Tag Archives: change


                                                Change is made of choices

                                                & choices are made of character.

                                                                    – Amanda Gorman (“We Write”)


Nothing stays the same,

even the Earth wobbles on its axis.


We are not the same people—

we were raised with, and finally by.


Reason and truth have been inflated so

they have no value now, like fiat currency.


Yesterday, a man’s word defined him.

Today he speaks a foreign tongue.


But that’s all we have, a lifetime of words

to ease the speed and pain of change.





We are savoring the seasonal changes since the spectacular light show and rain on the 18th. The grass grows quickly in places with temperatures in the low 80s during the day and 50s at night. With softer ground and cooler weather, the cows have moved up the hill and to the ridges for fresh green grass, leaving their calves behind in the flats where we’ve been feeding hay since they were born.

Expecting dinner, there was quite a bit of confusion among the calves Sunday evening when the cows weren’t home on time, still high on the hill filling up before dark. Despite their instinctual training to stay where they last sucked, the calves went looking for their mothers in the only geography they knew. Robbin and I couldn’t contain our laughter as the chorus of plaintive bawls on either side of the house became overly urgent and dramatic—and just as humorous when the worried cows returned to finally find and chastise their offspring in strident tones.

Now a month or so old and growing, the calves have become more independent, running and bucking ahead of the plodding cows to the water trough at dawn, butting heads as they emulate their mothers, some of whom have begun to cycle. A sign of good health, it will be six weeks yet before we put the bulls out.

After four years of drought and a long hot summer, we welcome the changes, and as always this time of year, we wait for a little moisture to freshen-up the new grass on our bare west and south slopes as the clay dries out without the protection of old feed. I had to cut a load of dead Manzanita yesterday to celebrate all these welcome changes.






Dear Dad, you never saw a drought like this,
four years running, so few cows left on the ranch—
nor I a war like yours: bait for Nazis in the Bulge.

The world has changed, the planet ever-changing:
ice caps melt, oceans rise, seasons out-of-sync
with what we know. New ground to graze

now that I am old. Nothing in the mountains
for bears to eat, they roll down ridges, track
dusty roads on the scent of fresh placentas,

lion pads everywhere you go. We cannot leave
this canyon, these calves, alone—all living
off this piece of ground that we are so bound.






One more reason to postpone town—
my list of necessities buried in a yellow tablet
of half-poems, songs you want to learn to play

on your father’s Martin—we are almost
self-sufficient with the garden, fresh limes
for our evening Tanqueray watching cows

come into water before grazing up hillsides.
Some waddle now, heavy with calf. Summer
seems to want to leave early on gusts,

shadows longer on the cusp of change
we mustn’t miss—another day of details
to keep us closer to the home we’ve made.