Tag Archives: nature

Mornings After Harvest

After months without a view because of the beautiful, tall cornfields, the distant horizon can be a mesmerizing sight, filled with the smells and sounds of a different, yet familiar, place.

Looking east from where I live, the lagging warm temperatures of day create a hazy, foggy pastoral scene,  of a morning,  across the recently harvested cornfields  and it is a blessing in magnitude hearing the geese feeding frantically and invisibly until the fog lifts.  Then when the sun begins its rise, the shadowy glimpses of distant objects on the horizon command your every instinct as you look, listen and smell the uniquely, coming day.

You are alive and you have taken the time to notice it!  Have a great day and try not to take it for granted…..look, listen and smell of it….for you are blessed to be alive!

Mornings After Harvest

Across the trampled field of corn, filled with geese in the early morn’,
  the distant horizon peeks beneath the fog
that partially hides the distant train headed north in a misty rain
  as my ears pick up the howl of a farmer’s dog
chasing geese along the fence, in and out of a fog, so dense,
  the geese themselves don’t know which way to go.
And all you hear are gaggle screams, like those heard…. in nightmarish dreams,
  as a lifting fog exposes the new day’s glow.

That’s how it is each country morn’, looking east where once was corn,
  across the fields now flattened for the plow
that soon will turn the stubble down exposing all the black and brown
  after feeding every deer and bird and cow
that lurk and wait for harvest day so they can romp and eat and play
  before the winter winds begin to blow
and life again is cold and harsh; birds all dreaming of the southern marsh,
  and the rest of us await the coming snow.

copyright 2013 t. j. gargano

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Filed under bloggers, Blogging, countryside, Fall, fog, God, heart, Life, Love, mental health, mood, Nature, poetry, prairie, snow


From where I live in the country, on the prairie of Illinois, due east, the horizon sits a little beyond the distant interstate highway and railroad, that parallels on its west side.  The night time creeps in there first in its sneaky, varied transitioning forms.

It is always a delight and inspiration to view nature in its changing moods.  Often, these changes are all around us and yet appear ‘invisible’ to us as we focus our attention elsewhere on other things.  However, ever so often, our moods and infrequent calmness allow us to witness and ‘feel’ some of these times when nature is in transition.  In this case, the transition is the ‘undressing’ of day.

Sitting, facing east, the feeling is pristine when the air is still, the birds are quietly bedding down, the horses stand in fixed repose against the barn, the air is ‘feelable,’  the horizon’s ‘shade’ is nearly down, the city’s lights – five miles northeast –  are blurred in mist,  you can barely make out the silhouetted trees, and the haze over the corn disappears ever so slightly, sneakily before your very eyes….’til you can barely see your own hands in the darkness that ‘plopped’ down on you and everything all around.  One minute, all that beauty  is there and then….gone….surrendered to darkness and the forthcoming end of day.  What’s left is the recap of it all….the reaping of the value that was bestowed upon us for the taking.  My recommendation would be to ‘take it all in’ sometime, when you get a chance.

Hoping you have great, whole days!




Dropping down, a dusky mist
is settling on the corn.
Far off city lights resist;
disappear to be reborn.
The horizon’s shade is nearly down
silhouetted trees stand tall;
the night time is beckoning…. her call.

The country night is quiet and still;
the grass now moist with dew.
The horizon shade is down until
it brings back day….anew.
But until then the darkness basks
‘til the night of ‘day’ is done
and the ‘whole’ of day has made its distance run.

Day is only part of ‘day;’
Night is one part, too.
So if one part, you’re in dismay
the ‘other’ might bring you through.
So don’t give up if the day starts bad
go deep where heart is strong
and life will move more smoothly….along.

© copyright 2012 t. j. gargano

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Nature Unstable


Nature Unstable

The clouds above foment and churn
forecasting trouble soon.
The birds are quickly to discern,
their lives are not immune
to Mother Nature when she’s mad
and makes her presence known,
when every living thing that has
a heart…. feels all alone.

The lightning strikes; the thunder booms;
moments stand unstable.
Seconds pass as each assumes
life will soon be able
to return to how it use to be
when all was calm and good
before Mother Nature showed her might
and we watched and understood.

Today the light will come to me
and shine along the path
that I must take so I can be
safe among the wrath
that festers everywhere I look
in places here and far
and demands that I look over you
no matter where you are.

© copyright 2013  t. j. gargano

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Fairy Fall

Feeling whimsical today….

Fairy Fall

She stood behind the leaf on the branch above the knot
on the tree trunk, near the river where he fished and where he got
bitten by the dog that had come from down the road
from the farm that raised the chickens, he had learned of when it snowed
last winter….a month before the thaw.

She watched him as he cleaned his hand and bandaged it up tight
in shadows through the morning mist in the coolness of the light.
that slithered down between the trees and fell upon the ground
and splashed along the water’s edge, hitting all it found
as she watched him pause at what he saw.

