Photo Challenge: Visiting Friends

We shared stories as we drove up the canyon road 
that angled between rocks, colored grape and copper 
and sienna; geometric rocks stacked like massive 
bricks as perpendicular to the earth as castle
walls. Tucked between gnarled trees were ageless

log cabins without porches or windows, creosote  
black and hunkered low on southern exposures,  
open to long meadows edged with pine and aspen 
that quake and sway in the late morning sun. We 
first saw the herd under the shade of a lone fir 

on an open grassy stretch. They'd been watching us 
long before we saw them, a platoon of longear 
sentinels judging our intent. One tall and elegant 
with an aristocratic nose. A stoic gray who asked 
for less than he wanted. A jenny as wide as she was  

tall and just the color of milk in tea. Two rough and 
tumble brothers with a schoolboy sense of humor. Our 
friend's laughter came up on the breeze and we all  
stood shoulder to belly and head to heart, passing  
hours grazing, scratching donkey ears, and admiring 

wise mule eyes. At the water tank, Fiona sipped with 
slow caution and then left the tip of her pink tongue  
dangling just past her whisker lips; she let me and  
it felt cool and delicate to my touch. And intimate  
beyond reason. Driving back, the road was unfamiliar. 

Aspen leaves turned to gold before our eyes as the sky
faded to a pale shade of winter tourquoise. We nibbled 
on cookies made of seeds and apples and grains, and
the particles wedged between our teeth became the 
bittersweet flavor of reluctance and September grass.

 

 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
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(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

 

Photo Challenge: Waiting

WM Skunk llama

The air goes still on my prairie during that
instant when my finished inhale lifts gravity 
and just before that slow release leaves my
body healed and whole, upright in that cool
instant that holds forever. I know there will

be no stalling and the very last thing I would 
do is kill time. Let every pore of each sense
be curious of it's passion. Eyes that discern
the exact shade of the color in the light, a
sweet moment to feel the company of sisters

living in this breath, this scent that tells the
story of those who passed this way, and leaves us 
curious. Alert to a question, what if this isn't
wrong? What if there is a gift in this pause of
time that will be uncovered in the next inhale? 

Hold still, irreverent joy, to sense the precise
equity of moistness and heat in the air as the Earth 
breathes us into her lungs and cradles us, precious 
as napping foals on yellow straw. Precious as the 
flash-edge of a cloud at the scarlet strike of sunset.
 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
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(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Waiting

Photo Challenge: Structure

 

This horse covers the ground more quietly 
on four hooves than my old feet can manage,
dynamic strides so I stretch to keep up.
Awareness pulses in his ears and nostrils.
That's character carved in his jaw and if 
 
the sun is setting just right, you can look
into his eye and see the universe lie flat 
and small at the left edge of his heart. I'm 
only a bit embarrassed to admit that I time 
my breath so I can take in his spent exhale. 
 
I'm six times his age. It seems the sharper 
his profile, the more mine loses definition. 
My cheeks are abraded flat with fruitless
emotion and the prairie wind has turned 
my ears to gristle like the old donkey's. 

The corners of my mouth have stretched from
screaming at the moon and my eyelids have 
gradually swollen to protect my eyes from 
sights that hurt them. Six times his age, 
using his breath, trailing safe in his stride.
 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
Blog  FB  Email  Author  FB  Tweet  Amazon
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Structure

Photo Challenge: Corner

The first hint comes just at moon rise 
on an ordinary August weeknight. It's
hardly a breeze at all, certainly not
enough to toss or even tickle a leaf
but still a few degrees cooler with just 
 
a bit more oxygen than usual. Meanwhile, the chickory sway with clean priorities; frank blossoms the color of midnight with no pretense of foliage. The goslings on 
the pond have traded their oatmeal down 

for more sleek travel attire and lifted 
off for their first long distance flight,
leaving me flat-footed in a dimming 
season, longing for fresh wings to glide 
a sore heart above the cool indigo prairie.

