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I have been working on a new poem. Seems some of you enjoy them, so here it is. I got the idea for this from the rocky hill that lies north east of our house. I have always loved that spot on this ranch. It’s the same hill that is in the picture on the front of the horse page on the website. Let me know what you think. 🙂
I tried to lay it out so that people would read it like I would. Please read it out loud, as this type of poetry is meant to be heard and not read. Thanks.
rock on a hill
there’s a sandstone outcropping
on a hill by a creek
resisting the slow erosion
of natures careless whims
it has been a silent witness
to the passing of ages
watching and listening
to the praire’s soft hymns
an indian once stood
on this wind roughened rock
as he prayed to his god
for his tribes way of life
with alien, guttural
beseeching tone of voice
for his tribe, his land
his children and wife
a trapper once paused
in the shade of this slope
bellied down tight
in the grass and the dirt
as he peeked over the rock
embedded in the soil
trying to ignore
the bloody stain on his shirt
a soldier once climbed
to the crest of this hill
reclined on the rock
seeking rest for his bones
while listening to his troops
by the creek down below
wearily setting up pickets
and tents with hushed tones
a cowboy paused
at the ridge of this crest
scanned all, from horizon
to the rock down below
looking for the cattle
that pay his meager wage
leaving his tired cow horse
to stretch and to blow
on occasion a rancher
will come to this rock
he rests and reflects
on this vast mystery
ponders on who all
may have come to this spot
feels tied to the thread
of a land’s history
I ran onto a feller I hadn’t seen for awhile at the Stockshow yesterday. He and I were talking about ranch roping and he told me to post any news of upcoming roping’s in the area, as he reads this blog. So I guess that would be a good thing to do, if I can just remember.
I was surprised to learn that he had been reading this. If I don’t hear from people, I never know if what I am writing on this site is being read or not. So it’s always nice to get feedback. 🙂
It’s been awhile since I sat down and wrote anything, so I’ll try and give you all an update. When I started this, I didn’t intend to use it as a daily diary, but more as a journal, so the entries will tend to be scattered. Sorry if that is an inconvenience for any of you.
First of all, thank you all for the comments. I appreciate it and know that I am not just writing this stuff for my own musings.
Second, I will try and post any new poems or stories here, as I write them. Seeing as how I don’t do that very often, that is write new stuff, don’t get all excited. LOL
I just got back from Iowa. We went back to New Hampton, which is in the northeastern corner of the state. We had a great time and did 3 shows. 2 were either sold out or almost sold out. This is the second year for the shows and this year we did a Saturday afternoon show, which we didn’t do last year. It went well, but it was a smaller crowd. I did sell over 20 books, so that was great. I talked to 2 different ladies who were interested in putting on shows in their towns and were wondering about cost of getting any of us poets. So maybe some of us will venture forth again to that part of the country.
Gale Patzloff went this year for the first time and he had them rolling in the aisle’s! Marty Blocker was there and then me. I did mostly songs as both Marty and Gale do poetry. I found out that I need to make a CD with some of the songs I do and mix in a story or two and some of my poems. Now….if I can just get the money rounded up to pay for that venture. It could be a pretty big project, what with getting permission from the people who wrote the songs that I want to do, along with the actual work of making the CD.
I went to Spearfish last week and did a show with a couple of nice guys. One, Hank Harris, just made a CD of the music that you would have heard if you were in Deadwood, during the gold rush. Very good!
Hank has a small studio where he made the CD, so it might be possible to do the recording there. I would like to have Chance play lead guitar on many of the songs and perhaps get Hank (who is a very accomplished musician in his own right) to accompany me also. I don’t want a Nashville sound tho’ and over produced. Just simple, clear, rendering of the songs I like to sing, with more emphasis on the story in the song than the music that accompanies the words. Guess I’m just fussy!
This is the week of the Stockshow, so I will probably be going to Rapid City at least once or twice. I have friends from around the country coming in so I will have to meet up with them. And it looks like we are in for a taste of winter. Friday it’s only supposed to get up to about 7 degree’s for a high! Oh well, we have got by real cheap so far.
Enough for now, I better get to work!
I have to go to Spearfish tomorrow to do a radio program for Jim Thompson and then do the Heritage of the American West show tomorrow night at the High Plains Heritage center. The theme is about Deadwood, so they asked if I had any poems or songs. I didn’t! LOL
So I wrote one and didn’t like it and threw it away. Then I wrote another, but it was pretty bland. For some reason, this morning, I had an inspiration so this is what I came up with. It has a little different meter to it, but I kind of like it. Seems to roll off my tongue fairly well. If you read it, try reading it out loud. If the rhyme and meter is good, it should just roll along and move smoothly for anyone who is reading it. Hope you enjoy it and are having a good day.
