Monthly Archives: December 2017




Certain places, certain
as the ridge’s blinding light
at dawn, embrace us—

draw the pain away,
the poison that the brain
has let fester behind our eyes.

They need not speak, yet
the breeze rhymes
in the limbs of trees,

where the business of birds
changes with the seasons, yet
will not change the ways

of the world. Certain places
find their peace in the mundane
details, the stamen’s sure

perfume pollinators share
upon the petals’ opening
their doors to seed. Certain.





When I was new to these hills,
great rocks rose to find my way
along a native track—coyote,

deer and that of cattle—
dirt worn soft by pad and hoof.
I gave each a name

to place me on this ground
when I was lost, or turned
around on gray fog days.

Weather-sculpted, laced
with lichen color, some
take the shape of humans

that haven’t changed, frozen
in time before men came
to live among them—

mark the stories of the hunt
and gather of the untamed.
These rocks remember

without words, a warm
language recorded
for the species that survive us.





Not quite full, we cheer its rising
on a ridgeline of oaks, naked
silhouettes posing before a fire—

its steady ascension between and beyond
heaven’s contrails—as the busyness
of this planet becomes small.


First of December 2017



Thanksgiving seems a long ways away, doubling-up the feeding before and after, as the new grass greens, trying to keep the cows in shape to breed back, most with calves at their sides. We’ve also been busy getting the bulls out in our upper country.

We have a good start on our grass with nearly ¾” on November 17th, followed by a week of 70 degree weather and then another 0.60”—an ideal beginning as high-temperatures now steady in the mid-60s. The older cows are headed to the tops of the ridges where the soaked-in rain gets the most exposure from the sun, some changing pastures where drought-stricken oaks continue to fall on fences. Our emphasis now is getting them all together and exposed to the bulls as we think about branding.

Amid the political chaos, we’re thankful we have a job to do in a separate place where we must concentrate our minds and energy on what we hope to be productive. This business, as I’ve said many times, is dependent on three variables: the weather, the market and the politics—none of which have we any control of. In many respects, we’ve gotten used to it. Despite what appears to be global uncertainty, we carry on with all we know to do.

On a personal note, I haven’t had any inclination to write poetry or take photographs with anything more than iPhone. What poetry I’ve posted seems more of an exercise than fresh inspiration, while feeling that my art, for lack of a better word, may be on the cusp of something new and different. At any rate, I’m not holding my breath, too busy leaning toward the work before us, essentially distancing myself from any old habits or poetic styles, but rather immersing myself in the activities from where my poetry has come.