Category Archives: Poems 2019

LEGACY

 

 

Without honor,
without truth,

without charity
or compassion,

all is consumptive
dumbshow.

We have grown fat
on the numbers since

we lost our taste
for words that matter.

Like waiting for a rain
to settle dust

and bring verdancy,
the storms will come

to cleanse this earth
and thunder verily.

 

DEATH OF AN OAK

 

 

Casualty of drought and time,
no shaded bed in the tangle of dead limbs,
no burnished fruit to harvest—
but its temporary grace in death
teeters beneath the heavens.

What histories yet reside,
what sights saved within its centuries of rings,
of native talk recorded lest
forgotten of wilder beasts and men
teetering beneath the heavens?

I see myself reflected
kindly, a lifetime rooted in the same place
that I’m thankfully becoming
in a harvest of verses penned
that teeters beneath the heavens.

 

LIKE ALWAYS

 

 

Little passion in the dry,
hard hills and dust trails—
little fire in the leaves
of sycamores and willows
preparing to undress.

                    No foreplay sure,
                    no long-range rain,
                    we feed more hay

                    and wait with cows
                    growing thinner
                    in the cold,
                    sucked down
                    by growing babies.

We taste the air and search for sign:
manes and tails and moon dog rings—
our annual drama of hackneyed details
we bury our hearts and heads within

instead of the direction of a nation
without honor or integrity—

                    in God we Trust.

 

NOVEMBER DUST

 

 

For days, nothing to say,
as we wait for rain, like always
in the dust we stir,
both wild and tame.

Cow trails deep and soft,
Chinese scrolls of pad and hoof
pressed into silent verse
moving freely in the dark.

Coyote, bobcat, rattlesnake,
bear, deer and mountain lion
leave their poetry at night
to be erased each day.

 

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)

 

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.

 

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.