October 2014 Issue- Week 5

November 4, 2014

“Better late than never!” our managing editor Ms. Stelling says. It’s been busy around the pub office since we began 1 year to the date publishing authors poetry and flash fiction books. And we look forward to more manuscript submission for next fall! We would love to see some western genre manuscripts come out way, since there are so many of you submitting to this ezine.

See our submission guidelines at http://www.reddashboard.com for more information, dates are Oct 1st – Feb 28th.

Enjoy this months issues 1, 2, 3 & 4!

LindaWoods_GypsyColtsWinterday (1)

‘Gypsy Colts Winter Day’ photo by Linda Woods

“They are two year old Gupsy Vanner Colts at Magic Gypsy Ranch.”

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

Whining Dog Road

Bumpy and narrow the gravel road
Twisted up the mountain
A red streak like a rusted spiral staircase.
No guardrail gave false assurance.
No warning signs marked the way.

The skidding tires on hairpin turns
Shushed the already quiet forest.
Only a lone raven glided overhead
Cackling caution.

From the back of the truck
Came a whimper and whine
As the dog registered his unhappiness.
The driver chuckled, “That dog must have to go.”

In a wide spot the truck halted,
The driver released the dog.
But, the passenger and the dog both knew
Nature’s call wasn’t the reason for the stop.
It was the wild ride on Whining Dog Road.

Donnaa Meyer lives in Prescott, Arizona with her husband and dog. She’s been a professional storyteller since 1980. Recently, having been exploring poetry as a vehicle for story. Donna is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Masters in Instructional Technology. Now retired, she was a children’s librarian for twenty-five years.

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Coyotes and Cowgirls

for Buffy St. Marie

1
Yes, the occasional rock was tossed,
but they were free to go and never left,
coyotes of the sidelong glances
and sidling steps and delicate paws.

2
No yellow eyes in my headlights tonight
but The Morning Call’s full of corroborated tales

3
Stories of the breasts of cowgirls
whose dresses rode over their calves.
More stories of the miners’ daughters
and sad parental sieves and pans.

4
And on her hip, a silver dagger.
That’s why I’m yodeling cowboy songs.

Ken Fifer’s poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Ploughshares, and other journals. Sometimes he wishes he were a cowboy.

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

A Prairie Frost

Woke up this morning to a prairie frost.
Saw warm breath rising through cold air.
Rolled a bedroll in an oilcloth stiff with cold.
Hard frozen ground
and the crunch of frosted grass.
Heard the message and felt the change in the season.
Thought of warmer mornings in southern climes;
of lush evenings on coral shores.
Stood up, looked east into the rising sun.
Breathed deep the cold clear air.
Turned into the wind,
let it brush aside the years,
and clear my mind.

Rode in this morning through a prairie dawn.
This was a gift I could not ignore.
Stopped and spread my arms
across a golden arch.
Felt the sun push back the chill.
Felt blood flow.
Heard birdsong.
And from the Dawn came clarity
in that slow reveal.
Vision and understanding
not from a rising star
but from the turn of a wheel.

Rode home this morning through a prairie night.
Only thing bigger than a prairie sky.
Reached up to touch infinity.
Saw my hand washed by eternity.
Starlight from all of time.
All moments, in one moment.
All places, in one place.
All my life – an instant.
All my travels, home.
Time is not a prison
The future is no escape.
We are…All…Here…Now.

Andy Kerr-Wilson  is a member of “LiPS”; a rural slam poetry collective in Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. After a lifetime of writing poetry in his head, he began performing and publishing 5 years ago and competed at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Canadian National Slam competitions. His published works reflect his 40 years as a wilderness guide and a love of horses and back country rides. When not riding in the ring or on trails, he and his wife Nancy, live ‘off the grid’ on 9 acres of rock and trees and swamp in a self-built passive solar home.

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

An Old West Hymn

Drag back his body alone and dead.
Sky bleeds dawn come a holsterin’ gun–
When he lassos moon by deed of dread.
Drag back his body alone and dead.
He shall see no stars from shallow bed!
Hunt sovereign beast, and if low he run:
Drag back his body–alone and dead.
Sky bleeds dawn come a holsterin’ gun.

Gabe Russo recently graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in film-making. His films have played at various film festivals in Florida and North Carolina. Gabe enjoys writing poetry, flash fiction, and screenplays, and currently reside in Melbourne, Florida. He is also also an avid John Ford cinephile.

