Tag Archives: habits

LIKE ALWAYS

Beneath clouds

the forecast rain peters out

to a light mist, heavy dew, a sip

to hold greening hills a week—

like always, I’m disappointed

wanting more

security for cows.

 

Today, we’ll cut skeletons

of brittle manzanita

into woodstove lengths

to bring Blue Oak coals

to flame each morning.

 

We’ll take the dog,

put out salt,

check cows and calves—

stack the brush

load the Kubota

and let her sit between us

all the way home.

 

Through the years

we have worn cow trails of our own.

Like always, we’ll see something

we’ve never seen before.

JULY EVENING

Four-thirty and it’s cooled down

from 115—black cows are leaving

sycamore shade for the water trough,

>

plodding several hundred yards of hard clay

and short blond fuzz to drink,

not like last night’s forceful mob,

>

but one-by-one, the order established

over years of living together—uphill 

two hundred more to shady Blue Oaks

>

to gather and decide which way to go.

The heat has slowed their rhythm

only slightly, they are bound to graze

>

what’s left on the slopes behind us:

take the steep trail to the top of the ridge

or the long pull only part-way to the sky.

LEARNING TO LIVE WITH HUMANS

 

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One hundred ten degrees,
a kestrel lights where water sprays
the onion bed and bathes—

then soon its mate,
or so it seems at a distance
in the fuzzy heat.

Now in the morning black
my desk lamp brings
gnats to the window glass,

and tree frogs on a slick,
perpendicular hunt, vying
for positioning, carefully

lifting one foot at a time.
I imagine now the herd
of tree frogs seeking cover

at the kestrels’ landing,
great hops into the thick
onion stems and berry vines

dripping with wonder:
new habits on a timer
every summer evening at six.