RSS

Category Archives: Poetry

Happy New Year!

The New Year comes through fortune’s gate.
It gives us hope, and prayers of grace,
with power of time, we await

the future, blank–this unknown fate,
unknown journey to unknown place—
the New Year comes, through one-way gate.

Our dreads, our sins, night fears abate—
the past, the future, run apace
with power of time, next year awaits.

We cast our lot, the dice gyrate,
spin and clatter, hit chance’s space—
write next year’s tome on fortune’s slate.

Earth’s axis tips, while stars rotate.
The waxing moon unveils her face,
marks pass of time, while we await

Through time, through space, sped arrow-straight,
light races on its ceaseless chase.
Now New Year comes, through future’s gate—
through power of time, we await.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , , ,

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

The holidays are here,
The year is almost gone.
Sunset’s coming sooner,
long nights–they linger on.

Christmas on the Ladder Ranch
brings us gifts galore.
Family gathers ‘round us
while Yuletide fires roar.

Deep within the meadows—
summer’s rush to green has passed–
round bales stacked like coins,
winter’s wealth, its shadows cast.

Fair weather birds have fled,
but winter sounds abound,
brave trills of chirping chorus
echo bird-song all around.

Coyotes add their yips and howls
and wail their eerie cries
which echo through the hills
making hackles rise

On man and beast alike.
On Battle Creek, an icy sheen
glows while cracks and groans—
add to winter’s subtle keen.

But here beside the fire,
with its crackle and its roar,
we’re warm and well and happy,
with all we need and more.

There’s children’s cheery laughter—
they cry and yell and shout,
like to scare the coyotes
as they run and tear about.

There’s cows and sheep and horses,
there’s canines large and small—
dreaming Border collie dreams
and guard dogs watching all.

The cows must fill their bellies
with grass hay long since cut,
and raked and baled and scattered
‘long the tractor’s snowy rut.

They’ve calves to grow within them—
throughout the winter’s cold
and await the season’s turning—
winter solstice comes and goes.

And ewes upon the desert
munching daily corn,
awaiting warmth in springtime
when their babies will be born.

In Battle Mountain’s folds,
deer and elk have bedded down.
In hollows under oak brush,
there’s shelter that they’ve found.

We thank the Lord for blessings
for His creatures great and small—
for all of those we care for,
Please Lord, bless us all!

We are grateful for our friends
and kin, found both far and near,
from Ladder Ranch to you and yours,
Merry Christmas! Yuletide Cheer!

 

 

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 25, 2020 in Animals, Cattle, Dogs, Poetry, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , ,

Solstice

Solstice sunrise

Solstice Sonnet

Season’s end draws, dims, slides down to the rest
of the year, where we await winter sleep,
Day’s end presents sundown, darkened nest
where quiet lures, lulls, to somnolent deep

and tempting dreams, where twilight dusk holds sway.
Dawn comes late, with sparking, shimmering freeze.
Solstice rays shoot beams, arrows into day–
Ancients rose, chanted, begged gods to be pleased

and halt sun’s chariot southering drift,
to change its course, to close its dogged lap.
Prayers intoned, begged for light’s return—strong, swift,
No more creeping darkness, to suck and sap

its sunlit balm. Now incline to summer–
swing past the solstice, past darkness’ slumber.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 21, 2020 in Events, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Conversation Between Buck and Rambo

Looking for the ladies

Conversation between Buck and Rambo
or
Breeding season on the Ladder Ranch

There’s a rumor goin’ ‘round, ‘bout some ladies to be found–
the boss is hookin’ up the trailer, gassin’ up the truck
(The trailer lights aren’t working, again, but oh well.)

I’m hopin’ that you’re right, and it seems that time of year—
they’ve been pourin’ out the grain, dashed red powder on our backs,
lots of hay, and we all look fat and ready—well, you know.

 

Last year all the ladies loved my tuxedo vibe.
My black face is debonair, my moves make me look fine.
I jumped out of the trailer, and I think they liked my leap.

