Lydia Hirsch Nov 2016

First day on the road: a long one. Sleepy as hell in my
motel room (which, of course, is not mine at all. This is the
uncomfortable part of traveling. Sleeping somewhere so cold
and impersonal; I can’t call it unfamiliar, only generic. At

least it is fairly clean), I recall the drive up to Redding
(where we are staying the night) as nothing but dry grass and
a few cows scattered here and there. Well, more than a few.
Cramped together. Uniform. Beings, entities; living, breathing capital.

A young man on the radio explains his habit of recording
everything. He isn’t alive when he isn’t recording.
Of course, he’s missed out on a lot of his life. I find it a sad
story, though he is, he says, learning to cherish his unrecorded moments.

It is good to be away. I can breathe again.
Sometimes my house constricts and chokes me.
I become rather blue. Crave adventure.
Here it is, apparently.

JGuberman Sep 2016

There isn't much left.
That's the way it is sometimes.
You plan and plan
for the day
when there won't be any,
and yet you're still surprised
when there isn't much left
in the end.

My days are not like seven fat cows
or seven skinny ones.
My days are like veal.
They're slaughtered young,
and at night I feast upon them.

Some nights I can sleep contentedly afterwards..
And others,
I lay awake unable to dream at all.

Guilt keeps me awake.
I've become a kosher butcher of time!
Often my own.

That's the way it is sometimes.
There isn't much left.
So I plan and plan
trying to postpone the day
when there won't be any.

Kurt Carman Aug 2016

Morning smells of Lilacs rapture me,
Taking me back to Kinderhooks Chatham Street….June 21st 1961……not a cloud in the sky.
Lying in bed I open my eyes to the hum of a window fan.
And in the distance I hear a Hudson River barge blast its horn.

This moment in time, well it brings tears to my eyes.
Eleven years old, brown hair, hazel eyes, a toothy smile,
Grins in the mirror, hoping to find a whisker or two…
My cat Oscar sits there on the sink purring out his contentment.

“Oscar” I say, “today I leave for the Freedom Farm”
The Freedom Farm is the one place where I’m free to be me
Without the fear of a negative comment or a boot in my ass
I climb aboard the Greyhound bus, suitcase and fishing gear in hand, And look down at Mom and Dad
                                                             ­  I wave…. So Long Suckers!!              

Walton NY, June 22nd, Dunk Hill Road, the smell of cow shit,
The land of Milk and Honey, Fields of four leaf clovers and 10’ corn stalks.
It was here that all my friends lived, Shorty the horse, Mrs Blue the Holstein,                                                        ­                      
And there was Uncle Ike, Aunt Minnie and 9 Cousins. I loved them all!

The one amazing thing about this place was the 5 acre cow Pond
A large number of smallies that would bend that shit out of that 4 weight.
They couldn't  resist those green rubber legged poppers and shad patterns.
Right after the first milk You'd find me there fishing or swimming

On this little dairy farm……my potential was unlimited,
Uncle Ike taught me to drive the Tractor, water the heifers,  
Milk the cows, shovel shit, spread manure and have some damn fun!
Hell Uncle Ike even let me try a piece of his plug tobacco…
                                                  (Note to self…Just say No Thanks next time)

My Cousin Tom taught me the ride the cows and honed my spitting skills.
My cousin Bub taught me the finer points of armpit farting,
Four weeks of heaven on earth where nothing was impossible.

Once you work on a farm you get dirt in your shoes. And when you get dirt in your shoes, you can never get it out!

Miss that old farm at the end of Dunk Hill Road. My Uncle Ike and Aunt Minnie were the best people! I had so much fun with cousin's Joann, Tom and Katherine.  Love you all!
Alejandra Cruz Jun 2016

I got up in the morning
Only to realize that my cows were going to be sold at the auction
I felt lost and cried because I hate animal cruelty
My cows are lost and I'm here thinking, why should cows be treated in such cruelty?
All I know, is that my cow looked around and around... Only to find himself lost within the multitude of other cows
Now it's lost and I won't see my cows ever again because they were taken away
Now I'm lost in my heart and mind while I listen to the crickets chirp and chirp because I know they're lost and I can't take them back
I really wish people understood how much pain animal cruelty causes me and now I'm lost within this world

