Friday, February 14, 2014

"Summer on the Kickapoo"

Would you like to hear me read this poem?

Check this out on Chirbit

Summer on the Kickapoo

Ancient paths meander
north, south, east, west,
within coulees carved and snaked
beside the banks of the Kickapoo.

From Wilton to Wauzeka,
imprints of muskrats, beaver,
white-tailed deer, play n' grace
curving slope and hill.

Raccoons, woodchucks, mink,
otter, fox, embed footprints
and unlike Hollywood stars, wash away,
leave glory and permanence to Mother Earth.

Slight of stature, she tickles her way
through forested hills, valleys, sandstone cliffs,
replenishes mosses, ferns, hemlocks,
her wildflowers gracious bouquets;

nurtures bald eagles, warblers, sandhill cranes,
diversity her specialty, extends gentle passage
to canoes gliding beside trails dotted with hikers,
fisherman, horseback riders, campers.

To experience summer on the Kickapoo
is to languish in the warmth of God's smile.
May the prayers and efforts of those devoted
be enough to keep her pure.

by Margaret Bednar, February 14, 2014

This is for a poetry prompt I am hosting over at "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Artistic Interpretations" featuring artist Toril Fisher.  I had the privilege and crazy fun to float down this river with Toril on a cold, rainy day this past summer and I hope to be able to do so again.  Laughter really does float :)

Her painting here and others she is currently working on (also see the Imaginary Garden link) will be on display and for sale at the Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, WI in May 2014.  This series is painted on beehive lids she found in the woods.  They have become her canvas for compositions with images of beauty and interconnectedness of all living creatures and our amazing Mother Earth.  Each painting is $300 (plus shipping) and can be purchased now but must remain available for the showing.  Toril will donate a percentage of her sales from this show to the Xerces Society.  The Xerces Society advocated on behalf of threatened, endangered, and at-risk invertebrates and their habitats.  From the world's rarest butterflies, caddisflies that live solely in one stream, to declining bumble bee populations, the Xerces Society is dedicated to protecting invertebrates and the ecosystems that depend on them.

I realize this painting resembles Autumn a bit more, but I have used "artistic license".

Toril Fisher is a farmer (Second Cloud on the Left) and artist and her website can be found HERE.

And for those who Geo Cach, here is an interesting location.  It is along Old Highway 131 Trail, and is located on the old Schroeder Mink Ranch.  HERE


Susan said...

Lovely sound and image poem floats. I love the actions like play n' grace, wash away (unlike Hollywood stars!), tickles her way, replenishes, nurtures and extends. Such action allows us time to languish and pray. Love!

Mama Zen said...

That stanza is so warm and lovely, Margaret!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love all the names of places and the animals to be found in these still untamed territories.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Thank you for sharing these works of art! I also like how you listed some of those that we are sharing nature with.

Kathryn said...

I love reading along as a poet reads their poem, it always adds something special to it. Beautiful.

Kim Nelson said...

The first five stanzas work like National Geographic, luring the reader to a new locale simply by exposing it's hidden treasures. The last stanza adds the personal touch, the intimate knowledge of the wonders therein.

Hannah said...

Such beauty, nurturing...the diversity of life that you bring to this poem is so colorful and such a thrill...great match for the work you chose to feature.

Thank you Margaret for this wonderfully inspiring challenge.

Robert Bourne said...

your words created great visuals.. and I wandered on those paths... well done

Vandana Sharma said...

a beautiful jungle with its inhabitants:) loved it

Jim said...

You make it sound sooo inviting, Margaret. I would like to 'glide along' there in my canoe. We have Kickapoo Indians here in Texas (

I couldn't get very far with Kickapoo, either river or Indians, as I kept thinking of Kickapoo Joy Juice. It was a liquor drank from a jug by the folks in the Comic strip, Lil' Abner by Al Capp. I read it every day when I was growing up. Way back then.

hedgewitch said...

I love river float trips--we have one here on the Illinois river which I enjoyed back when I was a bit more limber, and years ago we also camped on the Rio Grande near the Big Bend--there is nothing like a river to show us the diversity and the complexity of the world we depend on for life. I especially like this line, Margaret: "...To experience summer on the Kickapoo/is to languish in the warmth of God's smile..."

And you're right, this artwork certainly got me off high center--for which many thanks. I love the colors, especially in this one--afa purchase,I say, go for it--it would look great on any wall.

Grace said...

I enjoyed the links to her blog and am amazed by their family's dedication to nature & farming ~

I like the animals & blooms & summer you have painted in your words ~

Thanks for the wonderful challenge & introduction to lovely artist ~

kaykuala said...

You have listed all the living creatures there are that make the crowd. It's great adventure to be around rivers.Wonderful take Marge!


Anonymous said...

I really did get a sense of drifting down with the current in your pen, Margaret. A worthy cause, and Toril is to be greatly admired, both for the quality of her art, and the worth of her - our - cause ~

Lydia said...

A glorious love poem to a place so obviously deserving of protection. Beautiful, and beautifully read. Thank you for this treat in my day.