What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Crowfoot, chief of the Siksika First Nation, 1890
This Quiet Dust
This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies
And lads and girls;
Was laughter and ability and sighing,
And frocks and curls;
Their passive place a summer’s nimble mansion,
Where bloom and bees
Fulfilled their oriental circuit,
Then ceased like these.
by Emily Dickinson
Who Has Seen the Wind excerpt
As clouds’ slow shadows melt across the prairie’s face more nights slip darkness over. Light, then dark, then light again. Day, then night, then day again. A meadow lark sings and it is spring. And summer comes. A year is done. Another comes and it is done. Where spindling poplars lift their dusty leaves and wild sunflowers stare, the gravestones stand among the prairie grasses. Over them a rapt and endless silence lies. The soil is rich.
W. O. Mitchell
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that Colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelly