Monthly Archives: June 2011

from the garden journal

Garden Journal


Two tons, heads still locked
after the three mile drive
of cows and calves was done,

swirling bellows and dust
left behind to settle possession
of what was gone –

flat constant contact,
pole to nose, black silhouettes
standing exhausted alone.

It took a week
before they could see –
blind testosterone.


Dark-thirty, each morning starts a new
poem before saddle and gather, before
crossing the creek, before dashing

bovine dreams from grassy beds –
before accountants and attorneys flesh
a sum of days into numbers and words

for someone else – that grand game with
faceless authority that we kneel before
we quietly slip away from the bunch.

Are we so different from the beasts
we care for, have we evolved as much
to find our niche of peace? I wonder

with some envy as bands of females
move among the wild, make homes
and families for a lifetime, adapt

within a place on this earth – free,
but for two or three days a year –
to direct each step just to lie together

and silently gossip amid the sweet
scent of chewed cuds trapped beneath
the canopied shade of a buckeye tree.

Dark-thirty, before daylight shatters
overhead and the phone rings, I feel
my way to mark an escape uphill.


I can say it now, tell the truth of how
a gust can turn a leaf, a life, a phrase –
we cannot claim these things that move

us, any more than we can own the moon
despite our investment since children
searching its fullness for a face in the dark.

Some gods are dependable, arrive on time –
thick oaks and granite rooted in this earth.
But most are illusive and walk the edge

of our senses, talk logic without words
we think we understand. It is enough
to be among them, watching, listening

to what can’t be captured, what won’t fit
in a colored box to be labeled and sold
like puffed wheat, like politics and religion.

Paregien Gather

Feeling Good

At the Corrals


                                I didn’t know that most people
                                didn’t think visually.

                                                -Temple Grandin

O’ sweet the dreams like clear water
tumbled over fractured rock, mossed
and smoothed, worn through pines

and oaks to spread and disappear
before the dawn, before the day
demands we pray for more.

One must see these streams
of thought, go there, and listen, watch
them pool and find ways through

the timbered granite to meander
open meadows, deer and horses
grazing – walk along tall grassy

banks as dark green shapes of trout
feed and dart upstream – awake within
where dreams and rivers both begin.

Cows in Sulphur


Some of the cows in Sulphur that we weaned calves from last week. Sulphur Peak (3,400′) & Sulphur Ridge in the background.


In spring, we take a deep seat
and watch water run, follow
green up into infinite blue,

trace our ridgelines to walk
among the helpless dead –
talk with family and friends

so bored with their reward
they have come to visit when
heaven rests upon the earth.

But looking down into grass
gone blond with hollow stem,
past light and empty heads,

I find my infinite ignorance
in the dirt where I depend
on living, upon nameless

seed of grass and weed
busy ants save like grain,
that birds regurgitate and

winds take to another place –
like me someday scattered,
just trying to understand.

Scattering the First Calf Heifers

Bob and Zach taking some of our first calf heifers, exposed to the Wagyu bulls and due in August, to water. Beautiful cool/cloudy day after .61″ of last night’s rain – all went well.

Robbin bringing some first calf heifers up the creek.

Bob, Zach & Robbin, with another bunch, at water.



Pacing ourselves well, a few of the calves above that we have been weaning the past two weeks. The weather’s been exceptionally cool with a forecast warming into the low 80s until this weekend. We have yet to see a day over ninety with the summer solstice less than three weeks away. .04″ rain this a.m. Extraordinary!!