WHAT KANSAS MEANS TO ME
In Celebration of the Sesquicentennial Year
|Impressions of Kansas . . . .from Edwards County, Kansas|
Sickle pulls in stocks
Combine moves across the field
Grain bin soon fills up
Have you met the valley?
With hills surrounding you,
Watching combines drive by.
Wheat in the soil,
Wheat all around,
Meet my friend the wind.
So freely waving through your beards.
Have you met my friend the rain.
Gaillardia Joan Weaver
Disking through the soil
Preparing the ground for the crop.
The tumbleweed rolls
Across the treacherous road
The journey complete.
See the green long stemÖ
Petals facing the bright sun
Out in the pasture
Meadowlark that sings
With such loveliness in all
Singing his song loud.
Walking down the road
I see the crops around me
Hoping it will rain.
Summer is hot and
Sweaty, like a crazy dog
Searching for water.
See the wheat growing
In the fields as you drive by
All sweet and golden
Damaging, annoying, disturbing
Trees, air, violent, weather
Threatening, terrifying, shocking
Frost on Pampas Grass Sheila Hinman
Rolling, flooding, abounding
Prairie, steppe, limestone, gravel
Eroding, sloping, inclining
It doesnít belongÖ
That old weeping willow tree
Among the wheat field.
Have you forgotten the fields?
The crops need moisture
Or else they will wither.
Rain, way up in the sky,
Have you seen the ground?
It is beginning to crack
Due to lack of your presence.
Please stop this game
Please come out of the clouds.
Waiting, hoping, watching
Cutting, driving, listening
. . . . I live in Belpre, Kansas. Not really in Belpre, but something like two miles northwest of it. My closest neighbor is almost a mile and a half away, so itís pretty uneventful where I live. Thereís lots of wildlife though. Just the other day, we had a coyote in our front yard, almost twenty feet from our doorstep. True story! Our dog was going crazy, but heís a big pansy anyway. And almost daily, we have at least three deer in our year. Thatís the thing people from somewhere like New York City donít understand.
The weather in Kansas is near impossible to predict. One day it could be 100 degrees outside; the next, 20 below zero. Thatís exaggerating, but itís true. And the storms! Almost five years ago, the town of Greensburg got wiped out by an EF5 tornado. Thatís right, they had to make a whole new category to rate that baby. We were in our basement for an entire week that year. . . . Greg Newsom
Kansas nature is beyond imaging
With climates that will end as soon as it begins.
Land forms like a messed up carpet,
Flow over the state borders
Creating a throw rug of little towns.
Towns of big and towns of small,
Each unique as them all.
All filled with fields that flow
In such a soothing motion.
Corn fields and sunflower fields
Hover over old dusty roads,
Separation only by railroads.
Wheat fields changing from green to gold.
Creating a painting that is never old.
Wagon trails and history lay on the open plain
Surviving year and years without any change.
This is Kansas, a place where
Beauty stretches as far
As the eye can go.
Harvest is now here,
Oceans of wheat, whispering
Their little secrets
Hear sound of nature
Coming from many species
Silence brings the sounds.
What Kansas means to me,
Is a lot you will see.
Wide open spaces
with lots of friendly faces.
The winter wind is bitter cold
and the cottonwoods are looking old.
The ground is dry and covered with dust.
Tumbleweeds roll with every gust.
The golden wheat blowing in the wind,
harvest crops just around the bend.
Combines cutting in the fields.
Farmers praying for good yields.
The elevator at Ardell
looks like an empty rustic shell.
No longer holding grain to sell.
They have done their job very well.
Cattle grazing on the plains,
hoping to find some grains.
Prairie dogs all around
Digging holes in the ground.
The star-filled sky at night,
is such an amazing sight.
You can hear the coyotes call,
if you make no noise at all.
Family and friends all gather here,
for all the holiday cheer.
Friends and family I like to see,
They bring out the best in me.
The flat lands of Kansas
are home sweet home to me.
There is no place on earth
where I would rather be.
Pokes its tall head out
Looks around for intruder
Gone within a flash
Comes back for a look
Sees no intruders outside
Goes back to digging
Big Basin Steve Andrews
Singing, chirping, flying
Yellow, bird, black, varmint
Lurking, spying, stealing
Where we run free
Through big cities and small;
The beautifulness of it all
See the buffalo
They use to graze in the field
Now they are fenced in.
Down the old dirt road
No destination in sight
So just keep driving
. . . .Our state also has some amazing attractions.
A great place to start is the capitol building in Topeka, Kansas.
In Liberal, we can find Dorothyís House and the Land of Oz.
Dalton Defenders Museum is located in Coffeyville, Kansas.
In Cawker City, we can be amazed by the biggest ball of twine.
In the country, we can see the beautiful crops growing.
In Edwards County, we find the Civil War monument. . . .
Patricia M. Lujan
The place I love
Where the green grass grows tall
You can always see the sun set
When driving down a dirt road in Kansas, the best parts are watching the wheat wave back and forth and seeing all the crops in the field. You see the cattle grazing, getting big before heading to the feedlot. Farmers have worked very hard for these crops and cattle. We go out to grandpa and grandmaís house to see them. We get together and have a big steak dinner. That is Kansas--food that is made out of Kansas beef. Nathan Frame
|Kansas People . . . .|
Families and friends are reunited when gathered at the city parks to watch a firework show provided by the fire department during the Fourth of July. Men gather in the early morning with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other as they compare among one another how their crops are doing. Residents gather around at the city hall to attend city meetings to discuss ideas on how to make the community betters. Towns are small enough that everybody knows everybody. We are all united as a whole whether we are residents from a city or town where friendships are made and trust is known. Mayela Meza
Dorothy flies away.
Has to find her way to Oz.
Thereís no place like home.
We learn from our roots,
As Grandpa always told us,
Treasure what you have!
The Wizard of Oz
He controls what happens here
Making dreams come true.
People from large cities judge
the way we live in our small town;
we donít pay them any mind.
We love our ways of living.
We arenít afraid to tell you our opinions
or how we feel about something.
We stand up for what we believe in.
Sarah M. Jennings
Hoar Frost Joan Weaver
I am a proud Kansan. It is a state known for the undisturbed plains, friendly smiles, and beautiful blue skies. I know Kansas as a safe place to be. I live in Lewis, Kansas. I feel safe here. . . . I am able to go out and know that people I trust are around to help me if I am in trouble.
Kansas may make you become an adult before you are ready, and it is this trait that helps people that come from Kansas be successful in the world. Kansas teaches you that the world waits for no one. Hayden Petty
I like the people of Kansas. We are friendly people, willing to help those in need. During the holidays there are numerous groups that collect food for the local food bank. In Kansas if you have a flat tire chances are that someone will stop to offer their help. You hear stories of farmers who have been injured and their neighbors come and plant or harvest their crops.
. . . . The people who live in Kansas are also very patriotic, and are grateful for this country. The Kansas people send care packages, letters, and Christmas cards to the soldiers overseas. Some of the Kansas people have gone through the Greensburg tornado, and the people are grateful to have a new house and town to live in. . . . The Kansas people of small towns know each otherís names, and are normally on a first name basis. The Kansas people know how to make each other smile and laugh. They joke and kid around to make each other laugh, and when there is a serious time, they come together to pray to God, and the people become more grateful for what they have. Amber Seevers
Small Town Kansasó
Only 400 People.
Home for the ones
that want to be someone in life.
Itís our pride to be a Kansan.
We share our memories.
We are happy living in this townÖ.
Our town might be small
But we feel pride to live here.
Our people support one another,
Showing respect for their community.
We as Kansans work together
To maintain a spirit pride
And pass our heritage to the
On May 4, 2007, a town a few miles away from Kinsley, Kansas was hit by a horrifying tornado.
It was a hot sunny afternoon, and I had been babysitting a little girl named Briseida since eight in the morning.
. . . . The sky was very dark and the clouds were moving like a herd of cows.
. . . . My mom told us to go to the basement because Greensburg had just been hit by the tornado. We have no family or family over there, but it was really sad to hear what had happened. A few minutes later we lost power once again. That second right then and there I began to feel chills going through my body. All I could think about was a tornado coming our way. The wind was blowing so hard that I thought it was going to blow our house away before the tornado did . . . .
. . . . Kansas is known for many things, but one sure thing is we are known for our disastrous tornados. Myra Ramirez
Ö.That night, the whole family was downstairs. I stayed up, watching my dad pacing back and forth, deciding if he should go back to Greensburg to see what the damage was or stay with the family. In the end, he decided to goÖ. It is the memory that I remember the most. It was hard for everyone who was affected by the tornado, and it still is hard on everyone. The reason why it is that clear in my memory is because that was the first time I saw my dad cry. Clarissa Werth
Kansas we call our home. To most people Kansas is just another regular boring state, but for my family and me Kansas is more than just ordinary. Kansas has given us everything we have, and it still offers more. . . . I have lived in Kansas my whole life. Often my parents have talked about moving to another state such as Texas. My family and I always come to the conclusion that Kansas is our home and it will be forever.
Spring Blossoms Sheila Hinman
Most farmers in Kansas that I know donít get much sleep because theyíre trying to get work taken care of so they can make a profit. Farmers raise cattle, swath for other people, bale for other people, sell bales, harvest corn, and harvest wheat and milo to make money. Something good about having farmers in a small community is that some of the farmers hire teenagers over the summer so they can make some money before school starts up.
. . . .Our faith develops into a spirit of generosity.
We dust the wheat seed into the ground in September, believeing that the rains will come at the ďright time.Ē
We gather as a community on Memorial Day to testify to the presence of patriotism.
The flag symbolizes our values, a belief that those who serve out country deserve respect and recognition.
We hold masses and prayer services for rain, believing that God will send at his timing the needed moisture for our crops.
We share our gifts Ė financial as well as timeówith the needy around the world, but we never overlook the angels
who come to our doorsteps.
Our faith states the principle boldly: we share as God has shared so graciously with us.
Galen R. Boehme, Ph.D.
Soaring, winning, looking
Basketball, tradition, football, football
Leaping, clawing, seeking
Growing, selling, buying
Cattle, people, farms, animals
Growing, farming, producing
Expanding, changing, growing
Amusement parks, professional athletics
Feedlots, college athletics
Farming, hunting, fishing
Rural area, towns
". . . . I canít wait to get home.Ē
ďHome is where the heart is,Ē Joe chimed in. He was right. Right now, my heart was still a few hundred miles away. I couldnít wait to be back. Even though I may have dreams of becoming rich and famous, walking on the red carpet with a supermodel or two by my side, one thing never fails to make its way into the fantasy: coming back at the end of a long successful career to live the rest of my life in Kansas, my home, my place of contentment. Itís where my heart is, and will probably always be.
My farm was more than just a piece of land. To me it was precious. Home is precious to me, satisfying to me, and appealing to me. That is what Kansas means to me. Paul Kirkwood
Living on a farm has its ups and downsÖ.When winter comes around my family and I go out and chop down dead trees for firewood. During the winter we always have a fire going in our house to keep us warm. When it snows we go sledding behind the four wheeler or behind dadís pickup. After we are done sledding, mom always makes us hot chocolate and dad has a fire going for us in the garage so we can dry off. That is what I love about Kansas. In the summers it can be hot and in the winter we usually receive snow so we can go sledding. Alisen Habiger
Good for farming,
Tractors and combines too,
Provide food for us citizens
My familyís town,
Six generations have lived here
Some may say itís boring.
But we have our friends.