Francie Lynch Jun 2016

On Sunday, my S.O. and I
Drove to see Chorus Line
At the Stratford Festival.
A matinee. Beautiful day.
We left the Refineries of Sarnia
For fine entertainment.
The Avon flows gently
Buoying white swans gracefully.
Blah... blah... blah.
All very real.
You can see why it's called, Stratford;
There could be no other name.
A good choice.
Best Shakespearean Festival in N.A.
She explained all this to me on the drive.
If contrary people suffer
From low self-esteem, I didn't help
The situation.
As we drove through rich, green farmland,
Grazing cattle.
She asked why some barns
Have ramps leading to the barn doors.
Well, says I,
The farmers, because of the economy,
Have to sell their livestock in parts,
So the ramps give easy access for the animals
Back to their stalls.

Huh, said S.O.
That's so thoughtful!
Timing is everything.
Sincerity in voice, critical.
Hurry on to a new topic.

Someday, for sure, she'll tell someone, somewhere
About the considerate farmer.
She will.
Like the kick line.
Like a punch line.

Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Julie Grenness May 2016

What is it with some men?
Is this what those nuptials meant?
You are turned into his mother figure,
A holy cow, housework, meals, rigour,
Maybe there's no luck in love,
So much for wedding doves,
"I am not your mother!"  
I wished I yelled at another,
Maybe  I don't know how to train a man,
Maybe a manual should come in a can,
Then you could have twins in tins,
Fully formed, no nappy pins!
Maybe it is the male gender,
They really want a nanny for their benders,
Is this what those nuptials meant?
What is with some men?

Lexy Aug 2015

As dusk sets on this pasture
somehow a burger wrapper manages to find its way back home.
This sense of vapid euphoria sets in among the cows,
as they all gather to greet their brethren...
So different in form,
yet it's as if the farmer never took him away
in the first place.

And as I sit at this desk
under a parade of fluorescent lights,
I can't help but be ushered down the hallways of my mind.

Life cycles, yet is a burger any less of a cow?

Now I can greet the trashcan with a new found sense of kinship.

We used to have a larger group
Ten thousand head at best
Once we had the largest herd
Of Longhorn in the west

But, times got tough, we sold a few
There was the drought back in '11
I didn't know it got so bad
But, now....we're down to seven

Yep, seven steers and cows and calfs
Out standing in our field
There's not a lot of meat out there
It's really a poor yield

The Longhorns down in Texas
Took our football tickets back
They said that our best looking cow
Was like a blanket on a rack

We've done our best to make amends
We'll be on top once more, I'm sure
But, we have to keep the calfs all fed
Or else ....we're down to four

There's lots of land for them to graze
They'll grow big, I am assured
But, now I find it difficult
To call seven head...a herd

Brent Kincaid Jul 2015

Today, I was scolded
Was told that I was a boor;
That I had, inadvertently
Rendered some holy cattle
Of theirs a death rattle
A battle I won, without knowing
I had even fought, thought
I was just being amusing,
Somehow confusing my path
Down through the tulips
As a meander down the apse
Of some secret church.
Unfair! I was unaware.
And even now, I fear I care
Far less than they do
About their holy cows.
I didn’t then, I don’t now.

But, I have accepted, long ago
That, with social networking
I simply has to be so
That people will be offended;
Starting open-ended rancor,
Scoring slash after bloody slash
Across my Mr. Perfection sash
Granted me by nobody but me,
And that they will put a smudge
By bearing a grudge
About what I see
As a trifling inconsequentiality.
But is their cathedral,
Their Mecca to bow to
And thus I will be the target
Of slings and arrows.

Shall I be sure to only speak
If I speak plenty of inanities
Muttering banalities about love
And the weather and books
Shall I fear the looks, the scorn
Born of misunderstandings
Taken as mishandling
The hearts of the tender
And render myself informationless,
Opinion free, without personality
Speaking when spoken to eternally
So I don’t trip over hidden wires,
Don’t piss on burning fires
Of pet peeves, rip off the sleeves
Of hair shirts, do idols dirt?
Is that the way it should go?
I don’t think so.
But, what do I know?
I am the scurrilous, stumbling fool
Who pissed in someone’s pool
And told them it was raining.

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