June Issue- Week 3

June 18, 2013

SockIt-1

by Laura Jean Schneider

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

at the campfire’s edge
where light falls into silence    
we cherish our dark
that gives life to your secret
and leaves mine forever dead

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.

************
Who We Are

1.
We are the Wampum Belt-
Open at both Ends –
Still
Weaving Our Story.

We are the Sacred Drum.
That- Resilient Beat-
Pulsating
Within Mother Earth.

We are the 7th Fire-
Ignited by our past -Carrying the
Light
For our Future.

We are the Cedar Basket,
Sewn from the Roots of the Universe-
Forever
Expanding Our Spirit.

2.
We are the Survivors
& Revivers.

The Relations of the Forest-
& Educated by the Sun.

We Rise- like the sturdy Green Cornfields –
That Kiss the Cranberry Dawn.

We are the Deep Red Ocean-
Flowing within the Arteries –
Of Turtle Island.

3.
And-Yes.

We Swam through the Blood Soaked Tears-
Traversed the Wave over 500 Years.

The Unmarked Graves have Scarred our Dreams-
Long Walks & Trails- across the Icy Streams.

Those Boarding Schools and Reservations-
Malefic Schemes to encourage Limitations.

Mountains of Pain Shielded by a Smile-
Sometimes Surviving – means living in Denial.

Lethal Storms- Rain down like Shattered Glass,
Broken like Treaties – Amnesia of the Past.

Hair & Language- detached by foreign Hands-
But they both Return –as should Usurped Lands .

Our History & Journey- Carved from a Shell-
They do Not spill Oil-only Mark our Life’s Trail.

The tribe of Human Beings -is Who we Are-
Because All of Us- Revolve around the Same Star.

A Ceremony of Condolence –Is how We All Must Begin-
This is life’s Round Dance – a Circle with no End.

Larry Spotted Crow Mann
is a writer, performer, Nipmuck cultural educator and citizen of the Nipmuck tribe of Massachusetts. He serves as the Drum Keeper of the Tribe which is a sacred trust. Their group is known as the Quabbin Lake Singers. He travels throughout the United States and Canada to schools, colleges, pow wows and other organizations sharing the music, culture and history of Nipmuck people. He has also given lectures at universities throughout New England on issues ranging from Native American Sovereignty to Identity.

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

Cowgirls Factory Blues

Rising before the electric rooster crows,
Before the sun hugs the earth,
Ella slides out of bed
With an aching hip
Giving old Whiskey Breath a nudge
As he grunts and swears
In the same ritual every morning
For the past forty years as
She sets the chipped porcelain kettle
On the flame
To brew a morning cup
Sweetly reminding Larry
To fetch his own damn vittles, dear,
Feeding her leftover biscuits and bland gravy
To the little doggies
Before riding away in a dusty Mustang
To that brick and steel hold
Where she lassos washers and bolts
Head counting and time keeping
To the beat of her own twang
Until the workers in the factory embrace
Mosey out of the gate, single file,
Roaming free through the night,
While Ella stretches and cracks and creaks,
Thankful for her short journey home
After a wearisome day
On the urban range
That trounces too many spirits
Before the final ride off into the sunset

Denise Janikowski-Krewal is a Midwestern poet and writer of short fiction. She currently lives in the Milwaukee, WI area, and can be found at “the lost beat”where she collaborates with her cousin and fiction writer Tom Janikowski.

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

Retreat From The Willamette

by Rodney Nelson

a family I knew began to go apart

when mother and daughter moved to Cascadia

                     dark little mountain hamlet

                     of woe in the rain oh woe

 

father and son remained at what was left of home

and in the bowling alley no one had to talk

and the river was up and had to get higher

but what did it have to do with the family

who reunited every weekend in a

                     dark little mountain hamlet

                     of woe in the rain oh woe

 

a Mormon-redneck town or just redneck-Mormon

of work and no chatter where the pine trees were high

and still growing on yew-ess twenty all the way

and the family had nothing to add either

as they waited out the fall of Sunday in that

                     dark little mountain hamlet

                     of woe in the rain oh woe

 

 

February 2013- Week 2

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
years.
************

A LACY VICTORIAN VALENTINE

Sweet Elizabeth
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.

