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Tag Archives: Poetry

Little Boy Blue in Nebraska

or…the heifer’s in the corn stalks

A Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadow the cow’s in the corn.
But where’s the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s under a haystack fast asleep.
Will you wake him? No, not I – for if I do, he’s sure to cry

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2018 in Animals, Cattle, Poetry

 

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In Winter

sheep and llamas in Cow Pasture Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Animals, Cattle, Llamas, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Year’s End haiku

Solstice sunset at Powder Flat

The sun swings southward
rising now just past the slope
of Flattop Mountain.

Solstice bringing short
days and long nights, at long last
finding its nadir,

And now, blessedly,
it will not seek a further
dark’ning nor shrinking

Of sunshine, daylit
hours. Now begins a dawning–
first gleams further north.

As light grows longer
morning shine extending time
and dusk now later

And later each day,
the world breathing in, and out
since Fall equinox

Led the moon and stars,
turning day into darkness,
stealing time each turn

Of the earth around
the sun, then leaning away
each revolution.

The pole star blazing
earlier as each nighttime
stole hours of sunshine.

Now we begin the
pendulum swinging northward,
toward the springtime,

It seeks a turning
Away from the magnet pull
That drew it southward.

Now the poles reverse
Morning’s rays creeping northward
Toward Sheep Mountain,

Toward equinox
when the heaven’s days and nights
will become equals.

But for now, solstice
in the winter, in the cold times
end times, renewal

We don’t sacrifice
animals. We don’t light fires
and burn Yuletide logs

Though we string shining
ropes that glitter and sparkle,
that glisten and glow

Yet we count the hours
for we know the sun returns
and the nighttime shrinks.

Our superstitions
replaced by certain science
daylight will rebound

Instead we sing songs
of praise, and adulation–
the birth of our Lord

Heralding the time
when the rising of the sun
fulfills the promise

Of the infant child
whose birth, foretold by shepherds,
attended by beasts

By cows, by donkeys,
by sheep bleating in the night
calling to the Babe

And we know by faith
and by our experience
that daylight returns.

So in the meantime
we sing and we celebrate,
this blessed season.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in Animals, Cattle, Events, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Twin Lamb Haiku

Twin lambs on the ground,

Safe and sound with their mama,

Their whole life ahead.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Animals, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Llama Drama

Beulah, Maria and the bucks

There was lots of llama drama
At the shearing shed tonight,
Mama Beulah and Maria
Put up a worthy fight.

“Can’t you see it’s cold out,
Can’t you see our frosty breath?
It’s not weather fit for shearing.
No fleece could bring our death!”

 

 

“We have barns to give you shelter,
We have cozy straw for bed,
There will be no frozen llamas,
You have no need for dread”

“But we can see those rams
Who have lost their wooly coats,
They no longer look majestic,
They look more like hairy goats.”

Pepe and Maria

“Step right up here, ladies,
To the Ladder Ranch salon.
You’ll soon sport the latest style,
Your wavy locks will soon be gone.”

“No, we like our flowing locks.
We like it long and swirly,
We like it warm and thick.
Our best look is llama curly”

 

 

“Your new look will be most stylish.
Your new look will be most sleek.
You’ll have the latest, greatest ‘dos,
Your llama glamour all will seek.”

“Whoa, what is all this racket?
What is this clank and clatter?
We don’t want a crew cut hair cut!
Our opinion doesn’t matter?!”

Holding the spitting mad llama

“Never mind those four strong guys,
Just ignore that noisy shearer,
Lie right down here on the platform.
There’s no need for fear here.”

“Wait, I’m on my back now!
You’ve stretched me stem to stern!
Those blades are on my skin!
Are you sure that it won’t burn?”

“Don’t struggle so, my llama,
Soon this shearing will be done.
From your fleece you’ll soon be parted,
And your hide will soon see sun.”

“No—I won’t take this lying down,
It will make this llama sad.
Why, this humiliation
Just makes me spitting mad!”

“Now you can look just lovely,
With your new stylish trendy ‘do,
You can join your sheep friends,
With a cut that’s cute and new!”

Edgar assisting with the shearing of Beulah

“No, I don’t want this summer haircut,
Can’t you tell that it’s still cold!
I don’t like those noisy clippers
I don’t like this strongarm hold!”

“We can let her go now,
Her shearing is complete.
Oh, yuck! What is this vile goo
That’s spattered on my feet?!”

“That’s my mama llama spit,
You deserve that sticky blast.
Maybe next year you’ll remember
And this trim will be my last!”

 

 

Yup, it was lots of llama drama
At the Ladder Ranch tonight,
If you don’t mind a little spit
They’re quite the stylish sight!

Beulah and Maria, looking like the camelids they are!

 

 

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Hoarfrost Haiku

hoarfrost-on-fence

Hoarfrost stars sparkling,

meteors blazing a cold

ephemeral light.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Memorial Day

Reader Cemetary

Reader Cemetery

The Reader Cemetery is where most of my forebears are laid to rest. It has mostly fallen to Meghan and me (Sharon) to lay flowers on 21 graves. These include Pat’s father, my parents, both sets of grandparents, four great-grandparents, my brother, my sister, aunts and uncles on both sides of the family, cousins, and several beloved former employees of the ranch. It even includes a friend of my long-deceased grandfather who was killed in a notorious gunfight in Baggs in 1912 (Chick Bowen). We always try to lay flowers ahead of the Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery.  This year, we were inundated in rain and fully occupied in the lambing shed, so did not get the flowers laid until Memorial Day itself–a day after the remembrance ceremony. We figured that the ancestors would understand about the lambing.

Maeve with her great-great-grandparents Terrill's stone

Maeve with her great-great-grandparents Terrills’ stone

Maeve Eleanor with her namesake, Laura Eleanor, and George Salisbury

Maeve Eleanor with her namesake, Laura Eleanor, and George Salisbury

Tombstone Time—A Sonnet

Of all the jobs that fell to me
Just one drew tears, and grief and dread
I postponed, but all would see
No stone upon my mother’s bed.

Gravestone nightmares filled my sleep,
This rock would last far past my days,
“I pray the Lord, my soul to keep”
And choose a stone ‘fore end of May

When friends and kin would honor her,
Winter dead, and ashes laid,
With tales of love, with summer flower,
Not let beloved mem’ry fade.

Life’s essence captured in one line
Carved in rock in tombstone time.

 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Events, Family, Folks, Poetry

 

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