Traveling East, A Spring Greening

The greening of the trees in spring rain,
see-through trees like a lacy negligee, the nesting bird
watches from the half-leafed trees.

Traveling in the Rain

Rain Travel © 2012 Bo Mackison

Calves balancing on gentle hills rub their noses in the wet grasses.
One stands wobbly, leans against its mother.
Others watch their mothers watching them, nibble a bit, suckle,
wander about the remains of last fall’s tattered harvest.

Darkest brown, Iowa’s earth, earth that dips
and dances. We’ve driven past the Kansas grasslands,
and not yet reached the prairie flat of Illinois.

See the family plot tucked tightly between
the edge of the woods and the tilled field;
Splintered posts and strands of wire mark its boundary.
Roughly hewed stones, two rows of three, the mossy inscriptions illegible.
Though one, a mother’s marker, is split in half – part upright,
part broken off and tipped into the rain-soaked grass.
The roughened quarry block, now a rest stop for crows,
splats of white the only sign of life.

Clouds hang gray, so low I yearn to stand
and push them high into the skies, high enough to punch an opening into the dim blueness
that is Midwestern sky, give sunlight to the earth.
Yet fog lingers, sky primed in deep grays.

We pass a highway sign, What Cheer, population 142. Twenty miles south.
I wish to see a town worthy of this name, but we’re on the fourth morning of steady travel.
There is no will to detour.
Tonight we sleep in the familiar ridges and valleys of our familiar bed.

First I will say hello to the house I left a hundred days ago,
walk through the rooms I know by memory, peer out the back window at the apple tree.
I’m told no blossoms remain.

Oklahoma, Gray Skies, and a White Truck

White Truck © 2012 Bo Mackison

I bought a primitive statue of a woman last summer from a stone sculptor the next booth over.
She toppled in a winter storm. My husband mentions this
as he pulls into the Save-n-Go in Dubuque for gas and coffee.

Tomorrow morning I’ll push her upright so we can watch the garden together.
We will meet, eye to eye, and reflect on the greenness of Midwest spring.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. After four days of cross-country travel, Bo is back home in the Midwest.

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. Gandalf says:

    I love the photos and the poem. I feel as if I’m along for the ride. Things look greener (and wetter) in this photo series. I look forward to the different images you will find in your other home.

  2. Going backward into spring.

  3. Joanna Paterson says:

    Stunning poetry, thank you. And welcome home.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Joanna. I’m always hesitant to post poetry, but once in awhile I give in. I’m usually pleased when I do.

  4. Joanne Keevers says:

    After a long trip, it’s good to hear that you are safely home Bo, and I know your home will welcome you with open arms. 🙂

  5. I especially like how you processed these images.

  6. Lovely. Welcome back to the Midwest. 🙂

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