Tan grass stretches miles and miles as far as eyes can see.
The water in the indigo bird bath evaporates in one day.
Playa lakes, full last summer, surrounded then in emerald grass, lay waterless.
Thirty-five miles an hour winds create fog-like clouds of dust across the horizon.
Grit, wind hurled, buffets cars and trucks driving down the long, straight highways.
Dust-fed sunrises and sunsets clad skies in orange, hot pink, vermillion, violet, mauve.
Day 127 with no measurable precipitation.
Note: I wrote this ten days ago. That evening it rained .01 inches. None since then. We are approaching four months with just that .01 inches, nothing more. Every time it warms and the winds come, the weather forecast mentions high fire danger. All counties and state parks near here have burn bans. March is a windy month.
“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” Martin Buber
My neighbor walked out her door
found a puma lying on the lawn.
Puma rose, stretched, disappeared.
At night when I open my gate
I wonder if she lurks
behind the cedar trees,
My daughter dreams puma dreams:
a puma chases her up a tree.
There are no trees here big enough to climb.
A Zuni puma fetish guards my sleep.
I run with puma
I scream and howl
I hike the canyon
stroll around my house
look for puma tracks.
I see none.
I would rather die by puma
than in a car wreck.
Note: This is the first in a series of Puma Poems in my book “On the Rim of Wonder”.
“Most people are about as happy as they
make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
When I was twenty something, I chose happiness, not the sappy, syrupy, cheery, but a deeper joy of cherishing the small, the unique, the everyday, smiling with sunsets, the song of the mockingbird in spring, horses running free, the nearly invisible bobcat climbing the canyon wall, the taste of fine coffee at the first wakeful moments in the morning, cooking for friends, taking a “property walk” with my grandson, laughing with the teenagers I teach. I am driven to do little–obsessions, compulsions do not run me. I choose. Choose life, choose joy, or choose whining, choose lamenting. Choose!! Be who you want to be; do what you want to do.
Note: this is a poem from my book, “On the Rim of Wonder”.
Final flowers before frost
A last hurrah of beauty
After feeding the horses, completing chores, a late afternoon walk to look for the last of the wild flowers took my fancy. Here in the canyon country of the Panhandle of Texas, the majority of wildflowers are three colors: yellow, white, purple.
Butterflies feeding in the gay feather.
At first I thought this might be bitterweed but now, not sure.
Although this one and the last one may resemble each other, they are different.
Looked up, the sun decided to shine–at my place four inches of rain in the last week and more than seven inches ahead of normal.
Black foot daisies and prairie zinnias bloom from early spring almost until frost.
Athena among the flowers.
Prickly pear can grow almost anywhere.
I almost missed this one hidden among the grass.
like a wet, grey rag
no bird song
no insects or frogs singing
impressions in adobe mud
like a wet, grey rag