Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Dan Bentley’

Mending Time by Cody Shrum

GusWhen my grandparents’ house burnt,

left hollow like a cicada’s shell,

they waited ten years to rebuild it.

 

The barren kitchen still echoes

with scents of holidays and reunion,

handfuls of home-cooked aromas embedded

in brick the fire never quite burned off.

 

Fiberglass threads hanging in the blank air

shimmer like my grandma’s hoop earrings,

melted and lost.

 

I remember where the refrigerator once stood,

every inch covered in blurry pictures

 

and my crayon-slick papers.

We always watched hummingbirds

slurp sugar-water from the feeder,

shooting long tongues like lily petals.

That window is empty now,

The glass tempered and broken on the ground.

 

The house is coming back from the dead,

heartbeat sparked and irregular.

The musty pheromones of fresh wood

and insulation swell in the air,

accents of sheet rock and nails close behind.

 

Memories baked into the foundation

like happy scars, churning scents of browned rolls and

chocolate turtles while the house inhales,

sipping in a new air.

~ Cody Shrum

Cody Shrum is a second-year graduate student at Pittsburg State University, studying Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction. Cody plans to pursue his MFA degree next fall—an adventure he will embark on with his wife, Kylee, and their two dogs, Zoey and Zeus.

Dan Bentley and Kat Greene: Guest Editors10418905_10152602037352684_4439634509654435948_n

Dan Bentley is a No-La/Kaw dwelling organic gardening seed saving bioregionalist who hails from western plains, writes, draws, paints, sings as spirit moves, laughs with wife, cats, friends, family, observing life cycle absurdity/profundity.

Kat Greene lived in eleven states and thirty-seven houses before settling in North Lawrence with her husband Dan Bentley in a beautiful garden. She still travels from time to time.

Grandpa Talking by Jenni Gribble

I am from the Kansas farm,Jenni Gribble Photo

a bigger and better house

with a history all its own,

bought from the Indians,

and Mr. Nelson too.

 

I am from the old house,

that sinking slowly

into the unused cellar,

covered itself with dirt,

along with old furniture

and many things tucked away.

 

I am from the old Model T Ford

and the Franklin and the Reo cars,

that came to just as sad an end

in the trash pile, never to be seen.

If hindsight were foresight, if only

coulda, shoulda, mighta been.

~ Jenni Gribble

Jenni writes, “I was born in Ottawa, Kansas, and these poems are inspired by stories told by my ancestors, who settled Kansas in the 1800s. I am a graduate student in English at Morehead State University, Kentucky, and a high school English teacher. My work has appeared in Inscape: Art and Literary Magazine.”

Dan Bentley and Kat Greene: Guest Editors10418905_10152602037352684_4439634509654435948_n

Dan Bentley is a No-La/Kaw dwelling organic gardening seed saving bioregionalist who hails from western plains, writes, draws, paints, sings as spirit moves, laughs with wife, cats, friends, family, observing life cycle absurdity/profundity.

Kat Greene lived in eleven states and thirty-seven houses before settling in North Lawrence with her husband Dan Bentley in a beautiful garden. She still travels from time to time.

A Light Snow Falls in November by Joan Pritchard

Submission to Kansas WordPress Feb 15Do you suppose there was ever a time

when Grandpa just gave up all hope,

believed he was beaten,

or confessed surrender of this old farm back to the earth?

 

Was there ever a barren year, or barren wife,

when poverty talked too loudly,

or hope spoke too softly?

 

Were there ever days when he was too tired,

too sore, and too sick to see any beauty in the land,

any hope in a crop,

or any truth in God?

 

There must be a million secrets

laying in the furrows tonight.

 

A light snow falls on his dreams.

~ Joan Pritchard

Joan Pritchard is a former educator, now retired and writing full-time. She is the fourth generation owner of the family farm in Central Kansas. Her poetry has been published in nature and special interest magazines. She is currently writing devotions and a children’s novel. She writes with one foot in the city and one on the farm.

Dan Bentley and Kat Greene: Guest Editors10418905_10152602037352684_4439634509654435948_n

Dan Bentley is a No-La/Kaw dwelling organic gardening seed saving bioregionalist who hails from western plains, writes, draws, paints, sings as spirit moves, laughs with wife, cats, friends, family, observing life cycle absurdity/profundity.

Kat Greene lived in eleven states and thirty-seven houses before settling in North Lawrence with her husband Dan Bentley in a beautiful garden. She still travels from time to time.

Teaching Poetry Writing at Kansas State Penitentiary by Frank Higgins

At first I’m hesitant to take the job

but it’s something different, it’s for pay,

and though to some it sounds odd

this might look good someday on a resume.

 

The state pen looks like a movie set:

the guard with his glare, gun, and gut

could have come from a central casting wet

dream, but no one hollers “Cut.”

 

The men file into the room and sit,

looking murderous; I start to worry

what if what they write is really shit?

Can my criticism trigger their fury?

 

I get them to write, each with a Magic Marker,

which squeaks so much it tears at my ear.

I ask the guard, ‘Can we get something quieter?’

“You can kill somebody with a pencil here.”

 

The first reader hides behind his papers.

He has “HATE” tattooed on his fingers

but words of love come from his tongue.

My education has begun.

~ Frank Higgins

Frank Higgins is both a playwright and poet. His play Black Pearl Sings has been one of the most produced in the country over the last few years. His books of poetry include Starting From Ellis Island, Bkmk Press. He teaches playwriting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dan Bentley and Kat Greene: Guest Editors10418905_10152602037352684_4439634509654435948_n

Dan Bentley is a No-La/Kaw dwelling organic gardening seed saving bioregionalist who hails from western plains, writes, draws, paints, sings as spirit moves, laughs with wife, cats, friends, family, observing life cycle absurdity/profundity.

Kat Greene lived in eleven states and thirty-seven houses before settling in North Lawrence with her husband Dan Bentley in a beautiful garden. She still travels from time to time.

42. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Dan Bentley

In Western Kansas
lifedeath, humanimalkind,
dance single vision.

Steadfast, with endless patience
the Goddess paints in plein air

where taken chances
become the song of heartmind
that art commisions

miss: cosmic observation.
The stars are closer out there.
— Dan Bentley

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