"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
About Bayou Bill
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Two Hundred Years Late
Copyright © by Bill Scifres

When I look at my life in the still of the night,
 In scorn at the things I have done up to date, 
My thoughts often wander to days long since passed, 
 And my lips often murmur: "Two hundred years late." 

Oh, the magic of visions spread unto my view 
 As the moon sends a shadow that flits near my head, 
A whisper of wind and the present is gone 
 As I journey far back as I lie in my bed. 

There are great virgin forests and rivers that flow, 
 And life in the blockhouse with friendships so true, 
The deer and the bear hunts . . . the skinning of game
 And trips to the salt lick in fall's golden hue. 

The clearing of ground through the cold winter months . . . 
 The plowing for crops on an early spring morn . . . 
And as I work steady, the lone sentry stands . . . 
 The white cloth locating my rifle and horn. 

But now, as the dawn breaks, my visions grow dim, 
 I know I must rise . . . there are steps in the hall,
And the only reminder of pioneer days 
 Is the old flintlock rifle that hangs on my wall.

Note: I wrote this on a beautiful fall (full moon) night in my sophomore year at Hanover. . . A Saturday night and most of the kids were gone for the weekend.  . . I had been toying with the desire to write the poem for some time (mostly subconsciously, I think) . . . But the campus was dead and I was a little lonely, not to mention the fact that my life was taking some strange turns . . . So I went to bed about 10 p.m. (roommate gone) and awakened about midnight with the moon streaming into my window . . . Before me (almost like on a blackboard) the first verse appeared almost magically . . . I grabbed pencil and paper and jotted it down . . . Try as I might, I could not get any further with it . . . so I went to sleep again, only to awaken about 1:30 a.m. to find the second verse there before my eyes . . . Again, I copied it, but that was all I could come up with, and went back to sleep . . . And so it went until at dawn I awakened exhausted, but with a completed poem . . .  There is no way to explain it, but it had to be some kind of guidance. . . Another possibility might be that I was working on it subconsciously all the time and it finally just had to come out . . . It picked that time . . . I do know this, the best writing anyone can do is also the easiest because it gets pent up in one's brain and, at the right time forces its way out . . . this is especially true of humor, I think . . . humor writing must be easy to be good . . . forced humor is not good . . . 
If you'd like to read some additional original outdoor poetry, click here.

All poems are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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