We have family.
We have activities.
We all have many kinds of fun.
Kansas is a very calm place to live.
You can go outside at night and watch the stars and sit on the hills and watch animals go through the fields.
Horse Thief Canyon Joan Weaver
I may live in a small town
but I find it very comforting
because no one bothers you.
It is a very quiet town.
You can enjoy a very
peaceful day here.
Kansas is full of not only sunflowers and fields, but it is full of life. The fields are not just for working but for teaching people. The sunflowers show just some of the beauty of Kansas, and the people in Kansas make this state home. . . .Kansas means life. It means growing up in a place where I have become accustomed to inner beauty. It is a place that has shown me that hard work can take you far. Even though it might not seem like it, Kansas has an ocean of its own. Thatís what Kansas means to me.
The environment in small towns in Kansas is enjoyable. Everywhere you go in one of the towns you will see all sorts of wildlife. The air is usually a lot cleaner, and if it is not cloudy you can always see the stars in the sky. . . . Many people in the towns enjoy this environment. They do not want it to be destroyed; they do whatever they can to keep the environment around where they live clean. Jordon German
When I think about Kansas, hunting comes to my mind. Everybody hunts or everybody knows someone who hunts that lives in Kansas. Hunting is a big thing in Kansas. You have all sorts of animals to hunt and they each have their own season. My dadís family is really big on hunting. My dad, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends all hunt.
The buffaloes roam
Across the open prairie
They eat th green grass.
Cheney Nature Trail Joan Weaver
. . . .There is so much history about Kansas that I love. I have gone from seeing buffalo wallows in our fields to having our land farmed by GPS equipment. . . .My grandparents came from Germany, and I am so thankful that they chose to come to Kansas.
Marcile (Kazmaier) King
The summer time is the best season of Kansas. The farmers are out in the fields trying to bring n the great Kansas wheat harvest. The wheat fields look like a golden ocean to me as the wind moves through the wheat making it look like waves. To me, Kansas is a way of life with hard working people and farmers and ranchers that try the hardest to make Kansas great. Austin Wetzel
Chewing, Grazing, Relaxing
Quiet, Calm, Graceful, Quick
Kansas is simple
Flat with some hills
No mountains at all.
Kansas has little schools
But being supported we are mighty HUGE
Small but together large.
Barb wire fence on posts
Against a far horizon
Kind people everywhere
Neat and tidy
Some people never leave
Something you never leave behind
. . . . I like Kansas because itís rural; there arenít a lot of people. During the summer time itís awesome because of all the crops that are planted. You can learn how to do lots of things: ride a horse, cut crops with a combine, plant, drill, drive tractors, and cut hay. I like wheat because when thereís a wind the wheat sways and looks like a yellow ocean. The same thing happens with alfalfa, but itís green. . . . Alonso Esparza
Falling, blowing, melting
White, winter, right, summer
Glowing, blistering, blinding
Kansas is the place to be
It has always been free
Since the beginning of the Civil War
Kansas let our flag soar . . . .
Kansas is 150 years old
This is what I have been told
Kansas is the land I have grown to love
I think it was sent from God above
Kansas is my favorite state
The way that it changes shape
The way the seasons bring many thingsó
Autumnís cool breeze
Winterís white pastures
Summerís sunny fun
Springs abundant life . . . .
From the wide open fields of golden wheat
Made to bread for all to eat
To the dry windy air
To whom most cannot bear
To the gorgeous wide open plains
Or the chug of metal trains
There is only one place for me
Kansas, Kansas the home of the free
Calvin M. Kauffman
The farmer has to have his harvest grow
His hopes and prayers in the ground he sows. . . .
When the wheat gets ripe, the combines begin appearing
from sheds and farms.
Harvest is happiness that your dreams planted in the fall
have come to bear in the harvest of summer.
Dirt roads are full of men and machines
With their livelihood in the backs of the trucks
They bring in the harvest and the hope of another year.
