the Plains way

“I am safe in calling this a single herd,
but it is impossible to approximate the
millions that composed it. It took me
six days on horseback to ride through it.”
	—George Anderson in an 1871 letter

Over the sod,
They trod, they trod.
Over the sod, they trod.

Huge buffalo herds
By the hundreds of thousands,
Over the sod, they trod.

Vast buffalo herds
Of a million or more,
Over the sod, they trod.

Hard buffalo hooves—
How many millions?—
Wearing away the sod.

Hard buffalo hooves
Wearing a way
Over the sod they trod.

Poem title from chapter 29 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

To see a buffalo herd like that–how amazing would that be? And now for the last of my poems for Monty Vern’s Silver Lining June collaboration, in which the last words of each line are the key words, in order, of the given quote. Peace to our s!

[“The day is done, and the darkness / Falls from the wings of Night, / As a feather is wafted downward / From an eagle in his flight“ from “The Day is Done” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Something New Under the Sun

~after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Again a demoralizing day:
Dearheart, will you never be done
Fraternizing with darkness,
Letting stumbles lapse into falls,
“Forgetting” you have wings—
A goose in the noose of Night?

Dearheart, dust off your feathers!
The next time temptation wafts
Your way, enticing you downward,
Soar up swiftly, like the eagle.
Again and again—take flight!

“Seven-Course Meal”

I knew today’s prompt wasn’t something I could sink my teeth into, so I offer this poem written during my creative blitz over the weekend. Peace to your ♥ !

Seven-Course Meal


   I have eaten here
   before and after and also
   in between.


   When I overeat
   I forget the way to my heart
   is not through my stomach?


   I have a feeling
   when I stuff my emotions 
   down my throat—heartburn.


   When tempted, close eyes.
   Open eyes, open bag, open mouth.
   Shut up, conscience.


   I am powerless
   to resist desire, and it is
   gnawing at me.

   I can exercise
   restraint, but I need a leash
   or a trainer.


   I know better
   than to give up. It’s worse
   than giving in.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo20 Day 21 - I didn't use today's prompt. 

Temptation Noshing

Do you find that one chip (potato, tortilla, chocolate) leads to another and another and another? If so, you’re not alone. Peace to your ♥ !

 Temptation Noshing

It ends as usual, with the bag
Sadly, secretly, mechanically
Depleted, a routine carried out
With meticulous indifference
To the long-suffering voice of reason,
Conveniently obscured by munching.

How can I ignore the devil in my drawer?

Carrots don’t beg to be binged. But chips?
They wheedle from the dark of the drawer,
Faintly but firmly, more, more, more, more.
If it were only me and the cat,
I’d banish them from the house; instead,
I keep the kids supplied. It’s foolish
To fraternize with the enemy,
But noble to sacrifice for love.

How can I ignore the devil in my drawer?

I know the trick, to play deaf and dumb,
To deem the snack drawer no different
Than the rest. But I’ve no guile in me,
So my husband says. I can’t pretend.
Every time I’m put to the trial,
I’m guilty of opening the bag.

How can I ignore the devil in my drawer?

© Stephanie Malley

This is an example of a bop poem, the next in my poetic forms challenge based on Robert Lee Brewer’s list of 100 poetic forms.