In the granular finery
that follows, a Kryptonian
like Clark could get a good bath.
Not so the rest of midwestern
humanity, which faces...
THE DUST BOWL
(No Bastion of Humility)
A boiling sun beating
down on brows scrambling
to escape stinging new sands;
scraping the inner rim
of five states, sculpting the once-soil-
now-clay into clods that break
away, taking leave of the ground;
Dry sage, crackling with age,
driven by wind whispering
an ancient secret;
Coarse, all-too-human hands
holding the children,
sheltering young lungs
from the smothering storm.
Today, though, the Dust Bowl2
It blows, it howls. It knows, it scowls
at the brave (or mad?) man-child
who has surrounded it,
who's flown 'round and 'round it,
from its Kansan eye through its sandy mass,
to the clear skies beyond its grasp.
Clark's plan (straight outta the Wild West):
Head the storm off "at the pass,"
circle it in reverse
and form a vacuum to press it
into a twister cone; then flip it
with his twirling wrists
and change the course
of this mighty natural force,
spin it like a lariat
off into the stratosphere.
Will it work? The answer nears.
Really, this poet can't put it
in terms more apt than Steinbeck's
in The Grapes of Wrath --
"The last rains came gently,
and the did not cut the scarred earth
....(which) became pale. The air was thin
....the dirt crust broke and the dust formed
....the wind grew stronger....the air and sky
darkened....The dawn came, but no day" --
but he can surely rally his talents
and give it 'the old college try.'