 

 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
Blog  FB  Email  Author  FB  Tweet  Amazon
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Corner

Photo Challenge: Shiny

Birdwatching in the dark
is an art practiced best
with no yard light. Start
just after the colors are
gone from the horizon and

the leftover sheen of the day 
lingers, waiting for the spark
of stars just dawning. Birds 
are easier to locate at this 
thoughtful time when the

beginning of dark quiets the 
trees. Of course you'll want 
to be near a barn. That's the
place where the wild world
intermingles with those we

like to believe are domestic.
"Look up," says the old white
gelding, and I do, seeing a
watermelon on a high wire. 
"She has no neck," I answer, 

"it's an owl," as she turns to
show her horns. Then she lifts
away without a sound, taking the
ghost gelding with her, leaving 
me the scent of mud and moonlight.
 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
Blog  FB  Email  Author  FB  Tweet  Amazon
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Shiny

Photo Challenge: Elemental

I remembered to sink the corner post deep,
filled the hole with Quikcrete, and topped it off
with dirt. Then double braced it to a clean
ninety-degree angle. Most of us weren't born
here; we built this home as an affirmation

of a life we dreamed of, greater than hooves or
feathers, than language or habit. But the elements
are not tame; the sun passes behind clouds and
winds blow icy rain in cutting diagonal lines. What
hasn't been washed clean away is left in mud that

has pulled the smell of death from the dirt. For those
buried here and for those yet to find home, shore up this
foundation. Stand tall, lifting worn tools used by others
before us, our good work will hold beyond this storm, 
as sure as the sun burns musty fog to sparkling green.
 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Elemental. 

Photo Challenge: Textures

 

She was a coyote fighter, moving 
just off the herd, across the high
desert prairie. Buying her calves 
time to get back to their mothers,
she stood her ground, mouth wide

open, bellowing loud enough to 
insult a shy predator into slinking 
away. No one wants to be called out
with such blunt confidence. But the  
calves have all grown and passed on
 
a decade ago. The ranch was parceled 
away leaving her no ground to stand for; 
the last gelding gone to children. Even 
her teeth have expired leaving hollow 
jaw bones barely disguised by coarse hair. 

She brings an abiding wealth of survival 
wisdom along to my small stretch of farm
and she has no way to be useless, so now
she brays at house dogs. She guards what
her cloudy eyes can make out of the horizon
 
from inside a woven field fence. Coyotes still 
lurk behind tall weeds, testing her boundaries. 
Do not doubt us, predator, as we turn to face
you. We have survived your kind and we know
our worth. We will always stand for our own.

….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Textures

Photo Challenge: Satisfaction

The sun leaves just the sky behind,
a watery arch over the prairie,
and my feet cling to the ground 
unwilling to let loose of this day 
for it's beauty and possibility

and loss. There is always loss.
In the moment of light remaining 
just a pause to ask my jaw to 
soften; to be glad of the sadness
that marks this day worthy of memory,

giving dimension to silhouettes
and music to the moments that grow
special in hindsight. Moments that
lift my stride again, fixed to a
simple wealth of earth and sky.

 ….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
Blog  FB  Email  Author  FB  Tweet  Amazon
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Satisfaction

Photo Challenge: Unusual

It's not unusual to feel still
air rush over your cheeks and 
past your ears. It's you moving 
forward in a bold waltz rhythm 
that's less domesticated than dance.

It's perfectly normal to release
the earth and be held by intention
and hoof beats and a lesser degree 
of gravity than what roots docile 
human feet to mud and granite.

It's the ordinary excellence of a 
woman and a horse. Ribs expand as hips
surrender to the rolling impulsion,
closing your eyes just long enough to
feel the power in letting go. Canter out.
for L.
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Unusual

 

Photo Challenge: Collage

How many times did I ask
on a breath and a thought
that you consider the moment?
Consider joining me in an adventure
or a moment of solitude,
or a wisp of air.

Your thoughtful response; a
soft eye, maybe an interested ear.
And in another breath, the arc of your
glorious neck sharing an indelible
instant, season, lifetime. 
It was enough.
….
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)

Collage