Saddle Butter

20130810_110614

I

Barbed wire broke it up, our wild western plains.

Farmers, damn them, busted up the sod too.

Their heavy horses laboured hard and deep.

Growing their crops for city folks (and us).

Ranching ain’t what it used to be, ya know.

Hardly anymore big outfits with brandings.

But a few, in the wilds and remotes, I hear.

 

Barbed wire broke it up, our wild western plains.

Farmers, damn them, I eat too so I forgive em.

Their heavy horses pulled a plow not many can.

Growing food instead of graveyards knight’s rides.

Ranching ain’t what it used to be, ya know.

Hardly a few don’t take dudes out for cash.

But a few, in the wilds and opens, remain.

 

II

We moved the tack today, outta the old barn.

Fingers danced across old hames and collars.

Brass and silver dully gleamed, faded memories.

 

We lifted them heavy today, into the truck.

Fingers gripped tight those old bits and reins.

Jingles and dancers sang low of horses gone.

 

We couldn’t sell them. Nor toss them away.

Fingers held sheepskin and saddle butter.

Polished the suppleness back into them.

 

We remembered as we worked them soft.

Fingers that held reins for seasons long gone.

Gee and haw, step and whoa, easy boy, nice.

 

III

I fell in love with a farmer. Lo.

He has a cowboy’s soul.

I fell in love with a farmer. Oh.

His horses eat diesel and oil.

I fell in love with a farmer. No.

His hands love the soil.

 

IV

Over a hundred years ago she rode as a lady does.

Side saddle proper now, no whorish astride for her.

Gloved hands on reins, dress laying draped just so.

She broke them colts, eased em into being ridable.

They had to learn to be proper with a lady, they did.

Jump them fences, never lost her grip, she soared!

They would buck! Lo they bucked. She stayed.

Every pin came out of her hair, they say, and yet.

She never lost her seat nor a stirrup or her calm.

That woman could ride ya’ll. Like lighting rides

a thunder storm. She smiled the whole time too!

Drove a team, like an iron fisted queen!

Carried a pistol under her apron, loaded too.

No one tried to steal her goods more’n once.

They knew, far and wide, that the lady was tough.

Never rough, mind you, nor calloused, always refined.

That was a horsewoman of a singular kind.

 

V

I can’t watch a western no more without cryin’

Something ’bout those wide spaces draws me.

Something ’bout those wild rides pulls me.

 

I can’t watch a western no more without dyin’

Something old in me rises, aches to breath again.

Something old in me rises, reaches for the open.

 

I can’t watch a western no more without sighin’

Something wild in me wakens, smells the horses.

Something wild in me hollars and whoops loud.

 

I can’t watch a western no more without cryin’

Something in me longs for the wild rides fast.

Something in me longs for the windy freedom.

 

I can’t watch a western no more without achin’

Something in me reaches for reins, breathes leather.

Something in me dances to spur jingle tunes.

 

VII

Win me a lottery, a thousand million bucks.

Still buy me a hunk of land and a coupla trucks.

Win me a lottery, a few hundred thousand bills.

Still buy me whatever horses my heart wills!

Win me a lottery,  fifty or a hundred bucks.

Still buy me some gas for the old trucks.

Win me a lottery, ten or twenty bills.

Still buy them ponies apples to their fills.

Down to my last dollar and I’d be happy.

Cause I got me a nice bay, no short tailed appy!

 

I hosted to night at dVerse (dversepoets.com) and we were playing with the legend and lore and our own take on Cowboy Poetry.   Having some fun – with memories and and horse stories.  Hope you enjoyed, and stop by again sometime. Don’t forget to stop in at dVerse and see what the rest were able to rope and drag to the fire for brandin’

 

Advertisements

39 Comments

  1. brian miller said,

    August 11, 2013 at 1:12 am

    wow. you went all out…i really love the one on the saddle and working the leather back to supple…a bit sad there are not so many ranchers these days…and the farmers are taking a beating as well with the wild weather changes…do love the one on falling in love with a farmer…ha…great job tonight…bet we pick up quite a few tomorrow as well…

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Thanks Brian! It was hard to get it all whittled down into a few pieces 🙂 Looking forward to adding some new critters to our herd here for the prompt!

  2. August 11, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Well you are the real deal ~ This is a feast ~ My favorites:

    4th what a woman ~ and 5th- love the cadence & refraining lines like a song ~

    Thanks for a glimpse of your world Shanyns ~ Happy weekend ~

    Grace

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks Grace, for coming by, and I’m so glad you enjoyed a peek into my world. Have a great weekend too!

  3. Poet Laundry said,

    August 11, 2013 at 2:19 am

    What a dream life, I agree! Love the story in this. My dad’s side of my family are cowboys n girls, so I grew up with that …and on country music and old westerns so you got me craving what’s in my blood! I’ll have to settle for pulling out and watching “The Sons of Katie Elder” though, since I don’t have horses of my own!

