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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Excerpt from The Saltness of Time

I do one blog post and let it sit for too long and then I do too many over a short period of time.
I'm sure most writers fall in love with certain of their passages. This is one of my favorites:

Maybe it was the lack of sound that made me believe the acres of snow had become a vast sounding board stretching over the prairie and bringing to me the vibrations of its past. But there was no doubt to me then, nor is there now, that I heard Indian ponies passing in the night and I could feel the heart throbs of a terror-struck pioneer family, huddled, praying for God to protect their lives in a dismal soddie. I heard, then, too, the shouts of children in an ancient Pawnee settlement, ignorant of what would follow a Spaniard's search for gold. I heard a shovel scoop out earth to make room for a tiny coffin and sobs tore at my heart. My body was rocked by the thuds of buffalo bodies, one after another, hitting the prairie as a hunter decimated a herd. And then I actually felt the vibrations as the first plow ripped the sod and make the entire prairie sigh. It sighed the word 'land.' Land, it's a word as magic as the sea, isn't it. There even reached to me the sounds of monster fish from when Kansas was, for thousands of years, a great inland sea, only to dry up, like dreams, and leave beds of salt and shark's teeth for a Kansas boy to wonder at.

The Saltness of Time

For the grammarians out there: should that be sharks' teeth?

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