Tag Archives: dust


Nap-time nurseries
beneath the sycamores,
babysitting cows
relieve one another
to eat and drink.

Those without calves
recline with bellies bulging,
thrust painfully skyward
like over-inflated
black beach balls—

            all await the green
            soft-stemmed alfalfa—
            await new life,
            await a rain

to settle dust underfoot
as they graze short-cropped
dry feed into the dirt

            awaiting new life—
            seed awaiting rain.

The long range forecast
confirms our superstitions,
but like a no-hitter
we dare not mention yet—

until the dark hole
in the barn grows larger,
until the canyon fills
with echoing complaints,
the agonizing song
of cows begging,
calf solos in the distance.




For days, nothing to say,
as we wait for rain, like always
in the dust we stir,
both wild and tame.

Cow trails deep and soft,
Chinese scrolls of pad and hoof
pressed into silent verse
moving freely in the dark.

Coyote, bobcat, rattlesnake,
bear, deer and mountain lion
leave their poetry at night
to be erased each day.



Billowing from behind the barn before dawn
rising, clouds hang and drift, coat everything
as saddle horses wake to play over fences

in August, when there is no dew nor brittle stems
to cling to. Expectant mothers waddle to the water
trough, dragging their feet in soft, deep powder

pounded fine enough to float, to trail behind them.
Within the Palo Verde’s safe thatch of thorny limbs,
the reveille of quail brushing dreams from their eyes

before their morning march to the rock pile
in the middle of the bare horse pasture—even
the tiny feet of laggards catching-up stir the dust.

The first dry leaves lift in a swirl of weather changing,
distant premonitions that stir the flesh to ask
if the stage is set to settle this ever-present dust

with rain.





In a cloud, horseplay rising
from a two-year drought—
time to feed to breathe.



WPC(4) — “Refraction”




You ask me now,
in this moment, waited
for my full attention

                         which I have refused,
                         too preoccupied with each rich

My patient other voice,
ever-reasonable and calm,
ready for a pause

to pose the obvious, weigh
the load and look
at the short end of my string.

But I am busy listening
to my call carry across Greasy,
to cows bailing off the far ridge

leaving dust trails in trees,
to the diesel’s purr
beside me, promising hay.

To their slow plod up—
they trust that we
will do as we say.






Native generations rise
at water, hoof and pad,
inhaled at dawn.



Weekly Photo Challenge (1) “Between”




We rise to dust we stir,
greet dawn with a cigarette
to clear our lungs.