Bent like an ancient oak with rivulets of
A simpler time
Running deep through etched lines
And leathered hands whose grasp tells stories
Of cows, and dirt, and constant work;
A lifetime of losses buried beneath the skin,
And in the earth.
Warm the way he coddles my babies,
Tussles their hair and stares
As if cradling diamonds laid bare
Against his work-worn arms.
Laughing, his eyes dance from face to face
As if he can trace the cords that tie,
That bind and intertwine,
So many generations.
Worn thin and torn, that same old shirt, those wrangler jeans,
Socks pulled up to his knees,
And a ratty baseball cap, covered in grease;
It still reads, “Hereford beef.”
And now, the ashes of a cigarette, a favorite coffee mug,
The scent of hay, the settled dust,
muddy footprints on the rug
Wait anxiously,
In a quiet house,  
For grandpa to win this bout,
To overcome the longest drought,
The meanest stud,
The cancer that cripples him up
In a hospital far away.

For my father-in-law, an old cow man, a farmer, a rancher, and the kindest man I've ever known. Please come home to us <3
Ginny Webb May 15

And when the butterflies returned, they fluttered down from
Hidden caverns draped in verdant moss.
Trailing dark tendrils of apocalyptic dusk
They settled on the fragrant grass,
And like recessed memories,


And when the butterflies returned, they flapped their harlequin
Wings like Ashanti dancers in the wind
Clothed in Kente cloth,
Alighting on graveyard moss,
And like the faded wording on a wooden cross,


And when the butterflies returned, they skimmed like vibrant gems
Across the sea, and gathered like scattered drops of multicolored rain  
Across the fallowed fields,
And rivers that had healed,
And where man’s touch had once disfigured,

Now all forgot.

I was watching the butterflies return to our farm, after a long, cold winter,  began thinking about the ways in which nature always reclaims her space. Nature reclaims her space after a long winter, a death, or the death of a civilization. When humanity's time is over, nature will reclaim all of our spaces, yet we will be forgotten. Such uncomfortable thoughts while watching butterflies haha

God's foxholes,
pick your poison,
burn burn burn, and
snare, flesh out an idea
and let it take hold. grit
your teeth, strip the bark
or just strip instead.
cherry, rabid, dragonflies
and headlight eyes.
this dream running us
ragged, this glittering
copper and boil before
you burst.

There is a piece of your skin that refuses to burn.
I keep sinking my teeth into it.

  May 10 Ginny Webb
David O'Reilly

shivering dogs have no business

jumping in cold waters

expecting a hot towel on standby

their bones will pay the price

when the rot and damp set in

poets and old dogs have no business

writing poems with gummy mouths

no bark or bite to the written word

the end result an illegible prescription

see the new dogs on standby

the muzzle off their writing

their teeth bared

foaming at the mouth

Ginny Webb May 9

Dance me out like a demon,
Tremble, froth, quake.
Shift your hips with the screaming
Of phosphorescent snakes.

Dance me out like a demon,
Convulse in jagged tongues
Whip your back till you're bleeding
And beat like a ragged drum.

Ooze me out like a seeping,
Weeping, bursting, dripping wound,
Roll around like a sparrow
Arrowed dead beneath the moon.

Dance me out like a demon.
Quiver, retch, cry.
Shake me out and weaken
To the rhythm of my thighs.

"Dance me out like a demon" sounded like a cool someone beating a drum, so I went with that. I started to think about how hard it is to let the bad ones go, and how drawn we are to other people's poison...

Have you ever  seen anything so
barren as a neighborhood? I swear
even  the nature there  is  sterile -
narrowed  down  to  a  few  well-
behaved   bushes,   shaved   into
submission, bereaved of freedom.

i  miss the rebellion
of the trees
pushing defiantly even through
concrete to see the sky not silent
and  fearful like these
things crowded and compliant with no
room to breathe freely
do they even seem

Ginny Webb May 6

I remember how the clover was blooming
Reckless and scattered in vast
Swaths of golden sun
Bright and wild
Fragrant, free.

Across this pasture I remember
Flying, hands outstretched,
Rising in time to
His gaited steps.
His rhythmic breaths.

The scent of his clover-sweetened musk,
I remember, it was like
Earth and sage and rain
At dusk,

When you are crying in the barn,

Cradling his head,

In gentle, trembling arms.

I remember how the clover was blooming
At the brink of fall.
Reckless and scattered in
Thin swaths of graying tones,
Dying, free.

To you, my friend - my old brown horse. You taught me how to ride, and then my oldest daughter, and then her younger sister. Twenty-three years of riding through the clover. I miss you.
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