Field Observations

This is the place where you can find my observations on life in Nebraska and the universe. Encounters. Walkabouts. Sightings. The surprises that come when we let ourselves be strangers in a strange land.  An every day migrant. Looking and listening as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.

Prose Poem for the Holidays 2016

Published Sunday, December 18, 2016


Joyful Solstice! Joyful Hanukkah! Joyful Christmas! and Joyful Great Flight of the Old Shaman and His Reindeer! A myth that, by the way, pertains to ancient magic in northern Finland, including mysterious visions of the sacred white reindeer -- an image in my forthcoming book about American Finns -- love to YOU ALL, and may you kick ass in the new year in whatever way is YOUR chosen way-- whether you be a Republican or a Democrat or Independent, whether you be a Hard-Working Disaffected Farmer Who Remembers the Better Times of Family Farms and Living Towns, or a Hopeful Oil Man, or a near-suicidal Climate Scientist, or a Woman Who Remembers The Bad Old Days, or an Indian Freezing Your Butt Off at Standing Rock Because It Is the Right Thing To Do, or a Man Who Wishes to Cross Dress But Doesn't Live in the Right Place to Do It, or Who Maybe Does, or an Undocumented Person Who Is Counting on the Goodness of Hearts in the American Heartland, or a Pig Farmer Who Likes To See Them Run Around Before We Eat Them, or a Business Person Who Is Already Counting on Tax Cuts Which You Deserve If You Are A Small-Business Person But Otherwise Do Not, or a Genuinely Sincere Rights of the Unborn Believer Who Truly Thinks That Was an Adequate Reason to Vote For Trump, or a Child of Gay Parents Who Does Not Yet Understand That Some Forms of Love Are Inferior to Others, or a Wall Street Short Seller Rubbing Your Soft Palms at the Thought of More Deregulation, or Someone Whose Family Has Always Paid Their Taxes, or a Doughnut Maker Who at This Very Moment of the Morning Is Just Getting to Bed Having Sold Out the Sweetly Scented Products of the Night, or a Mean Person On Your Death Bed Surrounded By a Surprisingly Forgiving Family, or a Broken Meth Head Tweaking in the Alley Who Looks Up at The Wildly Swinging Stars and Weeps, or a Tired Mother Walking Her Colicky Baby to Sleep in a Cozy Condo, or in a Cold Walkup, or a Real Reindeer in The Rapidly Melting Arctic Hoping That Next Spring You Can Make the Swim to the Calving Grounds Before Your Calf Drops, or a Puppy Dog in a Kill Shelter Looking Up at Someone Who Is Considering Buying You Right This Very Minute, or A Just Born Baby Opening Your Eyes in a Shelter in Lebanon or Turkey, Under a Starry Starry Sky and Blinking at One Star In Particular, a Star That Seems to Promise Something, Something, Something Deeply and Radically Good.