Below are five additional poems from our recent poetry jam on Twitter. I call these our Kansas phase. All prompts came from Kingdom Come: Poems by John Estes.
The Kingdom Comes III
By @llbarkat, @SandraHeskaKing, @gyoung9751, @jestes, @Doallas, @jejpoet, @CeliaNickel1, @togetherforgood, @PensieveRobin, @kellysauer, @sethhaines, @theeagleacademy, @mdgoodyear, and @elizabethesther. Edited by @gyoung9751.
I came to Kansas
I came to Kansas to do a job,
to find a home,
to sing a prairiesong ,
and fell asleep on the drive.
I expected Kansan flatness,
but it wasn’t there. It was
a flatness that rolled, and
moved like a wave, a wave
of grass and cornstalks tall.
I came to Kansas to stop
the plastic bags right
at the kitchen door.
There is no ricochet in Kansas;
the song plays forever,
ancient like the moon,
like the trees it has never seen.
Kansas leaves me
longing, for i am missing
the Oregon trees and
the Oregon woods. In Kansas
the innocent rivers dwindle
to streams of wheat.
The best way to Kansas
The best way into Kansas
I have found is by flying
the house out of Oz:
there’s no plane like home.
What if Dorothy couldn’t
live without plastic, without
fake red jeweled toes?
Her ruby slippers were really
orange, I saw them once
in real life back when I was a kid.
What if Toto barked at the latex
moon? Would there be a shortage
of gloves come morning? Or would
the little dog chase the bouncing
moon, the bouncing latex moon
to California, or chase the moon
to Oregon woods? Pull that latex
moon, measure its give and take.
Under a latex moon I thought
she called me polysemous.
I later found I was mistaken.
There’s no plane like home
except I roam. Kansas, don’t
It happens in Oz
Wheat streams golden while I dance
in glass slippers under the Ozzian moon,
a rubber moon, a contraceptive or a big
bouncy ball, if the moon were ever to fall.
Corn stalks pretend to be a yellow brick road
I step across cornstalks, I wade through wheat
in slippers of ruby, slippers of polished
cornstalks, ruby slippers with cornstalk tassels.
If you danced on a rubber moon in ruby slippers
would you be able to tap? Or would your dance
just be a bounce? Oz just doesn’t deliver what
it promises; it makes good on all claims.
Rubies matter, too
She wants to think that rubies matter, too,
and the latex and the windmills she saw
on an old blue dish. Orange latex makes
for good dishes, clean scrubbed, with Oz:
that’s what she wants to think. Crickets
sing as she dreams of rubies and slippers
made of green. Ruby slippers behind her,
she embraces their echoes running wild
through the poems of ancient trees.
Toto stepped sprightly
in those ruby slippers,
bounced all the way
to a latex moon, bouncing
in a stitching rain, bouncing
like wheat or corn. Toto
swings on tassels
passels of ruby days.
With a fork and a spoon
he swings on the moon
over the trees of Kansas.