December Issue- Week 1

November 30, 2013

WesKnappCowboy

‘Rough Rode Cowboy’

Wesley Knapp is a retired technology innovator and entrepreneur whom now spends his time cavorting with his life-long love of photography in Hanibal, MO. Knowing that it’s never too late, at age 54 Wesley is studying to earn his Masters Degree in Fine Art Photography. Wesley, along with his high school sweetheart wife Rhonda live in Hannibal, MO with 3 dogs, 4 cats and 2 chickens.

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Imagining My Father in Texas, 1960
“Well, the honky tonks of Texas were my natural second home.”–Waylon Jennings

Stetson pulled low over his twenty-something green eyes,
a cowboy-soldier who parts a saloon’s wooden, swinging doors,

his leather rancher boots, freshly shined,
conspicuous against the sawdust bathed floor–

a silver dime slotted in the fistfight-battered juke,
commanding Ernest Tubb and his Texas Troubadours’
“Walkin’ the Floors Over You”

for a green-eyed a girl he bedded in El Paso,
the cattle rancher’s daughter he broke in Corpus Christi.

Mounting a three-legged bar stool horse,
a Lone Star beer in his right hand,
the same calloused hand

in which he’d grasped Ol’ Upshot’s reins–
the bronc who catapulted him days before
on a longhorn ranch outside Brownsville.

Nicole Yurcaba hails from a long line of coal miners, Ukrainian immigrants and West Virginian mountain folk. She is an adjunct instructor of English and Developmental Reading, substitute teacher and farm hand hailing from West Virginia currently pursuing her Master of Humanities in English at Tiffin University. Her work has appeared in print and online journals such as VoxPoetica, Referential Magazine, Rolling Thunder Quarterly, Decompression, Hobo Camp Review, The Camel Saloon, Jellyfish Whispers, Napalm and Novocaine, Floyd County Moonshine and many others. In life, she enjoys taking the unbeaten path, and usually exits the scene pursued by bear.

************

Brenham

Roaming in indigo blooms
that encapsulate springtime,
grazing at leisure in meadows
emergent with life-force,
Jerseys and Holsteins abound
in the blue-jeweled grasslands
blanketing hillsides awash
in a radiant sun soak.

dl mattila is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. Her work has appeared in *Blast Furnace, Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, Lowestoft Chronicle, *and* Shot Glass Journal*, among others. Her poetry also displays on the Maier Museum of Art Ekphrastic Poetry webpage and at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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Cowboy Boot Clocks

whenever I see one of those stupid cowboy boot clocks
the ones where the leather is so heavily shellacked
they look like they’ve been carved out of wood
or molded in cheap, shiny plastic, I think of
my grandfather, the last real cowboy in my family
and especially I think of that time he came in
from working the horses with my dad, his socks caked with cow shit
and mud, swearing because some asshole had stolen his boots
probably to make into a couple of those stupid cowboy boot clocks.

He had been warned by Earl-down-the-way that
some asshole was stealing cowboy boots right off the roadside fence posts
probably to make into those stupid cowboy boot clocks that tourists love to buy
and Earl told him that if you take a nap after working the horses
don’t put your boots on the fence post because some
asshole’ll steal them, but grandpa didn’t want
snakes crawling into his boots while he was sleeping

so he put them on the fence post anyway
and some asshole drove by and stole them
probably to make into a couple of those stupid
heavily-shellacked cowboy boot clocks
the kind tourists always have to get at least one of
whenever they pass through this state
and grandpa had to come in from the fields in his stockings
he was real mad.

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes for the Minneapolis school district and writing classes at The Loft Literary Center. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, Slant, and The Tampa Review, and she is the 2011 recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published books are “Walking Twin Cities” and “Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch.”

************

The Heroes

A billowing cloud rose out of the West
And out of it rode two of the best
One clad in buckskin, the other in white
Blood brothers fused in friendship and fight.

With silver bullets and a mysterious mask,
A Ranger and his sidekick together in task:
Side by side to save the day
And when it was won the Ranger would say
In a hearty voice, “Heigh-ho Silver, away!”

There was Wild Bill, Cisco and Hopalong,
With Gene and Roy to sing us a song.
There was Champion, Trigger and Buttermilk:
White felt hats and scarves of silk;
Sidekicks like Gabby, Andy and Frog,
And don’t forget Bullet, the Wonder Dog.

Nobler men were not again to be seen
Upon this earth or on the screen.
And bolder deeds would never be done
With pearl handled Colts that flashed in the sun.

We knew right was right and wrong was wrong,
And that wrong would never win;
And all of the words to every song
Like “Back in the Saddle Again”.

That billowing cloud is now faded and gone,
But the lessons of the Heroes still linger on
With the voice I’ll remember to my final day,
Ringing out clearly, “Heigh-Ho Silver, Away!”

John Strickland TBA

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