Author Archives: John




These girls have spent Memorial Day Weekend in the pen as part of their weaning process. The canyon is already quieter as they get accustomed to not being with their mothers, and their mothers with them. Their male counterparts went to town as bulls three weeks ago as we begin to gather and wean our upper country.


Leafhoppers at Dark



Evening Shadows



Early Morning Light






Growing into horseback dreams
takes time and dedication for little girls,
pushing cattle where the feed can be

heavenly on the good years—a home
for heifers and their first calf—
we’ve watched her grow to be good help,

to hold her own over years
of pillowed nights imagining—all
come true right before our eyes.

                                                 for Allie


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…