Musings about life on Earth in all its aspects…

Month: September, 2017

Konza Journal 2017 Issue Now Online

The 2017 issue of the Kansas Area Watershed (KAW) Council annual publication, Konza Journal, is now online. I was fortunate to be asked by editors Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Ken Lassman to participate as a contributing editor and also as a featured photographer (photo essays on Birds, Insects, South Africa, the Changing Faces of Water, and Landscapes). Please check it out. Essays on Climate Change by Ken Lassman, the Cretaceous oceans of Kansas by Mike Everhart, poems by Annette Hope Billings, April Pameticky, Dennis Etzel, Jr.Victoria Sherry, and Janet Jenkins-Stotts, Olive Sullivan, and Kansas Poets Laureate Kevin Rabas, Denise Low, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Eric McHenry, and Wyatt Townley.  Videos by Stephen Locke, and a marvelous essay on language and sense of place as it relates to the prairie by Cindy Crosby.

There is so much more I can’t fit all the links here, so just go to the Konza Journal page, browse, and enjoy.

-Roy Beckemeyer, September 28, 2017


Some images linger.

My youngest grandson, three days old, held the promise of the future. But the television screen and the commentators’ stark voices seemed to belie that future. Telephoto lenses focused on distant buildings, surreal against the blue September sky, smoke roiled from the blemished skyscrapers, and I couldn’t swallow, a bolus of bile and heartache stuck between gut and head. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening. This can’t be.

And then I saw the first one. a bird dropping from a window ledge? No, it didn’t fly, it just fell. A piece of debris? Then another. My God, those are people falling through September skies. September is for falling leaves, smoke from burning leaves, waves of birds beginning to migrate south. Not for this.


My grandson turned sixteen three days ago. He plays football beneath blue skies, walks through school hallways with his friends, still holds all that promise. May his September skies be forever free of lives ending in free-fall. 


September Prayer

Lord, let me end things
like the leaves, in a burst
of all those bright
colors that have been
hidden inside me
the whole long
summer of my life.

I would like to let go
like a dry petiole,
fall like a leaf so dry
and light the air
will barely ripple
at my passage.

I would wish to float
aimlessly for a while,
my spread arms
and legs giving me loft,
a tendency to skitter
on the slightest
breeze, so as to defy all
predictions as to where
and when I would,
finally, come to earth.


~Roy Beckemeyer, September 11, 2017




For the victims of 9-11 and those who remember them. And for John and his generation.



September Segue

A week into September and fall sneaks in a hint: small yellowed leaves drifting from trees in ones and twos and threes so intermittently that they almost don’t register.

They might as well be the sulphur butterflies, flitting goldfinches.

Everything else, after all, is still vibrantly verdant; the shades of green multitudinous, the number of leaves converging on infinity. Then comes the morning when you step out the door into a new 5:00 a.m., one that is bracing, the air still yet brisk, the world suddenly sharper, more clear; Venus hovers in the east, honed to brilliance.

By afternoon and on into evening the cicadas will continue to have their monotonous say, squelching all our preconceived notions about the harmonies of Eros. And so we balance here for a while, in this time both of and between summer and fall: the harvest moon still weeks away, baking-hot afternoons still a distinct possibility; yet the world is winding down, turning summer’s abundant and almost astounding fecundity down from a full boil to a slow simmer.

~ Roy Beckemeyer, September 8, 2017