Saturday, June 12, 2004


by Robin Chapman

Walk the old logging trails
through the spring woods,
six miles out to the spine of the ridgeline,
walk the tractor paths overlooking the river
six miles back to the bluff and road.

Walk the deer trails through the underbrush,
walk through the aspens just showing their green
and the carpets of leaf mold,
walk through the red of the poison ivy leaflets,
the whiplash of raspberry canes.

Walk through the prairie’s first showing
of pussytoes, puccoon, and bird’s foot violets,
walk through the tick-ridden grasses,
walk through the wild phlox
and unfurling ferns of maidenhair.

Walk through the cloudshapes
moving on turned fields,
walk through the sunsoaked uplands,
the lilacs of old foundations,
the white light of wild plum at wood-edge.

Walk the river margin, sandhills calling,
walk through the morning, walk through afternoon–
return with empty hands to the city.
Dream into the long green well of walking
that opens now whenever your eyes close.

Robin Chapman's poems have appeared recently - or will soon - in The Hudson Review, OnEarth, Rosebud, Calyx, Earth's Daughters, and Wisconsin Trails, among other journals. Her poetry book The Way In (Tebot Bach) may be obtained through Small Press Distributors or, and her chapbook The Only Everglades in the World through Parallel Press, Memorial Library, 728 State St., Madison, WI 53706. Her earlier book Learning to Talk and CD Banff Dreaming may be obtained from Fireweed Press, PO Box 482, Madison, WI 53701. She co-teaches a poetry workshop at The Clearing with Judith Strasser and is the Lake Wingra watershed poet for the Wisconsin River of Words Poet-Educator-Naturalist demonstration project. She is a co-founder of the Epidemic Peace Imagery exhibit of over 85 poets' and visual artists' works now traveling around the state.


I'm interested in considering your "poems of place" for publication in The Middlewesterner's "Saturday's Poem" feature; send two or three of your best in the body of an e-mail addressed to . Put "Saturday's Poem" in the subject line. Then be patient. I will get back to you about whether I'll use your work or not. Send along a short biographical note and information about where your books can be purchased and I'll include that when your poem runs. There's no payment involved for having your work appear in "Saturday's Poem," but the feature is seen by some high class readers. About seventeen of them, by our current count.

o Dave Bonta, "The Morning Porch" - March 13, 2004
o David Clewell, "Depot: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin" - February 21, 2004
o Susan Firer, "The Butterfly Graveyard" - May 22, 2004
o Fred First, "In Living Memory" - April 3, 2004
o R. Chris Halla, "My Prairie Wedding" - June 5, 2004
o Phil Hey, "Spare Tire" - March 6, 2004
o Tom Montag, "February 1, 2001" - February 14, 2004
o Mike O'Connell, "Flatlanders" and "A Farm and a Rainbow" - March 27, 2004
o Colleen Redman, "Tincture Making" - May 15, 2004
o Jim Reese, "Ritual" and "Willing and Ready" - May 29, 2004
o Mark Vinz, "The Old Hometown" and "Midcontinent" - April 17, 2004

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