Son of the Legend?

jack-sparkplug-pic

Son of the Legend?

7/’96 read at Grandmother McCarty’s funeral 9/11/’96

 

As old hands struggle to remember,

Young ones try not to forget

While bustin’ brush to cut their trails,

They ponder horseback- jet to jet.

 

The values of a generation

Past live on past lives ahead.

Philosophies live longer than

The personalities now dead.

 

For “As a man thinks…”in his heart

The man will prove indeed to be;

His children will reflect his ways.

His wisdom walking all will see.

 

If flow’rs of grass bloom in his heart,

His offspring soon will bear the seeds

That love the land, the horse, the cow

On through the howl of corporate greed.

 

Taught that a man can stand up straight,

Talk plain and look you in the eye,

To seal a deal with a bare handshake;

His word’s still good when times are dry.

 

To judge a horse, look at his feet,

The value of a cow- her teeth,

Best land is shown wrap’d in a drought,

A man’s word shows the man beneath.

 

From timberline to desert floor,

From Quakie cold to Cholla heat,

The buckaroo to cowboy band

All seem to march with same heartbeat

 

In leather proven, hidden mettle

Buried ‘neath a wooden cross,

They tamed a land, became a legend.

Children mourn’d, then fill’d the loss.

 

Yet, what was needed to obtain

Will be required to preserve.

The land cares for the character

That cares for land as it deserves.

 

So, in the nightwind’s harshest seasons

Hear the land’s soft, whisper’d question:

Is there a son of the legend?

Does their wisdom ride again?

Ropin’ Lessons

Ropin’ Lessons – A True Story

 

Boys we were then, ages 12 and 10,

Brother Rick’s first year out using twine.

With lessons to learn, my saddle had turned

But the calf I had snared bedded fine.

 

My cinch was too slack, so I straightened the kack

The lariat tied fast to the tree.

With the saddle upright, the latigo pulled tight,

With fresh wind, the calf tried to flee.

 

While I’m still on the ground, with no help around,

That idiot rimfired my mount.

That pony did fly, snagged calf bounced so high

All his feet in the air I could count.

 

Durned calf in the sky, I’d figger he’d die

As my horse headed straight for Rick’s.

A’leadin’ his catch in, he soon lost his grin-

Loose horses and horn knots don’t mix.

 

‘Fore Rick could get down, my horse wrapped him ‘roun’

He got tangled in death-trap noose.

Roy Slagle dove in, riskin’ his own skin

With belt-knife, started cuttin’ Rick loose.

 

Now ropin’ I might, my cinch is near tight.

Even accuse me of a dallywelt.

Won’t tie to a horse I can’t trust, of course,

While I carry a knife on my belt.

 

3/8/95

 

Moonstruck Sonnet

Moonstruck Sonnet

 

December 15, 1998

 

What specters in the cedar’d shadows hide?

Is it the risk a man would stub his toe,

Or haunting by the horse he could not ride?

Why does a man avoid the moonlight so?

 

A long-lost loved-one’s face in rocks appear

As horn’d owl questions-coyote moans reply

With Annie Laurie’s whisper in his ear,

The disappointment’s in the night-wind’s sigh.

His roots, fed by ancestral dream-fill’d sails,

Attack’d by fears and failures, friends and foes,

While mind’s eye fills in blanks where vision fails

‘Til tidal dawn will heal the moonstruck blows.

 

A full moon spotlights man’s fascination

And monsters in his imagination.

Beholding Goodness and Severity

Maskil 2 –Beholding Goodness and Severity 5/6/97

 

How, like Blake’s Tyger and his Lamb,

Does two-fac’d Spring display “I AM”?

 

Warmth persuades the antler’s fall

Chills ambush our willow tree

Robin’s trapp’d in treachery

From the soil the larvae crawl

 

Screaming winds eat mangl’d earth

Snows and floods remain untam’d

Hailstones murder hatching eggs

Angry clouds twist writhing mirth

Helpless victims cry unnam’d

Winter pours it’s last, long dregs

 

The flower’d fruitfulness of earth

Comes after pains of Summer’s birth.

