I Am a Vast Rolling Prairie: Slice of Life #sol19 20/31

One of my favorite teacher-bloggers, Margaret Simon, left the most astonishing comment on my blog post yesterday: she found a poem in my slice! Margaret is a wonderful poet, and this piece of praise lifted my spirits all day. As I stepped into my office this morning, wondering what I would write about, I saw Margaret’s beautiful book of poems and writing and drawing prompts (along with photographs and illustrations by other artists), Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape, sitting on the table by the chaise where I write. I opened it and felt inspired by the first very poem. So today, the South Dakota prairie talks to the Louisiana bayou.

From Margaret Simon’s Bayou Song

I am a vast rolling prairie.
I rise and fall like waves on the ocean.
I echo hawk, eagle, and meadowlark.
I wonder who would describe me as empty.

I am a vast rolling prairie.
I bend as the wind blows.
I touch hoof and feather and claw.
I nurture cottonwood, pronghorn, and prairie dog.

I am a vast rolling prairie.
I remember the bellow of bison.
I root twenty feet into the earth.
I say fortitude lives here.
I hold my secrets close.






17 responses to “I Am a Vast Rolling Prairie: Slice of Life #sol19 20/31”

  1. margaretsmn Avatar

    I hope others can feel the love across the miles between our posts this morning. This is a beautiful poem. You inspired me to write another I am poem about the super moon. Thanks. I am going to post this on Bayou Song’s Facebook page!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am so glad you found inspiration for more writing! When I dipped into Bayou Song yesterday, I only looked at three poems–and I wanted to write from all three! Your work is such an amazing invitation to keep writing.

  2. livinglife816287820 Avatar

    Love this, you’ve captured the prairies so well, I especially like the line about the bison.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I did a little research for this poem and learned some more about buffalo vocalizations. Apparently, they make quite a lot!

  3. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    Love Margret’s poems, and I was excited when I read her comment on your post. I’m looking forward to seeing what she found! Your poem is beautiful and even before I saw your image, I saw it through your words. I think a couple of years ago, Julianne, you and I exchanged where we live type of slices. We went from the midwest to the prairie to the ocean. And now, the bayou! Beautiful slice today!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      One of the joys of slicing is getting to travel around the world and learn more about different places. The prairie always inspires me to write, and it’s even better when there is that writing community and we are writing to and with and from each other!

  4. mschiubookawrites Avatar

    From found poems to conversational poems, slices build community! I would love to meet the bayou and prairie. Thank you for the models and inspiration!!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Yes, slicing really does build community and connections!

  5. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Between you and Margaret, my day today is full of beauty. I love this response to Margaret’s poem. I visited KS this summer for the first time & your description of the South Dakota prairie took me right back. So many great lines, but I think my favorite is “I say fortitude lives here.” Gorgeous.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I feel lucky to have writing mentors like Margaret! I hope someday you’ll get to visit the western SD prairie, which is much wilder and so very beautiful!

  6. arjeha Avatar

    Your poem captures the beauty and vastness, what is and what was, the senses of the prairie. Beautiful.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! It was such a surprise to discover this poem today!

  7. Ramona Avatar

    What a beautiful response to Margaret’s poem! This line filled me with sorrow – “I remember the bellow of bison.” But my favorite line? “I rise and fall like waves on the ocean.”

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It really does look like an ocean of grass. There are several herds of bison on a drive I make regularly, and I love seeing the bison on the prairie!

  8. karpenglish Avatar

    How wonderful to write poems back and forth to each other! I’ve never thought of writing a poem from the point of view of a place. I may suggest that to my creative writing students when I see them again on Friday. A few of them are still looking for ideas to hook them into poetry, and this approach might be just the ticket!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’d never thought about it either, but there was Margaret’s inviting poem! And Margaret’s book is full of poems that want to be responded to, so it’s a wonderful resource.

  9. SOLC2019: #24 Silent Super Moon | Reflections on the Teche Avatar

    […] with my morning walk with the super moon earlier this week.  I was reminded of this form when Elisabeth Ellington used it to write a response poem to the first poem in my book Bayou Song, I am a Beckoning Brown […]

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