March 28, 2013
I stumbled on this by accident, and had to share…
Read the review- Tales of the Whispering Basket by Larry Spotted Crow Mann
He begins with his Native Nipmuck tongue-
Wunne-Nog-Kishkoad-Tuonk! “Greetings, glad you’re here!”
I had the honor of attending the AWP 2013 Association of Writers and Writing Programs in Boston a few weeks ago and here Larry Spotted Crow Mann say this in person. He belongs to a group, WHIM Old School Indian Reading, featuring Monty Campbell, Jr., Barbara Mann, Paul Hapenny, Stephanie Elliott, Larry S Mann- and most used their native American names. Meet the new Indian Movement: W.H.I.M. (Woodlands Horizon Indian Movement for the politically correct and Woodlands Hotties Indian Movement for those who can still laugh). This multi-genre reading panel is comprised of Old School Woodlands Indians who read from their works and Larry Spotted Crow Mann performed the sacred drum song.
Hearing Larry play and sing a drum song was AWESOME! It was moving. His book is also moving.
Tales From the Whispering Basket is a book for all ages. Plain and Simple. His stories drafted from long passed down oral stories of generation Nipmuck to Nipmuck child from family and friends should be a task admired. I am currently collecting my oral memory stories told at gathering and from my own family members, and it is a hard task to compile details without muddling them up. Children should have this book in their hands, I would say reading ages and up. You may laugh when I say this, but it is in big print compared to some books I have in possession- a plus for the over 50 crowd (and I am smiling, but hey its true!)
The book starts off with a very well written introduction and goes into short stories- Deal Me In is a great read for those of us who like a slice of mystery with our slide of hand. A stranger knocks on the door while his Nipmuck clan play cards… Once again, a great read for young and old alike. Three more stories, and I don’t want to give it all away, then he goes into telling the story of how baskets play an important role in his tribes history and I suspect many tribes history. It is a heartwarming story which chronicles the journey of a sacred Nipmuck basket and how it affects everyone who come in contact with it; speaking real and painful issues facing native people yesterday and today.
Now to the meat- Larry’s Poetry- ‘I Have Been Here Before’…
I have been here.
Half eaten worms have joined forces to extricate the nonbelievers.
Sanity stored and hidden in the usual place.
Hidden to self, for itself…
Gems of prose are weaved throughout each piece, like his ancestors baskets, and stories. Before I saw Larry read, I had wondered how I could bring the Native American tongue to these pages. Not wanting to be all about the great American Cowboy heroes, I am glad he consented to sharing his voice within Cowboy Poetry Press. Not because I feel the cowboy and Indian need to stand side by side, but because the culture is rich and should be shared, and in that way stand side by side.
Everyone’s side of the story needs to be told. I want to wipe out the old western shows which stung my mind with false history, eradicate Hollywood’s crap, and sit within the pow wow of my own native heritage (Cherokee Nation) and soak it all in. We can all learn from past mistakes to blessings. Larry’s book is one of many I hope to bring to the circle.
Larry’s book is the first of his journey into writing, and quite a delightful read, as said a few paragraphs ago, for young to old ages. Visit his website, Larry Spotted Crow Mann- Whispering Basket, where you can purchase his book and read more! We hope Larry will graciously submit works, along with his other brothers and sisters I met at AWP!
Photo from top of reveiw, above, was willfully and graciously given for use by Larry Spotted Crow Mann for use on Cowboy Poetry Press site, no one has permission to take it for their own personal use. Permission must be given by photo owner, Larry Spotted Crow himself, written permission may be made through his contact on Whispering Basket website.
Photo on bottom, above, is proof the author Elizabeth Akin Stelling, managing editor of Cowboy Poetry Press, whom read this book; if you notice, my computer corner and bed coverings could not be totally edited, the book finds no rest on my nightstand.