Kindness to everyone
Anyone can visit Kansas
Neat sites of energy generators
Sweet taste of wheat
Awesome places to hunt
Sunflower, our state flower
I like living out in the
country because it is
fun, and I can do a lot
of things like work,
ride four wheelers,
ride horses, raise cattle,
Kind people everywhere!
Amazingly sweet anywhere!
Neat places to see and visit!
Sunflower is our flower!
Air is fresh and nice!
South wind is great wind!
Fireworks, Pool, Blankets, Coats
Sledding, Skating, Snowing
Why I value Kansas, I do not know. Maybe it is its beauty within. The kind of beauty like the road that covers the soil that is under the grass that could grow, or the bridge that is over the beauty of the blue river, and sometimes even us who value wealth more than our Kansas. We build over this Kansas I speak of, destroying our wonderful grassy plains, making what is less of Kansas, making it almost the end of our Kansas. . . . Margarita Holguin
Many flowers and bees
Butterfies flying everywhere
A soft distant howl
Makes its way across the skies
The song of the night
Look, the horizon.
There is nothing in my sight.
Why? It is Kansas.
I, the wind, softly
Singing my song peacefully
Swaying back and forth
There is a wonderful state named Kansas
Itís a very calm, great place to live.
Itís a great state to grow up in,
Everyone knows each other,
Learning system is great
Kids are always safe.
Wind on the wheat fields
The smell of summer rain
Riding horses in the spring
Watching the sun set on the plains
Tumbleweeds flowing across the road
Appreciating quality of life
So free as a buffalo
I roam and wallow in good humor. . .
If I just had pasture
Grazing, Running, Fighting
Grateful to be in the open
Kansas to me means that
Every person in the state
Is to be equal and no different
From your neighbors or friends
Kansas has always been a free state
And always will be because everyone
Is created equal doesnít matter the color
Of skin or your language . . . .
Ground Squirrel Sheila Hinman
So calm is Kansas
I run and play in peace
If it could be calmer
Summer hot air
Like fire that roast wienies
And marshmallows to a crisp
Winter cool breeze
Freezing, shivering, warming up
How unique is they Kansas.
Never will get lost
Your town to live in
Driving, sleeping, wrecking
Black top, pained, dirty, dusty
Cruising, smoking, laughing
Hot summer workdays
Refreshing lunch at midday
Rejoice at dayís end
Track and Field
all day, competitive
jumping, running, throwing
windy, hot, bases, signals
hitting, pitching, catching
Baling, Swathing, Raining
Easter, Break, Thanksgiving, Halloween
Farming, Raking, Color-changing
The place I call home
Where the fields are filled with corn and wheat,
Traveling the long flat highway,
I can see miles of Kansas prairie.
Prairies filled with green grass,
A place for cattle to graze and grow. . . .
Stop to look.
Dry fields and wheat harvest.
The horizon grasps the prairie.
The outline of grain elevators against the sky
Look like dead stones to the naked eye.
Kansas farming is a gamble
Worthy of Vegas.
Traveling the highways,
Wheat fields all around.
The Five Senses of Kansas
You hear the sound of the meadow larks calling on the plains.
You see the rolling fields stretching from the horizon.
You touch the newly planted wheat in the fields.
You taste the steak and your homemade bread.
You smell the fresh wind blowing in air.
Tehren J. Fairbank-Daubert
Living in a small town such as Lewis is a big difference. . . .
There arenít many people like in a city,
There isnít much traffic or many places to go to.
Itís such a small town that you know mostly everyone.
I learned that even though itís a small town
It can be fun in so many ways.
You can go walking around town without getting lost,
Itís safer for small children to go outside and play,
There isnít much pollution for the environment,
And you can always find something fun to do with the family....
