Two Poems

by Rodney Nelson

  • Poetry
decorative header image from Volume V Issue 1 · Fall 2018

Maple Creek Crossing

in winter the horizon would take and hold the eye but now in June the fore and middle ground are focal and it is not so much the look of the woods around the creek as the turning at siesta time to look that would have the mind dismounting and reclining on the rich kept lawn and open to the recital of a mockingbird near the marker

   beyond are white smoke of ditch fire and brown and tan dust from fieldwork and the road but here in immediate heat we read of American cavalrymen and trappers that crossed and rode on to one more important site or other where they would rally to find a pose in history

“Storm in the Flint Hills,” Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches, by Jane Pronko, 1975

“Storm in the Flint Hills,” Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 inches, by Jane Pronko, 1975

A June Weather

in the darkening a straight wind out of southwest got violent on the prairie, nothing to hinder it but a town or grove, and younger trees bent deep, not cracking, losing no leaf, seemed to be joining in, bearing guidons for it, and at the window I read lines in an old book

Men med vildare Stød
falder Stormen paa

Frithiofs Saga by Esaias Tegnér, the Danish translation, a copy someone had brought along to read and reread during settlement of a Dakota of tornado and blizzard, the language could not go on however, would not have done where weather broke into columbarian serenity and did not arise from unquiet sea movement, now the book was mine along with a memory of one that had read aloud, of a voice wanting Frithiof’s northern gods to have been, to ignore the others or none directing the wind in this broad wilder place Rootstalk leaf-bug icon marking the end of the article's text.

But with wilder Thrusts
the Storm comes down

About Author Rodney Nelson
Portrait image of author Rodney Nelson.
Rodney Nelson’s work began appearing in mainstream journals long ago. See his page in the Poets & Writers directory at He has lived in various parts of the country, working as a licensed psychiatric technician and copy editor, and now resides in the northern Great Plains. Recently published chapbook and book titles are Canyon, Late & Later, Metacowboy, The Western Wide, Mogollon Picnic and Ahead of Evening, (both from Red Dashboard Press,) Hill of Better Sleep, In Wait (Mind Bomb Press,) as well as Felton Prairie, Cross Point Road, Billy Boy, Winter in Fargo, Hjemkomst, Time Tacit, and Minded Places (all from Middle Island Press.)