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

October 2014 Issue- Week 3

October 19, 2014

 

Enjoy this months issues 1 & 2 before this!

Narcissus_Christopher Woods

‘Narcissus’ by Christopher Woods

Chris said that horses are often afraid of their own reflection.

Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Texas. He has published a novel, THE DREAM PATCH, a prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, and a book of stage monologues for actors, HEART SPEAK. His photographs can
be seen in his gallery – http://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com/

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

The Reclaimed Dogs

Our family deals in discarded dogs,
all wagging tails and toothy grins
and wide watching eyes.
When the coyotes howl at the moon
our little pack offers them a response –
a warbling stalemate, a cold war on a cold night.
The beginning of summer is heralded
by handfuls of dog wool
pulled out by metals combs and loving hands,
and summer is over
when big beds of hay beckon to creatures
bred for the arctic.
In the fall not a berry or crabapple escapes them.
Not even falling pecans are safe.
They know what fire is, and how
hot dogs and marshmallows are sometimes nearby.
In the spring, when life is blooming,
see four dogs on a perpetual Easter egg hunt.
Horses watch with weary glances, only half interested.
I know the seasons by fur
and hunts
and berries
and hay,
by the twitch of a nose and the wag of a tail,
because my family deals in discarded dogs.

Virginia “Jena” McLaurin– Originally from Georgia, Virginia “Jena” McLaurin is of Eastern Cherokee and European descent. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a primary interest in stereotypes of Native American peoples. Virginia finds inspiration for her poetry in issues she has faced since childhood – difficult subjects such as identity and misconceptions of Native people – but also from nature, her family, and her work with Native communities and especially Native youth. She aspires to write poems that reflect both the difficulties of being Native as well as the beauty and depth of Native cultures, and she hopes that her poetry inspires readers to reflect on their own family heritage and cultures.

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

GLEANING

by Dawn Schout

She searches the ravaged,
muddy field, the broken
stalks, red cobs stripped
of kernels. The black
cat follows. She has to go
out further than normal. Corn
is harder to find this year.
The husks she expects
to find full are empty.
Time is against her, the sun
a rotting pumpkin, sinking
behind leafless trees.
She is ready to give
up searching when
something rolls under her black
boot. She rips
off the dried, freckled
husk, the silk,
wet from muddy water.
Gold greets her.

Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in more than 50 publications, including *Cowboy Poetry Press*, *Dagda Publishing*, *Poetry Quarterly*, *Red River Review*, and *Tipton Poetry Journal*. She was nominated for Best of the Net in 2013. Her debut poetry collection, *Wanderlust*, is scheduled to be published in January 2015 by WordTech Editions.

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

CRACKED

He finally died of heat prostration;
old desert rat lived in a shack 52 years
before a simple sprain led to a short fall
onto a midsized rock that broke
a thin hip riddled with Osteoporosis
and he goes from rat to snake in a desperate crawl
in search of away from the sun
with tiny cacti for water but nothing for shade
except his old imagination that finally wandered
back to childhood in the Twin Cities moving
Minneapolis to St. Paul to Minneapolis
and so on winter by dark, white winter
until even barely breathing baked dust and sand
he still remembers the frostbite of childhood
and graces the canyon with one final, cracked smile.

Hubert Hix was born and raised in Oklahoma. His Grandfather Hix moved there as a teenager around the time of the land rush. He now lives in Minnesota. Recent publications include poems in Lilliput Review, Under the Basho, and Right Hand Pointing.

October 2014 Issue- Week 2

October 14, 2014

“Better late than never!” our managing editor Ms. Stelling says. It’s been busy around the pub office since we began 1 year to the date publishing authors poetry and flash fiction books. And we look forward to more manuscript submission for next fall! We would love to see some western genre manuscripts come out way, since there are so many of you submitting to this ezine.

See our submission guidelines at www.reddashboard.com for more information, dates are Oct 1st – Feb 28th.

Enjoy this months issues!

mphoto043 (1)

Photo by Malinda Fillingim of David Fillingim singing at a chuck wagon event at the Booth Western Museum, Cartersville, GA.

COWBOY SHOWERS

She never liked the smell of cattle
Keeping me clean was always her battle
I sprayed myself twice a day
Just to keep the fighting at bay.

It never dawned on me
That my arm pits stank
But daily she reminded me
With many big yanks.

Get in the shower
She’d loudly declare
While I wash out
Your dirty underwear.

