August 20, 2007

Seldom Seen in Town

This summer has been one of record heat in the intermountain west. Temperatures have soared, rain has been scarce and the land is stressed. The grazing season started on Memorial Day. We put our calves out to graze for the season and then were hit with late season snow and wildly fluctuating temperatures. This resulted in some loss due to pneumonia. The rest seem to have done alright, but I will know for sure when I ship them out in a couple of weeks and have them weighed. Still, they have been out in unseasonally hot temperatures and on grass stunted by the heat and lack of rain. Mid-summer we had one good rain storm. I wrote this poem that evening as the blue tin roof of our log cabin sounded with the drumming of the cloudburst.

Seldom Seen in Town
by Paul Kern

There drums a rainy torrent now,
As the roof echoes the sound,
Of water falling fast to earth -
On prairies parched and thirsty ground.

I thank thee Lord for blessings,
Poured out on me like rain,
It seems for most I have to wait -
To know the loss before the gain.

I thank thee Lord for grassland,
For the cattle that survived,
I thank thee Lord for horses -
And the talent they have inside.

I thank thee for their willingness
To work for feed for wages,
For the good they’ve done for man -
Today down through the ages.

I thank thee for the gift of growth,
It’s something man can’t give,
For increase in both crop and herd -
Thou – The Giver of Life to live.

I can plant, harvest and graze,
And stack and store and sell,
But I can’t give the growth -
That springs from thy eternal well.

I thank thee Lord for family,
For those long past before,
That loved this land as I do now -
Could they have loved it more?

I stop and pause and wonder,
As the rain is slowing down,
At blessings from thy gentle hand,
That are seldom seen in town.

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