Monday, January 29, 2007


i'm sitting on the floor next to the woodstove listening to the radio
it's bringing me voices of protest against the war
hundreds of thousands from all over the country
drumming voices
when slowly i begin to weep
then i'm sobbing bent forward into my hands it all comes rushing out of my shoulders out of my spine
which must be where i've been putting all of those endless stories of death
the 8.4 billion a month spent
the seemingly unstoppable abuse of power
just a river from my backbone to my eyes to my palms
it must be too much to carry around anymore
when a load of firewood is already too heavy for my winter worn frame
and here i am gifted with these voices drumming
relieving tears feeding some thirsty need
for normality thats not bloodshed
or a million stories of military might
stored away deep in my bones so that just getting up in the morning can make some sense
some drought stricken belief that privileged people care about changing
that the media numb can break down and cry
break down the millionth lie
gather and rush power like tears from my spine
this unstoppable springwater of a dangerous hope.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

take me road....

i was belting out this tune yesterday as i barreled up the snowy/muddy road to my house, loaded up with groceries, animal feeds, newspapers, clean laundry and assorted treats. smilin' since i don't have to even think about getting in a vehicle and going somewhere for at least a week. i was on my way back from an overnight excursion to santa fe.
Its a 2 hour drive to get there and its like landing on another planet. Ofcourse, being santa fe, its grotesquely wealthy and conspiculously white but more than that it was the cars.....endless cars...pavement, parking lots, intersections, stop lights, some compromised excuse for air quality and that tension that comes with heavy traffic and that auto-city hurry up and wait bullshit.
car culture has taken over our lives. i don't remember having a say in this. was there a public comment period?
where are the pedestrians? the bicycles? the trains? the animals? the public markets and the children running playing thru open fields or drifts of snow? the green belts of trees and oxygen?

theres nothing uglier than a strip mall next to another strip mall flanked by gas stations and a 6 lane highway. oy veh.

now, be sure that in the midst of all that souless consumeristic hellfire i got to spend time with family friends, stock up on supplies, get some much needed body work and not lift a single piece of firewood for over 24 hours.
but man-o-man am i glad to be back on the mountain where stepping outside doesn't automatically mean then stepping into some internal combustion speeding hunk of metal and whizzing about surrounded by thousands of other speeding hunks of metal.

my hands smell of sheep grease and my face is warm from a still and sunny morning.
my feet are firmly on the ground.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

dreamin' of spring

We've been getting a snow storm about once a week.
i've begun dreaming about newest nettles and tiny pink mountain roses.
really now, spring in chacon is still quite a trial as its either wet wet snow or wind or mud...hey! maybe all 3 at once. But with a winter like we are having this year the one thing that we won't be worrying about is fire.
Last spring after a warm, dry as a bone winter i would smell fire almost every day. always a haze in the valley. crisp and dusty and dangerous. One fire that grew to 40k some acres was started by the backfire of an old pickup on a mountain road.
And without a doubt the arroyo by my house that feeds the garden will start to run as early as march. Folks that grew up here say that once upon a time that arroyo ran year round, in fact i've found remnants like and old hand pump buried in the dirt behind the house. but anymore these days, seeing as its entirely fed by snow melt, a good year is for it to run from march till september or so.
and with all this pain in the ass absolutely gorgeous snow, the river across the road will be rushing and maybe the fish worth catching and maybe the pasture will be taller and the aspens will stop getting these bruised soft spots all over their bark and the bears....maybe the bears won't have to come so far down the mountain and into human business. the big cats too.

its seems so precious these days, in this first ever man-made age of extinction, when the weather is doing what its generally supposed to do....some remnant of an intact eco-system in all its glory. My new land partner and dear friend is moving up here this hopefully greenest spring to join me in making this small farm all that it can be, and possibly once was....she says to me on the phone,"erin, we farmers are a dying species..."
and i think of her kids....what will the planet have to teach them? what will there be when they've grown? will they tell seemingly tall tales of how when they were young....the water flowed.....and there were predators in the forest....that there WAS a forest.
Maybe the forest will be standing.
winters like this give me a glint of hope.

Friday, January 19, 2007

"butter my tongue"

I've got food now, a good friend drove from santa fe to ferry me groceries...a whole chicken, collards, bacon, all kinds of stuff... its a little unnerving how quickly not having enough food can fuck me up....esp. with this physically demanding life i live here on the mountain side. As i write this my tummy is full and a certain calm warmth oozes from my skin.....
i was in the kitchen heavily buttering yet another big slab of bread, chatting to myself about how much i fucking love butter when i suddenly remembered that poem by dorothy allison... "butter my tongue" and how much i loved that whole book "the women who hate me". she shaped my writing in my early 20's. she gave us white trash dykes something to chew on, relate to and be proud of.
so i ran to my frighteningly dusty bookshelf (i found it between audre and chrystos), sat on the floor next to the woodstove and thumbed away, eating up her surviving words....

"butter, butter, butter my tongue
i've lost my rhythm
the pulse of my language
feel ready to break
feel ready to crumble
feel ready to fall
like a doll without knees..."


