In Memoriam of a Sparrow

Here lies the blue sparrow on the brown forest floor

With bright wings that won’t fly through these woods anymore

All that bird was and everything it did see

To be tossed out of this life on a stiff, careful breeze


While the picnicking parties had eyes fixed on their phones

And could not bear for one moment with the feelings of being alone

Gazes narrowly pinched to the small glow of a screen

Consciousness evaporated like a thin sun-drenched stream


In the Walnut Grove, the redbird has a quiet story to tell

He’s been following the old man who lost his faith somewhere in Hell

So many good friends died, could say he never made it “home”

Time not measured by the years but in how those trees have grown


So much beauty in this park, with seasons still to be seen

Like passing friendly shadows in some long forgotten dreams

Revealed in the daylight, are moments powerful but brief

Thorns once felt as anger, now are recognized as grief


And here pauses “the poet” with a toilet to scrub

Saddened by loss, marooned by a deep and still love

Alone and aware facing life’s sharp brevity

Fly forever brave blue sparrow in this forest’s memory


Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park ~ April 20th, 2018





Vulgar Trees & Provocative Foliage


A coffee table book for the audacious arborist with a discerning eye.





Battle of the Alarm Clock

Wednesday morning seems to me

The longest morning that could be

The sun won’t show her light today

The clouds hang low as if to say


“Sleepy soul go back to bed

With a weary heart lay down your head

Your troubled rest will bring you peace

Just close your eyes for sweet release”


But I the martyr awake instead

And slowly crawled out of my bed

Alarm clock beckoning to start the day

With its shrill cry I hear it say


“Sleepy soul awake from your dream

Your day is new or so it seems

The excitement, the journey of starting again

A new day has come so let it begin!”


But I, time’s martyr will argue instead

And smack Mr. Alarm Clock upside the head

His snooze is still sore from yesterday’s battle

His annoying chime reduced to a rattle


“Oh teller of time, you will not rule me!

I’ll not be governed by your philosophy

I’ll awaken when ready, and start a new day

I will never let you have your own way!”


“You’ve disrupted my slumber all these long years

The lost joy and happiness brings me to tears

In the land of my dreams I prefer to stay

Your incessant cry will not pull me away!”


So back into sleep, I quickly fell

To the valley of dreams in a transient spell

Mr. Alarm had said nothing more….but why?

In his quiet rebuttle wasted minutes passed by






The voice of the ocean is near as we’re  setting out here, half awake before dawn

Emptiness spinning in space, only persons and places to which time belongs

Drawn by the moon in a sky, here’s to hoping we find those bright stars in our hands

On this ride through the dark to some shore, oh to be nothing more than a wave crashing sand


Some say they have seen a bright flash of green at the set of the sun

Rays of joy and of pain that fall the same on everyone

May we open our hearts in larger part to whomever we can

On this ride through the dark toward some shore, aren’t we nothing more than waves crashing sand




Charlie the Blind Cow

Written by Ben Brashear

Proluge: Charlie was a real cow and he was blind and a gentle soul.  Dad lived on a farm for a while near where the Embarrass (sometimes pronounced Am-braw) River in Southern Illinois and gave Charlie a home there.  Around four acres of sprawled space with a pasture and a sturdy house on a hill overlooking the flood plains. Sometimes in the winter the water shelf would rise up into the fields running along both sides of long gravel lane so high that we’d have the best ice skating rink any kids could ever hope to have.  I know it must have been a risk for farmers to plant very much in those fields in front of dad’s place.  But things would grow just the same.  Waters rose and receded.  Things thrived and that place out away from the noise of town is rich with stories in the backwaters of my mind.


“Merry Christmas To All”, were nearly Charlie’s final words

The blind cow in the truck, taken far from his close herd

His family knew well that this Christmas time would have no cheer

Charlie would give his life, for roast beef washed down with beer

The sheep in the barn awaiting, bayed softly on that night

A tribute to their friend, softly lit by candle’s light

The deer in the field strayed close, now nearer to the road

A row of all to see Charlie as the farmer prepared the load

His family knew dairy cows of the herd rarely found this fate

The farmer in the back now, just closing up the truck’s gate

If Old Charlie could only see, with eyes, what friends he had in life

For his heart was stout and true, and he bore no fear this night

The chickens heard the roar of the engine’s lonely moan

The rooster let aloud a mournful “Crrrock-a-crrrock-a-croan”

Inside the house was brightly lit, a tree filled all in light

Outside, in the dark, a small Ford truck now driving out of sight

Charlie was a cow who cared for every single leaf and tree

He treasured life, despite no sight, for in his heart he could see

He remembered the soft blades of grass, the smell of fresh mown hay

A lifetime full of friends stood by, as Charlie went away

The deer ran quickly in front of the truck, tires squealing in the night

The farmer cursing loudly, many deer now in his sight

The chickens pecked out from their pens, soared bravely through the air

Two bulls stomped quickly through the fence, charged bravely as a pair

The farmer caught now by surprise, Charles’ friends gathering in a sphere

A lifetime full of close companions to witness the farmer’s fear

The lead bull drew close, about to speak, as animals can do this night

For it was Christmas Eve at 12 and Charlie was granted his sight

He saw the snow fall softly, watched his friends defend his life

He saw his father in the field, grown old and full of strife

He looked upon the barn, where many summers he had passed

He watched his mother’s hopeful tears, her eyes now turned to glass

But last of all he saw the farmer, sensed fear within his heart

He knew that this was the final chance, his freedom to depart

He could not help but see the cuts the farmer bore upon his hands

How many days the farmer walked the fields and tended to the land

“What strife the human bore in life to provide me with a home

We all should understand his sacrifice, his family all alone

The days have passed and in winters long in dark nights he would come

And fill our stalls with summer’s hay, humbly tending to all work is done”

“What days have we gone without food? I remember not a one

What times have I blindly stumbled, broken legs not solved with a gun

He cared for me and call old Doc Vaps, patched me up without a knife

Again through fields, though blindly stumbling like we all do in this life”

Charlie and the farmer understood, not a life would end tonight

An exchange of smiles for all who stood in such magical moonlight

We live with friends who really understand our perils and our pain

Even when we feel alone, with no life’s joy to gain

So let’s celebrate this Christmas with much more joy and lots of cheer

And hold our families close to our heart, let fall each happy tear

Let’s understand our place in this world, the part we all must play

To lead a life from start to end, as if our final day

Sugar Creek

One of the finest and easiest kayak, canoe and what-have-you creek trips in Indiana: Sugar Creek through Shades and Turkey Run State Parks. This video was taken in Autumn on the final day of trips before the winter close when the foliage was vibrant and warm and the morning air upon the water as crisp as a hand-picked Braeburn.


Sammy’s Song

I love watching the leaves fall

High from the trees where the birds call

All of my worries seem simple and small

Glad just to be any part of it all


Long is the season when marigolds bloom

Bright is the evening of the Hunter’s Moon

Crimson the sky that says snow is coming soon

Autumn winds playing their own thankful tune


Cold Sunday mornings and taking long naps

A cup of hot coffee and available lap

Beautiful wisdom gifted by the cat

To be where you are and be alright with that


I love watching the leaves fall

High from the trees where the birds call

All of my worries seem simple and small

Glad just to be any part of it all