Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In This Season

The earth no longer gives as I walk,
and the deer pause with snow on that surface;
hooves make no track in the soil beneath.
Overall, that s not likely to change anytime soon.
And we ask: Can we travel? Will we ever arrive?

Ten billion stars in the earths sky,
illuminate much less dramatically than a car's headlights
and yet we intuitively know that is not the point;
as in the sunset each evening there is an answer
whether including clouds, or simply mist and snow, or only a slow fading,
therein comes faith that the sun will return and
that the snow will melt, returning to the soil a sweat which will again bead
and coax forth new life with warming sun.

With that return, deer, elk and sheep alike for a while will strive
without enmity
without envy-
For now, though, the present with immoveable, leaden skies without hue
and a similar greyed feeling, deep to the bone will change
and thaw past mud,
and though the wind now says that this is the way it will always be,
keep your ear to the heavens,
and in your heart, a verdant blessing for the buds on the tree.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tree Trekking

Got the trees for the family today, not much snow. Bryn and Jeru enjoyed bushwhacking and yelling down the mountain at the crew.

Up to the Cabin

 Glad we were able button up the old cabin. The kids are sure enjoying it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Two Roads Diverge

Been a spectacular fall. This is a poplar up the way from the house just below where the junipers begin, one of my barometers of when the spring and fall begin and wane; winter's almost here...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Accounting of Progress

Orb of night
oculus illumined from leagues distant
shying toward the west, giving shape to dark clouds
invisible without though not within-
pinpoint of yellow, Mars as life-light on the lens,
when there are no stars visible

When it began, only the faintest of sounds
emaated from his mind
Here is the rationale:
Shape and form changed-
not as with scissors, knife or hammer
but with time and derision,
as when rain falls from a cloud
the ground changes, and a small area takes an
ancient decision.
Moisture penetrates, soil swells, and bodies
(both plant and animal) move,
so that over time these changes shout and attract attention
of some sentient beings-
but perception is slow to give attention to
such things as change progresses...

When the cap is replaced
it protects the point of the pen, and
if what you crave is protection
angels will come
with flaming swords and the eternal
sanction of an omnipotent God-
(that is what, at least, is gleaned from holy books)
and if your faith is full,
you can hope for a long flowing robe
like those worn by street-corner lunatics
powerful polygamists,
and everyday businesspeople behind thick walls-
each after his own kind and
each knowing only his own mind.
Music played in doleful tones and
the juicy seed of pomegranate;
is our only reward for now,
I seek a benediction on our sheer bandages
covering our scrapes and
minor lacerations.
those will do to prop up a stooped back,
or bowed neck
and dry the tears of those who need more
than the hoped for veil will let
slip past
slip past
slip past
to know that they are God.

So, having passed already
too near the sun,
the memory of that brief moment creates
a heady sensation of both vestal
and sacred nectar-
winter is at the door and our hopes and faith, deferred,
have flown to more comfortable climes,
leaving us to our work and watch.
The air we breathe will give account
of its use, benefit and march…

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Novus Ordo Incendium

I dream a dream-
It has been said.
The dog alongside wakes suddenly at this very moment,
and the next, springs forth to search out her mate-
she has forgotten her master altogether.

The midnight sun catches in our throats
like so much desert dust.
Yellowed paper and tattered plastic ware from the glove box will do,
So hungry so hungered so very hungry;
Nous sommes Americanes-
And despite or because of this,
A thirsty lot we have become; overturning all that is rooted,
a search for seeing goes on.

A remembrance:
Traces of the dream expand forever, as only small, overturned things can grow,
reusing their own past
insomuch that the dream takes a new body, having grown a new soul,
fed upon the desert soil, a sated lot we become,
because of or despite all of this.

And as each wanders purposefully toward reconciliation,
the past tense of the subjunctive hanging
on every word,
our searching walk daily reveals memory
passing orange groves and nutmeg trees
with their fruits and seeds orange, creamy white ,and scarlet-
the pattering music of patio breakfasts drifting like cirrus over cedar fences,
as only a little, dewey rain upon the grass  
remains from the night before.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another Pome Read for a Gathering...

A quaint remembrance, or ‘In Remembrance’

It will become the damndest thing;
a seeing sending unit around each corner, tethered to
armored ships at sea, though rumored to be
steaming fast as reality
into the face of a minor objection-
Spending and spelling, buying, then selling;
we’ve a favorite habit known to all,
and each with its own foxhole reverie.

The backlit brightness of a foot soldier’s vivid memories,
caught between the thorny teeth of all the
machines, essence extracted and
left on the back doorstep with a stray cat’s shattered mice in hope
that the God within will smile and pause,
only for a patchwork-moment before going onto the day’s material hymns
and the night’s totemic, rightful dreams.

