Book Cover


100 pages / hand bound / poetry & prose     ISBN 0-944048-13-7

Jim Bogan came to the Ozarks in 1969, and began writing about the people and places and events he experienced. The result is Ozark Meandering -- a mixture of poetry and prose, the familiar and the strange, the serious and the humorous.

Bogan has published an earlier book of poetry, Trees in the Same Forest (Cauldron Press, 1976) and co edited with Fred Goss a collection of writings about William Blake, Sparks of Fire: Blake in a New Age (North Atlantic Books, 1982). In the last decade he has created a number of films about the Amazon and about Missouri painter, Thomas Hart Benton.

This edition of Ozark Meandering was handcrafted by Clarence Wolfshohl.

To order, send $20.00 per book to:
6281 RED BUD

And here's the pick of the litter:


Ninety year's old

never been to Kansas City

got as far as a St. Louis suburb


Still, fairly radical:

    "I ain't against pool or dancin."

She used to walk ten miles to go dancing Saturday Nights

about the time her father sold apples for a quarter

a barrel.


She's lovely

    white mop top

    bright old blue eyes

    teeth in a drawer somewhere

    voice travels from the morning dove to the crow,

            mostly crow

    four layers of flower-print dresses

    sturdy as a turnip

    didn't wear shoes in the summer until she was 73.

    milked cows every day from the time she was 8

            til she turned 78 (Hates milk but likes the cow)

    Still keeps chickens, says,

    "A day without work is a day without food."

Remembers what happened:


    last Week

    a Year and a Day ago

    forty-nine Years ago

    seventy Years ago

    and everything in between--

Quick at arithmetic, too.


She's 8 when the calendar rolled over to 19-double ought.

    25 when the man who will be her husband

            ten years later embarks for France

            to fight their mutual 2nd cousins.

    43 when the WPA builds the bridge down the road

    60 when Ike gets elected for the first time--

            and she voted for him--been Republican ever since

            Wilson lied about keeping us out of war.

    76 when Otto died and that almost killed her:

            "I wish I was dead. Never done that before."

Otherwise vigorous

and what her wood stove won't heat

port-wine will.


Plants her man-sized garden by the Moon:

    "If you sow radishes by the light of the moon

    all you'll git is greens.

Never fails." 


Petrified of snakes, lightning and the dark:

    "I wouldn’t open the door to Santa Claus himself

    after the sun goes down."


She was weeding okra one morning

when a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses

descended upon her

them in shirt and tie

her in bonnet and sweating some--

    "Git on, if the Lutherans couldn't save me,

    you sure as hell cain't."


Always has a can of Gold Label beer ready,

    and a risky joke:

    "Lady goes into the music store.

    She asks the clerk," You have Hot Lips?"

    He says, 'No, but I got nine inches.'

    She says, "Is that a record?"

    'No,' he says, 'but it's a damn good average.'


Or this one she told her grandson on the day she died:

    "Do you know why babies are so fragile?

    Because they are put together with only one screw."


Had one child of her own

cried "a barrel of tears"

when he shipped out for Korea.

Raised eleven kids,

orphans that she literally picked off the street

    "And made us work,"

            says the religious one.

"My husband never made complaint."


She listens to mathematicians

            astrologers (on occasion)


            English perfessors


             Truth or Consequences on TV

She says, "It's very educatin',"

while crocheting on her pink and white African.


I knocked at the door louder and longer than usual.

She finally appeared, looking like a cat that's been shoved

off a chair

I shouted (her hearing aid lives in the same drawer

            as her teeth):

    "What ya doing? Taking a nap?"



    "Eh - you make me sick.

    I been workin.

    It's you been takin a nap."

She was right too.


You know its her coming down the road

engine revved

honking like a teenager

in her speeding Maverick

headed for the Big Star Market

purse full of coupons.


Always candy for the kids

                and for their parents:


                and okra

                and zucchini

                and pumpkin

                and scallions

                and cabbage

                and pickles

                and turnips

                and peppers

                and radishes

                and beets

                and lettuce

                and apples

                and pears

                and jelly

                and flowers


When the local undertaker met her

in the potato chip aisle of the Krogerstore

he put his hand on her shoulder

to which,

                   Mrs. Franz,

                                        "Ain't cold yet, Marvin."