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October 6, 2012: Traipsing down Memory Lane and the Tractor Cometh

This morning I inadvertently went back down memory lane by reading previous dispatches. I was looking to print up poems, for an upcoming poetry contest. It was maybe a good thing that I did this, for I’d recently concluded that I ought to stop writing dispatches. An analogy can be made of tossing popcorn into the wind. I have few, if any readers—translation, what a waste of time. Plus, I’m not producing anything of worth.

Once again, I proved to be my harshest critic. For as I was reading and looking at the images, it occurred to me that what I’ve produced is a chronicle, a year in the life here at Squalor Holler. And it is

somewhat unusual – Pete and my living off the grid, my obsession with horses, and our ongoing struggle to keep from being buried under a sea of manure. Also, my early obsession with words and images has been playing itself out.

I sometimes get frustrated because even friends (it seems) aren’t reading what I’m writing guess they really do have better things to do with their time. Well, I don’t have better things to do with my time, so I’m going to keep at it. The year, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours, the minutes – I have a lot of time ahead of me still. Anything can and will happen. Best to keep documenting. I’m going publish my 2012 dispatches in January, 2013 -- select words and images will take the form of an e-book.

Today, no, we can’t bypass today by speculating about what was or will be. Rather, the focus has to be on the present. Immediacy is what counts. Follow Through – “our” Kubota tractor is parked in the new compost facility. Andre brought it over this morning. He showed Pete how to operate it, by first moving Oh Oh the big rock and Oh Oh Junior the smaller rock under a nearby tree. Then he moved an outside compost pile in with an inside compost pile. This took just a few minutes. Unbelievable. No more hand turning manure. This really is the end of an era.

Andre and Pete (in our kitchen) later did the contract hubba hubba. I’ve since been running tractor names around in my head – I considered Fidel, as in Fidel Castro, but am now leaning towards Raul- he’s Fidel’s brother. Raul – big, strong workhorse kinda machine. Yeah, so for now it’s Raul Kubota.


Brown Horse Tethered to Birch Tree

He isn’t going anywhere
today, tomorrow, or the next day--
and the day after that is a holiday,
so go figure.

This is what people do, they go figure,
sometimes not very well,
and sometimes not at all.

Horses can’t reason, or so they say.
Clever Hans was thought to be able to add and subtract and multiply and divide
but after being found to respond to the blink of an eye
he was again called Hans. Like tree bark, noticed and unnoticed
he faded into obscurity.

No name horse stomps his feet three times,
and in a manner of speaking
demands food, water, shelter.

His requests go unheeded
for a horse tied to a tree
is no more or less than a horse running free.

Next: 301. 10/7/12: Precipitous