RAMBLING OVER THE HORSESHOE HILLS
Like the herd of branded horses
now free to roam their winter pasture
outdoor women ramble over the Horseshoe Hills
the rattlesnake’s favorite haunt.
Like these horses, we women forsake the road.
Yearning to mimic nimble antelope
seen in the distance, we stride out over hills
that lead to others. Dry gullies form a seam
of rocks below. Exuberance revs out of some secret
motor. How tall we feel above the spindly vegetation.
What is there to protect the sloping fields?
Last year’s sage and yucca still struggle.
Yet, cedar and juniper give an illusion of vitality
in this territory where clouds throw down
more shadows than rain.
Stories ride our hips like water bottles.
Here our spirits govern. Though some tick finds
a blouse front for its own slow journey.
The friendlier swooping sight of falcons is the trade off.
Flat white teeth bottoms of a skeletal horse head
gleam up at us. And moving down the juniper-sided hills
no one misses the antelope jaw bone.
I declare I love the resolute, unflinching wanderlust
of palomino blondes, sorrel redheads, chestnut maned females
on a Tuesday far from where we are expected to be,
an earthy distance from cafe menus, or the confines
of our own kitchens as we poke around this western universe
land snorkeling one step at a time. And on our backs
we carry what we need to keep us going on our blessed feet.
– June Safford
My poem Rambling Over The Horseshoe Hills has no photo to go with it. I must have not taken my camera that day and wrote the poem to replace any still image. I am sending images of new paintings (oils) that juxtapose a bird, a pair of field glasses and a window. These new pieces allow me to call upon my love for painting in a more abstract fashion, yet also demand I draw! Fun. I, like Carol, love birds hence I am searching for away to transfer this interest to canvas. I can observe the natural world from my studio windows as it opens up on two city parks in Bozeman.