Dry Creek

 

 

The Dry Creek is up this morning with a 691 cfs flow @ 5:00 a.m. Midway through our 4-day forecast of 2″ of rain, we have received about a half-inch, with another inch promised. For those interested, current atmospheric conditions make forecasting difficult as explained at weather west.com

 

ADDENDUM

 

 

Dim light above the kitchen table,
wet wedding rings beneath ceramic coffee cups,
shod horses fidget in the aluminum gooseneck
outside before daylight.

“Are Bud and Monte comin’?”
“Nope, just you and me, Babe,” he grins
showing teeth beneath his moustache.

“Any stars?” she asks. “It’s s’posed to rain,
you know, sometime today.”

“A few holes in the clouds is all,”
as he looks up at the ceiling.

“With a little luck
we ought to make it up the hill
before it gets slick,
get the cattle down
and be home by the fire
before it gets too wet.”

After a pause and long swallow, she asks,
“You know what day it is?”

“Thursday, I think”

“Is that all?” she lets trail on her way to the sink.
“Oh, I’ll be goddamned.

Happy Valentine’s Day!”

 

Ramblin Jack Elliott

 

 

One of a kind! By my reckoning, it was over fifty years ago when I first heard Jack at the Ashgrove. Amazing!

 

Snow on Dry Creek

 

 

Light dusting this afternoon down to 2,500′ on Dry Creek. Exceeding the forecast, just shy of an inch of rain overnight and this morning. It’s wet out there.

 

SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON ECLIPSE 2019

 

 

Hole in the night sky,
one last glimpse
before the eclipse—

red eye behind
a patch of clouds
and a quarter-inch
to drum upon the roof
while we sleep.

 

 

AFTER BEFORE

 

 

Decayed trunk:
ash and smoke.
Limb wood stacked
by noon
awaiting rain—

small deed
to clear a road
for nursery rhymes—
for an old man’s claim
on another day

to warm the flesh again
and again and again.

 

DEAD TREE BECKONING

 

 

Too wet to plow,
cold clear sky
before dawn,
green storm
forecast on the screen—

Live Oak down,
waiting patiently
in the road
to become cordwood
close to the woodstove—

to warm flesh again
and again and again.

 

OLANCHA

 

“Autumn in Olanche” Joseph Mancuso

 

Racing the storm
camped on Sierra peaks
leaking sparkling snowdrifts
south of Olancha’s stone huts

                    each round rock
                    a poem fit
                    for publication:

                    perfect works
                    without chimney smoke,
                    without window glass,
                    without wooden doors
                    stand open to unfriendly futures

                    marking the trail
                    like ducks
                    towards Tehachapi
                    snow plows
                    loaded with desert sand.

I imagine time
resting here
on its way West.

 

Hard To Believe

 

 

Kevin Martini-Fuller has been taking photographs of all the poets and performers at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since its inception in 1985. Many portraits were exhibited this year in the Wiegand Gallery at the Pioneer Hotel, headquarters for the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. I’m flattered to have been paired in the exhibit with Glenn Ohrlin (1926-2015), a NEA Fellow and friend.

I have been certainly blessed to have spent most of my life on this ranch, 31 years of which have also been associated with cowboy poetry and music, a fork in the road that has changed my life, acquainting me with many, many friends scattered across the West. Looking back, it’s hard to believe, but the emotional proof is among the hundreds of images on these gallery walls.

 

Elko (NCPG) 2019

 

 

Bob and I left Elko Monday at 5:00 in the dark and drove straight through, stopping only for fuel, to Dry Creek ahead of last night’s storm that threatened to close Tehachapi Pass. Montgomery Pass was 4 x 4, touch and go, but we made it home by 4:30 p.m. 2.74″ total rain while we were gone.

Sunday a.m. at the Pioneer was a special treat listening to Mike Beck and Denise Withnell make Robbin’s guitar sing above the goodbyes of poets and performers leaving for home. We brought the guitar to Elko so Denise would not have to wrestle her own on the airplane. She and Dave Wilke were backing-up several Sid Marty performances. (Oh what a fine singer, songwriter and poet he is!) The Canadians were a well-represented bunch that included Ian Tyson and a spectacular new voice to Elko, Colter Wall.

WOW what a week, what a blur! Good to be home.