overlooking clusters of circular fields, from high above, toward a distant, blue horizon

Flying over Kansas. The circles of harvested crops congregate like clusters of terrestrial clouds. A shallow reservoir interrupts a sad little stream, and it must look to me the way my writing looks to the universe or the gods, whichever is looking.

The plains are flat except for cerebral wrinkles carrying other streams of thought, or just standing as empty memories. Here and there small towns are wedged, castles in the clouds, hopes of great ideas, redirecting the flow of water to feed and quench their population. Still other streams look like the signature of a great penman, or maybe the oh-so-lucid lines of an artist’s pen before a nude.

In time the clouds become ordered, the elements compressed into square wafers, houses and sheds adorning most squares, turning the patchwork into a great silicon circuitboard, calculating whether or not millions will eat or not, live or die. They don’t show, though, the people inside the solder-houses, the farmers and their families investing millions of dollars and fourteen hours a day most days to till, plant, and harvest those circles and squares, to plan the rotation and fret the broken wheel line or pivot, to wake early and work in the cold and wet, to sleep late after kneeling before a temperamental God beside wife and children, all to give eldest daughter straight teeth and a good education so that she can grow up to be a lawyer or a writer or a mom, or all three, rarely returning home to central Kansas but always bringing with her the love of a larger machine than can be seen from the solder, and a wilder weather system than can be seen from within a single cloud.