The Mountain Horse
Its cold at dawn in the Great Divide
And the Dew lies thick on the mountainside,
The bite of the cold air nearly makes you choke
And breath from your nostrils like dragon smoke.
The saddles are on and the cinch is tight,
Bridles are buckled and a bit to bight,
The horsemen are ready to break the camp,
The mist still rising and the bush is all damp.
The mobs been found in a clearing up ahead,
They’re all wild horses and they’re mountain bred.
Bushes flying by lashing legs and sides,
There’s danger here now for anyone who rides.
An overhanging limb so bend down low
Around rocks and wombat holes we go
There’s a mighty log we’ll have to jump
Look out, look out avoid the stump.
The big bay stallion leads his harem through the creek
There’s no place here for faint hearted or the meek,
Their hooves are like thunder and stock whips are cracking
Horses are snorting and their courage is not lacking.
Down along the valley where he knows every stride
Down along the valley where the wings are stretching wide,
But it’s too late, he knows it now, there’s nowhere left to run,
He turns and rears up high, his fight has just begun.
Something about these mountains makes you want to stay
And a mountain horse’s spirit you cannot take away.
My mind wanders back to a day not long ago,
When the horsemen came and found my mob and I put on the show.
Land Divided Into Farms
The land it was divided, into farms for cattle and sheep,
Some land they grew the corn, for the workers to keep,
Some they had wheat to sell, was taken to the mill,
Their stone ground for bread, the baker’s shop and his van to fill.
Some land it stayed in woodland, itself to regenerate,
As old ones fall and lets in light, young saplings they do await,
A long cycle of new to old, from the old forestation to new
Fenced all round now, and preserved for this nation.
A Country Boy in Winter
The wind may blow the snow about,
For all I care, says Jack,
And I don’t mind how cold it grows,
For then the ice won’t crack.
Old folks may shiver all day long,
But I shall never freeze;
What cares a jolly boy like me
For winter days like these?
Far down the long snow-covered hills
It is such fun to coast,
So clear the road! the fastest sled
There is in school I boast.
The paint is pretty well worn off,
But then I take the lead;
A dandy sled’s a loiterer,
And I go in for speed.
When I go home at supper-time,
Ki! but my cheeks are red!
They burn and sting like anything;
I’m cross until I’m fed.
You ought to see the biscuit go,
I am so hungry then;
And old Aunt Polly says that boys
Eat twice as much as men.
There’s always something I can do
To pass the time away;
The dark comes quick in winter-time—
A short and stormy day
And when I give my mind to it,
It’s just as father says,
I almost do a man’s work now,
And help him many ways.
I shall be glad when I grow up
And get all through with school,
I’ll show them by-and-by that I
Was not meant for a fool.
I’ll take the crops off this old farm,
I’ll do the best I can.
A jolly boy like me won’t be
A dolt when he’s a man.
I like to hear the old horse neigh
Just as I come in sight,
The oxen poke me with their horns
To get their hay at night.
Somehow the creatures seem like friends,
And like to see me come.
Some fellows talk about New York,
But I shall stay at home.
Come walk beneath the winter sky
as crystal starlight shimmers down,
to where the whispered snowflakes lie
to cloak the valley like a gown.
Walk ever forward and forget
the promises that never came;
and all the volumes of regret
to which our passions lay their claim.
The cold magnificence that glows
with luminescent mystery,
placates the agony of woes
that overshadow history.
Leave twisted trails of grief behind
and venture on a virgin plain,
as destiny becomes aligned
with hope’s provocative refrain.
In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
Of the weak pipe and the little drum
And see them dancing around the bonfire
The association of man and woman
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie—
A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,
Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
Mirth of those long since under earth
Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations
The time of milking and the time of harvest
The time of the coupling of man and woman
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking. Dung and death.
Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides. I am here
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.”
– T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker No. 2, 1, 1940
Ok , Today is more of a collection of images than one single image, to close the week 🙂
May and the local farms are getting busy, Irish farms are usually a little smaller than in Mainland Europe, so for some of the work a small tractor is still needed in order to work the smaller fields.
These images are a study of a little tractor most likely still used for many tasks around the farm over the next weeks of this busy month …..
Robert L. Hinshaw
He billed himself as an expert in the field of “equine podiatry”,
Better known as a farrier for farmers and the cream of society!
Keeping horses shod and their hooves polished was his vocation.
With horseflesh he’d had many an interesting confrontation!
He always had a roll-yer-own dangling from his lips,
And a blackened leather apron wrapped about his hips.
His jaw was set and with biceps wrought of tempered steel,
He’d strike the anvil with his hammer – what a rhythmic peal!
In his jumbled shop he’d shod animals of many breeds.
Donkeys, mules, ponies and prized Arabian steeds.
He shoed critters pulling covered wagons to unknown frontiers,
And many a cowpokes cayuse for the round-up of his steers!
One detail they didn’t cover when he was in farrier school,
Was how to deal with the occasional cantankerous mule.
Many times he’d found himself sprawled upon the dirt,
With the outline of a hoof imprinted upon his shirt!
Tho’ his profession never guaranteed a life of glamour,
And knowing he’d not get rich wielding a tongs and hammer,
Yet, it was challenging working with ornery mule and horse,
Always hoisting their hindquarters very gingerly of course!
A Faithful Old Barn
By : Laura Lynch
Apr 28, 2012
Erect and secure, yet weathered and worn
Faithfully it stood surviving the storms.
Cracking and peeling … its colors are muted
Stubbornly standing yet obviously wounded.
Absorbing abuse for those in her shelter
Unobtrusively stands against all ghostly specter.
After living here in county Kilkenny for over ten years now, we have got to know many different people. One of the families we know very well own a small farm and when ever they go on holiday we help look after the place for them. We moved here from North London and its a great pleasure to now be able to see and be on a farm like this one.
These images where taken during such a week, late in the Autumn and as winter took a grip over their farm and its land.
Seeing a farm in the height of June is a wonderful thing, everything growing and the animals full of life but I love these winter months just as much, the place is slower with the cold and damp morning.
The Horses and Chickens are slower and growing season finished apart from some late greens to be used in the kitchen before the frost sets in. The farm and its land feels ready for the three months of rest it well deserves.