Friday, August 30, 2013

Grass stains

photo of grasses in early Spring sunlight
© harrington
Hello. Thanks for visiting. Today we're up to Question "13.    Name five grasses in your area. Are any of them native?" Since my area includes rural roadsides, prairie and farmland, as well as some typical residential subdivisions, in east central Minnesota, there's a wide range of grasses from which to select five. Here they are:
  1. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) native
  2. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium var. scoparium) native
  3. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis subsp. Pratensis) native, moderately invasive
  4. Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) Europe/native hybrid, invasive 
  5. Side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula var. curtipendula) native
Today I'd like to share with you the opening stanzas of a poem I dedicated to Paul Gruchow and was fortunate enough to win a poetry competition with.
                                         John Harrington
What if
Pasque flowers dwarfed you as you
Reclined under prairie stars
All heaven-scattered above prairie grasses
Infinite in their reach
Reminding you of your diminished
Insignificant role in a universal scheme of
things where
Even the prairie and the grasses are ever

Where now can you see
Great horizon-sized bison herds, when what
Remains are only clustered preserves of an
Antique land that was carved into plough-
sized plots
Sliced into fading fragments
Shorn of natural wealth
Ebbing from grass stems to corn stalks
growing beneath prairie
Sunshine, starshine, embedded in a prairie
Thanks for listening. Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily. Poetry added irregularly.