Grounded, Fiery, Drought and Ice – A Prairie Survival Guide to Beauty

Prairie Sky

Prairie Sky © 2014 Bo Mackison


Prairie survives the extremes.
Frigid winter, forty below, snow cover measured in feet
and blazing midsummer heat, a hundred degrees and more.
Tolerance to the extremes; hallmark of survival.

And always, always, the winds blow, fierce,
plants loose, nimble, they tolerate the constant forces.
Grasses, shrubs and forbs, some eight or ten feet high,
bend to the earth and still they survive,
not only survive, they thrive in these extremes.

Raging fires only strengthen the prairie. Re-birthing,
it knows survival when left to its natural course.
Let it burn, let it burn, fiercely burn; it seeds the earth.
The fire sustains.

Extra-ordinary, these plants. With sparse rain,
summer drought, the prairie conserves,
exposing only the most essential.
Two thirds hidden, it protects – deep-rooted,
stretching far into the darkest of depths.

Grounded and firm in their intention to hold on,
sucking moisture from the ages. Satiated.

Evolution’s choice, managing on just enough.
Just enough.


About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. A lovely ode to an incredible part of our planet. I adore prairies. The word “Prairie” sends an exquisite wave of some sort of intense Nature Love through my soul. My imagination soars, thinking of the billions of bison that used to rumble through the prairies, the flowers and waves of grasses in the wind. Such Americana that has been plundered, destroyed. Sigh. BUT I am extraordinarily happy that you are bringing prairies back to life again, educating those of us who are not fortunate enough to live close to one, see one, feel one, smell one. Enjoy it for us!

  2. Gandalf says:

    wonderful post.

  3. Love this vision–both your words and the photo.

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