Tag Archives: Loren Fredricks

BLOND ON BLOND

 

 

Taking the cows home
a week after weaning
snakes easily over the saddle
and down to the water
of collected dreams.

I remember yellow
Euclid trucks dumping
layers of native pasture
armored with rock
across the river in ’59,

flooding shoreline picnics
and ground squirrels targets
where the Wukchumne camped—
where Loren Fredricks
never learned to swim

afraid of the three-foot carp,
sun-dried, he had to ride upon
in a horse-drawn cart
up Dry Creek to Eshom
before he became a cowboy.

Snow stacked high
on the Kaweahs, we held
the water back when Visalia
was a town, spread the city out
with no water in the ground.

               Blond cowgirl
               on a palomino
               in the wild oats
               above black cows
               and Lake Kaweah—

taking them home
a week after weaning
snakes easily over the saddle
and down to the water
of our collected dreams.

 

APRIL SOFT

Burning edges of a dark-gray raft at dawn,
the cool and damp inhaled, a padre’s bed
of filaree stretches into the speckled granite

crowned by ringlets of monkey flowers
spilling bright-yellow hair, vines of wild
cucumber cling and dress a leafless live oak

limb, fallen uphill. Their automatic answer,
unseen turkeys gobble at my cough, maybe
nesting. Milky sky, the sun takes its time

to break over the ridge, each day forging
northerly towards the mid-summer saddle
beneath Sulphur Peak and the beginning,

the spring at the head of Live Oak Canyon
and the Avery—notorious country to gather
multi-colored crossbred steers, thirty years ago.

It looks serene and who would know or care
to hear about those days, so many cowboys
gone to hell, or other places in between,

that we don’t seem to need now. But I miss
their humor before the planet turned so
serious, their toughness before I got so soft.

                                                  for Loren, Steve & Rod