Hey- it’s not selfish, it’s what we've collected
beneath these very stars;
lidded with mists or pricked through
in Your service;
greeting the lonely or saluting the wicked
at infrequent prayer.
Regardless, in battle, the night can last forever.

Passing through at a pace familiar only to biology
in your wild places and in my heart,
each toils feebly for a national ideal,
and the impossible is inevitably, metacognitively worshipped .
Indeed, as both the brazen and weary pass from this
world in violence or in some similar peace,
It is only the rest who can keep their dreams aflame.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A splendid Pioneer Day to you

Perception of Light

Mantles of hollowed basins and stratified ranges soften
through light, distance, and dust
in this often torrid, light-leavened land of centralized, filial faith.
Perception fades over distance through
sometimes painfully short perspective,
all colors fade to purple and blue, and from that into shades of gray.
Alas, sight and sentiment share a root in memory;
human nature is besotted with comfort and predictable weather.
The engines of discernment aren't always so simple to prime as those creating the mirage of security.

Trees planted and patiently tended with wash water
and memories of birthlands still bless us
with shade and wood for fires,
a sort of progression toward the far-off forest they had hope for-
every bit as difficult to bring up in this climate as a woman or man,
especially in those days of ague and cholera,
drought and disease, burning plagues that beat down fields and families,
dreams and hopes,
though all was well.
All was well.

Their frequent faith, anguish, labor, and tribulation have turned to blue, then gray,
and finally to a bright-washed white
in the not-so-distant past;
the glory of our worshipped ancestors imagined in clean period clothes and unpatched prairie schooners.
As our present height builds on a show of slight will
and gout brought on by fatty foods,
a season or two brings us our slender fortune,
served on an earthen platter
and lit by the short-lived fireflies of this new millennium.

Good, old Orson Pratt once said,
“If our Heavenly Father will deliver us out of the hands of the blood-thirsty Christians of these United States and not suffer any more of us to be martyred to gratify their holy piety, I for one shall be very thankful."
One might read allegorically, as well.

At the height of summer as the drought burns or the monsoon quenches,
as both rhythm and decay course with our thick, smooth blood,
each friend and infant might see briefly an unadorned soul-
despite or because of hopes worked for on the sagebrush breeze,
prepared for in this high-desert home,
whenever and wherever that may be built;
on the  mountain, on the bench, or in the valley below.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Silt and Shell

As the garden grows (though sometimes not-so-green),
     the air swells with arid pride and a sweltering grace,
as much for a lack of discretion as for the season's pattern.
     And, having lost touch with faith, substituting a hope in beauty for a
false god's smirk,
     storm gutters buckle with a burden of silt and a million empty clam shells
in place of water.
     Though to me sweetmeats no longer sate,
the off cast, limey husks still capture my children's dreams.
     Really, what more is there true to the universe besides that?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Corn, 2012

This year's crops are trundling along, partially happy with the heat and wincing in reaction, depending on the plant's preferences.
Not sure how long the water will hold out with enough force to keep things unwilty, though; we've been grateful for what we've had so far, though.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The near-ground froze in the lower slough of the acre this morning, not a deep-freeze, though one cold enough to stop fast the water in hoses and blanket the clover in hoar.
Yesterday, the wind blew warm from the southwest most of the day, until about six when the wind shifted from the north and the air came cool. It was a palpable change, and as the dust from the western deserts settled down over the hours before sunset, sweatshirts were donned and unplanted vegetable plants were brought inside after Diedre's birthday festivities.
Much was made different by the shift of temperature and winds; the change in moods was almost palpable in all of the children. Though we, like rocks, seem to common perception unchangeable by environment and weather, it's that common perception that is more often unmaleable to currents that it ought to respond to. Soft creatures are we, with doughy bellies and flaccid, fragile brains, and this earth of strong winds and unfathomable forces spins without much regard to our too often ignorant will.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Green RIver Nuke Plant

For your consideration:

One day, what seems ages ago, Ryan and I were tooling north toward Moab after a jaunt deep into the four corner's south for who-the-hell-knows-what-reason, and we stopped to pick up a gentleman with his hitching finger out. 
He spun a tale of nuclear and political jackassery, telling us about a proposed nuclear plant on the Green River, somewhere just north of Green River, Utah. Not many knew about this place yet, because those in the know were trying to keep things really quiet. He said there were odd forces combining in support of the plant, but that there was still time to thwart the thing.
We talked about the San Rafael Swell, and of certain, special places out on the mesas and down the slots, many of which very few people can place, and even fewer people have seen.
The next fall, we read that a person matching his description had been found dead in spurious circumstances out on those mesas. 
The site above comes from a coalition opposing that nuclear power facility, and I tend toward complete and total opposition, for what that's worth. 
Check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Back-and-Forth

In the way that the first, heavy drops of rain fall on a still bright windowpane,
Cracks in the floor, under the rug, where a connection with the process of entropy
is covered from view-
Craft, art, consumption, and the posy imaginings of blind, blue-gray rage,
Much of what is communicated is attention misplaced
between God and Man.

