Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainy Day in Rancho Capistrano

It is raining cats and dogs here today -- or, in our case, it's raining rabbits and squirrels.  I have corned beef in the crock pot and a fire going in the wood stove.  We may venture over to the community clubhouse for a St. Patrick's Day potluck this evening.  At some point, the rain is supposed to change to snow and if that happens before dinner, I imagine we will stay home.  We're such party animals (not).

When we went down to the barn to feed this morning, Brett found the pasture gate wide open and Flash grazing on the slope.  The donkeys, thankfully, were in their stalls where it was dry.  When they get out, it is a pain in the neck convincing them that they need to go back to the pasture.  Leading donkeys?  Not an easy task.  Even the miniature ones.  They are opinionated little beasties.  Winston and Jackson were in the barn watching, with envy, while Flash grazed outside.  Brett must not have fully latched the gate yesterday evening when he got home from a group trail ride. 

That's the extent of the excitement here on a windy rainy day. 

Yesterday, I spent some time in the greenhouse sitting in my red chair.  I was trying to write a poem.  I follow a poetry professor that I greatly admire and love the challenges, or prompts, she gives us.  Sometimes the prompts involve a poetry form (sonnet, haiku) or a subject or a method of building the poem.  The most recent one was to take Carl Sandburg's poem Chicago and write our own poem, using his form, about a place we know well.  I wrote about our community -- most of the other followers wrote about big cities: Philidelphia, Las Vegas, New York.  But I've never lived in a big city although I did work in LA for a few years.  I can't say I know one intimately enough to write about it.  She encouraged me to go for it anyway.  And, voila! - here it is.  (I don't normally share my poetry on this blog, but it is about Aspen Meadows and its a rainy day so I thought I'd make an exception).

Copy-Change A City: Rancho Capistrano

Mexican Land grant,
      Ancient Indian settlement, rural, remote
      Home to ranchers, gardeners and retirees.
      Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons.
     Community of Workers
They tell me you are wild and I believe them, for I
     have seen your bobcats and coyotes walking the roads;
     your rattlesnakes golden brown gliding in the grass.
And they tell me you are strong and I say: Yes, with
     the strength of ancient oaks rooted deep in the dry earth
     and mesquite bent by the wind.
And they tell me you are eccentric and my reply is: I have seen
     the residents fight like cats against conformity.  I have seen
     teepees and a Statue of Liberty.
And having lived on a dirt road, recently paved, I say
     keep your suburbs and neatly manicured lawns.
Come and show me another place with desert heat, coastal fog and mountain frost
     that scrapes out beauty and fights against boundaries.
Joining forces to clear the brush and fight the
     wildfires; here are people braced together
     against the Santa Anas blowing fierce in the fall.
Scrappy as the sage clinging to the hills, thirsty
     as the dry arroyos waiting for rain.
          Building, clearing, mending.
Under the sapphire sky, dirt in his jeans, working with
Under the blazing sun working as a rancher
Working even as wild oat grass reclaims
     the empty lots,
Sweating and working that under his shirt is the heart,
     and under his hat the determination  of the people,
Working the cottonwood studded land, carving a home
     for ranchers, gardeners and retirees
     in the rural, remote ancient Indian settlement.


  1. enjoy the rain while you have it!

    and you make 'progress' seem beautiful in that area. :)

  2. I love to read other's poetry.

    "here are people braced together
    against the Santa Anas blowing fierce in fall.
    Scrappy as the sage clinging to the hills, thirsty
    as the dry arroyos waiting for rain."

    I especially loved this portion.


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