Thursday, September 24, 2009

'Coons Across the Creek

Late at night the ‘coons would come from across the creek
to noisily eat at our dog’s bowl.

The mama ‘coon would bring her kits,
stepping so lightly on the dry stones in the creek.
One-by-one each would quickly leap
from dry stone to dry stone until all were safely across.

They would cross the old country road in front of our property,
carefully looking both ways for errant farm hands coming back from town after an evening of drinking in the town’s one saloon.

Parading up the hill single file, like wild Indians on the warpath; the ‘coons came to the back of our house to eat their supper from Butterball’s bowl. Squabbling noisily amongst themselves to see who would get the last tidbits the ‘coons would lick the bowl clean.

Until the moon rose in the east casting ghost-like shadows across the world,
when the ‘coons would file one-by-one disappearing across the creek.

Chuck Conners, September 19, 2009

Playing with the Cows

When I was a kid everybody said cattle were about the dumbest animals around.
Uncle Homer said “you can’t drive cattle from one 20 acre field to another
without some of ‘em trying to go through the fence instead of the gate!”
But I knew it wasn’t true because my friends the calves and me would play games during the summer in the field behind the barn.

Each summer’s morning when the dew was still damp upon the grass I’d take the sweet feed for the half-grown heifers and steers up to where they were pastured. I’d call the calves with a song—a song of playfulness, until all of them came near.

One-by-one and two-by-two the big calves would prance up to me. Sometimes it would seem as if they were almost smiling, happy to see me; and frisky, kicking their heels this way and that.

After all were fed it was playtime and I’d tag one and say, “you’re it” while the rest of us scampered in all directions. The chosen calf would chase each one of us until the whole field was a free-for-all of flying hooves and swinging tails. When we were tired we’d all pile up under the shade of a big old oak tree and pant for breath while my friends switched lazily at flies with their tails.

Too quickly, autumn came and I had to go back to school. It was the year that I was nine and was in fourth grade. But each afternoon when I came home the games of hide-in-go-seek and chase-the-tail were renewed with my friends the calves.

One day I came home to an empty field. I ran desperately looking everywhere. My father came to me and said, “son we had to sell the calves to make the mortgage on the farm.” I was distraught for days.

From that time onwards I never played with the new calves because I knew someday they’d be sold too.

Chuck Connors, September 19, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Foxes

Dreary, foggy, rainy days;
days when most people
want to stay inside and read and sleep

While little birds hide in the bushes,
feathers wet and dripping, looking dejected;
peeping forlornly, fearful of predators

The land covered with a diffuse, mellow light;
neither day or night, it seems to go on forever,
twilight from early morning until black night

One late summer’s day I took a walk in the rain
Listening to the raindrops pattering on the leaves;
like an army of magical munchkins marching rowdily across the sky

Climbing a mountain, the cold rain wetted me to the skin;
the shards of wetness trickled like icy fingers running down my back
Topping a rise I saw two little foxes cavorting, dancing with each other

One moved right, the other moved left, their eyes intent on each other;
both standing shakily on their hind legs,
like small children taking their first uncertain steps

Chuck Connors, September 16, 2009

Land of Puzzling Tales

What about relations between men and women?
Why is it that we fuss and fight (or worse)?

Do you think it was different in the beginning
when we were running around in fig leaves?

Could it be we’re opposite sides of the same coin;
Human and definitely not perfect also?

Or are we really from different planets;
women from Venus and men from Mars?

We live in a time caught between good and evil,
a strange place seemingly neither here or there.

One day its scream and shout; the next, kiss me darling;
sounds bipolar to me—pretty crazy yeah.

I only know we share a common goal:
the continuation of the human race.

One day we’ll travel out to the planets,
to the stars and maybe beyond.

When that day comes I know one thing won’t have changed.
Men and Women will still live in the land of puzzling tales...

Chuck Connors, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Purple Harvest

Padding through the forest feeling kinda’ mean
Sniffed peculiar bushes, their leaves the palest green

Got a bit closer, what’s hangin’ from them leaves?
Dark, round blueberries, a purple harvest just for me

Pop ‘em in my mouth, scrunch, scrunch, scrunch
Big juicy blueberries, cheeks, fill ‘em up like a chipmunk

Can’t stop eaten’ ‘em as I move from bush-to-bush
A blueberry feast goin’ swoosh, swoosh, swoosh

Uh oh, what’s that? I hear a strange noise
Them two-legged things, two big-mouthed boys

Here they are a comin’, stealin’ all my winter’s food
Can’t get a full meal, how could they be so rude?

Take off down the mountain with a grunt and a snort
Headin’ to the campground, I’ll take some of their gorp!

Chuck Connors, August 29, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Campfire--Redux

Deep in the primeval forest
Way past the back of beyond
A cheery glow in a secret glen welcomes the traveler anon

Outside the sphere of the campfire
The shadows dance around
Our faces contemplative—no cares and certainly no frowns

The fragrant logs pop and hiss
And slowly disappear
We think we control nature and so have lost our fear

I step out in the darkness
And look up to the sky
Beholding God’s creation and still I wonder why

What does it all mean?
Is there anyone who cares?
It seems to me the dark power has set these little snares!

For while I scan the heavens
A shooting star comes to earth from sky
God’s perfect picture, sent to me before I die

With so much self-importance, we strut across the stage
We disregard the wisdom, of all the ancient sages
Hoping that our childish acts will somehow last the ages

What measure of a man?
Does he leave anything at all?
Or can he only face death, standing straight and tall?

We live to help each other
A kindly word, a little smile
Giving love and helpful friendship, to each other all the while

And so seems it must be
For us to pass on to the night
Some how I believe, it gives us second sight

And if I could live forever more
And pass each day as one
It would be around a campfire, sharing with all until we’re done…

For Jimmy Thomas, September 7, 2009

Chuck Connors, September 7, 2009

The Mountains are on Fire

The mountains are on fire, the mountains are on fire,
Great jagged peaks burning one-by-one,
Outsiders comin’ in, settin’ the mountains on fire;
Wide swatches of destruction across the land.

Whole ranges of the mountains are on fire,
Giant trees fall--soldiers in a vicious war,
Furriners crowd in, build huge trophy homes;
Infest the ridge tops—light up the sky.

Our precious homes, the mountains are on fire,
Another heart-rending turn on an ancient wheel,
Will you and I stand up to the mountain destroyers?
Will you and I become soldiers for the land?

A whole world of mountains are on fire,
What is it that you want me to do?
Take action my friend; take action against the rapists,
Before the annihilation is complete and our whole land forever gone.

Chuck Connors, July 18, 2009