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


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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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