February 18, 2013
It’s well known that an artist becomes more popular by dying, so I’m typing this with one hand while pummeling my head with a frozen mackerel with the other. I’ve done art for several magazines, newspapers, websites, commercial and governmental clients, books, and scribbling – but mostly drooling – on tavern napkins. I also create art pro bono for several animal rescue groups. I was awarded the 2004 James Award for my cover art for Champagne Shivers. I recently illustrated the Cimarron Review, Stories for Children, and Still Crazy magazine covers. Take a gander ( or a goose ) at my online gallery: _www.angelfire.com/sc2/cartoonsbycartwright_ (http://www.angelfire.com/sc2/cartoonsbycartwright) . And please hurry with your response – this mackerel’s killin’ me! Your pal, Steve Cartwright“
Heartache and Pards
His words were plain and to the point,
“Sometimes this life just sucks.
She does her best to throw ya down,
She boogers and she bucks.”
The cowboy knew the trail I rode,
The steep and rocky way.
I came for lies and platitudes,
But truth was all he’d say.
“You’re gonna hurt a good long time,
Ain’t nothin’ can be done.
You’ll ride awhile in blackest night,
Before ya see the sun.
The pain you feel ain’t nothin’ new,
Just look around, and know,
That scores of riders up ahead,
Have passed the way you’ll go.”
His thoughts were far from comforting,
Not what I came to hear.
His kindness smoothed their edges though,
And helped to calm my fear.
“There’s some will buckle to the test,
Some barely make it through.
But you, you’re tough. You’ll be just fine.
I’ve seen what you can do.
Remember that I’ll be right here,
When livin’ feels too hard.
If you should ever need a friend,
Just holler for yer pard.”
Debra G. Meyer’s was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she spent the first 10 years of her life. Her family then moved to Crane,Indiana. Debra married in 1974 at the age of eighteen, finished her education at Indiana State University in 1977, and by the age of 30 had two children and a job teaching elementary school. She wrote my first cowboy poem in 2007 after visiting a cowboy gathering in Fort Worth, Texas. Now 57 years old, have a small farm in Putnam County, Indiana, still teach school, and absolutely love writing cowboy poetry.
GUN FIGHT AT THE DIAMOND K CORRAL
It was one of those days at the ranch when you sensed something was going to happen—something fun but probably slightly dangerous. Grandpa, Uncle George and I were gathered on the back porch of the Bachelor Shack. On the agenda was a shooting match with the usual hyperbole regarding one’s expertise. Grandpa raised the ante to a bottle of Uncle George’s Courvoisier to the winner or, in the unlikely event that he lost, the same prize which he would obtain at the bar of the Rogers Hotel in Idaho Falls. Grandpa was generous and offered Uncle George a small victory sip. My uncle was “powerful annoyed” because first his cognac was dearer than life and second there was a strong possibility that his Dad would out shoot him. Furthermore his Dad knew exactly how to gore his ox. The shooting was over before it started. It wasn’t even close as the “hawkeye” punctured ten out of ten tin cans at 75 yards.
Uncle George was very unhappy and Grandpa was doing his best to restrain his gloating about his smashing victory. We retired to the front room of the Shack. I found an old seat out of the way and at a respectful distance from the combatants. Uncle George and Grandpa sat on the cots facing each other. They downed the bottle of cognac and then the conversation and its volume escalated. The egregious acts which followed became the stuff of legends.
Taking casual aim Grandpa shot a hole near the bottom of one of Uncle George’s gallon cans of honey and the resultant flow was spectacular and catastrophic. Then without a pause he shot a bottle of Hennessy where it had rested a long time under its owner’s savoring glance. Uncle George was furious—he had lost two bottles of cognac and a can of honey.
Before outrage set in, Grandpa was heading down the road with remarkable speed toward the ranch house. According to a reliable source, he ran upstairs and hid in the closet.
Within seconds Uncle George burst through the door shouting,
“Where is he? I’m going to kill him.”
In her customary calm voice Grandma said. “Put down the gun, Junior. You know he didn’t mean anything.”
Uncle George was still indignant, “Didn’t mean anything!” He detailed the damages and his grievances.
Grandma raised her hand and declared, “There will be restitution. Now put down the gun!!”
Uncle George did and the crisis was averted. In a few days Grandpa was seen heading toward the Bachelor Shack with a gallon can of honey and two bottles of Courvoisier—-a special affirmation of the wondrous love between father and son.
Later Grandma asked me to recite the events of the great shoot out. She listened and pronounced, “Those damn fools. They could have killed my grandson.”
I replied, “Maybe not Grandma, I was ready to duck.”
