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He came to me in a green dream,
Lush tall grasses and fresh forage.
His hurt brown face
Right up to mine —
A curious child, cautioned.

The walls of the dream fell away
Taking the dark stained cedar barn
Where my son and I helped his mother.
Sweet and eternally scented,
Timothy and alfalfa.

I reached in,
Like picking a surprise
Elbow deep inside.
Backwards he came.
I pulled him out slippery and warm.

Face to face,
Like the time I cradled him,
A soft dreamy lullaby,
Rocked him to sleep in my daughter’s room
Soothing his baby belly.

It is all a happy dream.
Us striding along the path well traveled,
Side by side.
His hard-headed way,
The unexpected ram.

February 24, 2017

Ringo
OBITUARY 07/10/14

Oh, my heavy heart.

My dear friend, Ringo, departed.

Gone from this world on the energy of this full moon in Capricorn, he takes with him my love and leaves me our sweet memories, now blunt and thorny – bittersweet. How fitting — he was an old goat.

A fine creature. A noble, four legged, hoofed beast with the patience and benevolence of a saint. He was friendly and generous with his time. Anyone who knew him said so. It was true. It was the truth of him. He was a beautiful, old, charitable soul.

I will sorely miss his company. Lumbering my way, his head lifting to meet my approach. The look of curiosity in his wild eyes, meeting me half way, walking all the way at my side, chewing his cud seeming to mull over my mood. I will miss rubbing the brittle old scratchy hairs, white with age, on the sides of his face. I will miss nearly kissing his black goat lips, the temptation if it weren’t for the green goo in his teeth. I will miss his lordly belching and pissing, his physiological response to my presence – his way of substantiating rapport, teaching me that we were in fact similar and not different – both tethered souls to ever-aging bodies. I long one more look at his broken polled horn that gave the impression of a skewed halo. One last tug at the tuft of hairs bearded at his chin. What I would do for one last time of sharing peppermint candies.

The last time I did see him, he looked me straight in my eyes. It seemed odd, him looking straight through me. He looked straight into my eyes and I misunderstood him. “Are you okay?” I asked. He held my gaze. I mistook what he said, didn’t know he was looking past the old body of me and into my soul. I didn’t know he was saying goodbye. It doesn’t make any difference that I am a slow learner. He knew. He knew I would figure it out.

How lucky am I to have known him – to have studied and practiced lessons of life under his sage guidance?

May he rest in peace. Ringo, the last of the bad boys.

Sweet goat

Your head smelled sweet as fresh cut hay.
S w e e t,
Like a new born baby
Smells soft and full and round.
The top of your bony head
Polled.

Between your ears,
The sweet orchard honey scent.
The space
Between your eyes,
Your forehead –
A summer morning’s bouquet.

Each night, I took a sniff
And a kiss,
And then another.
Drinking in your aura –
This wonderful spirit.
My nightly drug.

My inspiration taken in with deep pitch
And for duration.
The rising hiss of an “s” sound,
Ahhhh on exhalation.
Eau de parfume,
Old goat.

What rosey reckoning are you?
Mother fostering Zeus.
Ancient companion,
Scapegoated,
Tagged with human suffering,
And sent off in sacrifice.

I am grateful
Of your steady,
Patient,
Sure footed nature
On an unforgiving march
To the mountain top.

My nightly talisman.
A Lovely lovey.
Touchstone.
A rub and a sniff
For good luck
Breathing it, in like God’s grace.

March 2013

nice-smile-nubian

Clip of a hitch,
Clank of a chain,
Long squeak.
Old farm fence gate.

You are faithful to our meeting.
Lifting your bearded chin,
We see eye to eye
On all matters this time of day.

You smile,
Teeth filled with green goo.
Burp,
The sweet smell of grass.

I rub the sides of your face
With vigor and love.
Your wild eyes turned on their sides
Don’t bother me.

You walk me to the barn
In silence,
For not the sound
My boots sucking in air,

Clopping the ground
At a lazy pace.
Me and my long-legged old goat,
My friend.

And when everyone is fed,
You and I
Step away from the herd
Like a deal.

I rustle into my pocket
Producing a crinkly sound.
You wait
Without complaint.

Patience of a saint.
The common sense of good manners.
Flat in my hand,
You take it.

Crunch.
Your wild eyes fixed on me,
Crunch, crunch.
And then, the shocking scent of peppermint.

March 2013