Tag Archives: friends



Tenuous, dangerous navigating

redwood sagging on rotting joists

even the dogs avoided


and it took years to make repairs,

slices of time wedged between

perpetual routines


caring for the survivors of drought

when there was no grass or water.

It took the expertise of a patient friend


we have learned to love

and work with—Robbin and I

comprising only half-a-man.


                        for Jeff Spoelstra  






Dark morning without moon or stars
before the first winter storm, the day before
Black Friday rains deals and discounts

for Christmas, for our economy and I am
ever thankful that the bulls are out early
courting cows, meeting kids and family

before dirt roads get too slick to travel—
ever thankful for the drought that felled
two big Live Oaks on the gate and fence

we corded-up and stacked beneath the eave
before the girls drove posts and spliced
the barbed wire on a mat of green

to leave the mess looking like a park—ever
thankful for them, for you and this ground
we’re invested in together, for good horses

willing to get the cow work done—
black skies without moon or stars,
you and I alone before the storm.






Robbin and I have made the trek to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, where we were married twenty years ago, so many times that it seems like Groundhog’s Day. We split the 720 mile trip into two days, laying over in Bishop, stopping at the same places for gas and a snack or a meal, the same motel, right down to virtually the same heavy coats and winter shoes. One almost instant replay after another.

Yet always something new, some detail or happenstance to change the course of events, to make every Gathering a little different, a little richer. This year the weather was a player.









Since Day One, drawn
to the fire, meat and music—
new words to an old song.



WPC(3) — “Minimalist”