Thursday, September 26, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The True Infrastructure of the Legislature

In this Wyoming legislature, each of us,
We are an institution, true,
But a human one.

Our camaraderie burnished, seared,
In a crucible of robust, vigorous, debate--sometimes in concert,
Often opposed--decorum religiously observed

Emotions honed, constrained
By civility, an integrity
That transcends ordinary.

A session, forty days of intimacy more familial
Than adversarial, we know each other's idiosyncrasies,
Who we trust, who to keep at arm's length.

Know for sure that if some worst thing occurs
We could count on any one of these
Ninety souls to leap illusory isles,
Vault partisan divides,
Abandon the haughty chambers
To come to the aid of a member
In need.

These relationships ring down through history,
Generations girding the foundation
That supports a formidable state,
A mighty nation.

Some say it is all because of a strong constitution,
The free nation founded on principle,
But I know it is due to nothing more complex
Than respect and kindness between

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Of Horses and Men

What I like in a lover
is pretty much the same as what I want in a horse.

A nicker, and a lilt in the voice, affectionate.
Nuzzles, warm breath in my hair, never pushy, and manners.


A quick grace that makes it easy to move together—
in fond synchronicity.

Best of all—
those soft, kind eyes that light up

                                   when they see me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Community Close in the Heart

Out here what links us is not how close we are in space,
but how close we are in heart.

We gather at brandings, funerals, and fires.
In town and the bar,
at the fairgrounds.

We take the time to inquire, and word travels…
We know who is suffering and who is celebrating,
sometimes before they do.

Though long absence sometimes separates us
The joy of easy conversation,
Shared jokes, old stories, maybe even a song,
               or a poem
Solidifies our rural society,
               our culture,
                              our community

in a way that can’t be found in town.

Or at least, for us country folk, the urban noise and the ruckus—
it confuses us.
We can’t wait to get the hell out of town
to where we can visit.

The Speed of Life

Surrounded by generations of good neighbors we make our way
through a wadded up world full of info and gadgets,
but no wisdom.

Old ways still work.
The ethics of give and receive, a hand when it is needed.
Skills honed, the rope thrown true, the bridle horse built, calves and kids cradled and saved.
A community of courage and resolve
to survive.

We use every tool, we tap that info,
Make that data fly through devices.
Serve our purposes.
Tools that can work at the speed of light,
the internet,
…or commerce.

What we forget.

Just like ropes, and saddles, horses, neighbors, and families…
sometimes they don’t work at all,
except at the speed of

Long Trot

We hit a long trot out into crisp first Fall.
One missing yearling, out there, somewhere.
My mind full of business, strategy, politics…

My big horse he just stretches out,
and leans into the morning.

Pretty quick the fog clears.

Up from the Earth steams clarification in
tendrils that twine up my spine.
Those rosy, red rock hills emanate edification.
That sky--that sky opens up, my soul expands to fill it.

We don’t find the yearling,

…but we do find a way to go.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Out the Political Gate

Politics is a lot like putting cattle through a gate.
Works best when you bunch 'em easy,
Let them find that hole themselves.

But sometimes you need to get 'em
On the move--way ahead of time.
Don't give 'em time to think or look around.
Just come a ki-yi-ing,
Whip and spur, and push 'em hard.

And sometimes when they get all balled up,
Start milling in a tight circle,
You just need to whack ol' Roany on the ass,
And wade into the middle of 'em,
Bust apart that mindless paradigm, loosen 'em up,
Then just go ahead and lead 'em through
The gap.

Course it always helps if you have a few good hands,
Well mounted, to bring 'em on.
A good dog or two to nip 'em around the edges.

Politics--it's all about relationships, and coalitions.
Knowing when to push,
When to hold, where to be...

And when it's time
To just get the hell

                       ...Out of the gate.

When the Earth Lights Her Lamp

Me and the big roan, we leave fast.
A long trot to check some waters,
Look around,
Lope some circles,
Learn some stuff.

The evening is iridescent.
Just before dusk that light, luminous, rises,
And expands…

Mother Earth lit from within.
Reminds us that her heart will beat strong
Long after we are gone.

A bluebird herd escorts me down the draw
Dipping and diving around our shoulders.
They’re talking about leaving, too.


It’s the time.
The chill is coming on.

Ol’ Roany, he don’t care,
He just likes to go.
I’m thinking South would be a
Good direction…

Except I’d miss all this,
And that glow
                               …In the evening.