Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Doc Arnett’

Feeding After the Storm by Doc Arnett

In the waning light of dusk,kansas-poems-9-18-13

a three-quarter moon

seeps through the husk of clouds

the color of rust and bruises,

edges tinged in the least hint of a sunset

that passed a half-hour earlier.

Still soaked from afternoon rain,

the black locust tree, thornless,

droops slender limbs and small leaves

against the pale stillness

of the western sky,

its stark silhouette graceful and delicate.

Lush as April

on the first Thursday of August,

a blend of perennial rye and bluegrass

passes into the darkness

shaded beneath the trees

on the eastern side of the slope

that leads to the neighbor’s place.

There is a peace

in the passing of the storm

and even a hard rain

leaves some gain in the ground.

Already, the tomato plants

have started to straighten

from the pounding of wind and water.

Just now,

the moon gleams

from a break in the clouds

and I see clearly

the path from the barn to the house.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett teaches Creative Writing and directs Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas, Highland Community College. He and his wife of twenty-five years, Randa, live in Doniphan, Kansas. A Kentucky native, Doc enjoys writing, singing, remodeling and watching Randa enjoy her Rocky Mountain Horse, Gospel Ryder’s Lil Journey.

Jose Faus is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and independent teacher. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation and is president of the board of The Writers Place. His first book of poetry This Town Like That was published in 2015. The full-length poetry collection The Life and Times of Jose Calderon is forthcoming from 39 Street Press.

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Evening Grazing by Doc Arnett

I work my way along the fence
on the east side of the pasture
where mulberry and pigweeds
keep pressing their needs
against the line of the wires
that set the boundary of grass and grazing.
Unclipped, their green stalks
would short the circuit that is meant
to keep the horse from pressing his way
through the course of wires into the longer grass
that is just past the reach
of twisted neck, extended head.
He could easily run right through
the weave of thin strands of extruded plastic
and micro-thin strands of conductor
that carry the current from solar charger
to the circuit of the field.
But the gelding has generally agreed
to forego free will
and spare himself that momentary pain
that would gain him greater range,
which would also include the highway
only a few seconds away
where pickup trucks with flatbed trailers
and semi’s fully loaded
run by at seventy-miles-an-hour.

He stands near the short silhouette of a scrub oak tree,
sleek hide burnished by evening sun,
tail and mane training toward the north,
soft blades of bluegrass and brome
hanging out both sides of his mouth.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett teaches Creative Writing and directs Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas, Highland Community College. He and his wife of twenty-five years, Randa, live in Doniphan, Kansas. A Kentucky native, Doc enjoys writing, singing, remodeling and watching Randa enjoy her Rocky Mountain Horse, Gospel Ryder’s Lil Journey.


Kelly W. Johnston, guest editor, is a life-long Kansan, who was born in Lawrence in 1955, and graduated from Wichita State in 1977 with a major in creative writing. He has published poems in
Mikrokosmos, The Cottonwood Review, and The Ark River Review. He will publish two poems in the up-coming 2016 issue of The I-70 Review. Kelly loves to spend time on his land in the Chautauqua Hills near Cross Timbers State Park, where many of his poems are inspired.

The Pastor’s Visit by Doc Arnett

Tethered to the long green linedoc

that runs from the tank,

she spends her time

turned toward the windows

of what she used to call

her living room.

 .

She’s in remarkably good health for a dying woman:

nothing really hurts,

everything else works

with both mind and body.

 .

But a few steps across the floor

leaves her gasping for air,

even with the supplemental oxygen.

Since she cannot sustain enough breath

for conversation,

she hesitates to call anyone

and the visitors become more few

and the visits farther between.

 .

I sit in the chair

where her husband died slowly

nearly ten years ago

and now it seems only half that time to me

and at least twice that long to her.

 .

Sometimes the silence filters around us,

and we sit together,

waiting for the ending that will not come

soon enough.

.

We talk about loss and flowers,

blooms and seeds,

and how a ripe peach from the tree

is the only one worth eating.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett is the director of Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas. A native of West Kentucky, he and his wife, Randa, live in Doniphan County and share twenty grandkids. Doc enjoys singing, playing guitar, writing, remodeling, pastoring a small church and competing in mud runs.

 .

Autumn on a Misty Morning by Doc Arnett

Just east of Wolf River,

a bit after the highway

begins its long slope down

and right before the last gravel

on this side of the ridge,

there’s a small pasture

on the hill

between the road and the gully.

 .

The grass makes a smooth vee

leading down to the ditch,

incredibly green in the low sheen

of an overcast morning.

  .

At its edge, a scruffy patch of sumac

throws a break of crimson,

edging the ragged bank.

A dozen shades of prairie grass

cast their colors

between the bare tans of dirt

and the skirt of trees

with their black trunks

and spreading of leaves,

a lifting of yellows and greens.

  .

On the opposite side of the ditch,

sixty acres of soybeans

show the seams of drought,

pitch brown splotches and

scattered blotches of green

in the low places that held more rain

the few times it came.

  .

Even in the dry times,

lives that find

some good source,

deep and steady,

will stand ready to bear

some good color,

ready to face the harvest.

~ Doc Arnett

Doc Arnett is the director of Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas. A native of West Kentucky, he and his wife, Randa, live in Doniphan County and share twenty grandkids. Doc enjoys singing, playing guitar, writing, remodeling, pastoring a small church and competing in mud runs.

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