Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

for Anajholden_faculty

Through the open car window

seven needles in a haystack


snatched by ear out of the moving

prairie, like you

already fading, passed, gone.


If I could find it, it would be

points of sunlight glancing

off a brooch so near shades

of gold in these moving

grasses I could scarcely distinguish

it from the grasses. Like you

it is always gone.


The bird pulled it off like a string

of catches on this flying

trapeze which keeps swinging

back. If birds’ songs simply mean

I’m here! I’m here!

then why a song so baroque?

How many notes did it have?

Which notes were extra?

In the Beatles’ “Blackbird”

you again hear a meadowlark, its song

canned as the slow-motion replay

of a pass-reception on TV:

Love studied into pornography,


The bird falls off a see-saw,

hesitates, picks itself

back up on the rising board,

completes its song.

It does it again.

I prefer the song that eludes me,

this one which we are passing,

banjo music picked out

(continued, no stanza break)

through wind and distance

already falling behind

gone and not gone.

~ Jonathan HoldenJonathan Holden, the first Poet Laureate of Kansas, is a Professor of English at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. Chosen in 2004, his two year term began July 1, 2005. He’s now retired from teaching at Kansas State University, and he’s the author of many collections of poetry and prose.
Double Trouble for Poetry Month: During Poetry Month, we are featuring a poem weekly from each of Kansas’s poets laureate in addition to our weekly poems.


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