As rocks stretch from the ground to brush the heavens,
others imitate the process in reverse;
And whos to decide which is the more spectacular or meaningful?
Our deep, rich loam, in a bowl
resting on a plate
on the flashing, slicing edge of this universe.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's Day

In Another Place, Mother

In another place, I might better know why,
and though photos fade and the memory of my own first meeting with you
knows no shape, light, or even shadow,
the deep gravity of emotion and well of left-over hope has beckoned me toward your kind,
your like,
and similar sapphire-blue eyes.
I recognized the sense of love and possibility in her.

It becomes you;
this transition toward efforts like yours and
a better understanding of love like yours,
having begotten children (not unlike yours),
you are all the more a beauty-
as that word flourishes like butter and honey
within the mouth of an admirer.

The circle weaves sometimes frenetically and always intentionally closer,
Grandparent, Parent, Child, Grandchild;
as the sky and earth begets rhubarb, corn, dark mulch and the blessed cycle of water.
This relationship, though not without effort,
has good, solid promise and
a future in the seed you’ve cast and nurtured, Mother,
another deep gravity of emotion and well of hope within us.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Examination and Virtue

Not a whole lot going on in the way of travel these days; high gas prices just remind me that I'm burning something that doesn't come back very easily. I've too many psychoses and aversions to going far too fast and too often, not that I wouldn't like to get out of town more often. See? Conflict. I'm lousy with it.
Traipsing amongst the trees and bushes of the foothills and canyons southeast of SpringTowne, I've been thinking about the people who have been here before; both those whose traces I see along the trails and whacking through the bush and those who spent more time than I'll ever be able to but who left no evidence on the physical plane.
I can't help but think that a man's actions are the record of and testament to his hopes and aspirations and that those actions and aspirations really matter in the grand scheme of things, despite how little one person might be in the face of seemingly relentless opposition or misunderstanding.

We bandy about both praise and slander in our society in such a way as to render a temperate person intemperate through only the popular accounts of both. One-time practitioners of courage in the face of high odds are branded 'heroes' almost as often as tools of industry and finance who find themselves practicing as 'teachers' in the halls of learning are praised as exceptional or noteworthy shepherds of young minds.
In the hills, there are men and women buzzing about on ATVs and in trucks whose feet have never walked unshod on the ground and glades around their own homes, and much less on the mountains that grace our valley's vista. There are stewards and rangers running down poor folk foraging food and medicine, antlers and bones on the slopes of the mountains we call ours. I've seen horses and riders in places I'd rather not, and small planes skimming ridges that call to my mind a trespass.
But what is the right thing? Where is the virtuous mean between use and misuse, and does it matter? Yeah, it probably doesn't matter much in the time and place we live; but overall, it does matter in a small, important way. Socrates said 'Know thyself' and dear old Thoreau spoke of the 'examined life' and virtues of that method isolated from distraction. Aristotle, taught by Socrates' pupil, Plato, of ethics, logic and virtue contended that
To truly be a virtuous person, one's virtuous actions must meet three conditions: (a) they are done knowingly, (b) they are chosen for their own sakes, and (c) they are chosen according to a stable disposition (not at a whim, or in any way that the acting person might easily change his choice about). And just knowing what would be virtuous is not enough. According to Aristotle's analysis, there are three kinds of things which come to be present in the soul that virtue is: a feeling (pathos), an inborn predisposition or capacity (dunamis), or a stable disposition which has been acquired (hexes). (Wikipedia)
In short, my observation and belief is this: the actions of a person ought to be examined in the light of simplicity, knowledge, the actions' own virtue in isolation, and the record of action and thought over time. When I blather about 'a person', I'm talking about myself and that which I come in contact with, both those I know well and personally, and those with whom I know only cursorily. Those I know only by happenstance or scarce frequency and those who I only know through stories or stones stacked one upon the other off the ridge from a trail...
People's character is molded from birth to death by circumstance and decision, by hope sustained as well as those lost in transit. Our communities, their economies and perhaps most importantly, surrounding wilderness and environments are created by many people and influences both nearby  and far away, so why would we miss the opportunity to understand the character of those we work with, are influenced by, and who make our lives what they are? The ideas we put into our heads are, some say, important both in life and eternally, depending on what we believe about time and how our souls survive or don't. Regardless, I believe, our lives and even the most mundane or seeming silly daily actions create ethos and some joy, superlative beauty and hour-by-hour progress of our species, or to the contrary, our collective can continue a decline of responsibility both to each other and to the land, furthering the tendency of our species to deny ourselves the joy of introspection and societal ethical progress.