Neighbors: Local poet’s new work published by Iowa journal

Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

Early this year, “Rootstalk,” a journal published by Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, published two poems written by Rodney Nelson, Fargo.

Rodney passed them to Neighbors. Here they are:

“Maple Creek Crossing”

in winter the horizon would take and hold the eye


but now in June the fore and middle ground are focal

and it is not so much the look of the woods around

the creek as the turning at siesta time to look

that would have the mind dismounting and reclining on

the rich kept lawn and open to the recital of

a mockingbird near the marker

beyond are white smoke


of ditch fire and brown and tan dust from fieldwork and

the road but here in immediate heat we read of

American cavalrymen and trappers that crossed

and rode on to one more important site or other

where they would rally to find a pose in history.

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“A June Weather”


in the darkening a straight wind out of southwest got violent on the prairie, nothing to hinder it

but a town or grove, and younger trees bent deep, not cracking, losing no leaf, seemed to be joining in, bearing guidons for it, and at the window I read lines in an old book

Men med vildare Stod

falder Stormen paa

Frithiofs Saga by Esais Tegner, the Danish translation, a copy someone had brought along to read and reread during settlement of a Dakota of tornado and blizzard, the language could not go on however, would not have done where weather broke into columbarian serenity and did not arise from unquiet sea movement, now the book was mine along with a memory of one that had read aloud, of a voice wanting Frithiof’s northern gods to have been, to ignore the others or none directing the wind in this broad wilder place

But with wilder Thrusts the Storm comes down

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

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