The man stood, stunned, reading a rare letter telling him: “It's better to lie to you than disappoint your brothers” (all younger than you, just in their 40s). You, though, I've abused, lied to, and tortured from time you were a toddler – you're used to it, or should be now. Truer words were never written and signed, “Mom.” WHEN SALMON DOESN'T EXPLODE Each time salmon doesn't explode I am relieved. When it does, it makes a mess; and I don't need another mess of any kind by any one or thing: baby poop in diapers, cat poop in sandpiles, were some messes I had to clean as a child and exploding temper, disorder, chaos my mother created... I'm done with all that. MAGIC BURN TIME Moonlight still bright just days past full, Orion setting west followed by faithful dog. Shadow trees pattern snow along my path, while meadow glitters far and wide: Magical enchantment. Then contrasting fire – inferno blazes as flames dance freely in uncovered pile, protected from snow – contrasting elements delight. PRAIRIE RUINS Built on hope and dreams and other's lies: bankers, speculators, others ignorant of the plains. Rain WON'T “follow the plow,” and dreams died, families too – homes abandoned to collapse with time and weather and neglect: wood rots, rock walls fall as wind blows on THE FUTURE RUNNING Lusty voices, pounding feet are children; questing minds and nimble fingers are at work, children do not merely observe but interact, explore the world and make their presence known. Their exploration is essential to train their minds to process, integrate information for competency to meet life challenges, we repress them at our peril. Bio: Duane L. Herrmann, an internationally published, award-winning poet and historian, has work featured in print and on-line publications as Midwest Quarterly, Little Balkans Review, Flint Hills Review, Manifest West, Inscape, Orison, Gonzo Press, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and more, in fifty-plus anthologies, over one hundred other publications, plus a sci fi novel. A fifth generation Kansan, with branches of his family here before the revolution, and a Native branch even longer, he writes from, these perspectives. His full-length collections of poetry include: Prairies of Possibilities, Ichnographical, Praise the King of Glory, No Known Address, Remnants of a Life, and Family Plowing. His poetry has received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship, inclusion in American Poets of the 1990s, Map of Kansas Literature, Kansas Poets Trail, and others. This, despite an abusive childhood embellished by dyslexia, ADHD, cyclothymia, an anxiety disorder and now, PTSD. The father of four and grandfather of seven, he was surprised to find himself on a farm in Kansas and is still trying to make sense of that, but has grown fond of grass waving under wind, trees, and the enchantment of moonlight.