She was sure he didn’t see her but his gaze was firm….her way
and she peeked beneath the moistened leaf and gasped at the spray
that drenched her hair down to her toes and made her wings to stick
and she lost her balance and hit the ground…. with a spark and light and click
so loud that she was sure….that he knew.

She moved with caution ‘round the tree as he started to walk her way
and the birds all started whistling loud and the fish began to play
and caught his attention and he froze in time, then turned and went on back
and got his pole that was lying there…. against the sleeping bag and black
dog that now seemed harmlessly…..’blue.’

A fairy has to watch her ways, yet learn of all she can
but safety is the fairy thing; that is the fairy plan.
And knowing she was lucky; she watches from afar
as he pats the dog with his bandaged hand and chews on his cigar
and casts his pole across the blaze of morn’.

© copyright 2012  t. j. gargano

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Filed under dream, fairy, fairy tale

Custer Hill

Eric von Schmidt’s  “Here Fell Custer”

Custer Hill

At the foot of the hill, north of the stream
where the grass had been trampled down,
he halted his horse…stunned by the scene,
at the foot of the hill, north of the stream.
“Give me my field glasses…I hear a scream.”
he yelled at his scout….in frantic frown
at the foot of the hill, north of the stream
where the grass had been trampled down.

On top, on down where they covered the hill,
and laid in the grass, pale white,
except for the grasses, all was still,
on top, on down where they covered the hill.
In the dark of his glasses was a test of his will
and he shivered with terror at the thought of their plight
on top, on down where they covered the hill,
and laid in the grass, pale white.

Off to the east to the side of the ravine,
Where it was first, that he saw the horse –
a claybank… hurt and bleeding, his rider unseen,
off to the east to the side of the ravine.
The state of the bodies, all stripped… was obscene;
And he stared at them, shaking, with a heart of remorse
off to the east to the side of the ravine,
where it was first, that he saw the horse.

As they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry
charging into history up that hill
Crazy Horse was yelling “It’s a good day to die!”
As they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry.
That Custer stood his ground… is a fact one can’t deny.
When you study it…you can almost hear the cries….still…
as they crossed the Little Bighorn and swarmed in mournful cry
charging into history up that hill.

© 2012  t. j. gargano

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Filed under Custer, Custer Hill, poetry

A Beholder’s Beauty

A Beholder’s  Beauty

She sits near by me in constant stare
on porch where a breeze disturbs her hair
as I drink my coffee in a dreamy state;
my mind still heavy, not yet awake.

The sky is laden with clouds of gray.
The air is moistened in falling spray.
Across the field a sound is born
and gives a notice to the coming storm.

The driving rain obscures the field
it comes our way like a thrusting shield.
The raindrops fall; her eyes in squint
that glare at me for any hint

that maybe we will go inside
so she can find a place to hide
from thunder clasps and the wind’s hiss
as she begs the comfort from a hug and kiss.

A beautiful collie my eyes adorn
my constant pal since she was born
with constant fix upon my path
her eyes bestow the love she hath

From room to room she follows me
from near or far her presence be
and whimpers wildly with heart in burn
when I leave home and when I return.

Beauty bounds most everywhere
we have to look; we have to stare
in weeds and rocks and dusty boards
to find the beauty that nature hoards.

The beholder’s eyes see beauty’s heart
in all of life; in every part.
and gathers not a summary of
but shares an insight of nature’s love.

T. J. Gargano


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Two Wayward Geese

In early spring, they appeared almost every night ’round dusk for nearly a month, to the point that I would sit and wait for them and was disappointed the one evening, they didn’t.

Two Wayward Geese

At dusk they come low….. banking out of the west
‘cross the creek near the barn, where the cattle all rest,
then over the trees just east of the house
looking down in the yard at the cat and the mouse
before turning left and angling north.

They’re hard to see, just two spots in the sky,
but it’s easy to hear their loud, noisy cry
as they angle now west over the highway below
and back o’er the creek….. flying over it low
as they constantly squawk back and forth.

Two wayward geese the flock left behind;
escaped the hunter down in the blind
looking around for a new place to stay
with a whole lot of water and a safe place to play
and be safe from predators all around.

They circle three times, just before dark;
their path is near perfect, nary missing the mark
in precision flying that boggles the mind…
their wings never touching…..in close align
their flight into darkness…..profound.

I wait every night for the beckoning call
of these two wayward geese and their display of gall
that pierces the quietness of the calm prairie night
interrupting all pattern… of what’s in their sight
as they scream in high pitch from above.

I know I will miss’em when all’s said and done
and hope it’s not ended by the sound of a gun
this routine they fly over the creek every day
at dusk when the twilight is fading away
when they slip through the darkness…..in love.

T. J. Gargano

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The “Lights” in Ru Woods

Ru Woods is a 40-acre wood owned by my little sis, Ruthann, in south central Illinois and where family has gathered for holidays and ‘tent city’ celebrations.