December- Week 4

January 2, 2013

Scents of Christmas

Remembering briefly the scents which pervaded the Christmas Season so many years ago in our one-room sod home back in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

The scents of Christmas filled the air…
the smell of pumpkin pie,
a turkey roasting on the hearth…
with mama standing by.

‘Twas a Christmas to remember,
and enjoy once again
the many scents of Christmas past,
remem’bring way back then!


Clark Crouch
is a self-proclaimed Poet Lariat and a prize-winning western and cowboy poet, author, lyricist, and performing artist. He admits to a bias toward traditional cowboy poetic forms.

The author of eight books poetry, six of which are devoted to western and cowboy verse, he is a two-time winner of the prestigious Will Rogers Medallion Award for Cowboy Poetry and a five-time finalist in the annual Western Music Associations book award competitions. He wrote his first prize-winning poem at age eleven but never got around to writing more until 2001 when he was 73. Shortly thereafter he started writing and performing professionally.

He was inspired by three individuals: Will Rogers who was his hero during the early 1930s; Charles Badger Clark, the classic cowboy poet, with whom he was acquainted in the early 1940s; and Sherman Alexie, a Native American poet, novelist, screen-writer and performer who, in 2001, encouraged him to write his western tales in poetic form.

His poem ‘The Guardian’ was published in CPP’s October 2012 Issue- Week 2

*******

 TWO SHOTS—MAYBE

It was late Fall when Pete and I found five dead Herefords on the bank of the Ranch’s main irrigation ditch. They were gutted.

I remarked to Pete, “There’s only one animal, besides man, that kills for pleasure—the Grizzly bear. “We’ll shoot him tonight.”

We built a shelter, downwind, with a good view of the bear’s most likely path to his victims. I had borrowed a Steyr Mannlicher eqipped with a night sight and Pete, as back up shooter, had his Dad’s thirty-aught-six.

It was not a long wait. Pete spotted him—about 200 yards out—cantering towards us. My first shot was in his gut. He let out a high pitched grunt and in spite of his condition he closed on us fast. He was less than thirty yards away. On the second shot I remembered my grandfather’s dictum—lie still, bring the animal into the cross hairs, hold your breath and squeeze the trigger.

It was a perfect shot through the heart. The Grizz rose up on his hind legs, barked a piercing death rattle and keeled over. He measured out at over 10 feet and weighed we estimated, about1,000 lbs.

After he was dressed out, I visited the Forest Service to fill out a report.

Chief Ranger Bill Burns admonished, “Mike, you’re supposed to obtain permission before you kill an endangered species.”

“Bill, I know, but he’s made endangered species already of five of our cattle.” I did not say what I was thinking: we Wyoming ranchers shoot first and talk about it later. “Here are your bear steaks. I’m returning the Grizz slightly modified into Forest Service custody.”

Bill shook his head and smiled, “You do pretty good dealing with us Smokeys.”

We named the bearskin Jerome and he was placed before the fireplace. For Mary and me the pleasure of his company endured for years.

I reckon that Jerome’s second life was warmer and more stimulating than his first.

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.

Mr. Keyser 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.

December- Week 3

December 20, 2012

SONY DSC

Elizabeth Akin Stelling, Managing Editor- CPP traveled to Hawaii this past fall with a quest to find Polynesian Cowboys, and that she did. A chef and poet and sometime photographer her poetry and photography has been published in Referential Magazine, Tuck, Linden Lit Press, Curio, and many others. (photo taken on south side of the big island of Hawaii).

Fat and Sassy

He laughed when he said

I like my women like my horses

Fat and sassy.

