Thursday, June 24, 2010

I talked to her. Pretty blue eyes and her platinum hair slightly raised in the mountain breeze.
'Is that a mommy goat?' she asks. 
Yes, Miss it is. 
'Where's her baby?' and her concern shows. 
She's there. Calling. They call for each other just as your mom calls for you.


We talk for a while of Billy Goats Gruff and Mommies and corn..
'I have to go now bye bye!' She dances away smiling. Her mom and dad also smile and begin to walk away down the street to a pretty little gray house on the corner that the platinum haired girl calls 'home.'

Bye Bye, little one.

I spend a while on my knees patching the hole in the fence with thin rusty wire and make my mental note to buy more wire next week.
The orange moon is almost completely full as I lock the pen gate behind me. The lunar eclipse comes in two nights.

'It'll be beautiful.' I think, as Regs and I begin to walk back to our small space in the corner of the farm. A baby bird emerges from the bushes at our feet and skims the ground.  
I smile as Regs gives chase knowing the futility of this.. But the baby bird does not rise and stays low. I call Regs to break off. He does and turns to look at me with his yellow eyes..

The fledgeling crashes into the soft sand a few yards away and I smile slightly at the instability of newly feathered wings.
'It's hard at first young one. So much to learn..' and I take the frightened chick into my hands, intending to find a safer place.
Mother and Father chatter in the trees with concern as I walk.

'Don't worry. I'm not that animal'
The baby sits blinking slowly and looks at me.

I stare in wonder as she lays down in my callused hand and dies.

'Please don't go.... I'll find a safe place for you..'

She won't listen, and the narrow eyes and shrill calls of the birds in the trees, this bright orange moon are witnesses this night.

'I have to go now bye bye..'

I stand stroking her gently with the mountains at my back, crying as I always have, as I always will.  

Very gently, I lay her under the tree that was her first image at the instant she opened her little eyes to the world.

No one will know. Just her Mother and Father who's duty is done and now take wing into the west. Regs sits at my feet staring intently with his yellow wolf eyes.

And the bright orange moon...

And me...

I am still here. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010


When I realize that I haven't one more tear left inside to cry and I stand staring, empty and full at the base of this mountain range..
An old quarter horse lays in a small corner of this cold arena looking at the first rays of light as they gently touch his ears, then his amber forelock, he narrows his eyes at the intensity of the sun and tries to stand and, can't.

I feel that familiar pull as I watch him struggle and fail to find his feet. With so many years behind him he carried an extra burden so that people like me could feel 'freedom' and smile as the wind rushes past. And now...

'Cmon boy.' and he settles himself down again to rest. Maybe not now. Maybe standing can wait.. I barely notice the others that are separated by a common fence. They're watching as well, quietly nibbling on green hay that waits just out of reach for the old horse. I have to and he has to.. We do what we are meant to do.

If we're lucky. 

An old Chestnut Thoroughbred moves away from the bales and he and I meet at the side of the old man, still laying in the dust, legs curled uncomfortably under his still broad chest. Me with my human words and the Thoroughbred with his expressive almond eyes say the same.. 'No.. Not this day my friend... Get up.'

Nose brushes ear. Hand caresses wither. All eyes together with a mighty and stumbling effort the old horse rises... And.. They both slowly walk back to the hay.

And I find in the beauty that my eyes are wet with love, affection and the truth of life..

What will be.. With all our energy and effort we move onward. May we all see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Father's Coat

It's raining outside my old wooden framed window. An actual rain that's also brought with it the first chill of fall here in the city of angels.
It's comforting to know that if you wait long enough, and can survive long enough, the rains will finally come back. Its been dry for a very,
very long time. A contented sigh passes my lips, turning to steam as it passes through the old window screen and disappears in the wind. I
enjoy the feeling of the cold on my skin and shiver a little with a smile on my face, the same smile that arrived in the early hours of the morning
when I first heard the drops pattering against the heater vent up on the roof top.

I do enjoy the cold but, now it's a good excuse to wear the coat my Dad left to me a short 3 years ago. Opening the closet I search into
the very back with my fingers, pushing aside the old set of Army BDU's that hang ready and still starched. They signify quite a passing
of time now since the camo pattern has changed from this old style to the new ACU digital for our conflicts in the desert. They hang
ready and mostly able, like me... The Army doesn't really want either of us anymore it seems. The uniform has a few holes sewn shut and I
have too many screws and swollen joints now. I did what I could when I could, but it doesn't seem enough I guess.

My fingers brush softly against the familiar wool of my father's coat and I pull it out for the first time in a year. The bone, grey and green
striped tartan outside has seen it's share of use over the years but, despite a few tiny moth holes its held up well. The huge woolen lapel
and collar looks so out of place now and the green stripes and wooden buttons further date the coat. I'm proud to wear it out anyway
and I've worn it in several of my films. I wore it in Big Bear for my favorite birthday 2 years ago when I got drunk and restless at 1am and
decided that by God, I was going for a walk around the lake. Unfortunately, it was 28 degrees that night and the lake that I started to
stroll drunkenly around was in the neighborhood of 17 miles in circumference. Still, I estimate that I walked at least an hour under the bright
glow of the Milky Way before I got discouraged turned around, headed back to the cabin and promptly got lost. I splashed some of the
icy lake water on my face for sobriety's sake and took refuge on a metal park bench for a rest after a while. I didn't have a watch on that
night but when I woke up I noticed the stars had moved a bit from their original positions. I'm not sure if I've ever been colder and my feet
were completely numb inside my Roper's which, was at that point, a good thing though. A process of trial and error finally led me back to
the cabin and into the warm bed with my wife who, on initial contact with my blue skin, did let out a yelp and jumped away from me. But, love
overcame the day and she wrapped her little body around my frozen one, whispering sweet nothings of comfort until I, from the
disapproving look on her face the next morning, passed out.

My father wasn't much of a drinker and I write that off to his Southern Baptist tendencies. I for some odd reason picked up the drinking
gene. I'm not sure if anyone in my family really drank much except for a far removed Uncle who was in his day, not only a drunk but also the
Mayor of Carthage. My Dad's vice was smoking and that, in addition to poor diet and zero exercise eventually caused him 11 heart
attacks before the rest of his body gave out on him. He didn't leave much behind and what little he did have was loaded on to a U-Haul
and moved to his 80 year old Mother's house for her to sell off at her leisure... This coat though, is in fine shape. Better to have a coat
that kept me from killing myself in the cold than a few Jacksons in my wallet that would have just shrugged their collective paper shoulders at
me and continued a discourse on the state of the nation.

Yeah, I like this old coat. And I really like the rain that led me to pull it out today. Yeah... Another really nice day....

Original Writings by Jesse Holland Copyright 2007