High Plains Drifting

The high plains of South Dakota are beautiful, and unlike anything I have ever seen before. Grasses extend as far as the eye can see, and standing in them, one can hear sounds that bring to mind grasshoppers and cicadas. Antelope, bison and prairie dogs find their sustenance here. The grasses surge to an imaginary shoreline of undulating mounds and cliffs of eroded sedimentary stone, teeming with fossil record.

It was here that a phrase came to my mind, “From within the grasses of the Lakota.” The Lakota are the Native Americans that call these high plains their home, and I was privileged to visit. These are the words that were inspired there; I hope you enjoy.


The High Plains

Within the grasses of the Lakota

an energy ratchets the air between blades,

these high plains drifting within the glade

which, meeting the Black Hills, does humbly give way.

And scanning horizons to measure its quota

a rustle is heard in the afternoon sun

as the ocean of amber begins its flection

and breezes assemble to pilot their run.

Meandering through the billowed rotundas

the winds brush across the prairie of grass

like the Spirit of God on the waters time passed;

the gusts sweep away the daylight en masse.

Twilight now births upon the Dakotas,

and periwinkle surrenders to pitch,

and the buzzing begins to slow to a stitch

as the high plains repose in a placid finish.

© 2011 Brandon Scott Elrod

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