Richard Atwood


Cool Morning on the Prairie by Junius R. Sloan

I feel the tall earth, and the flat
wind—cold, so cold
you could break your teeth—
and the heat, when the sun
comes in full before July

the stretch of the sky, a thousand
colors a day—the quickening light
dropped deep and wide… and in the
the dark, lone whistle
of sleep, a freight across the plain

and all I dreamed, going further
than the sound, the rails—
the stars caught
down in ground-ebony, a blue
to match the spot your eyes might

and always: in the slant of heaven
paralyzed by the rainbow.


About the writer:
Born in Baltimore, Rick Atwood has lived in Los Angeles and Denver and currently lives in Wichita, Kansas. He has published three books of poetry. He has also been published in several literary journals, has authored 3 screenplays, 2 large stage plays, and a novel. Atwood is basically retired (from the health-care field) and remains alone, with years more poems unsorted in the closet.

Image: Cool Morning on the Prairie by Junius R. Sloan (1827-1900). Oil on canvas on masonite. 17.25 x 34.19 inches. 1866. Public domain.