Missouri River Poem Series

Looking upriver from my home on a bluff above the Missouri River, I can see the Fort Randall Dam. Looking downriver I see part of Greenwood, South Dakota; and directly across the river is Yankton Reservation land in Charles Mix County, SD. This beautiful area is part of the unchannelized 39-mile stretch of the Missouri National Recreational River between the Fort Randall Dam and Running Water, both in South Dakota.

I can only imagine the human history that has passed by. American Indians camped, hunted, and passed through this area for hundreds of years. When the Lewis and Clark expedition came by on September 7, 1804, they camped about a mile upriver and walked to what they called the “dome” (now called Old Baldy), where they first found prairie dogs. Steamboats with passengers and cargo passed through this area in the 1800s to early 1900s, and now, in the summer, the river is busy with boaters, jet skis, and people fishing.

The vertical columns in this series are visual “poems” that evoke the constantly shifting flow of patterns, rhythms, colors, shapes, and textures of the river at various times of day and in different seasons.

Please click on an image for full column.

© 2021 Pat James