Horatian Ode* to the Horseman
Horatian Ode* to the Horseman
The Cowman, the Cowboy, and Grandma’s Medicine Man
Old “Mr. McCarty” was an honest cowman.
Worked hard, every deal made square.
Raised his brothers and sisters, taught school at Lone Star,
Brilliant and strong, tho’ austere.
Took care of his help, extr’ blankets, good food;
Cared for them like he’d want to be treated.
Wanted everybody happy with every trade he made
Even if he got a little bit cheated.
Put together a good ranch while others went down.
Helped others while makin’ his place.
He understood land, good cows and men,
Invested with cash as a base.
My Grandpa Pete was a wild cowboy
Liked adventure and challenge or a dare.
Unpredictable, irresistible, the favorite funny man.
He’d show up, but no tellin’ where.
Ray Reed says “Casey Tibbs couldn’t ride a better bronc,
And he played a fiddle good as Bob Wills.”
When I think about his touch and his blood that’s in my veins
The possibilities give me cold chills.
Grandpa Pete’s a friendly guy, liked by anyone he met.
Railroaders tell of his heroic deeds.
But a’straddle the bottle, he’d make his last ride
While scatterin’ destructive seeds.
Grandma Margie’s history can’t be quite traced,
The records have all been burned.
She was sensitive to the supernatural world,
The shaman arts she learned*.
If there is a Cherokee connection here,
Some tell it, some will deny it.
Her last few years, I was her close friend.
Even in pain she was kind- to her credit.
Grandma’s little trailer house was a stall full of love.
I was received there night or day.
Tho’ we didn’t agree on every important thing,
There’s nothing that we couldn’t say.
Mr. McCarty put the math in my head.
Pete’s music is deep in my heart.
Grandma’s magic touch is still in my bones,
Where’ll I go with such a start?
Influenced strongly by a magistrate,
A clown, and a warrior brave,
Whether methodical, moody, or mystical,
At home in a mansion, a cabin or a cave.
With nothing I wasn’t given by
A school teacher, a singer, and a sage or
A man, a curious child, or everyone’s best friend.
I’ve a scientific, spontaneous, spiritual guage.
Managed 7-figure budgets and over 40 hands
By the age of 25
Makin’ music and rhyme since I could talk,
My spirit is active and alive.
Most thanks goes out to my patient parents
When sortin’ out who I can,
When hung ‘tween the cowman, cowboy,
And Grandma’s medicine man.
The trail is not so simple when
Measured from 3 different views.
To pave a way for others to follow
May my be example be fit to choose.
Cactus Jack McCarty 12/24/’94
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?
another Italian sonnet
A Seasonal Sonnet
“It came to pass…” eternal Scriptures read.
Once mist-air-dust, then mud with breath combined
Becomes a form that now can feel and bleed
To dust a trail that choices leave behind.
The frozen branch that’s leaf-forsaken, still,
Though dormant through obstinate seasons, waits
With life protected, hidden in the Root,
And beauty sleeping, quiet ‘neath the chill
In hope, will bud again on springtime dates
To be rewarded with a harvest fruit,
That is the Seed where life is introduced
With love and song and laughter to be loosed.
A fruitfulness in winter is absurd,
So faithfulness near death is then preferred.
We won’t rush rudely into Your Presence
To get what we need and then leave-
We have now come to You as we are.
So please, bathe us ’til fit to receive.
Though our past flashes failures that whip,
Or successes that hold us at bay.
Can not deal with tomorrow.
Such grace we can’t borrow.
We seize Your great plan for today.
Turn our hearts into sweet harmony,
As our wills You align into one;
Our desires are open to You.
We have come here to follow the Son.
Whether working the fields ripe for harvest
Or lone in the closet of pray’r,
As our Christ is exalted,
And we are anointed,
We’ll go where You go – anywhere.
Waiting, hungry with anticipation
For whispers of Your loving Word.
Drawing close to hear all that You’re saying
Because of our thirst for You, Lord.
Whether snuggl’d close, safe in Your lap,
Giggling, bouncing so high on Your knee,
All our cares are erased
By Your tender embrace;
We’re together, alone, feeling free.
You’re the focus of our full attention.
We watch for the look in Your eyes,
As we hush for the beat of Your heart,
We are carried by You through the skies.
We can climb back up into Your lap
Once again just to bounce on Your knee
To be loved, yes, restored,
Heal’d, protected, and more,
Happy, salting the earth, being free.
‘Fore we leave from this place of Your Goodness,
To walk among people again,
Change our lives prepp’d to carry Your Presence;
Your passion to dwell among man.
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.
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.
“The Word of God Is Alive and Powerful” Hebrews 4:12 NLT
The Word of God Is Alive and Pow’rful !–constant repeat kinda’ like a heartbeat rhythm
Yes, In the beginning, Jesus spoke and made the world,
The sun, the moon, and everything; sweet and still unspoil’d.
Yes, God made man and woman, then He said that it was “GOOD.”
God loves to be with people. Coming to your neighborhood!
The Christ became a human, born a babe in Bethlehem.
He grew up perfect, sinless; Yes, He show’d us how it’s done.
He never lied, He never stole, nor murder’d anyone.
Our sinful lives cause hurt and lies so Justice must be done!
Our lives have hurt God’s feelings. We hurt others-Feel the Pain!
But Jesus paid our penalties so we won’t burn in flames.
He bought us life eternal. On the cross, He died to save
To give us Love and Peace and Joy and Freedom for sin’s slaves.
Please come to Jesus, Start anew forgiven, born again.
Yes, In his blood be washed today while turning from your sins.
Jesus can live inside of you. His Pow’r can set you free.
Your clean life whole, forgiven with pure light for you to see.
***Written in Williwaw Park Wasilla, AK working with GraceWorks Ministries. http://www.graceworksak.com
Our kids and team did the background while Shelby Andrews performed “The Voice” July 27, 2016
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 click to see text — I combined a true ride with this find for the poem story.
arrowheads pic another great drawing by Mary Newsome
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.