Kevin Heaton


Kevin Heaton




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Kevin HeatonKevin Heaton was born in Council Grove and raised to the age of fifteen in Valley Center. His family moved to Oklahoma in 1968 where he met Charlotte, his wife of thirty-six years, and worked for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department as a State Park Ranger.


Later, he formed an independent record label and produced a number of projects including his own album, "Tin Roof Sunday", and the musical score for a full length Country video, "Oklahoma Faded Love", in which he also appeared.


Heaton has recently completed his first volume of poetry entitled: "Harahey."


His work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Kansas Poems, Foliate oak, Elimae, Nerve Cowboy, Grey Sparrow Journal, MB Herald, Sacred Journey, Reunions Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Hanging Moss Journal, Calliope Nerve, Counterexample Poetics, The Council Grove Republican, Little Balkans Review, WestWard Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, Full of Crow, Heavy Hands Ink, Victorian Violet Press, Disingenuous Twaddle, Carcinogenic Poetry, The Houston Literary Review, Rubber Lemon, and Pirene’s Fountain and many more.


His chapbook, Post Card's of Faith has been accepted for publication by Victorian Violet Press.







    The heart I left upon flint hills-

            in death will call me home.


I left without goodbye on a crisp,

January morning many years ago.

Snow White and Old Man Winter

had met amorously the night before;

discovered by dawn, they had

forgotten their blanket, still draped

over the hills, all aglitter in sunlight’s

early blush.


Like the prodigal son I wandered,

searching for that which was already



With each year’s passing, thoughts

and memories of the prairie summon

my spirit: come home. Come home

to once again know the peace

and contentment of a late spring

stroll on the Kansas plains; where

I cast my cares into swaying arms

of the tall grass, and fell asleep

to the trill of a Meadowlark’s piccolo,

while gentle cottonwood fairies

danced across my face.


Originally Published in: Victorian Violet Press, August, 2010



Hermit’s Cave

                 Giovanni Maria Augustini


High atop Belfry Hill (where an old bell

rang out Indian attack warnings and later

sweethearts met) is a flatstone haven

hole where a Spanish padre lived giving

God to the Kansa.


   Alligator Snapper on Eagle Claw

   hook, Neosho’s muddy shore.


   Peacepipe smoke ‘neath old Council

   Oak, kisses on Belfry Hill.


History blessed the lush game-filled valleys

below with a babe swaddled in Flint Hills,

fashioned out of Cottonwoods and limestone.

Spanish Conquistadors: Daniel Boone’s

grandson, Jesse James, and General Custer

himself all doused campfires and paused

to rest under these same stars.


   Big Bobcat on a swift March Hare,

   Paintbrush red and gold. Cottonwood


   seeds on Four Mile Creek, neckin’

   at the Chief Drive-In.


Dad and I had been fishing below Kaw Mission

on the Neosho near the same crossing

where Jesus put Madonna on the Santa Fe

Trail. On the dirt road back to grandpa’s

trailer we stopped to ask two teenage boys

with bloody arms and four twenty pound

Flathead’s on a hemp rope, "what’d you use

for bait?" They replied, "Nightcrawlers."


   Catfish heads and Coyote hides

   on barbed wire section line.


   Meadowlark drizzlins’ on a fence

   post perch, ruts axle deep on the trail.


On Saturday nights we piled into grandpa’s

lime green Lark with rotating hood ornament

and parked downtown between lines in front

of the Coke ad on a brick side of Bretzs

old Mercantile to visit. Folks did that in small

Kansas towns in the 50's. Mister Sisson’s

wife had a hair-lip and pronounced Lloyd Shear,

"Toyd Tear."


   Wagon trains west from a Last Chance

   Store, Post Oak mail to the east.


   A hot short stack at the old Saddle

   Rock, frog legs kickin’ in the pan.





All poetry on this page
© b
y Kevin Heaton, 2010 



                              Aeolus’ Vengeance


                                       Mannford, Oklahoma–


              A cyclone sister’s half- mile wide ample ass

             follows the Yellow Brick Road to Oz through

            flatlands path of least resistance in ebony Malt-

             O-Meals boiling brew of swirling, chugging,

                locomotion tractor-pulled hell at Satan’s

                impish tribute to revenge against Mother

                   Nature’s Holstein heifers and wind-

                     plucked Plymouth Rocks bareback

                      on a silo funnels wounded copter

                         ride reading history books in

                          roll desks airmailed to other

                            districts beside levitating

                            buses and riding mowers

                            skydiving without chutes

                             high atop cars adorning

                              tall Sycamores as yule

                               ornaments pass soda

                                straws sucking sap

                                stuck in Elm trees

                                  and blue hairs

                                   set eyebrow

                                   snatched on

                                   amen pews

                                   while wall

                                  cloud war

                                  locks and

                                squall line

                                hags do

                              the devil

                            dance of



                      the w







      Originally Published in: Calliope Nerve, March, 2010


The Rental House On Ash


The aroma of homemade bread wafted down

to the post office three blocks away

where grandpa and I went every other week

for ten, three cent stamps. The angel,

who helped raise me always baked five loaves

at a time, just as she had done for years

feeding family and farm hands working harvest

in late spring, before bountiful fields

fell fallow.

Willie’s songs were yet unsung

when they lost the farm and moved halfway

across Kansas to where my parents lived,

to a rental house on Ash.

Grandpa and Uncle Paul made one final

trip back to the farm for what remained

of meager possessions. Grandpa settled

some business, and Paul went swimming

with school mates in a stock pond that doubled

as a dipping hole. He got a cramp and drowned

before his friends could reach him. Paul

was fifteen, and the apple of my angel’s eye.

I remember trying to comfort her amid

sobs that would not relent; a faith of granite

was nearly shattered.

We sat out on a wraparound porch in summer

dusk to watch bats circle the bell tower

of a Methodist Church across the street,

and to make rooster calls at passersby

driving today’s vintage gems.

A blissful night’s sleep always beckoned

on a feather bed great grandparents had given

them, when their life together began.

Henpecked hands turned bloody gathering

double yolks from under barred rock hens

sharing nests with black snakes.

Grandma babysat for Searcy’s kids; Carl

Dean’s stools were so huge, they wouldn’t


Our clubhouse was a hole in the chicken

yard with a Hudson hood roof and Banty

chicks for club members; grandma loved

her Banty chicks.


I splattered flies with rubber bands:

helped grandpa light black kerosene flares,

lost my teeth to a door knob string, washed

chicken squirt from between my toes, learned

of faith, loss, and love; at the rental house

on Ash.


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