Six bunnies in the driveway as the grandkids and I fed the horses yesterday morning, drab Cottontails, but appropriate symbolism that drew excited squeals, yet underscored with knowing looks about the validity of the Easter Bunny. It was a messy feeding, half the flakes never made the manger, each child covered with alfalfa leaf, but the horses didn’t seem to mind the little strangers. In the Kubota, we prolonged the chore by naming the birds we saw, a covey of quail, a dove pair, a lone killdeer and blackbirds grazing the short-cropped green in the horse pasture.
Hoping to expose them to more wildlife, we took the crew to the corrals in Greasy that we just finished constructing, a project that Earl McKee began a decade or more ago. Even though we kept two of the three board pens intact, the interface with pipe required removing some posts and boards and losing an occasional thirty-penny nail. Each kid got a coffee can and the hunt was on for nails worth two-bits a piece, a practice run for plastic eggs filled with sweet surprises that my daughter was hiding in the dark as I went to bed. HAPPY EASTER!
Blue moon over green
above grandchildren grazing
to tree frog refrains.
Sometimes we can’t see
skeletons of drought-dead trees
through canyons of rain.
I have had the luxury
of not remembering
every story about me,
the mundane details,
embellished and edited,
as if told often to others.
I can dress the rain
goddesses in gossamer gowns,
pen them dancing bare-limbed
with the sycamores
across the creek beckoning
wildly—let myself be drawn
into the image of a poem.
So much is make-believe
looking back into the mirror,
so much forgotten purposely.
I am not ready to retire
to whittling the past
into wooden statuettes
with so much more to do.
It could be Climate Change
or a changing of the guard,
an East Coast winter without end—
a sky full of harbingers,
floating clips of recycled news
fishing for the self-righteous
with seasoned bits of drama.
In one hand we hold Chekhov’s
mirror on our modern world.
Or are the clouds obfuscation,
each changing shape
of our imagination: our addiction?
Evening shadows climb after rain
around the equinox of dark and light
on Sulphur’s face. My plural we,
all our eyes look up for an expression,
for a hint of the future on the horizon,
beneath the last of gray cumulus
when the green grass seems golden—
almost heavenly when the granite
stacked could be pillars of marble.
How could it seem any other way
after months of no rain? How much
closer to the gate can we imagine?
Not far off, the blackbirds squire
the females, tail-feathers fanned,
wings outstretched a stride behind.
Not far off, the green begins to flower,
wild buds waiting to burst into color,
tender leaves of oaks unfurl on twigs.
The crow pair check the squirrel towns
for blind babies and high on the ridges
the black dots of cows and calves
grazing undisturbed close to heaven.
No one needs us for this moment
in our dreams—we are released.
Not much to do for the past three days but watch it rain, over four inches in the past ten days.
It’s a warm, 67 degrees with another half-inch in the gauge since this morning, bringing our total rainfall to over six inches for the month of March. Prior to February 26th, rainfall was 25% of normal. More due tonight.
The talons of a Golden Eagle
squeeze a squirrel beneath
the blades of pasture green
not far from the screen door
I close quietly behind me. A second
lands beside the first to begin
the meal. Several shades of bronze
shimmer in mid-day flight
as the first leaves the second
to eat alone—long flap of wings,
sure and purposeful. Sweet partnerships
grow wild, yet sometimes seem more
civilized than what we see among men.
Perhaps the Bird and Animal people
placed devotion, the selfless heart
into the tribe they created—or perhaps
we learned what we now claim
exceptional from birds and animals.