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Terri Farley
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Friday, December 23, 2011

a Friday poem

Waking on the Farm

I can remember the early mornings—how the stubble,
A little proud with frost, snapped as we walked.

How the John Deere tractor hood pulled heat
Away from our hands when we filled it with gas.

And the way the sun brought light right out of the
It turned on a whole hill of stubble as easily as a single

Breathing seemed frail and daring in the morning.
To pull in air was like reading a whole novel.

The angleworms, turned up by the plow, looked
Uneasy like shy people trying to avoid praise.

For a while we had goats. They were like turkeys
Only more reckless. One butted a red Chevrolet.

When we washed up at noon, we were more ordinary.
But the water kept something in it of the early

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Monday, December 19, 2011

I See That Cookie in Your Podium: Classroom Sanity Suggestions

Classroom chaos during the last days before and first days after the holidays isn't something I've forgotten. 
As a teacher, I tried to retain control and stay NICE. It took lots of cookies to make me think I was succeeding.

I just heard from two teachers who held off the crazies like this: 
 My December newsletter features Chapter 1 of a new book INTO THE WIND.  They read it aloud (even high school kids like storytime), then had the kids take the survey at the end of the chapter. One teacher did this in the school's computer lab. The other used it to teacher his students consensus-building and he entered responses. 
If you do this, I will eagerly read what students have to say and write back. 
Here's the link:

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Wild Horse Annie's Legacy

Dear Readers,
Last night, people around the world honored Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston for rounding up children and adults nationwide to get their members of Congress to pass legal protection for mustangs.

Last night we placed candles around a memorial stone and wished we could tell Annie that the mustangs were safe, but they would have been a lie.

Last night we studied the art on Annie's gravestone. A wild mare chased to a cliff's edge stares into the abyss. The young one behind her will follow her unless the stallion at the rear neighs a command. Is he staring back at the enemy, deciding to fight? Is he looking back for our help?

Whoever selected the art for Annie's grave knew the West's wild horses weren't out of danger. 
We need to stand watch and stand up for the last of our wild horses.
During the holidays, let your friends and relatives know the wild horses are disappearing. Talk about the millions on millions of tax dollars wasted on cruelty and USE FACTS!  
Put this link in your favorites , read up on wild horse news and check back often. 
You    CAN  do it !

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Mustang Looks Back for You

Dear Readers, all around the world tonight, people will celebrate the anniversary of the Wild Horse and Burro act. As someone who met Wild Horse Annie, I can tell you she wouldn't be happy at how we've allowed the intent of the law to be trampled by BLM.  Every day, U.S. taxes paying to end our horses freedom. Look at Annie's gravestone, above. See the very last desperate horse looking back /-- for you. 
Click this link to discover where you can join others for a candlelight vigil
     I sat down with Wild Horse Annie today.  We had quite the conversation.  I complained of how convoluted her law had become, how  it  was now a life sentence for  the very animals it was intended to protect.  She listened quietly, never uttering a word.  “ We really need your help.” I told her.  She offered  no reply.
The grass surrounding us was cool & refreshing, the day warm & clear.  I closed my eyes and  imagined a band of wild horses grazing  peacefully nearby.  How fitting it would have been.  But alas ! Imaginings are nothing more than imaginings.  There were no wild horses and Wild Horse Annie was not going to answer.
Beside me was a small and unassuming  grave marker.  In that, it was much like the woman buried there.  Beneath the name Velma B. Johnston, Wild Horse Annie, and the dates March 5, 1912 – June 27, 1977 were three mustangs, running wild and free.   As I ran my fingers across the relief and looked closer at the image, I realized there was something  unexpectedly ominous portrayed there.
The  running mustang trio had reached  the edge of a  dangerous precipice with no choice left but to jump.  The last of the three is rearing and looking over his shoulder as if deciding  whether to fight or flee.  Tears started flowing  when I put  the scene in the context of the battle we’re waging today. I started sobbing like a crazy fool and blurted out, “ Help me! I don’t know what else to do.”
It was then that a voice came to me,  a strong but gentle whisper in my ear.
  “FIGHT”    it said,    “ FIGHT LIKE A WILD STALLION.”

Story and photo by Carrol Abel

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lilac Sunday (I love this poem)

Lilac Sunday

Let us agree to meet
here some winter
when the park

gates are locked,
and the arches thinned
of their vaulting green

to climb the wall,
thaw the icicles
and watch the rain

like flowering
cherry and lilacs
that kissed your hair;

some winter
when the fog is heavy,—
to return to this light.

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Monday, December 12, 2011


Dear Readers, On the first day I saw Ghost Dancer in the BLM corrals, fresh off the Calico Mountain range, she gave me her story. I've been writing it ever since, and I'm sharing Chapter One of INTO THE WIND in my newsletter.
This December newsletter drops nto emailboxes around the world at midnight Pacific time. If you'd like to read it, there's still time to register, here:
Interestingly, Dancer wasn't in a mare corral. I assumed -- as did Mark Terrell, the photographer who took this photo -- that the beautiful Medicine Hat horse  was a young stallion. She was, after all, in a stallion pen, but she stood alone, a sacred symbol standing amid the dung, and the others kept their distances.
Some of you know I bought Dancer, a "sale authority" horse. She could have legally gone to slaughter. Instead, she roams 5,000 acres of the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, California.

I hope you enjoy the first pages of her story, even if she does play them as a boy!

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Thursday, December 08, 2011


An invitation to join us
in a candlelight vigil paying tribute to the


RENO, NEVADA will join 29 US cities from San Francisco to Central Park, Canada, Sweden, and England in an international candlelight vigil on Thursday, December 15, 2011 from 4 to 6:30 pm.

Join singer/songwriter, Lacy J Dalton, in honoring Wild Horse Annie and the horses and burros she fought so hard to protect. We will be lighting 148 candles, one for each horse that died due to the Calico Complex roundup of 2010 and to protest the newest Calico roundup taking place as we speak.

WHERE: We have the honor of holding our candlelight vigil at Velma Johnston's ( Wild Horse Annie's) grave site.
Mountain View Cemetery at 435 Stoker Ave. just north of 4th St. in Reno.
Be sure to use the main entrance. The road will take you to the main office,look south toward the giant white cross.
We should be the only group of people in the cemetery at that time (they are keeping the gates open just for us.)

WHEN: Thursday, December 15, 2011 - Meet and greet at
4:00 pm - Lighting of 148 candles at sundown.

NOTE: Hot chocolate will be provided. You might want to bring a lawn chair, a blanket, and some hand warmers. Though we will have 148 flameless tea lights, please bring your own candle to hold ( flameless is preferred , but not required).
Donations to cover the $120 cost of supplies and overtime wages to keep the
gates open are welcome.


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