Fieldbook: Traveling Camas Prairie and Other Poems

The three poems featured in this installment of Fieldbook include "Traveling Camas Prairie," "The Old Yellow Mutt," and "Widow to Her Son."

| November/December 1984

  • fieldbook - double dulcimer
    For one widow, the double dulcimer was an instrument of courting as well as music.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff

  • fieldbook - double dulcimer

Conventional publishing wisdom claims that it's a mistake to run poetry in a "consumer" magazine. Although that may often be true, we're convinced that MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers are the kind of people who look for beauty in the practical and search out practicality in the beautiful ... and who realize that good poetry can be useful as well as inspiring

The poetry included in this occasional feature, whether new or previously published, will be material that helps us see ourselves in the words of others. It's that quality, and the fact that the work presented here will reflect the range of subject areas usually presented in this magazine, that gave this feature its name: Fieldbook.


Traveling Camas Prairie

Late sun glazes the ground like a hint of twenty dollar gold in a burlap pocket; earth sees things complete — wheat-loam, black mud stubble promise, the rolling winter mix of farms.



The car is an impossible speck on great swells, my hands at the wheel aiming nowhere but the farm I never knew. Wash-outs wound the road like broken ice on the canyon creek.

Slowing back to a turn-out I stop, stare long at someone's old place. There is a light, a cord stacked out by the shed, cattle bedding down in straw, chimney spelling warm.






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