AR

 

 

Thanks to science,

we’re learning new lingo

to rhyme with reason—

plus head-scratching acronyms

to break meter and thought.

 

Six straight days wet

and a good chance

for a dozen more

floating along

this atmospheric river.

 

________________________________

 

Flowing 962 cfs @ 8:00 a.m. at the brush catchers, Dry Creek peaked at 1,400 cfs @ 3:00 a.m., Badger having received 3.81″ upstream in the last 24 hrs. 1.61″ for us.   

 

 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

 

 

No time to rush! Let me linger,

relearn the mantra,

absorb the moment.

Time will escape me soon enough.

 

The forecast storm is bogged-down north.

We’re wet enough

to have a spring—

wildflowers blooming in our dreams.

 

Feeding horses, I catch the mist—

each tiny drop

upon my tongue

tastes like this passing moment.

 

 

CAT SKID STEER

 

 

The jobs I’d rather do

crowd first in line

to steal my mind away

 

from the more mundane

and routine responsibilities

to climb inside the Cat

 

skid steer, feel its hydraulic

strength pump to load

a ton or more or move

 

a five-ton stump

closer to the coals—

clean-up the tangled mess

 

Edison left to cover

their derrières

beneath the wires.

 

Seven-day burn,

4-foot thick eucalyptus,

I scoured the pasture

 

for fallen-limb kindling

to keep the flame

alive inside me.

 

 

 

 

COVER OF COLOR

 

 

Gray canyon rain,

café au lait rivulets

overfill vernal pools

 

spreading to the creek

just begun to run

at the end of December.

 

She stayed overnight

and all day, lingering

to leave us extra rain,

 

as if we were old lovers

trying to give the past

a second chance—

 

she offers nourishment

to thirsty earth, bare slopes

a cover of color come spring:

 

a team of sunlit Wood Ducks

at the edges of water pooled

grazing with horses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRY CREEK ROAD 1946

Oil by Myrtle Sue Redford

 

Dirt track before asphalt,

ruts in mud, December sycamores

after a rain waiting to undress,

 

like always—it feels the same

to escape upcanyon in your painting,

leaving main roads behind

 

before it was engineered

for 18 wheels to haul gravel—

town politics behind us.

 

Before the flood of ’55,

Terminus Dam in ’61,

much has changed

 

except for the feeling you’ve captured

of peaceful adventure

at every beginning of our road home.

 

                      for Myrtle Sue Redford

 

 

TULE FOG

 

 

Stacked in the valley

and thick as milk gravy,

it spills over the ridge

 

in slow-rolling waves

eclipsing the daylight

to swallow you up

 

in cold cottony gray.

Easy to get lost in the fog

when you can’t see

 

your horse’s wet ears—

find something dry

to start a fire

 

and wait for it to lift—

or trust he knows

his blind way home.

 

 

 

 

WILD APPLE

 

                       

                        This is not scripture it’s a dream,

                        a dream, the stuff our life is made of.

                                 – Jim Harrison (“A Dog in the Tomb”)

 

Wild apple on a stick, we pray

it’s tart and tasty in our veins,

then to our hearts to play

 

on the cinematic screen

in our brains while we sleep—

when we check out of the mundane.

 

Wild apple on a stick, we pray

it’s fresh and full of mysteries

left to address, our flesh enlived.

 

 

 

THE COOK FIRE

 

After peeking beneath the eve,

the sun dives south beyond the ridge

near the Solstice. Time’s quick departure

 

into darkness begs moments stolen

around a fire, glass of wine,

2-for-the-price-one thin tri-tips

 

browning above hardy Manzanita coals

flicking blue and yellow tongues

into our eyes to clear them—

 

like standing in a gate opened

to a pasture of possibilities

yet ungrazed at this late date.

 

 

JACK OF ALL TRADES

 

 

Inside, the basic tools,

wrenches, pliers and ratchets

under the back seat

 

to take things apart

and put back together

fixed, or so we hope

 

when working on ourselves—

but only if we know

how things work.

 

 

 

MONDAY AT THE WATER TROUGH

 

 

 

A mile from any cattle

a gang of three bulls

unloaded at work

on Friday, cows

strung out on hay

before it rained

and muddied roads

to not haul them,

were sparring on Saturday,

bawling and plowing

the new green brown

while the cows

rode one another.

 

Witness for over fifty years

I have my theories

where there is no proof,

I leap to speculation

like Sherlock Holmes

just for the entertainment.

 

The girls and babies

have climbed the mountain

for the new green

protected by old feed

to grow taller,

and the boys too cavalier

or lazy to follow after

their nine-month vacation

on alfalfa.

 

We breed for almost everything

these days: birth weights

and scrotal circumference,

marbling and tenderness,

weaning weights and dollars

(gentle purebred generations

of artificial insemination)

for everything but sex drive.