Horatian Ode to the Horseman

jackroping1989No headstall here! Yep, that’s me.

Horatian Ode* to the Horseman

 

1 The Elucidation
The Horseman is a state unknown to science
Academics study while excluded
Flying over pedal mind or conscience
Merge of minds that fiction has alluded
As antithesis and thesis trust
A giving and receiving with consent
Transcending czars and envied by the oarsman
Bliss with truce a must
The primate coronet, poetic scent
No longer only human, now a Horseman.
2 The Metamorphosis
As Pegasus inpir’d the poets past
Beloved Chiron Centaur, ‘lysian Plains;
H. Sapiens and Equine form a caste.
Poetic myth expounds past Logic gains.
Its metamorphoses didacts hold
When caterpillar turns to butterfly
As need and time cocoon’d ‘midst due course, man
And beast their wings unfold
Afresh, emerge, loose fears and wills to fly
No longer only human, now a Horseman.
3 The Theatre
The cowboy “Cult of Skill”** includes the Rider
As apprentice or initiate
But skill’d Hands, “saddle earned”and no outsider
Horse will know as more than candidate
In harmony they blend as unitized
Dues paid, horse-raised, a Master of the clan
With strengths and senses doubled- Greek or Norseman-
Myth materializ’d
Not nearly God, superior to man,
No longer only human, now a Horseman.
4 The Pragma
Our natures often play against the blend.
Predator and prey must change their part.
The dreaded hunter must be found a friend
While hunted wretch surrenders rebel’s heart
In languages of cues reciprocate
To answer reins and pressures of the knee
Note ears and lips indicate recourse, man
And horse communicate.
Equine perspective often teaches thee…
No longer only human, now a Horseman.
* This verse form was made popular in the 1800’s by John Keats
as in “Ode to a Nightingale”.
** Buck Ramsey, in conversation, referred to the cowboy culture as a
“cult of skill” including its initiation, etiquette, and fellowship.
The 3 ranks and qualifications listed in the poem were
contrived by the author. Buck also made editorial contributions.

The Cowman, The Cowboy, and Grandma’s Medicine Man

jack-horseback-drawing

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

  • G’ma’s funeral was a spiritist event, not Native American, but kinda’ like a séance, and she had a crystal ball on her coffee table. When I came to Christ, I had a lot of spiritual warfare ahead of me.