminder: the horizons closer that it seems.

 

And there’s this!
Jane’s latest book of poetry
Pencil Light,
premieres 6:30 p.m. May 28
at Cafe Society’s monthly gathering
at Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd Street (Bricktown)
Oklahoma City.
Jane will read
and there will be an exhibit
of pencil drawings by various artists
inspired by Jane’s poems.

Every evening that I gather eggs,
shepherd in the guineas,
feed and water
the alpacas, goats, guineas, chickens, rabbits,
the cat,
I talk to the barn community
as I close the last gates:
“Thanks for the eggs.
Look out for each other.
Be nice to each other.
Take care of each other.
Have a good night.
Sleep well.”
I don’t know when I started this.
It’s as natural now
as every other part of the nightly
routine.
But I’ve noticed lately
that I really do care about them;
that I do feel part of their community;
that they are so used to me,
they come running when they see me
and it’s time to be fed,
and they ignore me as I walk close to them
any other time—trusting completely
my footsteps.

The other company
I keep
is the community of stars and planets.
Sometime every evening,
at least once,
I go to see them—
see what is where,
how many I can see,
which is red, blue, yellow,
clear,
bigger, more brilliant,
fainter.
Those nights they are brilliant
and many,
the sky clear and black,
something glad happens deep inside me
and I have to catch a deep breath.
Lately, the great swathe—
the other 100 billion stars
in the Milky Way—
are showing
and there is a sweet familiarity,
a quiet welcoming,
as if they’re/I’m coming home. Stars feel like
company,
always have.

How is it possible?
That though I’ve treated the stars,
the animals who live here,
like company,
suddenly,
I know:
they are.

10557160_10203890552378674_8023954093810462506_n“Landscape of the Heart”
A Watercolor by Mary Tevington