Tag Archives: poetry

MOVING COWS 2

 

 

Ripe April grasses
bellyhigh on the leaders
blind below their knees.

 

MOVING COWS

 

 

Mothers and babies,
pastoral dreams cross the green
with girls a horseback.

 

PLASTIC WATERGAP

 

 

Stretched across the creek
for looks like herding humans,
not stampedes or floods.

 

TREE FROG POLLYWOGS

 

 

Bowl full of croakers
deafening some dark spring night
with endless love songs.

 

BLACK PLASTIC

 

 

So little water, we left
pasture gates open, turned
ranch management over

to the cows until
December brandings—
forgotten plans

stirred and mixed
to leave with dust devils
for four years straight.

Then so much rain
the rising water
took every fence between

neighbors, cattle free,
to graze up or down
twenty miles of stream

too high to cross
to cut the bull calves
as late as April aspirations

bellowing and packed
into a swaggering
700 pounds.

We wade the creek
repairing watergaps
with black plastic mesh

designed to herd humans,
an experiment worth trying
to run a ranch.

 

EVENING MOONSET

 

 

No babysitter,
black night ours to navigate
like coyotes and owls.

 

SHORT MOMENTS

 

 

How many pass without notice
as if chained in black caves
away from ordinary light

dressed in the shadows
of where we’ve been, shades
of time filtered into the present,

the parade of memories
and forgotten faces begging
a name—how many pass

us by?

 

ROBIN AFTER RAIN

 

 

Despite politics,
we all have work to do like
making rain repairs.

 

FEELING APRIL

 

 

From creek to ridge alive with spring,
churned and feathered urgencies abloom,
from pink to purple petals opening

to the sky, to its great white ships
passing after a sunlit shower’s rainbow.
Perfumes stirred inhaled, this canyon’s

air is shared with two golden eagles
hunting for hungry hatchlings high
in granite outcrops, sailing low

to snag sunning ground squirrels
more frequently now, imagining
young yellow beaks in sticks

open to the sky. It is the beginning
of the end, the ripening of the seed—
the dramatic performance of scripts

with fresh actors little changed
in my life, in my flesh—dependable
feelings somewhat akin to love.

 

OBSTACLES

 

 

There are boulders even
in dry creek beds, obstacles
for water to flow around – make
the sounds that soothe us so.

Easily identified, some are bolted down
like the mountains with sharpened edges
eerily singing new refrains each night.
We know them. Sometimes we curse them.

We even pray to God to remove them
from our channeled way of going, yet
not believing the music we cherish most
comes from rubbing against them.

                  (Poems from Dry Creek, 2008)

 

© 2017 Dry Crik Press

 

Noting repeated references to ‘granite’ in my poetry, a dear friend emailed an audio link of Thobar Phadraig reading his poem “Stone” that reminded me of “Stone Poems” by Douglas Skrief published by Starhaven (London, 2009), who also published my “Poems from Dry Creek” in 2008. Relating this ‘granite’ thread to Robbin last evening, she remembered my poem “Obstacles” and the circumstances that spawned it.

The Poem Notes from that book: Written while haggling over the language of a conservation easement intended to preserve the ranch, this simple poem was, and continues to be, a solid touchstone for difficult times. After approximately three years of emotional discussions, we abandoned the concept to concentrate our energies on improving the ranch and our cowherd – tending to the business we know best. Included in “Still in the Mountains,” 2004.

Our notion of a good poem is not dated, so we have decided to post some of my earlier poetry here from time to time.