Tom Stock

Poet, Essayist, Photographer, Naturalist

Hempstead Plains – Three Poems


A prairie is a reservoir of sky
A big dome over grassy orb
Star like composites below,
Constellations above.
The plain at Hempstead
A nineteen acre safe deposit box
Is wedged among concrete and noise
A swath of cottony Bonset
Gently sways in a shallow swale
That heads off toward the Meadowbrook
Volunteers work the aliens
A never-ending job
To try to bring her back
To look like a century ago
They strip seeds off Indian grass
Put them in envelopes
To cast next spring
To compound what little is left

A Look Into A Rare Flower

I am a bee
Landing on five pink petals
Of globally rare Sand Plain Gerardia
Whose flowers last less than a week
I jam my head into its calyx
A pink room of nectar
I accidentally brush against pollen
That clings to the hairs on my back
I mate with the flower
Of the Hempstead Plains


A Plain View

A dentist looks into my mouth
For the annual checkup
Probes the undulating enamel of molars,
Minute imitations of the topography
Of a a once vast plain of grass

The preserve slopes to Meadowbrook
That drains to the bay
The panorama spreads wide
To the treed horizon
Tending east across four other creeks

On a curved glass evaporating dish
Minute, crystallized cubes of salt
Imitate banks of houses
That now cover prairie
Plainedge and East Meadow
Have crept into this last drop,
A fraction of what it once was
Today, one square foot for every 2,000

In 1834, a boy walked seven miles east
From Hempstead to deliver a package
Sometimes lost to all points of the compass
Within tall grass

Photo from Flickr user dogtooth77

Tom Stock

Tom Stock has been involved in the Long Island environmental and outdoor education community for decades.

He has published two books; THE NISSEQUOGUE RIVER: A JOURNEY and HIDDEN AGENDA; A POETRY JOURNEY.He has also published many essays and poems in such journals as the Long Island Forum and The Long Islander.


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1 Comment

  1. Volunteered at the Hempstead Plains. A special Nature Preserve of Long Island. Being around the serenity Nature is rewarding.

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