I wonder if her
Love is enough
To keep me clean
Not smelling of snuff

Maybe it is,
Maybe it’s not,
But this shower
Is way too hot.

She can’t cook
Her love’s gone sour,
So why am I here
Scrubbing in a shower?

I’ll grab my clothes
And all that’s pretty
And find a woman
Who’ll love me dirty!

Malinda and David Fillingim have been married for over 30 years and live in Leland, NC. They both teach at Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, NC. David is an award winning writer of many books and articles, including Georgia Cowboy Poets and Malinda takes really good photos with a camera she bought at a thrift store for one dollar. Contact either one at fillingam@ec.rr.com.

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INDIAN CAMP OF THE HUDSON VALLEY – A True Story

There was no reservation,
only houses and shanties
in the wetlands along the Esopus Creek.
Not good land, it flooded
in the Springs when the run-off
to the river was high.
Dutch burghers and Tory descendants
disdained it, but
it was place to these displaced Algonquians,
Lenape from New Jersey, Manhattan and Delaware.
They took the twenty-fours dollars worth of trinkets
for land they did not own,
and they knew farming,
how to make fabric from plants and skins.
They had kitchen gardens
tended by women and children.
In time before driven out of the valley,
men worked the slate mines,
skidding great gray slabs on timbers
to Hudson’s stolen river.
Straining horses and men delivered
the sidewalks of New York
to barges dipping and bowing
in the residual tides of estuary.
Commerce walked like a ghost
on the water
of the Creek and of the River,
slipping away toward Manhattan
and the sea.

Howard Winn has published over 400 poems and short stories in various competitive selection literary magazines. He’s published one book of poetry, and has been nominated for a Push Cart Press Award three times. Winn has appeared in two poetry anthologies, one published in the Ashland Poetry Series and one of Hudson Valley poets edited by Mary Gordon. He’s been included in one anthology celebrating the 300th year anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River.

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

Blessings Be Upon You, Horace Greely

“Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.”
So, I followed the Conestogas
and found forever, an Eden,
endless vistas that promised
vast possibilities of success.
With no gaurantee in my pocket,
save that of manhood’s training,
I trusted myself,
and called myself frontiersman
when in truth I was a gambler separated
from those who sought safety in civilization.
And I, a being formed by space itself,
untamed, unrestrained
except by natural age and failing,
chart my course by stars named
Sea. Sage. Sequoia.
Mesa, rio, arroyo—
commissioned by God to dare.
Experiment.
Build.
Fashion.
A demigod in boots and chaps
wielding a branding iron instead of lightning bolts,
I did not know the Great Divide
was more than just geography,
that those contented
with being Europe’s mirror
would become my enemy
because they fear the freedom
of the ultimate question:
Now that God has made him,
what can a man make of himself?

Jenean McBrearty is a graduate of San Diego State University, a former community college instructor who taught Political Science and Sociology, and is finishing a certificate in Veteran Studies. Her fiction has been published in a slew of print and on-line journals including Cigale Literary Magazine, 100 Doors to Madness Anthology, Mad Swirl and The Moon; her poetry has been accepted by Van Gogh’s Ear and Page & Spine; and her photographs have appeared in Foliate Oak Literary Journal and Off the Coast Magazine among others. Her novel, The 9th Circle was published by Barbarian Books, serials Raphael Redcloak and Retrolands can be found on Jukepop.com. Web-page: Jenean-McBrearty.com.

October is also dedicated to Robert Penven, one of our beloved poets passed last night after a surgery that wasn’t suppose to cause problems. He was 81, and was one of our biggest supporters, lived here in New Jersey, about an hour away from the managing editor who met him at a local Vineland poetry group, Poetry-go-round once a month. RIP dear cowboy, you are missed…

October 2014 Issue- Week 1

October 4, 2014

“Better late than never!” our managing editor Ms. Stelling says. It’s been busy around the pub office since we began 1 year to the date publishing authors poetry and flash fiction books. And we look forward to more manuscript submission for next fall! We would love to see some western genre manuscripts come out way, since there are so many of you submitting to this ezine.

See our submission guidelines at www.reddashboard.com for more information, dates are Oct 1st – Feb 28th.

Enjoy this months issues!

 

EPSON MFP image

(Click to enlarge)
Watercolor ‘Steeds’ by Anj Marth

Ocean steeds was inspired by a story my great-grandmother told me when I first started riding horseback. Selkies are beautiful horses that live in the sea, and come to shore to tempt people to try to catch them. If you bridle one, or get on its back (it will let you) it will drag you into the deeps with it, and there’s no escape.

