The Great Plains

John A. Walsh

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“Somewhere along the way, my pigments intermingled to a blur…”

The Great Plains in the United States stretches across the States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota; and on up into Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The Great Plains continues northward into three Prairie Provinces of Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta).

Prairies and Badlands – landforms the Great Plains are known for, strike a marked contrast between them. Prairies are rolling plains typically swathed in grasses. In fact, the Great Plains contains the largest prairie in the world. The Badlands, conversely, feature rugged, harsh terrain sculpted by arid conditions over eons. The Lakota People first called this land “mako sica” meaning “land bad.” The Prairies and the Badlands are both visually stunning and naturally confounding in their size and scope.

My wife, Darlene, and I lived four years in Cheyenne, Wyoming; and during that time, we experienced a small piece of the Great Plains. We lived on the eastern edge of Cheyenne. The wild prairie began in our backyard, where there was a prairie dog town we could watch from our bedroom window. Replete with jackrabbits, burrowing owls, badgers, rattlesnakes and prairie dogs; the view was always interesting from that window looking east. A band of Pronghorn racing across the prairie was a fairly common sight in that part of the world; a sight I’ll never forget. The massive, raw beauty of the land left a lasting impression.

I use the Great Plains as a geographical metaphor for this song. It represents the vast canvas of time upon which we paint our lives. The song is about reinvigorating the second half of life; using the canvas painted so far as a new baseline for the rest of the story. The lyric speaks for itself; so, I won’t try to over-describe the line of thought here. Rather, I invite you to take a few minutes and give The Great Plains a listen.

Thank you for listening!

The cover art for this song is by Emily Suzanne Drennon. "Ode to Water" Check out her work at: Contact her about purchasing existing works or commission projects at

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