March 08, 2007

The Sign of the Grass

The warm winds of spring are returning to the Wasatch. The water pipes have been frozen on my farm in the Salt Lake valley since just after Christmas. Today is the first day I have had running water for the livestock. It has been a long winter hauling water from the house. I feel released somehow from a chore, while not all together unpleasant, a little bit inconvenient.

During the deep freeze of January, I would fill the trough up with hot water, which melted the overnight ice accumulation and settled out at a temperature that the horses were more likely to drink. They tend to stop drinking as much water in the winter, but their need for hydration remains constant, so it is best if they drink and they will if the water is a little warmer than 32 degrees. In additon, the pasture grass is beginning to sprout and there is a haze of green on the meadow. This is a good time of year.

This poem was written a couple of years ago as an Easter poem, reflecting on the seasons of life and the promise of eternal life - as perenial as the grass.

The Sign of the Grass
by Paul Kern

Springtime grass grows thick and green,
To bring new life to the yet unseen,
A round of living has again begun,
Under a full moon and a brand new sun.

That endless rotation of the sky,
Leaves track and sign for both you and I,
That a cowboy’s heart beats just so far,
Before it’s hitched to that one last star.

When summer ranges are all grazed down,
And winds have scorched them all to brown,
Old partners with furrowed lines,
Know to read the tracks and signs.

When winter winds howl mean and cold,
And a cowboy’s heart grows tired and old,
The sign of the grass he knows so well,
With the rangeland tracks has a tale to tell.

That a good man who knows his station,
Looking after part of God’s creation,
Raising cattle and horses on that place,
Has come to know Him face to face.

It’s in this knowing that he lets it go,
To unfenced ranges he’ll come to know.
A round of living will begin again soon,
Under a full sun and a brand new moon

The Sign of the Grass

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  1. A great web site, and enjoy the poetry. Thanks for sharing.