Photo & Poem: Payment Due

  No more lingering in the melon-colored dusk, grazing late to the barn. The pasture is finished, even the weeds only skeletons. Overnight, the horses prefer barn-stored hay in the windbreak of a south-facing barn. The light drops fast, blood-splatter leaves in a green hedge. Pried from my hand what I hold dear, instead wrapping … Read more

Photo and Poem: Black Bay

  She was for sale: a black bay Arabian mare and I was looking for a beginner lesson horse. Tacked up when I arrived, I led her to the mounting block, held the reins a bit too tight, poked her with my toe as I stepped into the stirrup and then dragged my leg over … Read more

Photo and Poem: What If?

  There is a crisp apple coolness to the air. Soon there will be frost, I tell the horses, soon the flies will be gone. The northern air makes the herd buck and snort steam, but might as well be blood on the wind for elders bearing heavy mortality, unable to catch the air, joints … Read more

Photo & Poem: Reluctant

  Stay outside until the sun is low, reluctant to let the day end, tidying halters, raking loose hay into stalls, dragging my feet. Not ready. Just that this sweet ordinary day, this warm season, will soon be carried off in the wind, gone to seed. Loosening my grip from what I know will be … Read more

Photo & Poem: A Donkey’s Years

  His bray begins with a shallow panting, as he aligns the end of his nose level with his back, his ears splay flat as the horizon. Then his ribs spread wide, gasping more air in and sounding the long exhale, punctuated by the flexing of his belly muscles for a prodigious honking howl, as … Read more

Photo & Poem: A Cure for Sadness

  Jerk out the fencing staples and carefully pocket them, leave nothing in the dirt. Pull the sagging wire fence free and drag it to open ground. Fold a few feet of the end over, stepping it flat, and make another fold, untidy as a fitted bedsheet from the clothesline. Reset posts as needed, unroll … Read more

Photo & Poem: I Cannot Know

  We became strangers. I thought I knew her so well; that place just back from her ears where her mane flips to the other side. Her slow half-closed eye resting in speckled shade, head low to the flank of a gelding. Her outline in moonlight blue at the night feed, the horse from my … Read more

Photo & Poem: When the Sunset is Through With Me

  The sunset plays me. In the heat of the day, colors are flattened by glare and searchlight bluntness, work taken on, tasks finished. But when the sunset looks at me sideways, flirting through the clouds, changing expression in each instant, I come stumbling out on the porch, fumbling with my glasses, my camera, knowing … Read more

Photo & Poem: Sentient

  Long in the tooth, people say. Gray hairs dusting his temple, this gelding plays the part of good uncle, passers-by tickle his nose to show their familiarity, unaware of of the memory that kind of touch brings this stoic gelding who remembers too far back, too sad a time. Past his prime, people say. … Read more