The forest is full
of folks seeking solitude. . .
the thrill of the hunt.
The County plows the road just far enough.
Ewes, lambs within,
stand with wooly backs to the wind,
withstanding the snow and blow.
We can get in behind the plows
with corn and hay, every few days.
Brave men, up from Peru,
Struggle through the snow
and spread the feed, while we venture
along roads, slick with ice, no visibility,
bringing food, wood, water, feed.
Antelope mill in ever larger herds,
hanging along the roads,
grass covered by endless drifts.
Winter, relentless in exacting its toll.
I hope they stay off the railroad tracks.
The BLM says move the sheep,
too many days along that plowed road,
huddled among the hard-drifted snowbanks.
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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.”
“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?!”
“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!”
“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!