Almost all flat
Numerous amount of wildlife
Such a beautiful plance
Smack dab in the middle of the country
I love living here
Schooling is competitive
Trees are rare in Western Kansas
Catching, tackling, running,
Touchdowns, field goals, baskets, shots
Dribbling, shooting, looking
Tyler Michael Espinosa
When I think of Kansas I think of life,
I was born here and I tend to stay.
For, many more year to say,
I say itís home.
I love it
Never ending work
Walking, peeking, eating
Perfect the way I am
Pulling, plowing, working
Large, cab, recreational, useful
Mudding, riding, jumping
Although the ground is dry
The golden sea of wheat
Waves hello through the wind....
Courtney Angelique Marquez
Small town living is oh so grand,
You can go outside, enjoy the air, breezes.
Free to roam, free to stay, never leaving,
Everyone wants out but when they go,
They want back so bad.
The dreams floating around at night, in journals
All the things I love about Kinsley,
All the things I love about Kansas
This is my Kansas.
The beautiful sunsets on prairie nights
Have to be one of my favorite sights.
For fun, weíll go hunting, set up a blind.
In church on Sunday, be quiet, mind.
In our small town the pavement will end
But the dirt roads go on forever to wind and bend
Out of all these things above
Kansas is the Land I Love.
What I like best about Kansas
I like the trees and open spaces.
I like the smell of the smaller places.
I like the taste of the open air;
I like how the wind blows so fair.
I love the storms with lightning grand,
And open nights where starlight comes first hand.
The full moon lights the night so bright,
It leaves fears of the dark out of sight. . . .
Logan L. Thorp
. . . .
Listen to the wind whistle through the grass and leaves
Beautiful music nature plays with ease,
The words of people you see on the street,
So friendly, respectful as you meet and greet,
The sunflowers growing golden brown,
Wonderful scenery all around,
I am proud to be a Kansan
Because itís the state that I stand in.
Arkansas River at Garfield Joan Weaver
Kansas is like a piece of paper:
Flat, plain, and in a rectangular formation.
Like paper, you never know what is going
Everything can change.
From being plain and simple,
To cover everything possible. . . .
People are like the lead and ink
That gets used on the paper. . . .
Long plains of prairies.
Calling my name so sweetly.
Youíre home, they say youíre home.
I now know where I belong,
And it is here in Kansas
Wizard of Oz,
Skipping, singing, melting,
Tin Man, tornado, Gun Smoke, Boot Hill
Wind blowing, fighting, yelling
Cowboy Capital, Wyatt Earp
During a Kansas day
Thereís not a lot to say
About the way things change
On the old home on the range.
Working through our problems
But never running from them.
We represent us,
Never waiting for that Broadway bus.
We are taught to stay strong,
This is where we belong. . . .
Kansas has great big lakes
Kansas has big beautiful lands and farms
Kansas has a small population
Kansas can have many tornadoes
Kansas has a lot of small schools
Kansas doesnít get much snow. . . .
SEASONS CHANGING IN KANSAS
Farming, Swimming, Working
Alfalfa, Tornados, Wheat, Snow
Blowing, Chilling, Shivering
Say hello to Kansas
She greets you with a smile,
As if she is a longtime friend.
She will grab hold of your heart
And never let go; not for eternity.
In infinite bliss you will learn
To love with compassion and care.
So say hello to Kansas.
Youíve always known her.
flooding, growing, mowing
hunting, grilling, Thanksgiving, Halloween
raking, sweeping, working
Running through wheat fields
Playing hide and seek with friends
Dark, lat, Kansas night.
Ashley Michelle Heim
Running through many open fields;
Loving the way that it makes me feel.
Being able to reach out in front of me;
Being albe to smell all the wild daisies.
This is beautiful Kansas. . . .
Brandy Marchell Zuege
They are so wide
They have animals there
They are all over in Kansas
HARD TIMES IN KANSAS
fields, pastures, farms
tractors, combines, grain carts, trucks
blowing, cutting, raising
In the center part
Of the known United States
Lies in the middle
A place of peaceful harvest
Known as the Wheat State