Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 9-10-12 |

Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 9-10-12

The western states are on fire — Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas, Nebraska and on and on. Everyone is waiting for healing rain, for cooling temperatures. Ranchers are paying astronomical prices for hay to be trucked in from other states and down from Canada. Some are selling down their herds. So it’s with rather wry-eyed amusement that I observe the activities of neighbors who built a starter mansion on a bluff across the draw from me.


Times are changin’ on our western ranges

As things get worse in cities

Folks feel stressed so they’re lookin’ west

While singin’ soulful ditties.

Where can they go, they want to know

To start their lives anew

Put a home on a crest in the mountain west

With a spectacular view!

There’s the urban folk and this is no joke

Who built up a cloudy draw.

Their road’s so shear they gotta use low gear

And travel at a crawl.

When the wind doth blow do these folks know

How picture windows can rattle?

When glass starts to shake, what will it take

Before their nerves are addled?

And lately I see but find hard to believe

They’ve trucked in loads of dirt

And spread it around in a humped up mound

As if the earth has burped.

They want soddy grass like they had in the past

Back in Tallahassee

And next they plan — or so I understand —

They’re gonna plant sapling trees!

Pre-grown lawn might hold the dirt on

Unless the wind blows first.

Loose soil will budge and turn to sludge

Should a heavy rainstorm burst.

The lawn slides down the mountain’s side

That could test their mettle.

It’s always amusing but also confusing

To see new settlers settle!

It’s sort of a pity watching folks from a city

Who haven’t any clues.

As they run into woes when they try to impose

Their erstwhile city views.

They’re plumb entertainin’ and

I may be complainin’

But I sure do wonder why

They give no thought to this awful drought

As grasslands shrivel and die!

Fires eat homes leaving mummified bones —

A sickening grisly feast.

Burning to the ground everything found

In the path of the hungry beast.

Twisted wrecks are all that’s left

Or houses and barns and hay.

And when the fire slackens the earth is blackened

Where the devil held the day!

These urbanites simply ignore the plight

Of those in dire straits.

For what do they care how others fare

’Tis merely a matter of fate.

And I suppose somehow, I should not allow

Their actions to raise my hair

But consumption conspicuous seems

truly ridiculous

In these times of utter despair!

Smoke makes a curtain till it isn’t certain

Mountains are on the horizon.

Of the scene over yonder I’m growing

no fonder

But my attitude’s starting to lighten.

I still think they’re dotty but the porta potty

Has up and been hauled away.

Which must mean they’re done with

construction fun

And that’s about all I can say! ❖

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