Author Archives: John

FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE

 

 

Fat and happy bovine string
of shiny-hided flesh upon their hay
somewhere wrapped in a dusty haze
awaiting rain

               apart from the appetites of men
and women like them, hungry for more
ground addicted to water wasted
raising crops.

Good company, these young heifers
who can read our minds and hearts—
perceptive beings who trust in us
that we prefer

               oblivious to the ravenous
machine designed to incorporate
everything with promises of hay
until we’re gone.

 

OCTOBER MOON

 

 

Moonrise, mottled skies,
jigsaw clouds like islands

floating between us and the space
old eyes need to find sanity,

but tonight’s fractured skyscape
is enough.

 

GOLDEN HOUR

 

 

Bob has been waiting for this cow to calve for a week, checking her and her tribe of first-calf heifers in the evenings. I am impressed with the iPhone’s ability to capture a wide range of light, and if held still, its sharpness. He’s also captured the maternal instincts of this new mother #8118, a Hereford-Angus X cow, with her fresh Wagyu X calf – exactly what we’re looking for in replacement heifers.

 

IO

On the horns of an infant moon,
the creek shrinks and pools
between sycamores and live oaks

as babies come to first-time mothers
bringing the bear tracks downcanyon
on the scent of spent placentas.

Black progeny of the river nymph –
white heifer driven madly by Hera’s
gadfly Oestrus to cross continents

and populate Asia – find maternity
perplexing at first. Yet, lick and nuzzle
the stumbling wet struggle to stand,

suckle and rest that enflames instinct
in all flesh. Worthy timeless worship,
no better mother ever than a cow.

 

“IO” is included in POEMS FROM DRY CREEK, Starhaven, 2008.

 

WILD REFLECTIONS

 

© drycrikjournal.com

 

Laugh when you can—
there are enough unfunny days.

Let irony dance nakedly,
                 hand in hand
                 with the unspoken,
                 mundane truths
                 that squirm
beneath the flesh of humans
dying for confirmation.

We have become too serious
for our own good—
                 too holy,
                 too righteous
to be believed as real
representations of this nation
wrought from imperfect men,
and women, trying to forget
their sins—and I among them.

Let the wild calculations
of hawk and coyote confirm
                 our impetuous natures
                 to gain a better sense
                 of humor—
of who we truly are.

 

(click image to enlarge July 2012 photo of Cooper’s Hawk)

 

Twins

 

 

Followers of the blog and and Facebook friends may be bored with our photographs of cattle, but it’s the most exiting time of year for us and our crew as the weather changes. It’s essential that we keep our eyes on our coming two-year old heifers that are having their first Wagyu X calves by recording their tag numbers and any other information that will help inform us as to whether they’ll make the cow herd or not—and to a less anxious degree, our second-calf heifers as well.

The twin bull calves from cow #3054, a mature six year old cow, appear to be sired by our Black Granite bull from Tehama Angus Ranch, spitting images of him at this stage of their short lives. We think that she can raise them both.

 

NO BETTER MOTHER THAN A COW

 

 

It’s early yet for rain,
for distant silhouettes
of cows and fresh calves
beneath oak trees
                    nurturing poetry
with murmurs and licks
on a young mother’s tongue.

A slow rhythm and meter
for weeks in the womb
that rumble clearly now:
                    single syllables,
                    grunts and moans—
a universal language
instinct pumps
forever between them.

 

Autumnal Equinox

 

 

LONG INTO THE NIGHT

 

 

The tin roof of this old barn
leaks news like rain and flaps
in a pretentious storm of words

it tries to shed as we huddle
in the dry with what we believe—
the sun will come to green

the dirt and repair our senses,
and we will sing Hallelujah!
rejoicing long into the night.

 

Feeding in September

 

 

Though not short of feed in the flat below Terminus Dam, we keep plenty of alfalfa hay in front of our replacement heifers this time of year. The old feed is mostly filler without much strength and we want our yearling heifers to continue growing and be in shape to cycle when we turn the Wagyu bulls out three months from now. Protein licks and balanced minerals are also available.

In addition to the yearling heifers on the flat are some first-calf heifers bred last year to Wagyu bulls. Close enough to keep an eye on, all this special attention, (I’m afraid we spoil them), will help with the health of these coming first-calf mothers. It’s what we do before our rainy season begins, that time of year when it might rain.

This photo was taken Monday, September 16th as the clouds rolled in, confirmation of our second weather change of August, based on a thirty-day cycle.

 

weather cycles

 

On Time, 1st Wagyu Calf 2019

 

 

None of last month’s Wagyu preemies survived as the mystery lingers. This first Wagyu calf has arrived on time.