After the flood of holiday cheer
and four black and frosty mornings
into the New Year, I have lost track
of the names of days

                        celebrating work:
                        friends gathered,
                        calves branded,
                        meat fired

                        and bottles emptied—
                        the hugs and handshakes
                        of neighbors, persistent
                        habits etched deeper

                        in the hard ground
                        worn around our eyes—
                        deeper yet into souls,
                        our pupils as pinholes

                        to grand landscapes
                        either side, missed
                        by the migratory headed
                        somewhere up the road.

We live within a dot on the map,
a speck of dust on a spinning globe
in space and time without end,

holding firm to our moment,
looking back and ahead at once:
no finish line in sight.

We pace our plodding, take all week
to get the work done, to savor details
of small accomplishment in a hazy

scheme of keeping track of seasons
shaped by rain, or lack of it—
our spiritual sustenance comes

with the crescendo of storms
we pray for, almost everyday, keeping
busy while we wait for an answer.

In the winter, we invest in the future
measured by firewood stacked outside
the door, like last year’s crop of acorns
stored by natives, wild and domestic,

we are prepared in this place
to loose track of days scattered
like native cattle into strays
chasing the good grass back home.


8 responses to “SABBATH HOME

  1. Good one John – – full of just good sweet stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To live within the moment is all we’re really allowed; anything more than that is either anticipation or memory – as you say, ‘looking back and ahead at once’ . . . Thanks for some great verses . . . May the moment bring grace . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, John – for reminders of the good life – it was the greatest – I spent no happier days in my life than those of tending cows with EJ! Your words bring it all back.


  4. This is one of your finest, John. May the New Year bless you with many more inspiring, introspective, and heart-felt words. Nurture your talents 🙂


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