By Walter McDonald, Wyman Meinzer

A long-lasting tribute to the land that bore a country photographer and country poet laureateClarity, concentration, and startling aspect are the stuff of lasting images--in poetry or images. it's all approximately beholding, approximately taking in what's ours to absorb--if merely we'll. Little can crush the senses greater than our nice lonely plains, expanses of sky and horizon so huge, immense that typically composition will get misplaced in among. Who higher, then, to light up what may elude us than a local country photographer and local kingdom poet laureate?Although Meinzer and McDonald have either committed careers to seeing and celebrating those plains, garnering major honors and awards alongside the best way, neither had learned how a lot his paintings spoke to the other's. Now seventy-seven pairs of poems and colour photos testify to the kinship of poet, photographer, and we all who inhabit their territory. chosen from countless numbers of photos and poems, those pairs convey marvelous concord of imaginative and prescient and insights concerning the titanic, vast plains, their dramatic colours, and the calm, energetic those who thrive underneath their sprawling skies, accepting the hazards and beauty of all of it.

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Rain made barbed wires shine, great lonely places of the Plains. All that, decades ago, today only a shower and rainbow. Our children rose and flew away to Tahiti, Dallas, Spain, and now we’re alone with our thirtieth herd, another barbed-wire fence. Nights on the swing we’re surrounded by pasture, fat cattle safe, four dogs that startle coyotes from lakes a mile away. Rocking, I watch the moonlight in her eyes, the haze of silver in her hair. Windmills whir the same old songs, roar of tires on the highway, headlights of neighbors coming home.

Tonight under a roof of snow, we flounce a blanket and let it fall, crawl under and fold each other close with all the heat we own. 19 In Spring, the Cedar Waxwings Often, when I travel to auctions or haul cattle to market, my wife stays home to paint or write the grandkids, water jays and cardinals and in spring, the cedar waxwings. Every day’s a gift, even at our age. Even a day’s too long to be away. I miss the crinkle of her lips, the wrinkled suntan of her hands. Life is grass, stunningly brief, but abundant in so many ways.

They claim his florid nose exposed a painter’s lust, that even the scent of stiff, splayed bristles glazed with oils aroused him, and skin like honey on the tongue provoked him, made him pose models sweating till they wept. They claim he painted haunted faces, that nothing glistens but their hats and helmets. Yes, what he loved and pitied most was flesh that’s caught but never saved by canvas. Consider his florid elders astounded by Susanna bathing, his naked Danaë with her god of gold. Behold the fragile, eggshell flesh of sad Bathsheba, her toes and thighs scrubbed slowly for a king.

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