Ha—that woolless blackface face can’t compare with wooly charms,
and HOW ABOUT these curly Rambouillet horns. They love those!
I’ll rub them on this hay bale and that will make them shine.

We have to wait all year, just hangin’ with the guys—
they keep us in buck prison, and we KNOW how that can be.
It’s the ladies that we want, with their pretty ewey charms

YES! The boss says time to get to work, but it’s not work at all,
we can whisper those sweet nothings, but you know they’re loved and left.
raisin’ lambs on grassy meadows, while we move back to bachelor digs.

BOTH: Time to get to work!

Which one of these is not like the others?

 

 

Red bucks in the middle

It’s time to get to work!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 13, 2020 in Animals, Events, Poetry, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Middle Smylie haiku

Cows in Middle Smylie

December cows graze

on summer’s hay, fall’s stubble

awaiting winter

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 8, 2020 in Animals, Cattle, Poetry

 

Tags: , ,

November Cavvy

November Cavvy

 

 

November cavvy,
trotting into headquarters—
sporting winter coats

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2020 in Animals, Dogs, Folks, Folks who help us out, Horses, Poetry

 

Tags: , , ,

Sunrise blessing

 

Sunrise bleeds into
morning, day, season’s turning,
this blessing, a gift.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 6, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , , ,

Migration

Shadows

As the elk and the deer
head down from summer’s grass
calves and fawns by their side
we gather cows, their calves and
hope for good weather.
We hook up the sheep camps,
move our community of critters—
ewes, lambs, dogs, horses.

The shepherds shift from early mornings,
lazy afternoons, fights with bears
and coyotes—
trying to find a camp spot among
tourists, campers, refugees from Covid.
At home, we stage the sheep, bringing them
bunch by bunch to pastures,
to the corrals

For sorting, for judging who stays,
who goes, some to the desert
some to farmers with soft fields and warm barns.
Lambs climb onto trucks—
first the heavies, born early,
next the lights,
and finally the peewees
headed for corn and lower country.

Now we follow the migration.

ewes trailing down from the Routt Forest

past the Bull Pasture

KIm supervising

Meghan at the sorting gate

lambs

under the sun

Anthony working the chute

ewes after sorting

Meghan loading the truck, with help

lambs loading on truck

Pepe and Oscar bringing them up

Pepe. Edgar and Bubba

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Red at Night

Fires in the forest
paint strokes of scarlet slashing
across the Mesa

photo credit. Meghan O’Toole Lally

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 14, 2020 in Farming, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , ,

Sangre de Cristo–Summer of Fire

Red sunrise over Sheep Mountain

Sangre de Cristo,
blood red against the sky,
smoky crimson sunrise
illuminates the dry

and murky landscape,
grey haze that turns to pink,
and throws a rosy glow
to make night’s shadows sink.

Mountains rise ephemeral,
magic light against their rock,
a brief illumination
shows their beauty with a shock.

of this pink and hazy glow
wrought by fires in the south,
fire in the sky,
and fires bred by drought.

Flames that rise and roar
and eat all before their path,
nature and man’s doings
give way before their wrath.

We watch from distant fastness
as smoky fingers curl,
long tendrils reach with greed
to menace with their swirl,

and spread a grim grey threat
to make us tear and choke.
We wear a gauzy veil
of ash and haze and smoke.

It filters through our valleys
where grass stands stiff and dry,
where leaves hang low and thirsty
beneath this pall of sky.

Tales now come to haunt us
of flames that leave a stark
and ancient calling card,
borne aloft by wind and spark.

We watch and wait and fret
that such could be our fate,
while distant matches flare,
in a tinderbox, we wait.

Such thoughts all disappear
with wonder and with awe,
as sunrise works its alchemy,
paints the country with a raw

and glowing pinkwash,
with a brief and fleeting dye.
Sangre de Cristo,
blood red against the sky.

Red sunset over Battle Mountain

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 22, 2020 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

Tags: , , , , ,