POETRY ON STAGE
Here’s my sonnet that finished in the top four internationally in the 2021 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Thanks to staff who made possible and enjoyable Closing Event via Zoom!
Fourteen degrees. He grumbles out of bed;
there’s ice to break, there’s livestock to be fed.
He zips his Carharrts, cranks the Chevrolet,
heads out to pasture, Thermos under arm.
A golden eagle rises in the east
across the breaks and lights the pickup’s way;
against the hues of dawn, arriving geese
glide in to harvest what remains to farm
each season when the strippers leave the wrack
to sandhill cranes, their sere midwinter feast.
He tallies cattle, checks the pasture back
behind the ridge. It’s there he stops a while,
gets out his hat and gloves and walks
with last night’s ham and biscuit in a sack.
After his lunch, a cold nap in the cab;
then spends his midday hours mending fence
beneath the watchful gaze of red-tailed hawks.
Blue ice on playa lake a solid slab
of diamond, rime of silver on its bank,
the distant revolution of the gins
in January, spinning round the clock,
a windmill hard beside its frozen tank.
The coin of sun soon slips into its slot,
can see to can’t, the life he’s always led.
How vast the gap between this frost and warm;
how slim the span between have and have not.
Back home he parks the truck, refreshes hay.
There could be poorer ways to spend a day.
The Last American Highway
The Great US 83 Whistle-Stop Tour blog, fall 2015
•ﾠFrom the top to the tip of Texas, Day 1
• Slipping, sliding, and shopping: Small Business Saturday
• An icy Sunday wonderland in Caprock Canyon country
PHOTOS Floydada and Matador, Texas
•ﾠWine, history, and dance, along Texas's longest highway
PHOTOS Childress, • Paducah • Guthrie • Aspermont • Hamlin • Radium, • Anson
• Bibles, Boots, and Beef in the Big Country
Abilene, Texas • James Leddy Boots
Abilene downtown • H. V. Chapman Bookbinders • Bible Hardware • Abilene Courts
• A Warm Welcome on a Gray Day: Winters to Ballinger
Winters • Paint Rock • Eden • Ballinger
• US 83 through the Texas Hill Country to Junction
• US 83 through Uvalde and the Texas Brush Country
Leakey • Uvalde • Crystal City • Carrizo Springs • Asherton • Catarina
• Laredo’s bridges, and a bit of birthday bliss on the border
• Chile, chorizo, and other comidas and culinary treats in Laredo
PHOTOS Laredo • Laredo: CaminArte
A miscellaneous list
Easter Comes to Tom Green County (pdf)
Our Garden (pdf)
• On Roan Mountain
• “China’s Soong Sisters at Wesleyan,” Wesleyan Magazine, Fall 1997
• “Life and Death on a Barrier Island,” Wesleyan Magazine, Fall 1997
• “The Clovis Connection: The Norman Petty Recording Studio,” Jan./Feb. 2009
• “Roads, Rails, and Spanish Trails to Santa Fe,” Aug./Sept. 2008
The Magazine for Cape Fear Living
• “Serenity on South Second Street,” architectural feature, Winter 2005
• “Where Dreams Come Home,” architectural feature, Wilmington Magazine, Fall 2005
• “Masters of Invention,” Spring 2005
• “Unveiling the History and Architecture of Oak Island,” architectural feature, Summer 2005
• “Riverfront Restoration: What Began As a Blank Canvas Has Now Become a Masterpiece,” architectural feature, Winter 2004/2005
• “Home Is Where the Art Is,” (with Josh Shaffer), Winter 2004/2005
• “Good Company” and “What to Name the Dinghy: Boat Names on Wilmington Waters,”
• “Giving Back,” series of profiles in philanthropy, Summer 2004
• Atlanta's Impressionism exhibit elicits high spirits, 1998 (pdf)
• Elizabeth Catlett: Works on Paper, 1944-1922, 1999 (pdf)
Barbara Brannon | P. O. Box 515, Spur, Texas 79370-0515 | barbara.brannon AT gmail.com