Bonnie Larson Staiger

View from up here (46.9 N Latitude). Poetry, musings, and events. Come on in!

Here’s a list of poetry awards, publication credits and a sampling of published poems. Publication credits listed after each entry. Reminder: The contents of this website and poems are © copyrighted.   

Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite, 2019 (for Destiny Manifested)
Evening Street Review, Vol Num 22 Fall 2019
Poeming Pigeon COSMOS Anthology, The Poetry Box, Winter 2020
Flying South Literary Magazine Competition 2019, Winston-Salem Writers
North Dakota Quarterly, Vol 86 Nos 3/4 Fall  2019
Straight Forward Poetry, Issue 17, forthcoming Fall 2019
The MacGuffin, Journal of Schoolcraft College, Vol. 35.3, forthcoming Fall 2019
Pendora Magazine. forthcoming Summer 2019
Destiny Manifested (chapbook), North Dakota State University Press, Voices of the Plains & Prairies Poetry Award, 2018
Pasque Petals, Journal of South Dakota State Poetry Society, Fall 2017,  Spring and Fall 2018
The Daily Palette, University of Iowa, April 6, 2016
Parkinson Foundation Report, Summer 2003
Woven on the Wind, Houghton Mifflin, 2001
Where the  Heart Resides: Timeless Wisdom of the American Prairie, William Morrow, 1999
Leaning Into the Wind, Houghton Mifflin, 1997

The title poem from my chapbook:

Destiny Manifested                                                  

Years after his failed attempt to take control of tiny Leith North Dakota and turn it into a haven for white supremacists and racists, Craig Cobb, convicted of terrorizing, is still buying up properties and land across the Midwest—Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri.                

Two centuries ago
white people came
to lay claim
for Jefferson.
His vision, illusion
to make the plains great
to colonize, capitalize
politicize, and nationalize.

Now you come

to sanitize, blacklist
black people, ridicule,
remove red people,
berate Brown
vs. Board of Education.
But you’re too late.

It’s already been done.

© Published in Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press.

Seraphim in Snow

IMG_3795Neither starshine nor moonlight.
Instead, snow shine wraps me
in diamond dust at midnight’s hour.

Clouds cling to the earth, yet
a thousand celestial luminaria
light this solstice night. In the yard

a host of snow angels pressed
everywhere. No sounds, no footfalls.
No crinkle of crenelated wings.

© Published in Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press.

Shuttle to Rockport by the Sea

     after Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Moose”

As the plane taxis into Portland’s terminal
I’m giddy for a Norman Rockwell ride
northward along Maine’s serrated seacoast

far from my landlocked Great Plains
I’ve spent all day leaving

My instructions say the shuttle driver
will meet me by the baggage carousel
and there he stands holding a placard

flashing my name as if I am some dignitary
Grab your bag, Dear, and I’ll get the van
I’ll be drivin’ a gray Honda Odyssey

As we head up Highway 1 my vision
to drift in soft focus fades in a clatter
of his chatter and a touchy transmission

Wistfully I watch a 400-year-old shipyard
dissolve out the rearview mirror as forests
thicken and sugar maples saunter by

We rumble past foreign-looking
New England farmhouses awash
in timeworn shades of the tides

We thread through seaside villages
with church steeples piercing their heaven
and I lose count of lobster shacks beside
inlets with furry river fog rising

A gray odyssey indeed as I watch for dusk
to filter through primeval pines hoping
for a moose to meander onto the road
so we might pause in her magnificence

© Published in Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press.

 

Chrysalis

between cottonwoods
and brainwave
fog seeps in
sweet mist cocoons

brain words from headlines
dew pearls each leaf
gray-matter
protects synapse from syntax

Burlington Northern rumbles
over Missouri River bridge
a remote trumpet in harmony
with mourning dove coos

the gray-winged arrival
of 6:08am

© Published in Pasque Petals Fall 2017 a journal of the South Dakota State Poetry Society and  Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies  Award’ from North Dakota State University Press

Cycles

Mother and daughter
count the bales
of alfalfa–
it is a time to talk,

You are uneasy
as you wait
for the appearance

of that first
fresh flow of blood,
While I eagerly watch
for the signs
that mine will cease,

Who is the woman—
who is the child,

Next year we’ll
plant wheat
to give the land
a rest.

© Published: Woven on the Wind, Houghton Mifflin, 2001 and in Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press.

Varmint Eradication

Must be that I come
from Homestead stock
that makes me such a good shot

Been five, maybe six years
since I picked up that rifle
but Annie Oakley strikes again!

That gopher should’a known
not to mess around on the place
that’s sure to get my dander up

Second shot was the one that pulled
him right up out’a his hole and left him
floppin’ around the yard for a good minute
till he finally gave up and died

Tough ol’ Broad, now ya gotta dispose of the body
so I picked ‘im up by the tail to haul off
shot right through the head, I see
God, I’m good. Or am I?

The fur on its back
had seven precision stripes
with rows of arrowheads all lined up
between each one

What a perfectly painted little creature

Sleek and lean
and dead

© Published: Leaning Into the Wind, Houghton Mifflin, 1997)  and Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press.

A Sense of Place

Given the choice
I would walk
every measured mile
of the contoured prairie . . .
take up a handful of earth
knowing it’s time to plant
by the smell of the soil . . .
kick gravel stones
along the section line
and startle a meadowlark
off her grass-covered nest . . .
count red wings in the cattails
unearth a Lakota fire ring . . .
and give thanks to the four winds

© Published Leaning Into the Wind, Houghton Mifflin, 1997; and WHERE THE HEART RESIDES: Timeless Wisdom of the American Prairie, William Morrow, 1999 and  Destiny Manifested, the 2018 winning chapbook of ‘Poetry of the Plains and Prairies Award’ from North Dakota State University Press

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