Echinopsis w/ Leafhoppers



A short pause for this year’s one-day bloom that usually occurs around Mother’s Day, more flamboyant, it seems, this year, complete with leafhoppers that have overrun the garden. Once stirred, the bugs blindly assault every orifice, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. The hatch should run its course in two or three weeks, however the mosquitos will be with us all summer. Our weather has warmed to 100 degrees as we begin our workdays earlier, palpating heifers, moving cattle and weaning calves, as we try to find a pace that we can maintain for the next thirty or so days.






                                        It is time for us to kiss the earth again.
                                             – Robinson Jeffers (“Return”)

We have wandered far from the roots
of our sustenance, the bloom and fruit—
with rain the eager volunteers of stalk

and seed and the herds of harvesters
that circumnavigate uneven ground
and till tomorrow’s table full. We have

lost touch, lost taste, lost our senses
for living well, close to the smell of dirt
from whence we’ve come and will rest

in the end. Instead we let our minds’
appetite for the scandalous fill hungry heads
with acrimony and self-righteousness

to feed another uncivil war. It’s time
for us to stop—take the time to kiss
this earth dressed in her many splendors.





Quietly reading cattle
and one another,
prolonged moments
when words come too late
to be applicable—

no room for poetry,
no time to edit—
it is a dance instead,
a gentle rhythm
of man and beast

expressed privately,
a sixth sense
we take for granted
after a lifetime
sorting cattle.


IN-BEWTEEN (reblog)



                    A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told
                    a thousand times becomes the truth.

                           – Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany

Remove yourself.
Go outside alone.
Find a flowerbed,
some earth to turn
with your hands.
See history fall
between your fingers:
old leaves and roots,
bugs and worms—
this is truth.

Out here,
we watch money
come and go,
but a man’s word
is all he is,
his handshake bond—
once broken
not depended on,
of little use.
Twice broken
he is scorned,
ostracized and ignored.

Life must be too easy
to entertain deceit
on stage, to play
with humanity.
Out here, we know
the ending—
but not what happens

                                        for Leonard Durso


Haystack Owls…








First cup of coffee
and Nicorette gum rush
to startle the senses
still slumbering
in the shadows of dawn.

The slow retreat of dreams
replayed on hillsides,
circumstances stashed
among others
in the rocks and crevices,

deep within hidden canyons
worn by centuries of rain,
for safekeeping—
unforgiving places
you may not want to ride,

reserved spaces
collecting wild regrets
with reveries—
first drafts
of uncompleted poetry.





Night shrinks into shadows rising
to ridges trimmed in gold, the day
awakes with or without us.





We haven’t talked in months
in our dreams,
in how we look at things
living and dead—
I see what you see,

even what you thought
you saw
your mother saw
through her own,
and so on.

Everywoman’s chance
to change the world—
the look of things
that lingers
after life has gone

into the hills
dressed in gossamer
night clothes
to rest, to wait
to be seen.





Our native feed germinated early at the end of October, and by Thanksgiving the rains came, six days at a time spaced with six days of gray. A fairly warm winter with few days below freezing, the grass grew, and by March, there was little room for wildflower bloom to compete for sunlight.

Exceptions are the yellow cascades of Bush Monkeyflowers and the purple Winecups or Farewell to Spring, both now showing spectacularly around Lake Kaweah. While looking for strays yesterday, this Twining Brodiaea caught my eye.


Rising from the earth,
heavy head climbing for light,
no two knots the same.





An eagle retreats
a crow escaping
four and twenty blackbirds:

squadrons of fighter pilots
patrolling nests—like flycatchers
on the peck riding the shoulders

of hawks—a brutal business
in the air over eggs
and babies in pintails

needing to be fed
or be food for others—
trees full of gaping beaks,

all the helpless beginnings
awaiting their place by design
amid hostilities of spring