Licensed dreamstime photo
Windmills of Western Kansas
by Lindsey Martin-Bowen

Like roods with revolving crossbars,
they line the flat horizon, roll on and on—
Grateful Dead concerts
tumbling through riffs that morph
into different melodies before you know
your mind’s flowing there—far beyond

Kansas and its flat pastures
that seem to never end, except
through the Flint Hills—but then,
they flow back into plains,
now mauve in the western sun.
And more windmills churn on

atop a round horizon
of brown-gold bluffs interlaced
with the green Northwest brush.
Its verdant hue lets you know
Kansas isn’t far enough away
from traffic you want to escape.

Published in Thorny Locust (2020).

PHOTO: Ellis County, Kansas, Windmill Park (Dreamstime photo, used by permission).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: During the first decade of this century, we drove almost annually from the Kansas City area to Colorado to see our children. When we passed hills, primarily in Western Kansas, I was delighted to see the new windmills. By exhibiting an efficient method to create “clean” energy, those windmills give me hope for our civilization—and our planet. When we relocated to Oregon in 2018, we saw many more windmills farther west than Kansas, too. The Dutch were definitely onto something.

Lindsey en route Colorado Aug 2014

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pushcart and Pulitzer nominee Lindsey Martin-Bowen’s fourth poetry collection, Where Water Meets the Rock (39 West Press 2017), contains a poem named an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 85th Contest. Her third, CROSSING KANSAS with Jim Morrison, won Kansas Authors Club’s 2017 “Looks Like a Million” Contest, and was a finalist in the QuillsEdge Press 2015-2016 Contest. Her Inside Virgil’s Garage (Chatter House) was a runner-up in the 2015 Nelson Poetry Book Award. McClatchy Newspapers named her Standing on the Edge of the World  (Woodley Press) one of Ten Top Poetry Books of 2008. Her poems have appeared in New LettersI-70 ReviewThorny LocustFlint Hills ReviewSilver Birch Press, Amethyst ArsenicCoal City ReviewPhantom DriftEkphrastic Review (Egyptian Challenge), The Same, Tittynope ZineBare Root Review Rockhurst Review, Black Bear Review, 12 anthologies, and other lit zines. Three of her seven novels have been published. Poetry is her way of singing. She taught writing and literature at UMKC for 18 years, MCC-Longview, and teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and other criminal justice classes for Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton, Oregon. Visit her on Facebook.