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Now I have to go dig out that movie! We enjoy westerns too! Thanks for coming by. Listen to your blood call you, we can’t ignore it for long. 🙂 Thanks for coming by.

  4. zongrik said,

    August 11, 2013 at 2:42 am

    you really created an interesting character here!! it’s almost a screenplay. and I agree with Heaven, you are the real deal.

    Midnight Cowboy — A Quick Review

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Why thank you! So glad you enjoyed them, and super happy you stopped by!

  5. margaret said,

    August 11, 2013 at 3:33 am

    II, IV & VII LOVED! I like cleaning leather bridles, saddles (don’t do it often enough, though) and the last is so tongue in cheek – it’s hard to get a cowboy down – as long as he has his horse 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks for joining in! It was great fun. Hope to do it again. I like cleaning tack too.

  6. margaret said,

    August 11, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Handsome horses – are they yours?

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Sadly no, they were one of a number of teams at a local plowing match that I went to yesterday and got photos of! Dreaming one day of a team though…

  7. claudia said,

    August 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

    oh wow – what a cool collection… loved them all…if i had to choose a fav i think that would be the horsewoman with the loaded gun under her apron..ha..now she sounds like quite the character…really cool writing and thanks for running the prompt as well… i’m enjoying it a lot..smiles

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      She was a character! From the other stories I heard she was the first one to offer help and the last one anyone gave trouble too! 🙂 Thanks for joining in Claudia, and for having me tend bar. It was an honour.

  8. kaykuala said,

    August 11, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Win me a lottery, ten or twenty bills.
    Still buy them ponies apples to their fills.
    Down to my last dollar and I’d be happy.
    Cause I got me a nice bay, no short tailed appy!

    The last stanza is the clincher. When life and blood is with the land, everything else is secondary. The heart stays with the farm. How had I wished for the same opportunity MM! Great write, Ma’am!

    Hank

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks Hank! The last one I was really trying for a fun round the fire sort of song like The Old Chisholm trail song. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for joining in!

  9. aprille said,

    August 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

    What a fasinating collection, covering so many sides of horse management as well. Liked your touching on the old side-saddle issue as well. I had no idea cowboy poetry was such a big deal in the US. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks for joining in, and for stopping by! Cowboy poetry is a really cool western art form and I’m honoured to have been able to share it with you all!

  10. August 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Wow this is quite a collection… history of cowboys (and women) told through nostalgia… the barbed wire, the horses, saddles and now the trucks. This is written straight from the heart I think.

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Bjorn! It is from the heart, it is where they all reside for me. So glad you came by, and that you enjoyed the poetry.

  11. Rowan Taw said,

    August 11, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Such a selection of cowboy poetry to enjoy. I have to say that I especially loved number 4..I could so imagine her.

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you Rowan! I appreciate that you stopped by. Glad you enjoyed the read.

  12. Mary said,

    August 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

    What an impressive collection here! Enjoyed them all, but I would say my favorite might be #5. Makes me think of my own cowboy dreams in my youth. And #3 strikes me as one of yours I had read before? And #7 — Yup, I get it. It’s in the heart & soul, and money wouldn’t change it.

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Mary – I have written a few times about my beloved! 🙂 You caught that right away. Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed the poems.

  13. wolfsrosebud said,

    August 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

    def a hard life but chosen… you put a lot into this

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Thank you. Not easy, no, but still something about it we can’t let go.

  14. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) said,

    August 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    What a tour de force! I was hanging on every word.

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Why thank you! I appreciate that Rosemary. Thank you for stopping by.

  15. SSMatthews said,

    August 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    like lightning rides a thunderstorm; an excellent line among many others!

    • shanyns said,

      August 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks! 🙂 Appreciate that, and so glad you stopped by.

  16. August 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I am really glad I found your poetry prompt on dVerse. Your poem is beautifully written from the heart. And I love the title 🙂

  17. August 12, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I loved this so much… wonderful storytelling of old. And working the saddle…gosh there something poetic in that…loved the smell of that leather… On the radio today they were talking to an old timer drover, rodeo rider…about his love of horses and his life it was so lovely especially after reading the poems here this morning. thanks for such a delightful prompt! 🙂

    • shanyns said,

      August 12, 2013 at 2:43 am

      And thank you for coming by, and for joining in with your poetry. It has been a great ride!

  18. August 12, 2013 at 5:48 am

    SHANYNS! Man, this was an amazing chapbook all on one page. Loved the diesel horses… but heartbreaking, packing up the saddles after the farm is sold, remembering the saddle soap… my sister lets me curry her horses (and muck out the stable) when I visit.

    There was everything in this collection. And it was all authentic. So what’s the name of your ranch, anyway? First time here, won’t be the last! Thx for stopping by my blog as well, AMy

    • shanyns said,

      August 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Amy! Thanks for coming over and for your enthusiastic comment! I love the work and smells of our animals. Our outfit is the Smilin Coyote Ranch. So glad you came by.

  19. August 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Wow, like them all, Shanyn. “I can’t watch a western…” in particular is one of my favorites. Nice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: