Bob Isaacson's Blog

Welcome to this blog. It is basically a collection of stories, letters, essays, reviews, and poems that I have written over the past years, some of which were published in the Santa Barbara Independent and other local publications.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Et in Arcadia Ego

As we drive
the quad
the big oak
by the curve,
I smell nothing dead.
My wife does.
You worry
too much,
I tell her,
and drive on,
keen to see
the  newborn calves.
And there they are,
near the lake,
nursing, sleeping,
butting heads,
running in
nonsense circles
the worried cows.
We drive on,
and everywhere
see more
new calves.
Some cows
play dumb--
Who me? Why
would I have a calf?
We stop
to search,
finding their calves
tucked under
sage brush,
or hidden
beneath mustard stalks.
We could touch them,
as they lie curled
tight like shiny pillows.
But we don’t dare
go too close—
The mother might
run us down,
or the calf might
suddenly bolt
in a long, blind run.
So we keep
our distance
and enjoy.
Fall is the bottom
of the year.
The dead, grey grasses
grow short.
Clover burrs fill
the dusty road ruts.
 If it has rained,
the flats
begin to green
with a billion shoots
 of new grass.
The year slowly
             turns over,
like an ancient
The next day
we again
ride the quad
up the hill,
to count
more new calves,
Sally sitting
behind me,
hugging me
But this time
the big oak,
the remains
of a large buck
lie sprawled
across the middle
of the road,
head still fastened
to the spine,
rib cage gnawed clean,
antlers chewed off
at the base.
No legs are left.
Lion kill
so close
to our home,
too close,
so close
to home.