 

 

*this is a reference to William Blake and a contrast of Romans 11:22

Arrowheads (I found a Folsom point)

Arrowheads click to see text — I combined a true ride with this find for the poem story.

arrowheads pic   another great drawing by Mary Newsome

Arrowheads 

I grew up wanting to find a really good arrowhead like everyone else seemed to do, but me.

God answers prayers. I asked specifically to find “a really nice one.”

My sons and I were pushing cows to a different watering tank because the cattle were drinking it faster than the windmill was making it. It was a terrible , hot day.

As my 4th grade son’s horse stepped over a suspicious shiny object, I stopped to check it out. There was a fine, fine, fine! chunk of flint with a point to it.

I sent it with my 6th grade son to have the local artifact expert, his teacher, check it out.

During our noon meal “dinner”, he called me on the phone. With baited breath, the teacher asked me “Do you have any idea what your son just handed me?”

Of course, I had no idea.  I thought it was a 100 or 125 year old arrowhead left by native hunters years ago.

“If I could find one of these, I’d stop looking for the rest of my life!” he said.

“And the craziest part was one of my students pulled it out of his shirt pocket and handed it to me!! I’ve read about them and seen pictures of them but NEVER of this type material, red chirt! I can’t believe I’m holding it in my hand right now!

This man never to my knowledge had claimed religious affiliation, but I had the privilege of sharing how God had answered my simple prayer. I’m still very grateful.

 

Apology To Red Steagall

Apology to Red Stegall click the link

This was written as a fledgling cowboy poet to THE OFFICIAL COWBOY POET of TEXAS!!! after I stood next to him in my first cowboy poet Chitauqua. He had been part of a collective and made positive comments I remember to this day 22 years later.

If you manage to read this, Mr. Steagall, Thanks again!!

The drawing was done by Mary Newsome, now in Sapulpa, OK.

Hell-bound Train

The Hell-Bound Train  (From an old song. I didn’t like the theology, so I changed it)

 

A Texas Cowboy on a barroom floor had drunk so much he could hold not more.

He went to sleep with a troubled brain to dream he rode on the Hell-Bound Train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp and the headlight was a brimstone lamp.

The imps for fuel were shoveling bones and the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with innocents’ tears and the devil himself was the engineer.

The passengers were a mixed up crew: church members, atheists, gentile and Jews.

There were rich men in broadcloth, poor men in rags, beautiful girls and wry scalawags.

With red men, yellow men, black-folks and white all chained together, ‘twas a terrible sight.

The train rushed on at an awful pace, the sulfurous fumes scorched hands and face.

Faster and faster the engine flew, and wilder and wilder the country grew.

Brighter and brighter the lightning flashed, and louder and louder the thunder crashed.

Hotter and hotter the air became ‘til the clothes were burned from each shrinking frame.

Then out in the distance there arose a yell– “Ha ha!” said the devil “The next stop is Hell!”

Then Oh! How the passengers shrieked with pain as they begged the devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced with glee as he laughed and mocked at their misery.

“My friends, you’ve earned the seats on this road, and the train goes through with a full, complete load.

“The laborer always expects his hire, so I’ll land you safe in the lake of fire.

“You’ve bullied the weak, you’ve cheated the poor, the starving brother turned from your door.

“You’ve laid up gold ‘till your purses bust, and given free play to your beastly lusts.

Guilty at a young age, your innocence lost but you wouldn’t take forgiveness by the Blood of the Cross.

You could have turned, but you chose not, so now your soul in Hell will rot.

“Your flesh will scorch in the flames that roar and my worms will torment you forevermore.”

Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry, his clothes were wet and his hair stood high.

He prayed as he’d never prayed before to be saved by Christ from Hell’s front door.

 

His prayers and pleadings were not in vain for he never did ride that Hell-bound Train.