Monday, February 28, 2011


Spunky Holler is in South San Saba County near Cherokee, just east of Texas 16, about a mile north of the Llano County line, maybe 4 miles north of Babyhead. The front 100 plus acres is an old turkey farm. Beyond it is the approach to the holler itself, which you can see in the first picture, taken sometime in July and August of some indistinguishable year. At Spunky, brief increments of time are inconsequential.

The next three are the different descents (north, east, and west), while the fifth is a good representation of what you'd see looking out, from the southwest corner. The last picture is the closest I could find to what it looks like in the holler, though in reality it's much darker, though the trees are not quite so dense. The ground is not level until you reach the bottom, where the spring bed is carved out. Hardly any grass, though walking about you'd need to watch out for gnarled roots, and creeping vines, and the carcasses of whatever new thing has permanently joined the rich dark soil.

Red Wind in the Holler

At the bottom of the holler is a joining
of springs, within a wood so dense
and low seasons come and go in tiny

increments. The black soil is cool, and carnal,
and the grasses sparse, and even the cedar
is stanched by the gushing arc

of oak, pecan, and ash that blots out the sun.
The water's pure and cold, and every season
the busy slope is littered with the bones

of those who coveted its sweetness, lulled
against their senses by whispers in trees
among the smell of damp earth, and ruse

of night, when the moon induces fevers
on the willing, and the tender.

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