I answered

A little hunger’s not a bad thing.

He said, nah

Fat and sassy’s the way to be.

His wife pointed to her geldings

Turned out together in the arena.

The chestnut with the white blaze and two white socks

And the brown with a little star

Kicking up their heels

In a lively

Dusty

Horse dance.

Aren’t they marvelous creatures

She breathed into the wind.

The most marvelous in all god’s creation.

I leaned on the fence

And I watched with her

And I kissed my mare

On her velvet nose

How a woman does love her horse.

 

Riding Lessons

When I was a girl

I rode horses.

Beneath me

Muscle

Sinew

Coarse hair

Sweat

Horse musk.

Now I am a woman

And I ride young

With equal vigor.

Julia Barrett grew up in rural Iowa. She’s married to the love of her life. They have three amazing children. She’s a writer of poetry and prose, a Registered Nurse and a trained pastry chef. Julia loves to travel and she’s visited or lived in all fifty states. You
will usually find her hiking with her dog or riding her horse. If she’s at home, she’s cooking, baking or writing books. Julia can be reached via twitter: @JuliaRBarrett or her website: http://juliarachelbarrett.net or her Amazon Author page: *http://tinyurl.com/czph8lu*

August Issue- Week 3

August 12, 2012

THE PIONEER SONG

You hid the rum bottle in the shed east of the outhouse.
Since sixteen her waist — narrowest in the township — widened with her anger
Five boys surly budding whiskers could till this Ohio dirt without you
She tells you so daily.
Sharp yellow faced wasps that chew weathered boards of the outhouse
To build above your bottle’s nest
Sting not so sharply as her tongue.
You can no longer sip young buck rum
Under lush palms and succulent vines
Immersed in blossoming laughter of great black ladies
Lacing the Kingston night
The Ohio river dreams west
Forgotten freedom flowing on water
Westward lies a Wyoming, gold in Dixie, Idaho, vast Montana skies
Never real unless you touch them.
Old Thaddeus cut your graying hair
Shave the Amish beard dress a bit of the dandy
Ringo or Liberty or Bat will disembark the Cincinnati packet boat in St. Louis
Childless widower on a wagon train westward
Into a yarn tempered with campfire flickers
Burnt whiskey brown in the unshaded sun
On a plain whose trail flows beyond sight—unswallowed in lush green forests.
Fancy made flesh to stride tall into dusky saloons
Meanwhile back at the ranch
A mythfinity in
The big bang from a silent and singular farewell.

Tyson West 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.

John H. Dromey was born in northeast Missouri. He’s had a byline (for brief, humorous items) in over one-hundred different newspapers and magazines. Once upon a time he had light verse published in Grit, Hoofs and Horns, Light, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. His cartoons have appeared in Bowhunter and Farm Antiques News (no longer published).

WORDS SPOKEN BY SPOKANE GARRY
AT THE DEDICATION OF HIS MONUMENT
SPOKANE, WA August 25, 2011

Proud am I that you
Children of my children
Stand here today honoring
Our stiff necked resolution
To fancy dance and wail to pounding drums
Carry our feathers and totems
Against the white fangs of Mickey Mouse and Barbie.
You have not forgotten bones of our ancestors
Line trails from the northwest.
Buffalo soldiers following yellow haired men with shoulder straps
Hanged a few of our braves
Who died like warriors – slaughtered our horses
These slaps were nothing
To crude tribes of peasants fiercely fleeing
Dandy dukes and counts and princes
To ravage and reshape our mother
Dam up her rivers withhold the red ocean fish
And turn the canyon where I died into 18 smooth grassy stretches for a German farmer’s son
To chase a hard white rubber ball
In a put put cart
Smiling whiskey on his breath.
May this construct of basalt pillars and metal work magic medicine
Reserve our dry ground
Cold swift rivers so we may
Breath cool mountain air
Over tongues speaking Salish words that
Ancestors entrusted to us.

Tyson West 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.

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