Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The yellow pines thrash their manes
and rear. You can almost hear
beneath their stationary hooves
the billion root-hairs clench and click,
the nicker and neigh, the nowhere wind
goes by on the way to nowhere else,
bringing joy and hysteria to the trees.
In the interludes between gusts
they shuffle and sway then stand
almost immobile in the downpour
of shed needles—at last only a single
branch bobbing like a twitched flank,
then stillness, the sound of what was
fading in the east, the sound of what’s coming
coming nearer from the west. They grow
restive. They wait until it comes
and gallop in their stillness again.
A poem by Robert Wrigley, who has published ten books of poems, including most recently Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems (Penguin 2013) and, The Church of Omnivorous Light (Bloodaxe Books, 2013). He teaches at the University of Idaho and lives in the woods, near Moscow, with his wife, the Pulitzer-nominated and best-selling author, Kim Barnes. I was privileged to have had him as my Introduction to Literature teacher way back in 1985.
Monday, February 16, 2015
"Simply put; I'm trying to see what I can get done with the horse without him being troubled about doing it."- Buck Brannaman
19 or 20??? How did that happen? He was supposed to be dead, by most accounts, 8 years ago almost to the day when he fractured and displaced his coffin bone. The worst case scenario, he's never sound. The best case scenario, you get a few seasons out of him until the arthritis in his coffin joint makes him unsound.
8 years later, I'm riding my old boy Friday, Saturday and Sunday--Riverside, Palisades and Slavin Conservation Area. I am a blessed horsewoman!!!
It has been a wonderful February so far--which is yet another blessing for me. My youngest son set off to Boot Camp two weeks ago to prepare for his future with the Air National Guard. The loss, although I know I shouldn't think of it as a loss, has left me pretty empty. It's even been hard to play the piano.
That's why being able to be on horseback--on the trails--early this year is a personal miracle. Being with my horse sets things straight.
I'm going to include another poem I wrote last summer after a 20 mile ride along the Spokane River with a good friend. (See above Friday's picture with my daughter a day before her birthday--that's the beautiful Spokane River behind us.) The loneliness I mention is what I felt the next day writing about it from my office and wishing I was back there. The only remedy, spend every waking hour with my horses.
Happy President's Day, everyone. I hope you're all having lots and lots of great moments with your own herd families today and always.
River Gods (Riverside State Park, WA)
I do not know much about gods;
but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god -
sullen, untamed and intractable.
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets: Dry Salvages
Nothing makes you feel more alone–
Yesterday’s twenty miles of river
Calculated today, a lifetime.
The hunting bird, you said eagle,
Then, you said Osprey,
It was an Osprey.
Great beautiful white-winged thing
Hunting the Spokane River
For the one that jumps too high,
Makes itself too known,
Dares to release itself
From the swelling under-swell.
by Linda Reznicek
Listen to T.S. Eliot read Four Quartets.
Another bit to share: I've been looking for a piece of art for my living room for seven years and found this piece this weekend. It reminded me so much of Cowboy I had to buy it. It's almost as if he was the model--but he wasn't.