Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

There is nothing west10885210_10203995076012065_23950373450041338_n

of Emporia, travelers in a hurry

will say, unable to savor


how emptiness feeds

the eyes. All the yellows and browns

and the thousand greens


of emptiness have chosen

to shake out their blankets here,

spread them across the bone-


white rock of these hills. Nothing

but cattle here, patient souls soft

in their eyes. Tall grass for the wind


to draw its bow along, gently

or harshly, obeying the whims of the sky.

Under the weight of butterflies,


coneflowers dip and nod

like nobility. In the silence

of distance, a drover,


straight in his saddle,

charts the horizon, tallies

the riches of nothing.

~ Pat Daneman

Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is poetry co-editor of Kansas City Voices magazine.

Melissa Fite Johnson, a high school English teacher, received her Master’s in English literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas.  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including I-70 Review, The Little Balkans Review, The New Verse News, velvet-tail, Inscape Magazine, Cave Region Review, The Invisible Bear, HomeWords: A Project of the Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas Time + Place, Broadsided Press: 2014 Haiku Year in Review, Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices. In 2015, Little Balkans Press published her first book of poetry, While the Kettle’s On Melissa and her husband, Marc, live in Pittsburg with their dog and several chickens.  (www.melissafitejohnson.com)

Melissa says, “I’ve long felt that Kansas has a quiet beauty that too often goes unappreciated. This poem captures it perfectly—‘how emptiness feeds the eyes,’ all that emptiness shaking out its blanket here. The image of wind drawing its bow along tall grass is exquisite, and I know just what Daneman means. How often I’ve driven past a field of ‘nothing’ and had to suck in my breath in wonder. I love this poem.”


Comments on: "In the Flint Hills, II by Pat Daneman" (1)

  1. What a fine poem this is. Beautiful work, Pat.

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