Category Archives: Daily Post

Dakota Dirt

 

Dakota Dirt

My father toiled for fifty years,
facing the worries and the fears—
the gambles that a farmer faced
when all his future he had placed
as seeds beneath Dakota dirt.
Every year, he risked the shirt
right off his back. With faith, he’d bury
his whole future in that prairie.
Sticky gumbo, that fine-grained silt
upon which his whole life was built.
Then, closer to our summer home,
near the river, in sand and loam,
he hoped he could prepare for ours:
our clothes, our college, and first cars.

Then came those years that brought the change
that altered fields and crops and range.
The rain that formerly turned to rust
plows left untended, turned to dust
that, caught up in the wind’s mad thrust
caused many a farmer to go bust
as a whole nation mourned and cussed
black clouds of dirt that broke the trust
that nature would provide for all.
What formerly fed, now brought their fall.

It broke the men who couldn’t wait
for the drought years to abate,
but my father kept his faith in soil.
Found other paying forms of toil
building dams to catch what rain
might later fall on that dry plain.
And though others thought his prospects poor,
he kept his land and bought some more.
He learned to vary furrow line,
believing it would turn out fine.

So when good fortune returned again,
bringing with it snow and rain,
he welcomed and was ready for it.
That April it began to pour, it
filled his dams and nourished what
soil remained. He filled each rut
with clover, alfalfa and wheat.
Allowed the summer sun to beat
and change them into fields of gold—
into grain and feed he sold.

Bought cattle. Planted winter wheat.
Once more secure on his two feet,
expanded and as he had planned,
bought more cattle and more land.
Some said that he had just exploited
those whose land he’d reconnoitered
and purchased after they’d given up,
empty hands transformed to cup.
He was a hero unsung, unknown,
until long after when I was grown.

At the centennial of our town,
I learned a bit of his renown
when others told to me how he
shared nature’s generosity.
He sent three daughters to university,
then shared with his community 
to build a church and give more knowledge
to those young men he sent to college.
Then made loans without fame or thanks
to other farmers denied by banks.

I’d always known how rich my life
was made by all his toil and strife—
the insurance he gave his family
that enabled us all to be free.
But, aside from daughters, wife and mother,
I’d never know of every other
soul he’d helped  to prosperous ends:
neighboring ranchers, sons of friends.
Could my father have known he’d also planned
all these other futures when he bought the land?

 

This rich Jones County gumbo on the treads of my tire at one of our all-town reunions a few years ago is what sent me to college!

Not enough dirt for you?  Check out this story: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/01/26/south-dakota-gumbo/

The prompt today was soil.

Travel Illusions

An Andalusian Businessman Visits Mexico

When business problems brought disillusion,
I hoped to prompt their fast diffusion,
jumping to the fast conclusion
that a coronary occlusion
could be allayed best by the fusion
of tequila and a lime
and so I thought that it was time
to move from Spain to Mexico
to see how well my life would go
in climes more southern, still, than mine.
I’d heard it said on the grape vine
my college sweetheart still lived there.
I thought I’d see how she might fare.
But when this friend sought dissolution
of her marriage, my inclusion
as a witness brought confusion.
It seems the judge had the delusion
that she and I were in collusion—
that it was I who broke their fusion.
He gave me three days of seclusion,
thinking that my simple exclusion
might furnish them a love transfusion.
The Spanish/Mexicano fusion
I now know is mere illusion.
That we’re joined by language is a delusion.
What exacerbated the confusion
was that I spoke in Andalusian!

 

The prompt today was illusion. (Image downloaded from the Internet.)

Commitment Issues

(You don’t dare enlarge these, do you?  If you do have the courage of your convictions and wonderful resistance to temptation, enlarge all photos my clicking on any one.)

Commitment Issues

I breakfast on oatmeal and vile green tea.
Oats aids in digestion, the tea makes me pee
and helps me to swallow the Omega 3
that lowers blood pressure and lubes up my knee.
I do pool aerobics when the water’s not cold.
I open my mind so it doesn’t get old.
I don’t shoot up drugs or overdo liquor.
I try to eat food that is good for my ticker.

Broccoli, whole grains, jamaica, white beans

to lower my blood pressure by other means
than those dreaded pills that make me feel old
by sapping my energy, dulling my bold.
I can give up the salt and give up the nookie,
But please don’t deprive me of my evening cookie
or maybe a dozen or two, more or less.
 In my frenzy, I sometimes lose count, I confess.

