Land of the Southwind                                                           by Roy Beckemeyer

When the wind stretches
its wings in Kansas
it makes you think
that nothing else longs
to be so intransigent,
so desultory, and you
know that this is why
trees and people who take root
here become so adept,
almost protean in their
ability to bend and thrash,
to tack close-hauled,
to move forward even
when that direction
takes them headlong
into gust fronts
and difficulties,
to face into it all, like weather
vanes or windsocks,
to strive, as always,
toward resolution,
toward life,
toward continuance.

Roy J. Beckemeyer’s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press) contains ekphrastic poems inspired by artists’ depictions of angels. Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. Beckemeyer has designed and built airplanes, discovered and named fossils of Palaeozoic insect species and has once traveled the world. Beckemeyer lives with and for his wife of 60 years, Pat, in Wichita, Kansas.

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project. She lives in California’s Sonoma County on Tsuno Mountain, homeland of Pomo