This is a glimpse of a car trip flanked by billowy clouds, suspended raindrops on my car window and light brown soybean flats surrounded by palisades of corn. A hint of dark cast upon our prairie that day. Fitting for my destination to Abraham Lincoln and Vachel Lindsay's final resting place in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Here are the not-so-pearly gates (more ember) I was headed toward, where Sunday, a small group gathered in Oak Ridge Cemetery as part of national Dead Poets Remembrance Day (facebook).

click to enlarge grave sign - ANITA STIENSTRA
Anita Stienstra
grave sign

Bits of blue sky and sun showed their grandeur as everyone huddled near the grave of poet Vachel Lindsay. The most famous of all Springfield poets is buried atop a knoll directly north of the president's. It was the coolest day so far in a fall that had barely burst forth.

click to enlarge Poet Lisa Higgs reads a Vachel poem. - ANITA STIENSTRA
Anita Stienstra
Poet Lisa Higgs reads a Vachel poem.

One of the readers was Lisa Higgs, president of the Vachel Lindsay Association. Higgs is perhaps one of the best female poets in central Illinois. Her book Lodestar was published in 2011.

 Her and her husband brought their two girls who each read a Vachel poem including The Little Turtle. (Click on the photo above to hear The Little Turtle.)

Lana Wildman wore moon earrings in Vachel's honor. 

Springfield Poets and Writers President Hugh Moore read a little biographical information on Lindsay and read a Lindsay poem. Listen to Hugh's song "Rhymes to Be Traded for Bread" written about Vachel Lindsay. Below is a group photo of those who read. I read, well sang, Lindsay's "Butterfly Hieroglypics" (check back for a sound clip).

When leaving the cemetery, blue skies still cracked through layers of clouds. This is a look south down Monument Ave. where the Oak Ridge Cemetery office and entrance sit.

The eye in the sky that followed me home. And then a rainbow (below) to the east peaked out under the returning, encasing clouds.

It is good to have hopeful stories wrapped around the phenomena and objects that fill our lives. Poetry is part of this. Rest well Abe and Vach. Thank you for the stories.


If you have post ideas or poetry you'd like to be featured on this blog Poetry, Etc. email astienstra@illinoistimes.com. I'd like to restart People's Poetry -- email me your poems today.

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