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Jon Michael Willey

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No Prairie Bride Today
by Jon Michael Willey

Friday, September 03, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Jon Michael Willey
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           >> View all 285

I have always been attracted to the tragedy of a woman in an old western movie, "One Upon A Time In The West".

"No Prairie Bride Today"


blonde haired Louisiana beauty

her figure still holds girlish form

large Vandyke brown eyes



glisten peering into yesterday

all her dreams lie buried there

‘neath prairie dirt and mesquite



solemn funeral today displaced a wedding

her intended lies in the box of pine

solemnity of black mourning dress she wears



in place of a white laced gown

fate took her betrothed to the ground

neither widow nor bride this day she’ll be



a paradox gripping prairie flowers

tears drying in the mesa’s heat

silence broken by powdered earth



shoveled onto his casket below

never will the bell of happiness ring

in her heart laboring to understand



what savagery are the deeds

of such a barren land and what

has fate to offer her trembling hands



Jon Michael Willey


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Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 9/16/2010
How utterly real and gravely sad John
in any decade broken hearts are so loud
to the soul of lonely...

May Love Always Embrace You
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/12/2010
A very compelling and vivid offering, Jon. Thank you for sharing it. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 9/7/2010
I echo Gene's and John's comments. You create wonderful ambiance.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 9/7/2010
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 9/7/2010
I've seen the movie numerous times. Your poem has captured her in eleoquent somber detail. Life and death seemed to go hand in hand in that barren windswept place. Great write.....M
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 9/7/2010
The sense of time and place are palpable, Jon, such that the images live and breathe - painfully so in view of the subject matter. Having spent just a few days in the desert-lands of the American south-west last spring, I can picture this vividly. Yes indeed. The pioneers must have been of sterling stuff, vibrant faith and profound vision to even attempt to make their way in such temperate hostility. We had a car problem on a desert high road in Texas and I was totally petrified of having to spend time in that fan-oven heat... and that was just a few hours in the relative comfort otherwise of an air-conditioned car! This really hits home to me. Also reminds me muchly of the scenescapes of the Nicole Kidman film, Australia. And boy do I now need a drink! :)) Par excellence as per u. xx
Reviewed by Andy Turner 9/6/2010
Haha, I know what you mean, or meant until I started watching the chinese martial arts historical films. Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen etc. Makes the wild west look like kinder garden and the women are simply mega stunning.

Thanks for this.
Reviewed by Vesna Vanessa 9/5/2010
Oh Jon..I was there felt it soul wrenched in pain..oh God!
Superb work Jon..just splendid!

Needless to say YOU are one marvelous poet..proud to be your friend...

PS..I'm saving this one....thank you..brilliant!

Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 9/4/2010
M a r v e l o u s ~~!!

This is a perfect example of how great a poem can be when a writer shows, rather than tells. You make us see the poor woman (love Vandyke eyes!), the desolate prairie that is swallowing her alive, , the rough-hewn casket and crude wooden cross that marks the grave
where the man whose wife she hoped to be lies. And we think life
is hard!

Give us more. Give us MORE!!

xOx Phyllis xOx
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 9/4/2010
Do we have a novel incubating?

Reviewed by Carole Mathys 9/4/2010
You captured one of the many hardships of life in that era for a woman. That is a period of history that has fascinated my imagination many times too, wondering why people would choose to homestead in such a
a unforgiving area. Wonderful write, Jon Michael
Peace and love, Carole~
Reviewed by jude forese 9/4/2010
much depth to this skillfully crafted depiction ...
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 9/4/2010
Jon, I can actually feel the heat as I read or hmmm I should say watch this film in my head..really good!!!
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 9/4/2010
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! VERY TALENTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by John Flanagan 9/3/2010
This is fine writing with superior word choice and phrasing. The stanza Gene elects to quote is for me, too, the truly moving one, finely wrought, but the entire work stirs my heart and the heroine's lot is well summed at the close.

Reviewed by Gene Williamson 9/3/2010
a paradox gripping prairie flowers
tears drying in the mesa’s heat
silence broken by powdered earth

Jon, I'm moved by the beauty and the caring in your words.


Reviewed by Sheila Roy 9/3/2010
Extreme departure from your usual style, Jon. There's a nice sense of authenticity to the imagery and story. I'm not sure if the rhyme in the last verse was coincidental or intended, but I think it adds to the dramatic end. Great poem. Hugs,
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 9/3/2010
The Old West lives and breathes in this fine poem. Deeply immotive and so realistic. Wonderfully penned Jon.
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 9/3/2010
Little House on the Prairie expanded into a feature length...The Old West put them in their graves...lies buried and the prairie sage blooms.

Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 9/3/2010
Beautifully written.
Reviewed by George Carroll 9/3/2010
Tender depiction of loss for a bride to be in the old west.
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 9/3/2010
Gorgeous poem! This is so real, so wistful and haunting.
Life is just this way, so easy to identify with your poem in my heart.

Oh, by the way I play a few of the pieces from this movie, the music is passionate and fun to play from this~
Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat 9/3/2010

I know you said this was from a movie, but you have written it with such feeling, it makes me want to cry. What a tragedy!

Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 9/3/2010
As always sweet Jon such a pleasure to read your wonderful writing...nice to read you again I have missed ya... stay safe and well sweet friend..Hugss
Chanti Lace xoxo
Reviewed by The Poetess 9/3/2010
Very heart touching display of what life often deals many of us.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/3/2010
A hard life, fraught with danger ... beautifully told, Jon. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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