Photo & Poem: Soundness

Centering myself behind the horse as he walks away, bent forward with my hands on my knees, staring his hips for unevenness. Listening to his footfalls. Knowing he isn’t quite right, I follow a few steps behind. He’s off but it doesn’t show every stride. The gelding knows I’m watching and the awareness changes his … Read more

Photo & Poem: Body Voice

One horse flicks his ear, still grazing, another pauses his jaw, his tail still amid flies. The mare lifts her head, intelligent brow above wide nostrils, while the elder gelding keeps his neck low, courting smells wafting on the breeze. A small movement in the distance, awareness passes through the herd, their breath in shallower … Read more

Photo and Poem: Spring Thaw

  The air hung heavy, strangely moist for a desert prairie. Dense fog as rare as raindrops. The ice on the pond began to sweat; it’s been frozen silent for months but slowly water eased at the shore, the weathered gray ice giving way to a fresh surface to mirror the sky, signaling birds they … Read more

Photo & Poem: Two Women

I had the window seat on an early morning flight to Tucson. In the row ahead were two women. I could see through the slender gap between headrests to the dark-haired woman on the aisle. She twisted toward her companion, her eyes animated, so young. Over the headrest, I could just see the crown of … Read more

Photo & Poem: Coyote Run

Ancient mountains send coarse sand and sharp stone down, just pebbles at a time, to leave us unsteady on our feet, before rolling past us, into dry washes rough-cut across this red desert. On the ebb of cool wind, the voices of women, whispers as loud as shouts, are carried on the tongues of coyotes … Read more

Photo & Poem: Pride

She has no time for gentle words and soft hands primping her mane. The broad-chested mare may allow a stiff curry in the itchy season, but she would rather throw herself on the ground to rub the loose hair off on a crust of spring snow and cool mud, leaping in air to gallop away, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Natural. Magic.

  The young visitor stared at the bay mare’s mane. “Would you like to brush her?” I ask. Sending the girl for the grooming bag, I haltered the mare, a visitor to the farm herself. After showing the girl about curry combs and brushing with the grain of the hair, she set to the task … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hunger Moon

Fresh snow fell yesterday and more will come tomorrow, but in the still between-time, a full moon sits high in the sky, casting steely shapes on the ground, dimly lit to a haunted gray pallor. Unnatural colors that did scare me as a girl, when my shadow chased me for sport. Turn away from the … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hand-Me-Downs

  Leota would send a note warning that she’d put something in the mail and we waited. She was a distant relative who never visited, but she had girls older than us. Soon a big cardboard box arrived filled with pleated wool skirts and pastel sweaters; good school clothes, all store-bought. Leota’s girls must have … Read more

Photo & Poem: To Soar

  Alone in the sky, her broad wings create their own horizon, as she dips one edge for a soaring arc that ignores property lines, her prairie without boundaries. Too high to be hunting, does she glory in her body, coursing on the air on this warm winter day? Her massive body as dense and … Read more