Category Archives: Photographs




Red, white and blue remind
of the friends who went
and never came home,
and those that did
that can’t forget
who they had to be—

of my father
and those before him
who believed
my Country, right or wrong.
How can I not be proud
of them, yet disagree?

I submit my flag
has been stolen from me,
waved to obfuscate debate
and silence truth.
But I submit my flag
as the genius to create

                    a more prefect Union,
                    establish Justice,
                    insure domestic Tranquility,
                    provide for the common Defense,
                    promote the general Welfare,
                    and secure the blessings of Liberty,
                    to ourselves and our Posterity

in the face of future
charlatans and Kings.
I submit my flag
as the backdrop
for partisan stage plays
where heroes become outlaws.

My Country, right or wrong?





Dry cordwood stacked, I crave
unpredictable clouds of change,
the cold and ice, the hail and rain

and the look of snow-capped green,
black cattle grazing an angry gray—
fancy whiskey in a glass with you

inside, woodstove sucking air to flame.
No matter what the pundits say,
it doesn’t change a thing.


Dry Creek



The Dry Creek is up this morning with a 691 cfs flow @ 5:00 a.m. Midway through our 4-day forecast of 2″ of rain, we have received about a half-inch, with another inch promised. For those interested, current atmospheric conditions make forecasting difficult as explained at weather





Dim light above the kitchen table,
wet wedding rings beneath ceramic coffee cups,
shod horses fidget in the aluminum gooseneck
outside before daylight.

“Are Bud and Monte comin’?”
“Nope, just you and me, Babe,” he grins
showing teeth beneath his moustache.

“Any stars?” she asks. “It’s s’posed to rain,
you know, sometime today.”

“A few holes in the clouds is all,”
as he looks up at the ceiling.

“With a little luck
we ought to make it up the hill
before it gets slick,
get the cattle down
and be home by the fire
before it gets too wet.”

After a pause and long swallow, she asks,
“You know what day it is?”

“Thursday, I think”

“Is that all?” she lets trail on her way to the sink.
“Oh, I’ll be goddamned.

Happy Valentine’s Day!”


Ramblin Jack Elliott



One of a kind! By my reckoning, it was over fifty years ago when I first heard Jack at the Ashgrove. Amazing!


Snow on Dry Creek



Light dusting this afternoon down to 2,500′ on Dry Creek. Exceeding the forecast, just shy of an inch of rain overnight and this morning. It’s wet out there.





Hole in the night sky,
one last glimpse
before the eclipse—

red eye behind
a patch of clouds
and a quarter-inch
to drum upon the roof
while we sleep.






Decayed trunk:
ash and smoke.
Limb wood stacked
by noon
awaiting rain—

small deed
to clear a road
for nursery rhymes—
for an old man’s claim
on another day

to warm the flesh again
and again and again.





Too wet to plow,
cold clear sky
before dawn,
green storm
forecast on the screen—

Live Oak down,
waiting patiently
in the road
to become cordwood
close to the woodstove—

to warm flesh again
and again and again.


Hard To Believe



Kevin Martini-Fuller has been taking photographs of all the poets and performers at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since its inception in 1985. Many portraits were exhibited this year in the Wiegand Gallery at the Pioneer Hotel, headquarters for the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. I’m flattered to have been paired in the exhibit with Glenn Ohrlin (1926-2015), a NEA Fellow and friend.

I have been certainly blessed to have spent most of my life on this ranch, 31 years of which have also been associated with cowboy poetry and music, a fork in the road that has changed my life, acquainting me with many, many friends scattered across the West. Looking back, it’s hard to believe, but the emotional proof is among the hundreds of images on these gallery walls.