We rented a cabin in Days Creek, Oregon for a long weekend. The owners run a working farm on the property: Pachamama Farms.
Among the animals roaming about are chickens; roosters; geese; red meat pigs (this is a thing); a snow white Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog names Zeus, demeanor indicating he seems okay with having been left out of Dogs Playing Poker; two English Bullmastiffs named Apollo and Athena, coloring like worn baseball gloves, expressions indicating they are still sore about having been left out of Dogs Playing Poker, demeanors as sweet as candy; and finally a bird of unknown species whose call I can only describe as being goosed (sorry, actual geese).
Sitting on the porch outside our cabin in the morning, blue sky overhead, temperature in the 50s, gazing across the gravel drive, past the weathered wood of the towers on either side of the wrought iron gate inlaid with a wagon wheel design, down an embankment populated with pigs and lichen-covered trees not quite camouflaging the odd powerline, toward a creek lined with mint leaves, the smell clearing my sinuses, listening to alternating cockadoodledoos and EEEYAAAWs, I wonder what the rooster and goosed bird are conversing about.
These seem likely candidates:
* * *
On breakfast food:
Rooster: Do you think the guests will figure out the sausages made from Oinky and Squealy were fashioned after the Fat Man bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945?
Goosed: Why should that MATTER? They are DELICIOUS. A SKINNY sausage link isn’t a REAL sausage link.
On the storm door:
Rooster: When the storm door closes, it sounds like a firework exploding.
Goosed: That’s what you GET when you replace GLASS with metal MESH.
Rooster: Makes sense. But don’t you wish sometimes the owners would use normal building materials instead of trying to customize everything?
Goosed: NO. I don’t know much about GLASS, but I’ve heard being UNDER it is a BAD thing, so being BEHIND it can’t be much better.
On dead trees:
Rooster: What are your thoughts on the dead trees lying about on the property?
Goosed: I THINK it’s great the owners have BROUGHT in the guy with the portable SAWmill to make USE of the wood.
Rooster: Blades spook me.
Goosed: Why? What DO those have to DO with us?
Rooster: Agh, forget it. Just rumors.
On uneven roads:
Rooster: Most of the roads in this county are in good condition, but some of them need work.
Goosed: Agreed. Some of them RIPPLE up and down in PERPETUAL humps, the SOLID white line INDICATING the SIDE of the lane terminus LOOKING like a ribbon SET into wrist-trilled MOTION.
Rooster: Wow, Goosed, that was poetic.
Goosed: Thanks, ROOSTER, but the WORD you’re looking for isn’t POETIC; it’s LITERARY.
Rooster: [sarcastic voice] Gee, thanks for correcting me in the middle of receiving a compliment.
Goosed: AnyTIME. AnyTHING I can DO to help.
On banded light and dark lines from shadows on the road:
Rooster: What do you think it means when you’re driving on a road; it’s about midday; you’ve just come from Plaikni Falls out by Crater Lake; and you see those lines of light reaching through the trees and bending over the road, and stacked on top of these are shadow lines, and this pattern continues for miles down the straight road all the way to the volcanic ash Pinnacles?
Goosed: If you HAD an MFA in CREATIVE writing, I would say it MEANT you were EXERCISING your craft.
Rooster: And if I don’t have an MFA.
Goosed: You’re a POSER.
Rooster: [speaking into a radio] Yes, farmer, the sightlines are good. Take the shot.
* * *
On that metal mesh storm door, I look around quickly whenever it closes, suspicious that the neighborhood demolitions amateurs from back home in Portland—who feel the need to test the explosive capabilities of their fireworks cache throughout the year (Yup, this one works. Yup, this one works. …)—have followed us into the Southern Oregon back country, seeking a canyon with better reverberation properties than found in suburbia.
Then I realize it’s another example of a minor sound interrupting silence. Even the canine Greek gods observe vows of it. The canyon’s mission is to promote silence and reflection.
Rooster and Goosed—they’ve got some stuff to work out.
As for me, I’m at PEACE.