It is a peaceful place to see wildlife, pretty flowers, breathe fresh air, take nature hikes, hunt and fish.

Ru’s husband created the man-made pond and constructed the bridge.  It is a nice place to relax and listen to the sounds of nature….In a video, I named it, Ru Woods.

"Ru Woods"

The “Lights” in Ru Woods


Sitting by the fire up above the bridge on the grassy knoll,
humming a tune and prodding the fire with a long pole,
in the corner of my eye, in the dusky twilight night
I watched three ‘lights’, no bigger than a ball,
go back and forth from tree to bridge until they disappeared… all.


Up behind the bridge in Ru Woods

I thought that if fireflies, there would have been more
dancing close by the bridge, instead of what looked to be….four
hovering up high and darting down low
seemingly all in a hurry to get to the trees
maybe warned by the leaves, now nudged by the breeze.

south point of pond


The breeze whisked the fire sending sparks into the air
as the hoot of an owl echoed in the trees, up where
the blackness of night hid their tops to the eye
and I jumped, startled by a rabbit scurrying around behind
and I knew, then, I was tired and those ‘lights’ were on my mind


East slope of pond

In the morning, I crossed the bridge to the slope
and checked the trees and looked with hope
of finding something to give me a clue
that I wasn’t imagining things the night before
so I kept on searching …..but what for?


My Gibson resting on the east slope of Ru Pond

I walked around the pond…. to think of something new
and try to clear my mind and come up with a clue
or maybe a little plan to prepare me for the night
in case the ‘lights’ appeared again when twilight came around
and everyone else were in their tents or headed back to town.


West side of bridge and Ru Pond

I laid down on the grass and stared from dark to light
and fell asleep and woke up when the day had turned to night
and the trees across the pond were filled with fireflies
while dampness filled the dark, by the bridge, where I laid
to frogs singing happily… as the fireflies….played.


Looking west

Then, as I started to stand…. to go make a fire,
I saw  a ‘light’ appear ‘neath the bridge, near the wire
that hung down from the post near the water’s edge
on the other side where it was hard to see
and I froze in place to see, if what would be….would be.


Then from the trees came ‘lights’, two and three
and stayed close together and seemed not to see
me in the darkness, standing not that far away
and I wanted to go there and check it all out
I wanted to, selfishly…..dispel all of my doubt .

I thought for a moment of the beauty before me
and the risking and losing of all what might be
just to prove something false or maybe even real
and spoil something precious, if only in my mind,
something so precious….. it’s best we don’t find.


So…I walked up the slope to the tents, to the fire,
and built it all up and warmed my entire
body that was cold from the dampness
from down by the bridge, where I laid all that time,
with the four little ‘lights’ …that danced in my mind.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano



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The Rusty Ol’ Barn

Nature, in all her beauty, will, at times, in the split of a second, compromise all what’s good in our life and put a spin to our existence.  Sometimes we survive and sometimes, we don’t.

Fortunately, where I live, natural calamities have not been common.  They have not been non-existent, either.  Floods, blizzards, heat, drought, lightning and thunderstorms are the hazards that nature throws at us the most to keep us alert.  But, occasionally, Mother Nature shows up unexpectedly to remind us how small and insignificant we are to her powers.  In the early morning hours of July 4th, 1980, she showed up at the farm and I wasn’t home but my family was.

(Late in the year 1979)


The Rusty Ol’ Barn

The rusty ol’ barn is not like it was years ago.
Her rafters creak loudly when the wind starts to blow.
Threshers that once whistled tunes from her roof,
quickly light down then leave in alarm,
startled by the noises of the rusty ol’ barn.

(36,000 bushel corn crib, south cattle barn, my CJ-5 Jeep, wife and dog in earlier photo)

She’s stood a long time through war and through drought,
holding her own with storms all about.
But just before dawn, that early July morn’,
a twister turned north and did her some harm.
Though sagging, she’s standing, that rusty ol’ barn.

(notice the south barn is gone)

(day before the crib was emptied. You can see barn and machine shed in background)

Sneaking aloft like most twisters do,
it attacked from the south and nobody knew.
It skipped and hopped and roared like a train,
de-legging the corn crib and flattening the barn,
that guarded the southern most part of the farm.

(the barn sustained more damage on the backside...rest of the buildings were untouched)

Proudly but listing in the darkness she stood
‘midst bird cries and rubble and piles of wood.
It wouldn’t be long before dawn would arrive
to expose the wounds inflicted on the farm…
the friend and home of the rusty ol’ barn.

The rusty ol’ barn now stands not alone
with the memories now sewn ‘neath the grass and the loam.
Where the south barn and crib stood, there’s now lots of corn
covering the memories from that night of alarm
when the twister swooped down on Probasco Farm.

(The barn with temporary fix. Torn down six years later)

copyright © 2011 T.J. Gargano


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