Monday, January 15, 2007

hitting bottom and crawlin' around there has been kicking my ass lately. its the potent combination of poverty, deepest winter and total isolation....and this my 4th winter
every camel has its last straw and this morning was mine.
weird shit keeps happening in the early mornings for me...always before i've eaten or had tea or even made the fire
always something thats really chaotic and physically demanding.
this morning it was cat piss.
see, i'm not one for litter boxes cuz i think they're gross. And i've never had a problem around this...years i've had these cats.
but in the winter they will go these long stretches indoors, sometimes 14 hours or so. i mean, its 10 degrees outside, can you blame them?
and this morning i was distracted just at that crucial -cats should really go out- moment and marcos had the hugest piss on some newspaper behind the wood stove.....oh my gawd it reeks! and then ofcourse triggers all this poverty crap i've got about being one of those gnarley skinny old poor women with the cat pee house.
and while i was on my kness scrubbing the floor with baking soda and freezing cold water i just broke down.
waaaaaaay down.
screamed till my vocal chords rattled and rasped.

all the animals became afraid of i was about to shatter into millions of sharp shards.

and i wish this post could end with some inspirationl tale of how i've picked my self up and i'm feelin' fine...emerging from the dark blah blah.....but my house still carries the faintest trace of cat pee poverty....its all of 15 degrees at mid day....and my eyeballs feel like glue.

at least the sun is out
the winds not blowing
i'm not in any immediate danger
i'm not fighting with anyone
theres gas in the truck
i've got solar power
and my mothers backbone.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

surviving winter at 9000ft...or not.

this morning i woke up at around 7 am to 2 ft of snow and my neighbors 6 starving cows doing their best to push their gigantic bodies thru the barbed wire and into my hay pile. Now...i’ve only got 4 bales left...i’m in the midst of calling around hoping hoping someone can sell me even just 10 bales to get me thru a while. hay bales are like gold around here, esp. in the dead of winter.Chacon is not exactly wealthy...for example theres a herd of 14 llamas down the valley that no one is feeding...or claiming as they roam, break into hay barns or starve.If anyone reading this would like some starving llamas...i can point you in the right direction.
So, fresh outta bed i rush outside with my wire cutters to get a length of field fencing with the hope that it might keep those big ol’ hungry cow heads outta my life....the snow is above my knees....hands are becoming icicles...i haven’t even had my morning caffeine yet and i have this small but persistent panic at the back of my throat says my little body, all on its own, is no match for all this fucking snow...that if i’m not careful it will consume me, my animals, my life....buried. I’m just one small heart pumping blood, trying to stay warm and able to care for the others.
and this is the precise moment where patience is my best defense. one thing at a thing at a time.....shovel free the hay bales and feed the llamas and sheep, shovel out the gateways, uncover the truck, feed the dogs and cats, start a fire, put tea on, cut a big slice of cornbread, sit the hell down and have a rest.......
all of my socks have might be a good day to darn.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

the matriarch

came across this photo and thought the world should see it. Its my mother, Elaine, when i was just a wee one in diapers, in her early 20's? quite the barrel racer.

Friday, January 12, 2007

orwell is rolling in his grave

i will call them the bush know who they are. first they steal one, then 2 elections....they endorse violent and coersive foreign policies that has the rest of the planet loathing worst they had a hand in the 9-11 nightmare, at best they took full advantage in the aftermath launching us into a couple of big expensive wars and eroding our rights as well as the good ol' constitution...for what its worth.
so here we are...several years of costly occupation under our belts....70 percent of folks in the u.s. and 99 percent of the rest of the planet wants our troops out of everyones fucking lives, hundreds of thousands dead, trillions of dollars spent, more of our soldiers have died than folks killed on 9-11 and what does the bush gang do? they decide to send more troops and escalate the war(s). and hell, they might as well occupy syria and iran while they're at it eh?
its too much to comprehend....the audacity...the fascism.
i find that my brain reaches a point of overload and i have to refocus on my loom and only having 40 bucks in the bank for the rest of the month and being sure to rest my aching back.
try and move with compassion and a more constructive rage.
oy veh.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

what the wind can do

ok..heres a whole new blog...altho i am tempted to schlep some of the posts from the old one over to this place just because i like them so much. but thats seems weird, like pasting history into the present.
instead , heres the link

theres another winter storm coming anytime now and the wind has been relentless
the clashing of pressures and temperatures in the atmosphere it makes it hard to sleep
or concentrate
and it was still blowing up trouble this morning before the sun was even up over the mountain and i’m just out of bed barely awake and heading out the door to let the sheep out
and when i opened the door i stepped into some other reality
cats fighting knock a glass jar off the shelf on the porch and down it came and smashed tiny bits of glass everywhere
then i stumble next to the dog house and my leg gets trapped in a hole and i scrape my shin and palm
at this point i’m wondering what the fuck is going on and trying to laugh thru the pain in my leg when the dogs knock a ceramic cup i’ve used to measure the dog food for years off of the dog house roof onto a big rock and it shatters to bits everywhere.
i’m just trying to get to the barn and let out the sheep.
i’ve decided to stay in today. do things that don’t require sharp objects or tricky physical maneuvers .
and i’m using my walking stick.