Livestock

goat tree

Enormous oak
the daylight moon in its branches
a goat at its foot

Valentine cow

Holstein with a heart
in the middle of her forehead
loves the salt lick

horse piss

Horses in the shade
of a weeping willow
a cascade of piss

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

25 Comments


  1. There’s elegant haiku and then there’s piss. I couldn’t help laughing. Love the photos too. Good night~

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    1. Actually, I thought the last one was the most elegant. :)

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    1. Hey, they could’ve waited until we were gone! I think they were expressing their contempt of tourists.

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      1. :) probably so!

        (Great photos! At first, I thought the goat was superimposed on the picture of the tree. The goat looks so fragile and otherworldly against the grand, telluric tree.)

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          1. I thought so, too. I ran across it a couple of days ago, and this is the first time I’ve used it.


          2. I think I first encountered it some years back in a translation of a Cesar Vallejo poem, along with the word glebe (q.v.).


  2. Wonderful. But that first one looks like a unicorn to me.

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    1. Thanks. Excellent point. I think subconsiously I was responding to a certain resemblance to that famous Medieval tapestry of a unicorn.

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    1. I had the word “float” in my first draft of the haiku, as a matter of fact.

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  3. The post title is wonderfully understated — perfect for the scenes and poetry that follow.

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  4. Great photos and haiku. I too thought that goat looked magical as if it were floating. Your mention of a tapestry was the Ah-ha moment!

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    1. Oh, good. Thanks. (I missed this comment yesterday; sorry. I wasn’t ignoring you.)

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  5. I thought the goat must be a double exposure type collage thingy. I usually wait till the horses have finished their evacuations before photgraphing them, you make me feel awfully prissy and lacking in creative endeavour, it is glorious the way they stand and put their backs into it, isn’t it?

    Great stuff here, as ever,

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. No, no double exposures. I did select the dark portions of the shot and lighten them so the tree bark would be visible, and this made the goat a more uniform shade of white. The resulting otherworldly impression appealed to me, and I decided to build on it with a couple other effects, although I figured that would make it look like a bit like a collage.

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  6. Great pairings, all, but I’m particularly impressed by any verse (and versifier) that can make piss lyrical.

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    1. Thanks. I think I’ve been heavily influenced by Issa in that regard.

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  7. I really liked the first picture — it stunned me the first time I saw it.

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    1. Thanks. It took me four or five shots to get the right one. Fortunately, the goat wasn’t in a real hurry.

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