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Thursday, September 20, 2018

The High Plains

Pale straws bend as unseen
Forces sweep
Across the nearly featureless
Landscape
That stretches for miles
Unending,
Broken occasionally by
Deep green
Sprays of needles and
Dried stalk
Of the yucca known as
Bear grass.

I lean slightly into
The invisible
Never-ending force of
The wind,
That restless, timeless
Bringer
Of storms and drought
And change
Upon this landscape
Swept flat
By Eons of scouring
Movement.

I am covered by a sense of
Peace
When a slight hint of dust
Tickles
My nostrils as I gaze
Across
The seemingly forever
Plains.
It is the serenity of being
Home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Birthday

Today is my Mother's birthday,
She just turned eighty-one,
And so I thought I'd do a post
About her just for fun.

She keeps her house all neat and clean
And worries about her yard
If it doesn't look just perfect
She takes it kind of hard.

Whenever we come visit
There'll always be a place
Set aside, just for us,
To escape from the rat race.

I know it's hard to be alone
As she is day by day
And I can't seem to find the time
To often get her way,

But, when I do she welcomes me
Just like she always did
With hot meals and a restful place
Like when I was a kid.

She gets around quite well for one
Who has lived her many years
And thinking that she might not could
Is one of her only fears.

She cooks enough to feed a host
Each time that I am there
And I eat more than I should
As if it was a dare.

Tonight's my turn to take her out,
A dinner on the town.
When I asked her if she'd eat a steak
She said, "I won't turn it down!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ties That Bind

In between the earth and space
There stands an organism
That ties the two together.

With arms that stretch toward the sky
It seeks the sun's vast energy
And scours the air for molecules

While sending deep into the earth
Its toes to drink the moisture there
And mine for needed minerals.

Upon its limbs in summer garb
Are tiny engines made to capture
Light that falls upon them.

That light excites the cells to bind
The carbon waste of others
And free the oxygen of life

To be breathed by those who need
This catalyst for their vital function.
It stores the carbon in itself

In fibrous growth that help it stand
Against the storms and winds
And ravages that assail

To give it strength which makes
It valued by the builder for
Shelter and other usefulness.

It breaks the earth with its strong feet
Allowing microbes to enter there
And further free the needed wealth

Of minerals contained therein
Which enrich the lives of smaller plants
That need such nutrition

To then be used by beings
Higher still to create the cycle
Until decomposed they fill the earth again.

A tree
Is key.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Words on a Page

Words written on a page
Are windows
Into that
Which lies beyond
Our own experience.

We learn,
We imagine,
We live
The words.

In them we may see
The pathways
Not traveled
And find enlightenment
For our needs.

We learn,
We imagine,
We live
The words.

It may be the "how to"
Or, a Biography
Or, it might be
A flight of fancy
That provides escape.

We learn,
We imagine,
We live
The words.

They provide insight
Into that which
Went before
Or, perhaps a glimpse
Of what lies ahead.

We learn,
We imagine,
We live
The words.

Through recorded experience,
We learn.
Through recorded conjecture
We imagine.
By embracing the written word
We expand our lives.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Power

I have cords for everything;
No matter where I look
It seems there is attachment
To phone, t.v. and Nook.

They tie things to a power,
Unseen but always there,
That flows through wires and other things
By man's unfailing care.

It reminds that we're connected
To the Father up above
Who seeks to empower us
Through His unfailing love

If only we'd reach out to Him
Through prayer in one accord
His power would recharge us
And He doesn't need a cord!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Daydreaming

In my office there's no window to look out upon the world
So, I must use the window in my mind
To allow my drifting consciousness to wander where it will
And see what new adventures it might find.

Instead of looking out upon a street filled with cars
Or, a parking lot, or even yards of grass
My thoughts drift to the mountains and a cold tumbling stream
Or, to a deep cold lake as still as glass

With surface broken only by the tiny little lure
I would toss out as temptation for a fish
Until I feel the tug, almost like electric shock,
Of a glistening rainbow trout as I would wish.

There upon the distant shore I see across the way
A regal elk come stepping from the wood
To drink from crystal waters where I seek the tricky prey
Then he looks upon the place whereon I stood

And I salute him for his boldness, for his total lack of fear,
As he sounds his eerie cry into the air
That calls his tiny harem down to drink there by his side
While he keeps a silent watch upon them there.

A fog comes slowly drifting down the wooded mountainside
To obscure the vision far across the lake
And again I see the ripples from the fish that I have sought
With temptation for the bait I hoped he'd take

Until the whole scene finally faded from my mind
Into a blank computer screen before
And I realized what happened as I sought to fill the page,
Preferring to be daydreaming once more....

