Paul O. Jenkins lives in New Hampshire and admires the work of Nebraska poet, Ted Kooser. Each poem he writes is a
puzzle of sorts in which he attempts to marry form, meaning, and mystery.
From Prairie to Mountains
His was a level country, undisturbed by gradations
Contrived by higher powers
But marked by peaks of stifled, homegrown sensations.
He loved to view the fields about him,
Sown both with love of land and gain.
Testing the soil under foot
He mused on personal improvements
Mere thoughts remained ascendant for years
Until he banished timorous heart
And feigned some conviction nourished not so much by
Evidence as ancestral hubris,
A reliance that one so bred might
Cultivate the devotion of another similarly propagated.
Later, in a place ringed by seven hills,
He met her, tried her, won her,
And finally bowed to her when she wished to return to her
Own precipitous region,
Craggy, whose soil nourished stones
In place of soy beans.
Still later, settled below white mountains,
He observed how love might promote
Flatlanders such as he had been,
Raising them by gradation,
Once taught true ways of man.