If I’m going to have meat, a potato’s a must.
Protein without carbs is simply unjust.
Dark chocolate’s allowed, but I fear just a bit,
and when it comes to chocolate, I never can quit.
Who wants to commit to a life with no sin?
No pasta, no cookies, no chocolate, no gin?
I try to be good but I’m still not the best,
for I cannot commit to a diet with no zest.

 

The prompt today was commit.

Ragtag Hattie

jdbphoto

 

Ragtag Hattie

Though her clothes are old and ratty,
her cast-off hats tattered and gnatty,
and her aroma eau de catty,
still her style is somewhat natty.
She has a certain savoir faire,
a childlike, careless stylish air.
Silk scarves and clanking jewelry
devoid of runway foolery.

Diaphanous and parachutey,
silk nightgowns might do double duty
as ballgowns were she ever asked
to functions one arrives at masked
in Dior dresses  or black tie.
In lieu of that, she’ll just get by
strolling the streets in finery
gained from her dumpster minery.

Onlookers may think her batty—
clothes so rumpled, hair so matty.
all of her gloriously tatty—
her ballet slippers so pitter-patty
scuffling through the city streets,
greeting everyone she meets.

She is a fixture in our town
with a certain wide renown.
Pointed out to visiting friends,
her unique presence somehow lends
a flavor to the streets she walks.
She does not mind the stares and gawks.

Until one day she is not there—
her birdlike plumage, strange and rare
flown to a runway far above–
a blown-off hat, a single glove
left on the stairway where she fell—
to become this legend that I tell.

 

 

The prompt today is natty.

Dressed to Kill

Dressed to Kill

Ladies have loved a uniform
since writing was in cuniform.
They’ve flirted with each man they’ve met
with shoulders garbed in epaulet.
No telling what the reason may be
why every serviceman they see
with stripes and bars upon his chest
is the man they like the best.

A Scottish guardsman who’s well-built
may show his legs off in a kilt,
whereas an Arab man who’s urban
struts his stuff beneath a turban.
Cops on their beats and Maitre d’s
have all the ladies that they please
when they don the prescribed clothes
in which they are assigned to pose.

Some women even make a grab
for guys they see in olive drab.
Ushers in jackets and in gloves
have been known to find new loves
in their darkened theater aisles
as they exercise their wiles
escorting with a liveried arm
those special ladies they seek to charm.

German gents who seek attention,
it’s hardly necessary to mention,
when they’re wanting to be chosen,
don a pair of lederhosen.
And sailors find they rarely lose out 
when they get their navy blues out.
It’s true a full-regalia’d guy
is sure to catch the feminine eye.

Be it a robe or regimental,
there’s simply something elemental
about a man who’s dressed to kill—
for women cannot get their fill
of a gentleman in monkey suit.
Unsuited men just can’t refute
that they suffer real regrets
that that man in epaulets
gets all the women that he gets!

The prompt today was “uniform.”  (image of Barney Fife from internet.)

The Reveal

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The Reveal

Even when she’s in the buff,
he feels she’s not revealed enough.
He wants to know her heart and soul—
to know her entire being, his goal.
But, alas, she cannot do it.
If she does, she knows she’ll rue it.
Much as she loves a certain sir,
there is a certain part of her
that must remain a mystery.
For in this maiden’s history
are other suitors it behooved
to have her secrets all removed.
But when she revealed it all,
one by one, they did not call.
And thus she learned a maiden’s rule:
Men are fickle. Men are cruel.
Lest you be put up on a shelf,
keep parts of you safe in your self.
To keep him interested in your stuff,
Most of you is just enough.

 

 

 

The prompt today was “buff.”

Sifting Time

 

 

Version 3

Sifting Time

Suspended between her life and her death,
she measures the intervals from breath to breath,
noting the bed cover’s sinking and lift,
wondering when life will set her adrift.

After a lifetime of effortless health,
she is surprised by the contrasting stealth
and the strength of the grip of what waits at her ending,
no matter what care friends may take in her tending.

As the sands of her life escape through her fingers,
she treasures each grain that stubbornly lingers.
She cannot give up. She has to hold on
until the last grain is fallen and gone.

All of those pleasures that cling to her past
are pleasures now gone. Such pleasures don’t last.
Her life like a book, pages grown stiff with age—
it grows harder and harder to turn the next page.

Her life has turned gritty––a pain and a pleasure.
Each grain that remains both a curse and a treasure.
Afraid to give up what she has for what’s next,
she can’t see the ending. She can’t read the text.

There is no escape and there isn’t a cure,
and though every day goes by in a blur,
yet these last scraps of life still act as a lure
not to give up on life. To simply endure.

The prompt today is curiously similar to yesterday’s.  It is “adrift.”