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Category Archives: Poetry

Magpies, the bum calves, bugs, and Ian Tyson

Magpies hanging with the calves

“A little more to the left please.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from “Magpie”by Ian Tyson

“Magpie.
you know the West ain’t never going to die
just as long as you can fly.
You travel all around these hills
like a gypsy,
I don’t see the matter with that”

 

 

 

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Storm Over Muddy Mountain

Thunderclouds roll in,
Bring rain to Muddy Mountain–
pelting us with hail.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2018 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Riding Rough Stock

Rhen practicing for mutton busting

Tiarnan, winning her over with a hug

 

Riding Rough Stock

The rough stock waits in the chute.
Riders tug, straighten their chaps,
screw down their hats, squint and gauge
the critters they aim to ride.

“Now, folks” chants the announcer,
“The third go-round, Mutton Busting.
The riders are six and under,
weighing less that fifty pounds.”

 

Tears flow as a young rider
hugs tight to his father’s leg,
snuffles into the dusty denim.
“Cowboy up!” A brave nod.

A brother and sister–busters both–
adjust the numbers pinned to
their shirts, tug at the safety vests,
exchange cowboy hats for helmets.

This is serious business.
The rider drops onto the back
of the ewe with the wary look.
This isn’t her first rodeo.

Some grab the bucking strap
snugged behind her front legs—
a handhold on the shorn sheep.
Some wrap their arms around her neck.

“Let me tell you about this critter,”
Blares from speakers overhead,
“She’s known as Baaaaad Bessie—
and she’s never been ridden!”

The rider swallows, and nods,
and the chute gate flies open!
The ewe bolts like lightening
spies the white line dusted in the dirt,

And jumps! The youngster tilts
and turns, seeking mom, or dad,
and grips harder on every wooly bit.
The ground looks hard.

Then boom, the dirt rises up,
grit fills teeth, nose and eyes,
suddenly flooded with tears.
The crowd cheers, and claps.

Angelic, the Rodeo Queen appears,
smelling sweet—with hugs and smiles,
and a salute to bravery,
with a dollar bill, a shiny ribbon.

The mutton buster remembers
how the bronc riders do it,
brushes off the dirt and the tears,
and waves to the crowd.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2018 in Animals, Family, Folks, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Lilac Haiku

Lilac blooms in spring
bring nectar for honeybees,
and sweet scent for me.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2018 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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Last light on lilacs

Last light after rain,
a gift, a glow, glistening
drops on lilac blooms.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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A Long Day of Shearing

Long day of shearing,
This boy is a helper guy—
It’s time for a nap!

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2018 in Family, Folks, Poetry, Sheep

 

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Castle Rock Haiku

Sentinel towers,
Battlements rise, keeping watch
Over cows and calves.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Animals, Cattle, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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