Michael J. Keyser in his formative years spent summers and other free time at the family ranch, the Diamond k located in southeastern Idaho. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in English. While there, he won the John B. Wanamaker Prize for Excellence in English Composition.
Mr. Keyser served as the President of the American Cancer Society, Cuyahoga County Unit. He was also a Park Commissioner in Hudson, Ohio. For several years he served on the Board of the Summit-Portage County Health Systems Agency.
He also has published four works of fiction. His hobbies are writing, walking and woodworking. Mr. Keyser is very active in his church with outreach ministries serving senior health facilities.
February 12, 2013
The Lonesome Cowboy
The lonesome cowboy, he’s out on a roam.
With thirty miles of fence to mend, and today’s grown old.
He finds an old cotton tree, says: “Guess here tonight I’ll be…”
He throws down his saddle and poke,
pulls out some hard tack, coffee and a smoke,
and the frayed-edged letter from Maria, the only one who wrote.
The lonesome cowboy, he’ll pass the night away,
The Hotel of a Million Stars, that’s where he likes to stay.
He don’t got no house, don’t pay no rent.
Out on the range, he’s so content.
A new moon’s on the rise, he’s searching the starry sky,
Thinking about Maria, and her boy, who’s got his eyes.
The lonesome cowboy he’s tired, he calls it a day.
Lays down his head to rest, he dreams the night away,
of Colorado, and pasture sweet, tall green grass, wading through waste deep.
On his cow horse with his cow dog, the cowboy drives ‘em on,
up to Colorado from New Mexico, he’s dreaming on and on and on.
The lonesome cowboy, he’ll pass his life away.
He’ll be riding herd, and mending fence, he’ll even put up some hay.
He don’t like concrete, it kind of hurts his feet.
His cowboy boots don’t wear even on a street.
There’s just one thing that he wants. That’s to find the love he lost.
He’s whispering to the wind, and he sends her his kind thoughts.
Yea, he’s whisperin’ to the wind, and he sends her his kind thoughts.
Yea, he’s whisperin’ to the wind, and he sends her his kind thoughts.
Going to Maria, Maria…
Espero te, siempre, mi amor, mi amor perdido, Maria…
(I’ll wait for you, forever, my love, my lost love, Maria)
Arthur Davenport’s musical career spans 30 years of songwriting and
performance. He first started playing in the Washington D.C. folk
scene in the 1980′s and then moved on to the southwest scene during
the 90′s while living in New Mexico.
Arthur has been featured on National Public Radio performing his song,
“Lonesome Cowboy,” specially written for a cowboy music compilation
album entitled “‘Round-em Up!” Arthur now lives in Hawai’i where he
has been a house musician at the Hilo Palace Theater for the past ten
A LACY VICTORIAN VALENTINE
Can you feel the ride and rise of the sun
This mid-February day bucking against
The rusted spur and crumbling saddle of Jack Frost?
We done got the heifers all calved
Mostly in the ice of January nights
I reached into more than one cow
Afraid with the strange pain spewing new life onto the prairie
Turning her calf to touch light.
The coyotes so full of after birth
Gave the wobbly newborns a free pass
To rise and walk with their mothers.
The sun is frisking more each day
And a tired cowboy can hope for a short ride its in warm rays
To ask you to wander with him a while behind the old barn
To that spot I know where the first buttercups each year
Slip up between the patches of melting snow
I put on my new jeans and a clean shirt and my Sunday go to meeting Stetson
Cleaned the mud off my boots and even shined them.
It shore would be nice if you could walk with me
In the mothering breeze near
That weather beaten barn
With its sides testifying for Mail Pouch tobacco
“Treat yourself to the best”
In fading red and yellow painted by a dead hand some half century ago
Persisting like my feelings for you as the years say adios
To yesterday’s yearlings.
I wanted to share this lacy Victorian valentine
My great granddaddy gave my great grandmamma
Here on the ranch,
He warn’t no better with words than I am
But the pink lace and the frills and the buttercups
Would talk his feelings for her a whole lot better than his wind chapped lips
And tongue rusted from the silence of riding alone.