Anj Marth was born in the early 70s, and grew up on the east coast of the US, near Philadelphia. She has since moved and traveled all over the country, by road. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and
considers it home. She works in a variety of mediums and has been a professional,licensed tattoo artist since the late 90s.

Her condensed portfolio can be seen here- Anj Marth Portfolio

 

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KODACHROME BOOTS

This here’s a tale bout widow Beall and me,
a very close call as far as I can see.
Nearly hung myself from a stout oak tree,
when she proclaimed she’s “a gonna marry thee”!

Now, widow Beall was a comely lass,
much appeal and a cute little…….well.
Dumb as a sheep and not much class,
spit fire temper and a whole lot of sass.

Not fix’n to marry, ner give’n a dang hoot,
rather ride me a bronc, raise hell and shoot.
Single I’ll stay, til I be a grizzled old coot,
and all this started o’er a Kodachrome boot.

A life riding single with a little spare loot,
I’d spent honest big money on Kodachrome boots.
With huge eagle wings, patterns fanciful stitched,
never reckoned on them boots a get’n me hitched.

Them knee high boots just glowed by day,
bright yellar and red with horned lizard inlay.
Strong ride’n heels built up real high,
with side seam piping, blue as the sky.

Chartreuse pull straps above scalloped top,
a rainbow of colors that seemed never to stop.
Big ole eagles, blueish green and dark taupe,
tawdry beauty from some boot makers shop.

Kodachrome boots made from the best of cowhide,
brash as a peacock cowboy on an afternoon ride.
Clean shirt, fresh hat, pants stuffed inside,
One of a kind boots, whispered ego and pride.

When corralled by the widow, I couldn’t break free,
She’d always look down and then I could see,
her eyes come alive, twinkling romance and glee,
It was them boots she truly loved and not really me!

I hatched an idea to get me outta her plan,
and git back on the trail as fast as I can.
Just need to convince my first cousin Stan,
widow Beall needs some lov’n and he is her man.

Got Stan a new Stetson, wild rag and new suit,
a bath, and some tonic, why he looked darn right cute.
And to sweet’n the deal, first time in the chute,
I gave him my pair of those kodachrome boots.

Marc Bradshaw– Though raised in the hills and hollows of central Kentucky, the southwest U.S. beckoned immediately after high school graduation. Over the next 50 years California’s San Joaquin valley and parts south of Bakersfield, in Santa Fe New Mexico, and currently Mesquite Nevada were home to life and
work.

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

COME HAVEN OR LOW WATER

by Rodney Nelson

when we hear the recorded whoop of
a cowboy cello we’re not truant
only away from our home butte
on the Niobrara

we are the men of earth we have been
and when we reinvent the odor
of horse and hay we ride and forget
what larrupt us to town

there won’t ever be a flareout of
the world or a man-roping event
in the oil range we hold the dream to
on the Niobrara

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

COWBOY OF THE SEA

His name is Keealani,
a cowboy of the sea.
Needs the wind upon his back,
that bucking ride to set him free.

He wrestles surf and ocean
gripping tight and holding strong,
waiting for horns blowing
counting seconds short and long.

Got his lasso round his ankle
his bolo tie, a string of shells,
biggest difference in this cowboy
is his fishy stinky smell.

No manure or dirt upon him,
just the residue of sand,
cause this cowboy’s ride is over
when he steps upon the land.

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist and recently emerged poet, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Poetry Bus, Red Fez, The Muse, An International Journal of Poetry, Deep Water Literary Journal, Electric Windmill, Maelstrom, mad swirl, and Dual Coast.  Her first chapbook, We Look for Magic and Feed the Hungry has been published by MCI. She just won the Nantucket Poetry Competition, a semi-finalist in Casey Shay chapbook competition, and has her first collection coming out this winter with Red Dashboard Publishing.  Recently widowed from her love of 21 years, she lives with her 2 amazing teens, and can be found frolicking in the waves.  Follow her: www.thehealedheart.net

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What’s New In June

July 2, 2014

Well, we got our first anthology out of the gate, Unbridled. It seems to have been a success, as we get orders on a weekly basis. And we want to thank all the contributors for their wonderful submissions!

