Chain saw heavier, I cut arms
off skeletons littering pastures
and canyons after years of drought,
a battleground where old oaks lost
touch with water—most barkless now
tipped-over or in tangled piles
beneath authoritative trunks
begging purpose, begging cremation
or stacked close to the woodstove.
Old habits and rituals finally slow
as the limbs grow heavier despite
the pleading of the heartwood.
Posted in Photographs, Poems 2022, Ranch Journal
Tagged age, cordwood, Drought, habits, oak trees, photography, poetry, rituals, skeletons, woodstove
Along the road the CCCs
chiseled in the 30s, men and mules,
wheelbarrows and Fresno scrapers,
miles of sidehill on perfect grade
while the old oak watched
from the saddle
before the place got a name.
Coyotes trapped or shot
were tied with baling wire and hung
from a long, horizontal limb
through summer heat and rain
before becoming skeletons.
How many bones beneath it now
howl from its hollow limbs?