Tree Root

suckling calfby Stephen Page


I have holstered my gun and sheathed

my knife and got down to the business

of grass.


The orange blossoms smell sweet


The business of all ranchers is grass.

cows eat grass.  They fatten.  Ranchers sell

the cows.


What peace is the Wood.  The drizzling

rain quiets the clearing.  It mists

bird song.


If grass is shorn too short, the roots

suffer,  cannot extract energy from leaf

blades which extract energy from the sun.


Sunset is a zillion gallons of orange paint.


I sit on one side of a tree root

and cows curiously face me,

looking over an electric fence.


The Sky is so large.


I sit on the other side of the root,

and a line of eucalypti face me,

revealing between their trunks, the Wood.


Patched bark.


The thing you have to deal with

when you have cow pastures is shit:

shit on your shoes, shit on your

pants legs, shit on your truck, shit

on your hands when you open gates.



Silence is the owl about to take flight.


My business partner who farms

lots of my land, wants to plow

away more of my grass, shoot

the quail, trap the armadillos, flit

away the mockingbird, spray

to death the flowers, plant

genetically modified soy, sterilize

my herd to nothing.


The migrating butterflies fill clouds.


In the fattening lot, a calf

suckles a tuberculate cow,

and in the bull paddock,

a sheep lies on her side,

cycling air with her hooves,

diarrhea coruscating her tail.


As published on Hinchas de Poesia


and included in the book A Ranch Bordering the Salty River by Stephen Page and published by Finishing Line Press






Finishing Line Press has a new blog titled “The Paddock Review”




3 thoughts on “Tree Root

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s