October 2014 Issue- Week 4

October 29, 2014

 

Enjoy this months issues 1, 2, & 3!

LT and CLYDE

Artwork of ‘Texas Pepe and Clyde’ by Leroy Trussell

TEXAS PEPE AND CLYDE

by Leroy Trussell

TEXAS PEPE AND CLYDE

There comes ol’ Texas Pepe,
ridin’ his rugged tough Longhorn steer.
Caught him over yonder uh’ while back in the’ cactus and mesquite.
was headin’ uh’ cross the river, into the Wild Frontier.

Ol Clydes back, there ain’t no comparin’,
for a aii day ride.
Across the prairie uncaring,
just Texas Pepe and ol’ Clyde.

Clyde was just uh’ wild little calf,
when ol’ Texas Pepe came along.
Twas uh’ kind thought on Pepes behalf,
for Pete found him in uh’ wild Texas sand storm, blowin’ strong.

No halter upon his head,
just a pull on the horn,
An’ uh few kind words said,
across the prairie, never to forlorn.

As they go, Clyde tins to browse,
Pepe lays back and takes a nap.
When to encounter cows, ol’ Clyde will arouse.
Pepe just pulls on his earflap.

Clyde ain’t much on the run,
but he’s taken Texas Pepe many miles.
When to hit uh’ prairie town, people have a lot of fun,
leaving the folk’s there laughing, and Texas Pepe in smiles.

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

DINNER AT UNCLE BILL’S

I was never
a real, horse-riding cowboy.
Just a hand.

Alfafa and prairie
hay hauling, fixing fence with
a ride-along,

wearing Converse tennis
shoes chasing black angus cows.
and calves towards

chutes, up into
long red cattle trucks, hauled
across the Kaw.

Then I had
the real cowboy’s accorded treat
following calf castration.

My job then
was to toss calves, spread
their hind legs,

watch scrotums’ emptied,
eat 100 mountain oysters fondued
with Uncle Bill

Raymond Hall is a Kansas writer who loves to spin tales and poetry about his past work on the range.

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

A Little Longer Than The Moment

Dang. I left my camera in my other shirt
I say to myself like a tourist.
Wire-cutters I brought, a hammer,
a shovel, an iron bar,
and a coffee can full of nails I’d salvaged.
An extra pair of gloves. Water.
But a camera hadn’t made the list for months.

Not like there wasn’t room in the truck.
Plenty of space even for some pencils,
a lined pad or old faded receipts that could
still take a mark. I could have written something down.

Why, not even two weeks ago I saw the biggest snake
I’d ever encountered coiled up and around a post,
his head as pitted and gravelly as old adobe
resting flat on top, impassive as a mummy.

That would have been a picture. Or at least a good poem.
I’ve seen hawks fight to exhaustion over rabbits.
I’ve felt the wind blowing so hard
it embedded mesquite tines like bullets in the side of the truck.
I should have taken a picture of that.

I should have taken a picture of how many nails
a post can hold. Maybe I should have written about
how when the fence wire is tight enough it sings
a real low note. A good fence has to be at least that tight.

I’m sure I have a camera somewhere. Maybe tomorrow
I will at least put a pencil and a notepad in the truck.
I have left enough blood and sweat on this landscape.
I am no longer a tourist.

Alan Birkelbach is a native Texan, was the 2005 Poet Laureate of Texas. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Grasslands Review, The Langdon Review, and Concho River Review. He has nine collections of poetry.

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

The Outback Prince

Was told a tale hard to believe, about what a bull did achieve
Seems he was the best in the land
Spoiled, well-fed and groomed, washed daily and even perfumed
Hide was perfect no brand

His owner made a friendly bet, one he could live to regret
His pampered bovine at the core
Had to survive real life, in the outback with its strife
Nothing less nothing more

Handlers had to wean it off, being fed outta a trough
It ate desert brush, plants and twigs
No more baths or massage, and live without its entourage
They’d see how it like it’s new digs

The outback was the bulls new home; it was dropped and left to roam
The bet was the bull won’t last a year
Had to find his own food, and assorted predators elude
Including the odd wild steer

A year passed and no one knew if the pampered bull made it through
The cattle were in to be tagged and cut
Cowboys on horses were talking, when a bull began to walking
It actually started to strut

That bull was running fast, to where those horses were amassed
When the lead head calmly dismounted
The others knew he had guts, but thought him definitely nuts
But he stood there ready to be counted

The bull kept coming, it was almost numbing
Like a scene from a bad show
As the bull started to close, a cloud of dust arose
It ended with them toe to toe

There was an expression of joy between the bull and cowboy
The pampered bovine survived
He looked good and lean, but hadn’t turned mean
You could say that bull even thrived

His owner had won the bet, and became richer yet
The amount finally became known
It was hard to understand he only won five grand
On one of the finest Bulls ever shown.

Geof ‘Pappa Mac’ Mackay is a storyteller, entertainer, and rodeo clown (as seen in photo above). His poetry and music has been seen and heard- June 2013 Performed Pincher Creek Gathering; June 2013 Performed Manitoba Stampede July 2013; Performed at a CD Release party Palomino Club August 2013; Chosen to Clown Heartland Rodeo Finals September 2013; Performed Souris River Bend Trail ride September 2013; Performed Maple Creek Gathering September 2013; MC’d and Performed Quinton Blair CD Release Party October 2013, and Competing Columbia River gathering, Cowboy Idol- April 2014. Recently his work was published in our Unbridled Anthology representing Cowboy Poetry Press.

Tumbleweed

Photo taken by Mindy Wilson, Kentucky, USA

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

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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