Friday, September 14, 2018

Pulled Curtains, Open Doors

It is said the eyes
Are a window to one's soul.
I think sometimes
That is true, however,
There are times in which
The shades are drawn,
The curtain pulled,
So that which is deep within
Is obscured
From prying eyes.

Laughter,
Pain,
Loss,
Life itself,
Are hidden.

The tiny lines
That etch the corners
Of the windows give a hint,
As do the creases
Around the mouth
And chin,
Which reveal a tiny piece
Of the wear and tear
They have received
Through the years.

Kindness,
Love,
Patience,
Invested time,
Open doors.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Coyote

Far across the pasture upon a slight rise
I see you watching me,
Knowing that you saw
My approach long before I was aware
Of your presence.

You drop your head and tail and begin
To trot at a measured pace
In the general direction
Of a copse of trees
Across the fence.

Were you hunting and I interrupted
Or, were you headed home
From an all-night chase
With your buddies
And their yipping chorus?

There is abundance now, but it was
A lean summer in which the
Fare was scarce and difficult
Yet, you look to be
Well nourished.

You are part of the balance that I know
Is necessary yet,
I am unforgiving when I see you
In springtime around the
Newborn calves.

Right now I am tolerant of your presence
But, beware come spring
For I will be watching and
If you stray too close I might
Send a shot your way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Visiting the Neighbor

We own a couple of Charolais bulls
That we call Curly and Moe.
Their job is to keep the girls happy
And it's one they seem to know.

Yesterday as I was checking the cows
I looked across the fence
And there was Moe looking at me
Just like he had good sense.

I thought, "No, that can't be him!"
And double-checked the brand
But, sure enough it was him alright
As big as a brass band.

I knew I had to get him back
But, the neighbor wasn't home;
He wasn't supposed to be there,
His job was not to roam!

So, I opened a gate that's been there for years
Likely put there for just such a case,
And headed afoot 'cross the neighbor's place
Not really wanting a chase.

I figured that Moe was ready to go
Back from whence he came
But, no, that wasn't the plan that he had
And so commenced the game

Of me trying to coax him to that tiny gate,
A place where he'd never been,
And just when I'd get him almost to it
He'd circle around me again!

Then he decided to head toward the creek,
And I thought, "Well that's Okay.
He's probably headed to a hole in the fence
That allowed him to come over today."

Of course I was wrong as we walked near a mile
With him looking for holes in the fence
Until he got clear to the far south end,
Me following like I had good sense.

Then he turned around and started right back
The way that we had just come
And I was beginning to wish for some help
And frankly, feeling quite dumb.

He finally made it clear to the gate
I had opened when e'er I did start.
He looked back at me with a smirk on his face
And through it quickly did dart!

I wired it back shut so he couldn't get out
And headed him back to his place
With him calling out every few steps or so
As if he had just won a race.

So, then my next chore was to go 'round the fence
And figure just how he got out.
I never did find anything out of place
So, I figure he jumped, the big lout.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Porcine Nemesis

We enjoy the wildlife on our small piece of rural property in Northeast Texas.  We see coyotes, deer, and the occasional other small animal and our game cameras capture images of those we never see, but know are present, such as bobcats.  There is one wild animal, however, that we are not thrilled to have and that is the feral pigs.

The pigs are destructive.  They tear up the ground for roots and grubs and can leave large areas of pasture looking like it has been bombed.  There are many places along the fences that are obvious trails for them and it is not uncommon to find the bottom wire broken in those places from the frequent pressure of the larger ones squeezing underneath.  They also can carry disease which may potentially spread to the cattle.

Hunting them is a challenge because they are one of the most intelligent animals.  They seem to make a circuit of a very large area and are unpredictable as to when they will be in any particular place.  Some likely stay on our place, but they seem to travel between us and several of our neighbors along the river bottom.  One can go for days watching for them and see nothing and then large herds of them may appear as if out of nowhere.  Their trails through the woods show signs of hundreds passing through and the proof of such large groups is frequently caught on our game cameras.

Trapping them is a way that some in the area attempt to get rid of the hogs.  They quickly learn about the traps which must be moved frequently to remain even marginally effective.  Most of those who trap the hogs don't do so to eliminate them, they capture the young ones and feed them for a short period and then sell them to one of the local butchers with connections to outlets for "wild boar" meat.

We also have a neighbor who likes to run them with dogs.  I have told him repeatedly to call and ask permission before coming onto our place to hunt.  He doesn't.  His dogs also are used to find stray cattle and I have seen torn ears on a couple of my cows that I suspect were caused by his dogs.  I wonder sometimes if he encourages the proliferation of the hogs so that he can hunt them.

The state now has authorized the use of poisoned bait of a specific type to help with the hog problem.  I don't like putting out poisoned bait because of the potential unintended consequences on other wildlife.

It is a big problem for which I don't have an answer.  I wish someone did.
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