Clark Crouch
C.B. Anderson
Tony Magistrale
Julia Klatt Singer
Debra Meyer
Al Ortolani
Alison L. Thalhammer
Nina Romano
Telly McGaha
Tyson West
Rodney Nelson
Larry Spotted Crow Mann
Ray Sharp
Nicole Yurcaba
Tom Sheehan
Lily Goderstad
Kevin Heaton
Greg T. Miraglia
Chrystal Berche
Linda M. Hasselstrom
Dawn Schout
Luke MacLean
Vera Constantineau
Chris Ridenour
John J. Brugaletta
Leroy Trussell
Andrew Jarvis
Bandon Black
Robert Krenz
Christopher Ackerman
Andy Kerr-Wilson
Geoff (Poppa Mac) Mackay
John Strickland
Courtney Leigh Jameson
Della West
Smokey Culver
Merle Grabhorn
Elaine Shea
Jack Phillip Lowe
Laura Jean Schneider
Stanley M. Noah
Henry Marchand
Robert Penven
Julia R. Barrett
Paul Piatkowski
Gary Ives
Nathaniel Towers
M.V. Montgomery
JD DeHart
Dawn Schout

Without you, we would just be an empty field of dreams…

What’s next?

There will be a 2015 issue, submissions are open Oct 2014-Feb. 28th, 2015.

And…

We are accepting submission for our fall issue of CPP, deadline is October 1st!
email: editor@reddashboard.com

Early Spa (1)

It’s miles to Miles City across this grassy flat,
And cattle by the dozens can gorge themselves to fat

A drilling firm in fifty-six came here for a go
They struck no oil, just pressurized but thermal H 2 O

The flow was such ‘twas feared, that if left to spout alone
The water well would soon enough drain old Yellowstone

They capped their geyser, and then astute’ new owners saw
A straight and forward way to build a basic spa

One night some high school students broke in and got a start
They landed in the hospital with burns on private parts

From real fear of lawsuits, then, dismantled was their dream;
Excepting this one lonely tub, there’s little left but steam. 

Larry Stanfel has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Management Science from Northwestern University, held the rank, Professor, at several universities, and worked frequently as a consultant for the federal government and to private business. He has published two books – another is in review – seventy articles, mostly peer-reviewed, in periodicals, about a dozen poems, and several web pieces. Twice a winner of competitive fellowships for post-doctoral research abroad, he has presented papers around the world and been an invited speaker in a number of countries. Listed in Who’s Who in America, Dr. Stanfel presently lives with his artist wife, Jane, on a small ranch in Montana.

Painting above, ‘The Spa’ by Jane Stanfel

An artist most of her life, Jane, painting in a realistic-impressionist style, works primarily in oils and watercolors. Her paintings are found throughout the United States and Europe, including the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. She has had exhibitions across Montana which document the lives and ranches of original settlers. She also had a month-long solo show at Jadite Galleries, New York City; been part of a show in Brussels, Belgium; had a solo exhibit in Seattle, Washington, two at the .Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and two in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Her painting, Old Time Branding, was chosen as the logo for the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, August, 2008, and she completed a series of oil and watercolor paintings of endangered species for Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf Shores, Alabama. Her painting entitled It Never Had Brakes, is featured in the book, Montana: Stories of the Land, by Krys Holmes, Montana Historical Society Press, Helena, Montana, 2008. She has conducted children’s art classes throughout Montana and is listed in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, and the Archives on Women Artists, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D. C. She and her art have been featured in magazines and newspapers across Montana, and her art has been reviewed in the New York art journal, Gallery and Studio. June/July/August 2008.

Her oil paintings have been sold in galleries throughout the United States including Kertesz International Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, California; Wilson Adams Art Gallery, Denver, Colorado; Cody Country Art League, Cody, Wyoming; Dancing Bear Gallery, Evanston, Illinois; and JaneStanfel.com.

Tumbleweed

Photo taken by Mindy Wilson, Kentucky, USA

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TUMBLING WEED

by Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina, USA

				I

So this little tumble was taken . . . 
So was I.
	Weed,
wiry hair in the scuds,
reflecting
in the sun.

A thimble roll of gather
licks and bucks the shells
and white caps
pointing out
plovers.
		
				II

I am a flower of awe, 
an awesome blossom of reflections

like a pledge to sand
the ocean’s goodness.

My father’s hands fumble
when he leaves my mother

nestled in the sea:
I am planted.

				III

I’m a rider
writing all night long
my parents’ enchanting whirl.

Daylight sports 
horizon clearly connecting to the sea

in different colors, tresses,
light blue, a sail of whitish wisps,
then the dark exhaust-tinged mirage

and more sludge now in the shallows:
still no birds in sight,
just the tumbleweeds,
disengaged from their parent-roots,

to move with the wind,
breathing in and out,
the tumbleweed,
as its umbilical is free from the old
and must take on 

a god or goddess 
drifting along.  The day is done.

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

TUMBLEWEED JUSTICE

By Michael Jerry Tupa

It was the summer of ‘83,
when L’il Slow Joe, last name Dundee,
appeared on the far horizon,
with the shimmering sun just risin’
smell of pancakes and sizzling bacon
lingering in the glowing dawn.

Sheriff Green and deputy were gone,
only real law left was Doc Myron Braun
asleepin’ on his small office cot,
dreamin’ colorful dreams of naught,
while into town Dundee jockeyed,
rollin’ in like a lonely tumbleweed.

Only 5-foot-4 and red peach fuzz
no one knew, or cared, who he was,
just a boy ridin’ on a high horse,
following a lonely, uncharted course,
horse stumbling down main street,
both lookin’ for somethin’ solid to eat.

Hot breakfast cost most of a quarter,
sleepy horse was stabled by a porter,
Dundee asked about a hotel room,
crawled into the white-sheet womb
snuggling in for a daylong’s rest,
sleepin’ ‘til sun was deep in the west.

Risin’ in the sunset’s grayish gloom,
Dundee emerged from his warm tomb,
strolling to the nearby noisy saloon,
seeking dinner and a pretty tune,
a perhaps a fast game of cards,
he saw the bar; he gave his regards.

Slow Joe’s money pile mushroomed tall,
while other angry players cast a pall,
one in particular, Cheyenne Pete,
a loud gentleman, most indiscreet
fingered his trigger and questioned why,
suggesting Dundee’s time might be nigh.

It’s a bitter tale to recall, dear friend.
for Slow Joe Dundee it was the end,
Doc Braun didn’t know who to notify
no one around to bid a fond good-bye —
Pete never knew he shot his brother.
(Dundee’s sad horse went to another.)

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

WE ROAMED THE SANDS

by Robert L. Penven, Vineland, New Jersey, USA

During my daily walk
by the ocean,
I encounter a curiosity.
a tumbleweed had become
mired in the sand,
close by the tide line.
I asked this strange wonder
how it got there, well knowing
it wouldn’t sacrifice
its secrets.
So, I left it behind
though not out of mind,
for others to contemplate.

Tomorrow will bring
a day of new life for me.
as for the tumbleweed,
the wind must embrace
the burden for journeys to come.
it will surely succeed
through the living world
but stop to share tribute
to those of late.
though it no longer plays
with the gulls and terns,
I will recall this curiosity
with warm thoughts.

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

BLUE ON BLUE

by Miss Cathryn Evans

Rivulets chased after the ebbing tide, sighing softly against the sand, lovers parting just as they had done that distant day.
The sea rushed forward once more to clasp the shores sandy face in a sweet embrace and kiss away the briny tears, only to leave again however fleetingly.
The never ending bitter-sweet love story of the shore.
She wondered if he would return, if he would rush to hold her close once again.
The gentle breeze seasoned her lips and inspired a tumbleweed to skip along the waters edge, a knot of mermaids hair.
The softly foaming manes of white horses lapped playfully at her feet. These gentle colts would grow to fiery stallions with the spring tides, stampeding along the coast, leaping and taking flight, their breath to fall like rain.
The shore had its seasons just like the prairie. Both were ever changing yet never changing.
The sky was a beautiful blue. Blue on blue on blue above the graphite shaded sea. It reminded her of his eyes. They showed his moods just as clearly. Were they still bright and alive or were they dead and turning milky as his body lay torn in a bloody, muddy battlefield?
She shook herself. She knew he’d return just as surely as she knew she’d still love him no matter how broken this war left him. Civil war. There was nothing civil about it. A sour taste crept into her mouth.
Turning, she walked slowly toward the path that would eventually wind its way to their small house with its few acres. Her skirts felt heavy, the bottoms darkened by the water. Heavier still was the rifle she carried. It dwarfed her small frame but she clasped it against herself with her small, pale hands. She was glad of the weight. It kept her anchored in the here and now. She’d promised him she’d always carry it. He’d worried the fighting would spread this way but so far the only action it had seen was taking a rabbit or deer by the creek.
She prayed he’d be home soon.

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

CATCHIN

by Leroy Trussell

See’in yearlin rump,tail a wavin’.             
    Horse in a lather.
Tryin’ my patience,this misbehavin’.
   Hand full of rope to gather.

Caught up in the slack.
   Uh’ chasen yearlin bones.
Just a comin’ off Cedar Back.
   Sure’nuf a flyin’and kickin’ up stones.

My ol’ horse,breakin’ brush.
   In a weed eatin’ style.
A airy downhill thrush,
   Over a Cedar Back rock pile.

Stickin’ low in the saddle.
   On the heels of this-here critter.
Thorn’brush,cactus,and mesquite ta’ battle.
   But ain’t no fancy greenhorn quitter,

Ol’ bronc still between my knees.
   Throws my loop.
Catchin’ them bawl’lin horns with ease.
   Then tryin’ ta’ recoup.

Now the catchin’ get’in tougher.
   An the Sun,is get’in low.
Somehow a little rougher.
   Than this old Cowpoke us’ta know.

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

 

A TUMBLEWEED ON THE SHORE

by Smokey Culver

Did it drift in from the sea, or roll in from the plain?
	that tumbleweed knows only where it's been 
It travels on its journey where it stops along its way 
	for just awhile, then rolls away again 

It wanders down the sandy shore as salty breezes blow
	for miles  and miles not caring where it's bound
Like some old driftin' cowboy never staying in one place
	no roots to keep it anchored to the ground 

A tumbleweed's a symbol of the freedom of a time
	before the barbed wire fences came along
An image of the roving lifestyle, sleeping 'neath the stars
	a life we hear about in cowboy songs 

It rolls along to music that's created by the sound
	of waves as they come splashing in the sand
Of dry winds 'cross the desert or the thunder of a storm
	that soaks the ground in fields and pasture lands 

If that ol' tumbleweed could talk about where it has been
	the places that it's passed along its way
I'd sit and listen closely to its stories one by one
	about its travels every night and day 

That spirit of an old time cowboy in a brushy heap
	that moves along, takes little time to rest
It never settles down, and I know that it never will
	that tumbleweed, an icon  of the west...

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


SALT OR SAND

by Andy Kerr-Wilson

Comes a time
when we all
are tried and tested.
Comes a time
when we all
are measured up for bigger things.

Past paths and footsteps
bring us to it.
Decisions, avoided or postponed,
made in haste or agony.
And now,
all distractions and delays exhausted,
we stand on the edge of things,
confronted.

Comes a time
when we all
are alone with our own hearts.
Comes a time
when we all
are faced down by ourselves.

A journey’s end or its first acts.
A leap of faith or a final chapter.
Fresh starts or the last loose ends.
And now,
whether the dark unknown or the too familiar,
we are asked to find the courage,
within.

Comes a time
when we all
are up against it.
Comes a time
when we all
taste salt or find sand.

Time’s currents swirl,
and we choose.

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

TUMBLEWEED

by Arthur Davenport, The Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Red sun was born this morning,
I rose to watch through the peachy haze.
As the wind blew, I heard her calling,
For today, we are one,
You and me, summer is our name.

Tumbleweed, rumbling, tumbling,
knows the wind, she’s a friend.
Wild and free, just like me, tumbleweed, tumbleweed.

Don’t mistake me for somebody,
somewhere, somehow, that you once knew.
I’m not your daddy, or your old boyfriend,
or anyone who put you through,
the lover’s grindstone, fighting dust storms,
chasing ghosts that you once knew.
Didn’t you? Tumbleweed?

Tumbleweed, rumbling, tumbling,
knows the wind, she’s a friend.
Wild and free, just like me, tumbleweed, tumbleweed.

Woke up feeling lonely this morning,
Thinking about roots and a room with a view.
A hometown boy, with the simple joy
of settling down with a girl like you,
Yea you, you tumbleweed.

Tumbleweed, rumbling, tumbling,
knows the wind, she’s a friend.
Wild and free, just like me, tumbleweed, tumbleweed.

More than I can express to you
lies sleeping, dreaming, drowned.
The well is deep, eternal spring,
drink deep this life you found, tumbleweed.

Tumbleweed, rumbling, tumbling,
knows the wind, she’s a friend.
Wild and free, just like me, tumbleweed, tumbleweed.

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