White tail converge in morning dew
conferencing over some farmer’s new beans in casual dozens.
Mourning doves line barbed-wire fences and power lines,
nattering above walk-in hunting fields marked with blaze orange ribbons.
Armadillos shoot through brush that clumps up ditches,
steps ahead of mowers carving space for autumnal flash floods.
A bobcat hunches along the hedge-row, on the trail of breakfast,
unconcerned with the coffee-klatch of nettles chattering in her fur.
An opossum rattles along the road, oversized teeth clacking at anything
edible, from the three-days dead to truffle-shaped rocks.
Turkey vultures hold congress around a raccoon. They’re stuck in filibuster:
It’s not dead. It’s the wind. Can we eat it? Look for possum. Go up the road.
A blue heron sticks his nose up at the thick waters of his strip-mined pond,
lifts a leg, flaps a wing, but eats the sun perch anyway.
An alligator gar grins like a fancy television wrestler, swishes
through eddies into the river, looking for small fry.
Grass—green, brown, yellow, and orange—plays percussion for the wind.
Trees, in tuxedoes of moss, dance the minuet of creaky bark.
Corn twitters in its rows, twisting its gossip until it sounds like popping.
I brush my hair from my face. The wind pushes my clothes. Rain licks my feet.
The sun tastes my flesh. I resonate Kansas.
– Daniele Cunningham
I have recently heard of the 150 Kansas Poems for the Sesquicentennial and I am interested in contributing. My poetry is informed by Zen ethics, which I ground with images of place, particularly the landscapes of Kansas. My poetry has been published in the Cow Creek Review, the SEK Celebration Program, and has been the focus of my thesis for a Master of Arts in English at Pittsburg State University.