Deadwood no. 2
Deadwood was born in a gold rush
a town that was wicked and wild
it was sinful and dirty and dusty as hell
not a place for the meek or the mild
it was named for the fire charred relics
that clung to the banks of a stream
they were reminders of natures past furies
to be careless was living a dream
but the people who came to this valley
cut trees and tore sod from the ground
they built and they dug and they dug and they built
till the valley was all scarred and brown
and the people were scarred also
by the work and the words and the play
there were shenanigans, shootings and stabbing’s
the strong and the rough ruled the day
Wild Bill and Potato Creek Johnny
Charlie Utter and Martha Jane too
Bullock and Starr and Jack McCall
were members of this motley crew
but lawless only lasts for a time
then the piper must be paid his price
through fire and flood and famine
and winters as cold as ice
because nature was seeking revenge
or at least maintaining her course
trying to reclaim the valley that was lost
she fought back without any remorse
and time has a way of changing
the patterns and wants of men
the bloodshed and killings grew tiresome
so law must prevail again
those citizens of a long ago time
who lived and loved by that stream
they ripped and they roared, slept and they snored
but their memory is only a dream
Robert Dennis 1-07
Well, another birthday passed by yesterday. I ain’t officially old yet, but I think it’s the miles, not the years.
Tate, Kass and Gabe came out and spent the day with me and Cindy, after she got off from work. We took my, new to me, ice skates and went skating on the pond. I used to just love to skate, but old age ain’t helped my ability to skate! I never fell down, but I sure used some muscles I hadn’t used for awhile. 🙂
We got a lite dusting of snow and it’s gotten cold. Down below 0 several nights. Highs in the teens during the days. Of course, I had a tank or two want to freeze up and run over, so there is lots of ice in the corrals. I bet it’ll all be gone by the 4th of July! LOL
I even fed the cattle some hay. I’ve got to be careful, or I’ll spoil them. Nice hay that a neighbor traded me for a saddle. I just wish it was a bigger pile. 🙂 Beggars can’t be choosers, tho’.
Tyler drove out tonight to spend the evening and tomorrow, as it’s his day off. I’ve got a gig in Spearfish on Wednesday and Chadron on Friday and Saturday. Should be fun.
Hope you had a good day.
It is the supposedly ,last nice day we are going to get for awhile. Temps have been in the 30’s and 40’s. For the next 5 days or so, we are supposed to get some snow and temps in the single digits.
I can remember years when I would have been really grateful to have the temps warm up into the single digits, at this time of the year. So I guess I won’t complain when we get “seasonal” weather. It all balances out. We get some extra hot days in the summer so we are bound to get some extra cold days in the winter.
Moisture wise also. We had some real wet years and lately we have gone thru’ some real dry ones. It will change and we’ll be back to “normal”! 🙂
Cindy and I had to run into town the other day so we took the trailer along and got a load of bales. When we got home, we unloaded them. So yesterday I could barely walk! I have got to get in shape and shed a few years! Man, gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.
I’m going down and get me a new cowdog pup this morning, from a young feller who’s female had a batch, awhile ago. He’d asked me to take one and I had agree’d, but then it looked like I would be working for Dusty a lot and I didn’t think it was fair to Cindy or the pup to have him around and no time for him. But it looks like now I maybe won’t be helping Dusty that much, so I decided to get him and see how it goes. ‘Sides, Cindy just looooovvvveeees puppy’s! 😉
It will be fun to have a pup around again. Until he starts chewing things up! Oh well, it will all average out. Just like the weather.
Hope your having a great day!
The weather has changed a bit around here. Cooled off and we got a little rain and snow yesterday and a touch of snow today.
Had a good/bad day the other day. Awhile back, when I was going to ship some cows, I left the ones I was going to ship in the corral over night. The little corral that leads into the loading chute was full of ice. I was afraid one would get hurt, when I tried to move them thru’ that corral to load them. So, I scattered some hay on top of the ice so that they could carefully walk in and eat the hay and mess up the ice, so that there would be better footing the next morning. Seemed like a good plan at the time.
Next morning when I went out to load them, there was an old cow who had slipped on the ice and had her hind feet out behind her and couldn’t get back up. She must have lain there most of the night. I cussed myself for a fool and went to trying to get her off from the ice. After the help of Cindy and Woody, I got her drug onto dry ground in the other corral.
I’ve been working with her ever since trying to get her back on her feet. This was a coming 17 year old longhorn cow. She would eat and drink, but I never could get her to get to her feet. So the other day I decided that I’d done as much as I could for her and wasn’t really doing her any favors by trying any more, so I shot her and drug her to the dead pile. Man, I just hate to shoot a cow! But I reconciled myself that she wasn’t suffering and she had had a long and good life. But I still feel stupid for not thinking about this happening. Lesson learned.
Then I caught my two draft horses and worked with them. Fine, the filly, worked real well. It was the second time I had put a harness on her and I went ahead and drove her, single. She did real good and I think she will just keep on getting better, when I can find the time to keep working with her. Now, if I can just dig a hole to lead her brother into, so I can throw the harness on him! Man! If I’d have known how big he was going to get, I don’t know if I would have got him. Good thing that he seems to be a gentle giant. Sure wish they were broke to drive and I was younger!
Hope you had a good day.