Tyson West is a is a traditional western poet whose aesthetic continually shape shifts. He watches the Northwest with veiled and hooded lynx eyes, broods among the conifers and quarrels with Coyote. He has a degree in history, but writes a variety of poetry styles, and has written a series of poems around Spokane Garry who is our local magical Indian. One of Tyson’s Western poems was published in Spoke Magazine called “Floorshow”, which is based on a picture of a 1922 floorshow in the Davenport Hotel which photo you can find on line. He lives in the middle of Eastern Washington, which is definitely cowboy country. There are two Washingtons, Eastern and Western, and they are as different as a Mocah Mint Latte with organic goats milk and black boiled coffee at a chuck wagon fire.
February 5, 2013
Ballad Of Rufus Hartz
First time I ever seen her was in the Rodeo parade
Jesse Sue ridin tall by her pa there in the cavalcade
Me I had a right good view, as the clown with the broom and pan
Sweepin’ up them hot horse apples and puttin’ em in the can.
See Billy didn’t have no sons, his wife a long time ago
Had run off one night with a deputy come up from Del Rio.
Since then him and Jesse Sue they run their ranch alone
Hunnert and forty acres of hardpan, flint and stone.
Their ranch raised Buckin’ Broncos for to sell to rodeos.
Mighty tough work, I reckon just ‘bout everyone knows.
Wranglin’ broncs is cowboy tough and it’s easy to git hurt
But Jesse Sue and her daddy never minded dirt nor work.
Now the Rodeo market ever’one knows is pert’ much a bumpy ride
Billy figured just to be safe, he need sumthin’ on the side.
Now hogs is sure fast money, and raisin’ ‘em aint much fun.
But Big Black pigs will market just under a quarter ton.
Big Blacks, was a new kind of breed
Round here they’d never been seen
On accounta them hogs, while they grow mighty big
They tend to git powerful mean.
But the brood sow never quit turnin’ out choats
A reg’lar piggie machine
So when the Rodeo market was cold or flat,
Them pigs paid the bills in between.
They’re fierce them Big Black hogs,
They’ll fuss and fight at the trough
Snarlin’ and bitin’, pushin’ and shovin’
By God don’t them hogs play rough.
So Billy rigged him a feed chute
Then he’d never have to go in.
He’d feed them murderous Big Blacks
Him standin’ outside the pig pen.
Other day I seen her sittin’ tall on her Appaloosa mare
Her hand above her eyebrows blockin’ out the glare
Over by the water tank I was hidin’, layin’ low down in the draw
Of course I weren’t s’posed to be there, on accounta Jesse’s pa.
He’d ordered me off’n their place and he threatened to call the law
He’d seen me a’ peekin through the winder of an evenin’ late last fall.
The man don’t understand there aint no harm in a’ lookin’
Watchin’ through the winder pane at a pretty girl jist cookin’.
Yesterday I seen her it was at Old Gumps Feed and Seed
Helpin’ her daddy Billy, they was stackin’ sacks o’ feed
Slingin’ bags of horse feed from the tailgate to the cab
Pigtails shinin’ golden in a shirt of pretty plaid.
Now Billy’s eye’s don’t see so good, and his hearin’s a total wreck
So creepin’ round the ranch house is much easier than you’d suspect
So tonight I’m gonna slip to her winder, jist to take me a little peek,
And watch the pretty fourteen year old get ready to go to sleep.
Late that night Jesse Sue awakened, them pigs was a raisin all hell
Somthin’ in their food shoot she could hear it clear as a bell
Why was daddy feedin those bruisers there in the dark of the night?
Then the pigs got all quiet, she rolled over and put out the light.
The deputy and the coroner lifted what was left to the ambulance
“Crazy as a bedbug, old Rufus he never had any sense.
And whatcha reckon he was doin’ in Jesse Sue’s pig sty at night
With them hogs was known to be vicious and ever so quick to fight?”
“There ain’t no accountin’ with a bad sort, one like that old Rufus Hartz
Ain’t it awful what them hogs has done, ‘specially to his lower parts.”
Death by accident was the verdict that day at the coroner’s inquest.
In a plain pine box the sheriff and her daddy laid Rufus Hartz to rest.
Gary Ives is a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer who lives with his wife and two
big dogs in the Ozarks where he grows apples and writes.
You can find more of his work and other ramblings here- Gary Ives
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