Big Bluestem Prairie

Grass tall as a first settler’s horse’s back

Still high enough to switch

Summer flies from long birds’ seeking cover


Man once thrived by words

Or ancient lore

And dreamed of wealth and immortality

For centuries adrift or marching to imagined lands


Now we’re all connected

By electronic instant chat, cable, games, politics

And immortality lives and dies

By avatar, text, or news


Human nature is ironic

In that it learns to first control

And then ignore

Until financial profits make reasonable a reconfigure of the original

Low dam impoundment that forms Wisconsin's Grand River Marsh Wildlife Refuge

On prairies lost and buried

Civilization advances, argues, stumbles and rises again

While current life pulses in and out by schedule

Tied to roads as lifelines and main arteries


Earth is as old as dirt

Fountains’ of Youth a delusional paradise

But prairie lands under soaring wings

Not perfect, but nearer visions in my brain


I am sad that so much land

Has been taken, sucked, and drained, plowed, and paved

Linger soul, amid a patch of forlorn or half-reborn prairie

And disconnect from microchips and satellite links


Understand a circle’s been completed

When old land’s been repaired, and salvaged

Only half is truly given back

Lost are friends forever that used to shelter there


They only dwell on lists, or shelves, photos, paint, or books

Under categories extinct, endangered, threatened

Spaces left are filled by species not our own

From garden, sky, water, land, invading what’s unique


This planet’s been through changes

But nothing so destructive than that which greed has done

Through fifty thousand years or more we lived

Without all values in a wallet and none as old as dirt


Blog editorial content and photography copyright of Charly Makray-Rice … Please ask permission before reposting. Thank you.




If granted such a passion

I will dance in rain

Be happy with bad weather

And not cry for loss of schedule

The flowers on the prairie

Are doubled down with fear

That if standing straight in windstorm

Will tear them from the land

Even grass bends low

Shelters neighbors near

Keeps tender buds from breaking

Open petals safe from hail

Wisdom lives in prairie

Passed down from year to year

Inherits genetics ancient

Arranged gardens never know


There are lovely wet adventures

In a garden under rain

To those that dare to venture

With clothing soaked and dank

Nature often shows her best

When hiding light behind the clouds

Living things run for shelter

And leave land unguarded

End of stormy weather

Shows clouds of yellow hues

Like pies baked upside down

And thrown angrily aside

Bruised sky looking saddened

Lightning struck and thunder battered

Silently slipping over me

Turmoil waning and strength depleted

That all the glory of the storm

Will go to sunset in the west

That rain left untouched

And swiftly skirted past

The last hurrah of rainy day

Will come from setting sun

Reflected off of stormy boil

And bounded down to praise