For Two Horses By the Fence at VCCA

They stand there, side-by-side, seemingly unmoving, gazing off toward the mountains. Now and then the darker one slowly turns his head to look at me, one brown eye following my passage back and forth on the dirt and gravel road. I stop to talk to him, to pat his nose. He comes closer, bares long, sharp teeth, and I back off a bit.

They both stand silently for hours, doing nothing—not even grazing the brown grasses. Perhaps they are asleep. Horses sleep in snatches standing up. Some think a horse can sleep with only half a brain—and that while one half sleeps, the other is alert. One eye drooping shut, the other staying open. Alternating. What might half a horse brain dream while the other half stares at the horizon?

These horses slow me down to horse time. I would rest like that in some pasture, my legs relaxed and locked so I can’t fall, days drifting by behind my binocular eyes. Last night, walking back to the residence, I saw a shooting star. A second or two, and it was gone, though it turned gold as it died. Horse time, star time—our time a walk between the two—and gone.

total eclipse—
the sun’s corona streaming
through us


8 Responses

  1. @andreochka Says:

    Nice haibun. Love especially the ku…

  2. Penny Harter Says:

    Thanks! I especially love the haiku, too—it was one of those that comes as a gift! As I said above to Bett, we are galactic, and I'm never far away from thinking about that. For instance, I'm now fascinated that two big solar flares are heading our way for the 15th and 16th of February, and that to the north of NJ where I am the aurora may even be visible, though the full moon may dim them. Wondrous!

  3. martin1223 Says:

    Thank goodness for the magnetosphere!

  4. bett Says:

    I really liked this Haibun. Animals have a way of grounding people with their presence. I also enjoyed the haiku.
    bett

  5. Penny Harter Says:

    Thanks, Bett. Animals do ground us, and those two horses I passed several times each day on my walks back and forth by them at VCCA really grounded me—especially when I stopped to just "be" with them. Thanks, too, for liking the haiku. Much of my free verse poetry reflects my almost constant awareness that we are on a planet in a galaxy. The poems in my collections "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"and "The Night Marsh" especially embody that awareness. You can see some sample poems from my various books if you visit my web site and click on "publications" and then on the book titles. Also there may be some galactic poems listed for "Read my work on-line."

  6. haikutec Says:

    Utterly spellbinding on all counts. A truly amazing haibun, where so many are humdrum, this is pure magic.

    Alan, With Words

  7. martin1223 Says:

    I am always late Penny; this is wonderful. I am not surprised. An award-winning writer brings her poetic sensibility to the natural world. It is beautiful!

  8. Tanka posted on tinywords « A Poet's Alphabestiary, Etc. Says:

    […] http://tinywords.com/2011/02/14/for-two-horses/ […]

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