Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Dan Pohl’

Lectionary of Land by Dan Pohl

Mark it well and good, walking through seasonsDan Pohl

Page after page, to get to harvest gatherings

With chants inside church circles, and we know

Our human moments

By what’s important to us by the turn of

Hallmark’s Calendar that tells what card and

When, so we know about our births, our lives,

Our deaths, our moving

Waves through wheat, animated on the land

That offers us resurrection, twining through

It, recognizing its sense, its focus with time,

That shapes

The years and then a benediction of wind,

Which breathes fire that speaks “benedicere,”

Blessings, the Latin forgotten, sharing our life,

Our bread.

Dan Pohl instructs English composition at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas. Woodley Press will publish his first book of poetry Autochthonous: Found in Place in late 2013. He lives in Moundridge, Kansas, and writes poems and prose poems. He judged the 2013 Nelson Poetry Book Contest. People can find his work published in two 2013 anthologies: Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems (Woodley Press) and To the Stars through Difficulties (Mammoth Publications), both edited by past Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. A sampling of his poems is found online at <kansaspoets.com>. He has self-published two chapbooks: Spring House and Unpaved Roads.

77. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Dan Pohl

Before furrows by Farmalls, explorers came when stars looked younger,
Wanting better, homesteaders next, tender hearts to this open land, and
The forgotten from the crowded East, to weave their spark into the earth,
the sky, and prairie, quickened by fire to remove old grass, and field stones,

Picked out to plow a good life that too soon aged strong men and stronger

pioneer women who created hearth-cooked food and songs enough to

Encourage their ember into the start of stories, read by the light of kerosene

Lamps in sod houses on rustic family tables, the place for new births

Across the old plains, with the glow on their leaven faces

                            That became our own.

     — Dan Pohl

95. Chicken Egg Grenades

As a boy, I remember the belt

Two inches wide, brown leather

Folded and snapped to pop

Before the licking

 

I suppose I deserved the

Lash, a voice of discontent

At the end of a summer’s day

The battle bathed the backyard

 

A German soldier here

A Japanese brigade there

They needed the pin pull

And boom to guard home

And save my mid-state family

 

The chickens did

Not miss the two

Hundred; they would

Never see the hatch

— Dan Pohl

Dan Pohl grew up across the state of Kansas from Lucas to Lawrence, Americus to Zenda as his father help build I-70 and grain elevators, moving every two years, forever the “new kid.” He lives in Moundridge, Kansas and instructs English composition at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.

 

52. A Hayloft Belongs To Children

Winner of the Kansas Poetry Month contest: heath and light (amateur category)

The mice, given gray color by their God

Slide unseen under scythed summer hay

Loose in the loft, two inches of tan straw

Dross from collected bales stored above

They steal the feed from two draft horses

Below that cool their coats from the middle

Of summer heat after they plowed their

Existence from the world of pre-seeded fields

They hide, when children, cousins who cling

To a smooth rope that hangs from an old

Hand-carved block and tackle, tarzan east then

West onto the mown stacks of fodder

Their constant motion under the ship keel of

Trusses create tables for tea, stadium seats to

Watch winning teams, and Tibetan mountains

To climb as the light moves to end the day

       — Dan Pohl

Dan Pohl grew up across the state of Kansas from Lucas to Lawrence, Americus to Zenda as his father help build I-70 and grain elevators, moving every two years, forever the “new kid.”  He lives in Moundridge, Kansas and instructs English composition at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas

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