This Way To My Blog

This Way To My Blog

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sound Of Drought

In south Texas when the grass if of short supply some people burn the stickers off cactus for the cattle to have something green to eat and they love it until it rains and the grass grows back. They use a pear burner and it is a hot tiring job. I guess a pear burner is the same thing as what some call a flame thrower and I don't know what people in other places use a flame thrower for. John has had his day with this hard hot job and I've gone with him to drive the truck but those days are over for us as we are too old to do this any longer and it is too dangerous to catch the land on fire with it as dry as our area is. So this is a poem I wrote in July of 1996.

The flame shooting forward, hot as hell. Sounds to cattle like a dinner bell.

A roar heard at the crack of dawn, breaking the silence of early morn.

Sweat dripping down from a tired man's face, as it crosses his lips forming a salty taste.

When will the drought finally be broken? So many prayers for rain have been spoken.

Maybe there is a reason we do not understand, as the ranch turns into a dry parched land.

Someday the pearburner can cease it's noise, then farmers and ranchers will have time to rejoice.


texwisgirl said...

i've heard of this being done but have never seen it or experienced it. i sure hope this drought breaks - so many others in the midwest are flooding and here in texas, the cattle ranchers are suffering the opposite.

john wingo said...

Love the poem Paula. Out in West Texas, pear burning is an almost yearly ritual and you are so right, it's a hard, hot, dirty job. I'm praying for rain too. Thanks for the info on the Nopalea, I'll look it up. John W.

DD said...

Paula, I've never heard of a pear burner nor burning off the cactus stickers for food, so I have learned something here again. Your entries are great.
Your poem is outstanding! I can imagine it came from the heart, when you needed rain so badly, as I know you do now.
It is raining here this minute and I can hear thunder in the distance. I really hope you will get a good downpour soon.

Anonymous said...

Yep the people around here have told me about burning prickly pear cactus for the cows. So far we have not resorted to that! We've been getting afternoon heat showers here and even with that little bit of rain the grass is growing and I'm having to shred. ~Wendy

Jon said...

A wonderful poem, Paula - thanks for sharing it. I've never heard of a pear burner. The photo looks exactly like the area around San Angelo. It was lovely even in hot, dry weather. Here in the high plains of West TX everything is drab and ugly.

shirl72 said...

I know nothing about a pear burner but sounds
like a hot job. That is a lovely poem. We
had a boy in the 10th grade that said a poem in
school. Spring has sprung, Fall has fell, this
room in here is hot as hell. You know the
schools didn't have air-conditioning back then.
You know the rest of the story sent to the principal's office.


Toon said...

Very nice poem. I'd never heard of pear burning before.

Lucy said...

I love that poem, Paula. I do wish you could get some rain and we need a break in the heat.

Missy said...

Nice poem Ms. Paula and I have never heard of burning the stickers off cactus to feed cows... interesting.