Taking Cows to Winter Barn
Barn Work

A farmer's life is measured
by the pitchforkfuls,
of hay, of manure,
of the mountain
of work
which is each day
left undone.


Working in the barn all day,
moving manure from here
to there.

Evening, and the low door opens
all by itself. Walking out the door,
I bump my head against the stars.


Life inside the stomach of a cow!

Low ceiling, pigshit smells,
moving manure from here to

Late summer hay is mid-winter joy.
The goat's eyes are filled with delicate
bells pouring over into the sweetness
of milk. A last drop and the bucket is full,
the gentle waves of a warm evening wind.


The gift of labor.

Working together on a neighbor's
farm, moving manure from here
to there.

An old wheelbarrow,
the wooden handle's worn thin
as a bone—on one side only—the
right side.

They say his older brother
died young.

| listen to Barn Work | (210 K)*

(Photo: Bringing Down the Cows to the Winter Barn; Around Winter Solstice, the Alps
(Click on photo for second image in a sequence of three.))

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(Created: IX.7.1999; Last update: III.4.2002)
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