no animals

So you have a life with no animals?

How quiet that must be.

And hair free. You say “care free!”


My life is full of animals big and small!

It can be as noisy as can be.

Hairy, scary, and wild to see.


Wild critters, most tame and some not sure.

Each gives more than it takes.

Freely loving, forgiving, and loyal.


For every mess I clean up, there is love

Freely given, every time, and grace.

They are fools, they are wise.


I bust them sleeping on my pillows

Or leaving a mess on the floor.

When I’m ready to lose it, they come.


Tails wagging, small bodies purring

I can breathe because they love.

Unconditionally, no strings.


Horse kisses from soft muzzles – sweet!

Cow kisses from long rough tongues – uh.

Dog and cat push and nuzzle.


Wild birds come to visit. Soaring, Singing.

Deer sleeping on the lawn. Trusting.

Coyotes sing a choral mashup!


Some days I imagine a life with no animals.

And the silence, the clean seems to appeal.

I am brought back!  I know animals!


I know their ways. I know and love  them.

All God’s creatures, great and small.

We are one too – so we all belong.


Sneaking cookies or sleeping on pillows.

Counter surfing and leaving deposits 

Hair, mud, blood, spit and shit.


Holding them as they enter the world.

Loving them as they sadly leave.

Knowing them through it all.

Know animals? Oh yes I do.

No animals? Not a chance.


The talented Marina is tending bar for us at dVerse and we are talking about animals. I just moved across the prairies with two cats and two dogs, put the cows and horses with trusted friends and let an elder dog stay with a dear friend.  This is the first year I won’t see my cows calve, or have that first spring ride on my horse. But I know we’ll see them again, and that God has a plan. Even in the middle of a wildly crazy mess, there is a plan.  

High Cotton

With Real Toads Photo Prompt, photo by Ellen's Edge "Cotton"


I never knew when I was young what it meant

to be ‘walking in high cotton’ until I saw

the waves of cotton fields across the

panhandle of northern Texas.


We stopped by the road to pick a few to see

if they were really cottony soft and white.

Flat horizon and  cotton as far as you

could see, it went forever and then.


Older now I know, that high cotton means work,

hard and back breaking.  Even with machines

there is nothing easy about cotton but

how it feels combed and smooth.


“Walking in high cotton” means a bumper crop

with the hard work still to come and still

we grow it, we pick it and we bale it.

Sell it and someone wears it.


I feel like those cotton fields sometimes,

do different from a distance than close

up and in your hands. The hard and

the soft grow together here.


We don’t grow cotton on the northern plains,

we grow corn, soy beans, hay and canola.

We raise cows, hogs, chickens and

sometimes we raise hell.


We dance in the fields and in the dirt here.

We chase the cows and fix the fence.

We raise our kids and our dogs

and we love on the land.


Remembering the first time I saw cotton fields as we drove across Texas as a child.  I thought the white and black fields would never end under that flat horizoned sky.  Those endless plains on that endless drive keeps me seeking hills and trees but it reminds me too that we who farm and ranch do it because we love it.  Copyright 2012 Shanyn Silinski.  Prompt from With Real Toads today.