The Wasteland

I was born on the far end
Of a desolate wasteland
Endless miles of juniper, sagebrush,
Cheatgrass, and dusty Earth,
As far as the eye can see.

More than a century earlier,
Pioneers skipped over
Its rugged landscape
For the fertile soil of the
Damp valley beyond the mountains.

Thousands of years earlier,
Some of the first Americans
Skipped over it as well
For the path that would lead them
To the bountiful lands of the south.

Escapists, adventurers, and many others
Eventually called the wasteland home,
My ancestors among them.
Whatever their reason for coming,
They found one good enough to stay.

Living on the edge of the wasteland,
And in a sense Western society itself,
Is not for everyone.
So I left the wasteland one day,
But it refuses to leave me.

by Cody McCullough

Smith Rocks 2000 001

Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

8 thoughts on “The Wasteland

  1. There’s not much poetry that I can appreciate, but this falls out of that sphere. It’s great. Question: What poets do you recommend to change my view of poetry for the better? Big task. All my imagined eggs are in your figurative basket.

    • Thank you for liking my poetry. I’ve always been a fan of Hunter S. Thompson. I know he’s not a poet, but his steam of consciousness style is one of my major influences. When it comes to poets, two of my favorites are Archibald MacLeish and William Stafford. If you don’t like their work, though, no worries. You could always just like my poetry exclusively.

      • No need to thank me, I didn’t have much say in the matter. Ye old brain’s a mind of his own. Alas, I do like a few poets – Blake and Poe being two of my faves – but I shall continue on liking yours, without conscious intent, as that may be.

  2. Pingback: Film Influence No. 4: Dazed and Confused « The Past, Present, and Future:

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