Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

RoyBeckemeyerThe old pear tree
was on her side,
root fingers still grasping
the dark, wet earth
they had relied upon
for so many years.

We pulled the starters
of our chain saws,
bared her heartwood,
sent plumes of sawdust
to scent the air – incense
for a funeral.

As I paused at the crotch
where her most massive arm
still curved with aching grace,
I recalled the feeling of bark
rough against my back,
how I sat with my left leg dangled free,
and my right knee bent, foot
braced against that solid arc,
mind adrift on the fresh
intensity of ripe pear flesh.

We inhaled air taut with
the odor of sweet wood.
My dad wiped sweat from
his brow, looked at me,
and said, pointing,
Cut that branch off
right here.”

- Roy Beckemeyer edits a scientific journal and writes poetry and finds it curious and satisfying that the two are not mutually exclusive. He is the Vice President of Kansas Authors Club and a member of the Wayward Poets, a small, egalitarian group of Wichita writers who meet weekly to read and write out of a sense of commitment to one another, an effective antidote against writer’s block.

Ronda Miller, March’s Guest Editor, is Poetry Contest Manager for Kansas Authors Club and their District 2 President. Her goal in both positions is to encourage people from all backgrounds and ages to appreciate and write poetry. As a Life Coach who specializes in working with those who have lost someone to homicide, she appreciates the multitude of voices and the healing power of the written and spoken word. Her quote, ‘Poetry is our most natural connection among one another’ best exemplifies her belief in poetry. Her words can be found in Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, Going Home: Poems from My Life and online in The Shine Journal – The Light Left Behind, Zingara Poet, Kansas Time + Space, and hard copy publications such as The Lawrence Journal World. She authored documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express and created poetic forms Loku and Ukol.

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Comments on: "After the Storm by Roy Beckemeyer" (1)

  1. This is a lovely poem, Roy. Your descriptive phrases, connection between the boy and his father, memories of the tree and its fruit, death and life hereafter grabbed me on so many levels.

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