Monday, June 29, 2009

Endless Night

Night rolls on beneath the quicksilver lantern of the first quarter moon. Crab spiders spin new webs between house and mock orange, guided in their work by unfathomable instinct, natures container for the blueprint of their snares and instructions to hunters of all kinds. Doves roost in the olive bushes along the driveway. Widget stirs on the river rock boundary below my window, dreaming, perhaps, of a piglet along the fence line or a pheasant slow to flight. In the garden a Bufo toad hops toward the dog's water dish, it's stolid progression sounding like footsteps of a larger animal. Dew falls and condenses on the metal roof and drips into the gutter and the grass grows longer and greener beneath each downspout. In the garage the goldfish in their tank hover low and wait, measuring the passing time by the strength of the moonlight that floods through the window behind their cubic foot of pond on the workbench. 

On her bed below the fish Jesse favors her left hip in her sleep and runs through her dreams without a care. In front of me moths batter themselves senseless trying to fly into the light while at the edges of the window geckos wait patiently for them to come within striking distance. 

High above, the multitude of stars contends in vain with the waxing moon for dominance of the endless night. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The sunset illuminates towering thunderheads thirty miles to the south as the terminator holds station and the planet rotates. The clouds turn pink and then saffron and then fade gradually to a soft gray that is lighter than the sky behind them. A Pueo takes flight from beyond the sisal patch, silently hunting as the light fades and evening steals over the land. 

A crescent of lambent light takes the stage briefly in the western sky, bright with the promise of nights to come. The owl heads west, following the moon, following the sun.

Somewhere in the grass a mouse breathes easier.   

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Quiet Time

The new moon has set.

Mystic has chosen a spot in the lee of the pepper tree to lie down. He keeps his head held high like a ghostly silver king holding court on a grassy dais and watches as I walk the gravel drive down toward the barn. He is considering whether to stand and walk to the fence to see if I have brought him another apple. We share the night, him resting, dreaming of pursuit, me pursuing a dream without rest.

The wind is a whisper and the air warm. From the highway a mile away I hear the steady drone of a car headed south. A dog barks down the farm lot road and I think of Widget wiggling his wiry way through the cattle fence and following his nose into trouble. I stop and look up at the stars strewn across the sky like pearl dust and diamonds. The rhythm of the night is the beating of my heart and the soft snap of the electric fence.

I turn and head back before Mystic is tempted to rise. 

I know peace.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


The sun hammers straight down onto the anvil of the earth from its zenith in the bright blue sky. The land is hot and getting hotter and the heated air of the desert rises, creating a ten mile thick wall in the path of the trades. The relentless wind slows and mellows and the trees sway softly. The dogs laze in the shade, Jesse on her bed in the garage and Widget under the truck, each waiting for something, anything, out of the ordinary to happen. When it does they will burst into action, running after Francolins or doves or barking diligently at perceived intruders. I go to the refrigerator, get an apple and walk out to the fence line of the pasture behind the house, holding my hand aloft. Mystic, a five year old gray warm blooded gelding, sees me and considers. He knows the drill and after a moment begins ambling toward me from the sisal patch a few hundred feet away. I close my eyes and listen. The wind sighs softly in the trees to the north and soon I hear the crunch of dried grass beneath hooves. Mystic whickers and stops a few feet away, regarding me warily, as is if to reassure himself that I'm not a mountain lion in disguise. I chide him gently and offer the apple. He takes it in two bites, happily chewing and probably hoping for more. I return to the house, stopping to rub Jesse's stomach on the way by.
This is the beginning. 
My new life is underway.
Welcome aboard.