We track circles on the same ground
through brush and granite rock,
over mountains and down canyons
patched with spooky skeletons
of trees, broken limbs at their feet.
Last year’s blond and brittle feed
folds into dust under foot, under wheel
into decent firebreaks swirling around us
as we check springs and clean water troughs
measured with our eye. We carry hay,
fat cows come running six to the bale
once a week, fresh calves knocking
at the door of a new and wobbly world—
waiting to inhale one hundred degree heat.
Too soon to rain, we plod like cows
in dusty circles, all soft trails
lead to water and shade, or to the hum
of solar pumps in abandoned wells.
Posted in Photographs, Poems 2015, Ranch Journal
Tagged August, broken limbs, Calves, cows, Drought, granite rock, Greasy Creek, Hay, photographs, poetry, rain, water, weather
Too early to know
what the day brings—
plans mixed with dreams.
Ridgelines stay the same
except rooted trees
lose their leaves
or dress in early spring
with iridescent greens
hard to imagine from August.
But the errant clouds help,
beginning each day.
The hills black,
faint pink cloud
in first light cool.
Nights grows longer
with the shadows
when we dream
of winter storms,
four years dry.
We feed our future hay
until the time comes
we have nothing else to do.
Following an old hill track within dry
grasses and trees, dust worn thin,
soft and deep by pad and hoof,
dark shadows reach for shades of brown.
Once blond heads of wild oats bent
by breezes, now bleached by the sun,
hang empty and delicate on hollow stems
awaiting grazing or a rain to lay them down
atop the rosy clutch of fillaree
claiming ground in brittle curls beneath.
Blue Oaks gray with turquoise leaves,
leather-like among the naked skeletons
of grandfathers shedding limbs, lesions
of good hardwood, too heavy to support
without water on these battlefields,
the wounded and dead-standing, but
decomposing monuments to better centuries—
a range of color spreading into dying light.
My brown-skinned girl,
each dusty draw
seems softer, shadows
linger longer at the dawn
as the sun moves south
I begin to hear
the faint sound
of a light rain, early
on the roof—the musty
smell of it awakening
a primal surge of new life
for old veins on guard
for the slightest sign
of a train in my mind
mesmerized by rivulets
finding their own way
to the creek running
into spring. Cottonwoods’
first yellow leaves
gathered by rolling gusts
up and down canyon—
you say you feel it too.