Tag Archives: Christmas




Nothing near, the long-term forecast

changes on the hour as we look out

over Christmas color, out of storage early,


at independent calves at water,

and our persistent green still breathing

with each dawn’s dew. Almost everything


we need is near-at-hand before Thanksgiving

with a welcome splash of cheer

as we wait for rain, like always.




Long dark shadows in the canyons,

cattle hard to see.  They don’t need us now,

heads down somewhere on the mountain,


ground too wet to help them anyway—

all the excuses I need to write poetry.

We fed hay all last year, filled the barn


three times waiting for a rain. These Christmas

storms: miracles to rejuvenate the earth

for man and beast, birds and insects,


steep hillsides begging to explode in leafy

salad greens—iridescent gifts in the sunlight,

like the old days, for years in a row that


have since gone dry and farther in between.

Nothing stays the same, just ask the skeletons

of old oaks where the natives ground acorns.

Merry Christmas



Still Life Blessings




Fresh-picked fruit waiting for family, friends and rain to arrive. 1.30″


Sulphur Peak




Overnight rain, wind, hail and a light dusting of snow down to 2,000 feet for our Christmas present on Dry Creek. Fairly rare, especially during the last four years.

Whole family here jamming into the late night hours (10:00 p.m., 3 hours past my bedtime), Robbin and Bob with guitars, Jaro and I with harmonicas, all singing what lyrics we knew.

All good, beautiful morning, Christmas 2015!



Bagels and lochs on the deck.





Blue Oak rounds too big for the woodstove
collect near the splitter in a pile—energy
stored in rings of sun, years of rain—
the severed dead, hard and dry inside.

We look ahead to ceremony, prepare
as we go, set aside the burls and forks,
too twisted to split, for the outside fire
and generations of flickering faces.

I see my mother in my grand-daughter’s
eyes, leave us for a moment for the flames
lapping the remains of a stump—the call
from beyond that burns within us all—

she is drawn away. It is the coming back
to her mother’s lap, her bemused recognition
of going somewhere within white coals
beyond this half-circle of family

that I see my mother in her face
while the meat cooks. We talk, lift glasses
in the smoke that swirls undecidedly
around us, just out of reach of the flames.

Early tracks upon the morning frost,
someone will rise to stir the embers,
to rekindle conversation from cold night
hoping to keep the celebration alive.



WPC(2) — “Warmth”


Christmas Fire




WPC(1) — “Warmth”



Sulphur - December 11, 2014

Sulphur – December 11, 2014


No father or mother left to leave
a Christmas gift under the tree—
even the child in us understands.

An ever-ready substitute, the old
Hereford bull plods along the fence
looking past the asphalt, gutturally

conversing with the neighbor’s
registered Angus mothers
while his younger brethren work

the steep brush and rock,
gather families in the wild
from last year’s seed.

Kept another year, just in case
someone gets hurt, we become
the extras for the gods—

walk the sidelines
lending words to the old songs
‘lest the world forgets

the melodies of Christmas
when it rains, or snows low
leaving only grass under trees.



What has become of us,
O’ Humanity,
quick to fire

at silhouettes in shadows,
raw anger mobbing

wars everywhere?
We need a holiday
off—a truce,

some space and peace
with this economy—
time to care.

An early Christmas wish,
a common gift
we all can share.