Excerpt for The Life and Times of Alice Maude by , available in its entirety at Smashwords











The Pioneer Poems:

The Life and Times of Alice Maude



by Leslie Smith Dow













For Darrin





Cover artwork:

Original oil painting "Cruise Control" © 2015 Debra A. Horwitz



© 2015 Leslie Smith Dow. All rights reserved.





ALICE MAUDE


looks directly

at the camera


dares

her picture to be taken

laughs,

and gives away her soul


me,

I always look away

or blink

at the last minute


RELENTLESS GREEN CHILDREN


like children of nuns

on iron bedstead

on pillow of sugar sacks

we slept through

the orange fire of summer


our room full of the freshness of apples

the pink and white

of June roses

the warm breeze of new laundry


while out the window

Maude bent over her plots of sun

relentless green searing the grasses

and rustling the trees


in our dreams

we flew down to join you


LONG GRASS OF TWILIGHT


first the Indians came

then the gypsies

all travellers welcomes on our land

we too were merely passing through


in the long grass of twilight

we and our small cousins crept

to the edge of their smoky campfires


to see with their eyes

the dancing the singing

longing to leave the land

as much as they loved it


ME AND MARGERY


did the work of men between us five

pretty Helen too frail for threshing

Charlotte and Beatrice too proud


in the fields we laboured

beside our father

without sons


later in the bad times

it was me pulled the plough

Marge guiding the blade

through the worthless earth


no men to speak of

two boys in Flanders

Jack up to his elbows

in axle grease and drink


JACK'S BLUE STREAK


her hair curled in long waves

to her lap

when I first saw her


I'd take the car

head north, anywhere

to clear the city from my mind


breathe the grease

and poison

from my lungs


a horse in the bend of the road

legs clawing sky

Alice Maude astride


cursing a blue streak

threatening me with her whip

I knew she'd do it always


THE LOMBARDY FAIR


semi-darkness

he sized her up

his blue eyes

her dark hair


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