From an old agrarian phase

From an old agrarian phase

A Song for Handsome Peter


This is the story of Handsome Peter

No sounder soul ever toiled in these parts.

With a heart as true as his face was fair

He drank his days with a fearless heart.


Brought in from Dakota, near Bismarck I think

Cool with strangers, he often seemed shy.

A traveler born, a fine frothy fellow

He was unerring, blameless, simple, and wise.


And if he was asked to do Yorkshires upstate

Or Poland Chinas down in some muddy,

He never balked, he always stood ready.

The sweet smell of sows made him feel rutty.


Peter had no isms, bowed to no Isis,

He wouldn’t have bothered with Orwell’s tripe.

He did what was asked, not less often more,

This working class pig with a sultan’s plight.


Peter loved the sows, their smell and their squeals

Still he was only a cog on a gear.

And when he began to grow ornery and old

The Spam makers came and took him I hear.


So when you sit down to a nice Sunday brunch

Bow and give thanks for the eggs and the wheat.

Give thanks for the waffles, bagels and jam

And when you smell bacon, think of old Pete.


Izzy’s Calico Cat

So anyway, one Sunday Frankie and Izzy Connor

come over and he wanted to know if I

had time to help him put the

foundation back together

on the back corner of his cow barn

that had sagged away from

all the water that ran

off the barn when it rained

too much and now would be a good

time to fix it because it has been dry

all summer and the cattle

can be kept out of there

while we jack the barn up enough to get

some new gravel under everything

so that it will stay where it belongs

for a couple of years anyway.


So the nest Saturday we jacked

the barn up and pulled the footing

back where it belonged and

the old barn was good as new

straight from corner to roof but

Izzy, Frankie’s woman had

seen him toss a shovelful of dirt

on her cat and was pissed

that we laughed but

everything was back the way it

belonged except that we might

have warned Izzy’s cat that

was in the habit of teasing

old Blute Hound

by strutting past him and bothering him

to give chase and then hard cornering at

the gate down by the sagging end of the barn

that wasn’t sagging anymore

and slipping through the crack in the foundation

that wasn’t there anymore

while the old hound went crazy

on the outside but this

time the cat hit the barn at full speed

because we fixed the crack and

we don’t know if the collision killed it

or the hound did it when he caught

that cat on its first bounce

off of the cement foundation but

we do know that we’re responsible

as far as Izzy is concerned and

lately when Frankie comes over

he’s been bringing old Blute Hound with him.