Only words remained, changing with telling.
--from "Leaving Chaco Canyon: A.D. 1300 "
Craig Goad, born in May 1944, grew up near Augusta, Kansas, in a house built by his father. He attended a two-room country elementary school and Augusta High School. He holds BA and MA degrees in English from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia (now Emporia State University). A faculty member at Northwest Missouri State University since 1966, he also has served as the editor of various literary publications and chapbooks, including the Green Tower Press and The Laurel Review.
In Section I, Goad addresses personal memories. With words he flips through family photographs, relives family reunions, and relates the passions of early marriage. In one poem, the baseballs that defied every search after disappearing into the weeds of a vacant lot become a metaphor for the youth that we can't quite believe has been truly lost, but seems only to await our determined search.
In Section II, Goad expands the memory base back in time (several poems about the Anasazi people of pre-Columbian times) and out to more generic contemporary issues. "Trailer #214" tells of an eroded marriage. "Final Innings" concludes:
Goad chose well when he designated "Hurrying into the Night" as the title poem. Who among us hasn't driven at night to escape our own private demons, when only luck saved us from disaster? Yet the very lines that transport us back to our problematic youth also speak to our rush through life toward... what?
Although Craig Goad moved out of the state half a lifetime ago, his poetry documents his irrevocable tenure as a Kansas poet:
Bob Gross attended Washburn University of Topeka from 1977 to 1980, graduating cum laude. He was active in Headwaters, the Washburn Writers organization, and served as editor for four issues of Inscape. After his death in 1984, his family established the Robert E. Gross poetry competition to encourage poets of Kansas origin and provide an opportunity for publication of their work.
They do not jar the dead
with the backhoe. One boy per grave,
they spade the earth, deposit
what they find in tight and beveled
pine, carry all away
to higher ground. When the wind
is right, you can hear the clank
and shriek of graders, the groan
of cables under load, diesels
hard against the governors,
finishing the dam. It is easy
to foresee the water rising
ridge by ridge, taking cockleburr
and foxtail, the rose of sharon
and its twining trumpet vines,
at last the cedars, crawling
up the peeling bark until
the topmost branch is a ripple
and then nothing. Some say
a stillborn baby, left behind
in the westering of '49 was the first,
but no one, even with the slender
steel that probes for softness
in the flinty ground, could find
the small, unstoned, indifferent place.
Hurrying into the Night
by Craig M. Goad
5-1/2" X 8-1/2"