Category: Audio Recordings

MY UNCLE SHOT MY DOG

MY UNCLE SHOT MY DOG

My uncle shot my dog

My ever loving, ever loyal
saved me from the coyotes
went back to the ranch to
lead my parents to me
stuck in the mud – just
like in the movies –
Lassie dog

My uncle shot my dog

Maybe she had took to bitin’ people
if she did, I’m sure they had it coming

Maybe she’d got to eatin’ the chickens
if she did, she’d earned every one

Maybe she was old and sick and hurtin’
maybe she was better off dead
than alive

I don’t remember anyone saying that
but I doubt it would’ve helped

Not when it’s your best friend
and you’re five

My uncle shot my dog

My uncle shot my dog
and went to his grave
unforgiven

Maybe I can get it done
before I go to mine

FOR JEANNE

FOR JEANNE

It is April twentieth
two thousand and eight

Jeanne Guthrie died today
or stepped on a rainbow
as Kinky would say

The e-mail said
they took her off life support

Hell, she was life support
as everyone who knew her knew
for all family, friends, poets
and strays of every cry and hue

Yes, I loved her, as so many loved her
Texas sized heart and humor too

And must admit I loved
how much she loved
one line of my poetry

It is the line in “Winter in The Barn”
where; Kittens wait by a tin plate
To put their morning moustache on

She said it was her favourite line
in this whole wide world

I wonder if she will take it
with her into the next

Or will it remain in the book

Just another book
in a big box of books
packed off to Goodwill

The milk drying

THE HOLY GRAIL

THE HOLY GRAIL

Love is not love which alters
When it alteration finds
Shakespeare, sonnet 116

To deconsecrate a church
the relics must be removed
the stone of the altar broken
and consecrated glass removed
The Holy Catholic Church

And yet the breaking of the stone
may not remove
the lofty chords still lingering
in the loft

Or pull them down to
brimstone sermoned
floors

And you my love once sainted
in my eyes and heart
by the holy waters of endorphins
and other bawdy fluids

How can you ever be
anything less than holy

THE USELESS LAKE

THE USELESS LAKE

At the edge of our ranch
lay on a large and useless lake

True, it was pretty enough
when the sun struck it just right

And the alkali
didn’t seem to be a problem
for the seeming millions
of cormorants, gulls and pelicans
who embraced it for their home

There were even men
living along the south shore
who may have been happy
mining its salt for money

What I meant was
it was water
that the cows couldn’t drink

CLEANING THE CALF SHED

CLEANING THE CALF SHED

Forty below outside
not much warmer
on the inside

A hundred little Herefords
dropping and stepping
where it freezes
where it drops

The calves are
four feet closer
to the roof
by April

After the thaw
sitting on the steel seat
of the little orange Allis
with the front end loader

Driving in hard
and pulling
out
fast

Manuria
in one nostril
spring