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Tatanka: A Poem

I’ve enjoyed writing for many years. I'm dedicating more time to the craft in my retirement days.

A Billy Buc Picture Prompt

Longtime HubPages writer Bill Holland put forth the picture below with this request for takers:

"My last picture prompt was not too popular (composting toilet, anyone?), so let’s see what you can do with this photo. One paragraph of your absolute best creative writing, please."

This short poem is my answer to that challenge. Hope you enjoy it, and thanks to Bill for putting this out there.

Here's the Picture...



It’s not lore

It’s much more

Like gore

Because it’s true

That I once roamed

In numbers

Bigger than you could ignore

An earthly roar

Would shake the ground

The cacophonic sound

Spread round and round

When we moved with speed together




Of us

And more

A loud part

At the start

Of a more peaceful time

That didn’t end that way

In days

Before covered wagons

And trains

Came this way

From an eastern shore

And long, long and long before


And Planes

These plains

Were my home

Our home

Things with wheels

And humming, roaring motors

Were not here

Moving along

These winding bands of gravel

And stone

And petroleum

That used to reside

On the underside

As aged planktons

And greens

That left the scene

Predating days when my loveable face

Graced this place

Put here

To sustain



With those who lived

In measured harmony

With the land

And all upon it

But the balance



Went askew

As Sharps arrived

With shooters

I almost left this place

For good

Or for ill, rather

But no matter

I’m still here

In sizeable numbers

And I am big and black

And a deep, beautiful brown

I am a part of this place

Always have been

‘Tis where I belong

Always will be

I know


I have been here

With the red

Since well before

The white

Came wearing


And then my skins, too

Which turned to currency

Then primacy


Do away with me

Get at someone else

Move a pawn

On a board

Sow discord

Let it manifest



I now be

A celebrity

Kind of a king

Proud to say

I have a day

And an Act

Renowned thusly


For my history

Tied economically

And spiritually

In perpetuity

Tatanka, I be

And shall remain

Once again

And forever more

Bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota

Bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota

© 2021 greg cain

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