Photography © Luis Lázaro Tijerina
The Flint Hills
For my brother, Richard J. Tijerina
“See, they return, and bring us with them”.
From Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot
The prairie grass now brown in March,
Here I have found my end,
My little death upon the air of where I was born,
and now to prepare before dusk comes,
for every exploration comes to an end,
in this moment,
Here, among the Bluestem Pastures,
in this time among bison roaming here as if nothing
was difficult but to exist,
I have watched them in my memory moving
like battle tanks in ragged robes,
amid the fire.
A cold wind upon the tourist’s path towards
the hills of time and existence without end,
One only has to step forth on the Blue Stem Hills,
Here among the Great Plains,
Where the controlled burns will come in springtime,
The ranchers not knowing their time
will soon pass and they will be nothing but memory,
But it is these people who will endure:
Soon enough the Pawnee, Wichita, Osage, and Kansa—
Set their feet upon the footpaths… step quickly in cold March—
to see their great shadows upon the ancient rocks,
Flint from stone, stone to flint—
the singing poems from stone to death.
Come to me, death,
For what can I fear except this disquieting existence?
Limestone and shale, with their endless fossils, prehistoric sea creatures eye me with
of blindness among the tallgrass prairies.
Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.