Fall Portraits of Family: Human & Animal

little sun

silent on the table,

permanent noon.

It lacks something:

night.

-Octavio Paz


I saw a rooster with Castilian plumage: from black and white cloth his shirt had been cut, and his knee-breeches, and the arched feathers of his tail. His feet, sheathed in yellow boots, revealed the glitter of his defiant spurs, and on top the lordly head, crowned with blood, maintained that demeanor; a statue of pride. Never on earth had I seen such confidence, such valor; it was as if fire had hoisted the final precision of its beauty: two dark flashes of jet were the disdainful eyes of the rooster who walked as if he were dancing, almost without touching the ground. But the moment his eyes saw a grain of corn or a crumb of bread, he lifted it in his beak as a jeweler’s delicate fingers hold up a diamond, then with a guttural oration he called his hens and from on high let the food fall. Never have I seen a president with gold braid and stars adorned like this rooster parceling out the wheat, black and white rooster, strutting epitome of virile honor, father of the fragile egg, paladin of the dawn.  Bird of pride, bird without a nest, who bestows his sacrifice upon mankind without compromising his lineage or ruining his song. Your nobility doesn’t need flight, field marshal of love and meteor devoted to so many excellences that if this ode falls into the yard you will peck it with supreme aloofness and parcel it out to your hens. -Pablo Neruda

chicken coop

I’m pleased to introduce some of the fam. They live in Stockton, Missouri with a menagerie of chickens, ponies, kitties, dogs, honeybees and humans. http://www.pantheonwelshponies.com Above:  The Chickens & One Rooster.  Above that:  Neil at the barn (Right).  Below:  Neil & Cloud (Left)  Linda & Stripey (Right).

kitties

sun plants

horse chest

horse glance

Meet my Brother, Steve’s daughter, Chloe.  She’s a firecracker.
children

neice

Introducing Chloe’s little Sister, Isabelle…
children

podsI like writing about where I am, where I happen to be sitting, the humidity or the clouds, the scene outside the window– a pink tree in bloom, a neighbor walking his small, nervous dog.  And if I am drinking a cup of tea at the time or small glass of whiskey, I will find a line to put it on.  My wife hands these poems back to me with a sigh.  She thinks I ought to be opening up my aperture to let in the wild rhododendrons of Ireland, the sun-blanched stadiums of Rome, that waterclock in  Brueges – the world beyond my inkwell.  I tell her I will try again and travel back to my desk where the chair is turned to the window.  I think about the furniture of history.  I consider the globe, the lights of its cities.  I visualize a lion rampant on an iron shield, a quiet battlefield, a granite monument, the working river.   And then – just between you and me– I take a swallow of cold tea and in the manner of the ancient Chinese, pick up my thin pen and write down that bird I hear outside, the one that sings, pauses, then sings again.  - Billy Collins

Photography Tip: Beauty can be found in the simpliest things…the tendtril of a pod, chest of a horse, my brother standing in the afternoon light.  Look for simplicity in theme and composition.

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