Friday, June 14, 2013

Cowboy poetry or poetry about 'em

Margaret has once again come up with an interesting poetry challenge at The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Her subject is cowboy (and cowgirl) poetry, and we are invited to write whatever we choose about, or inspired by, the photos of Merri Melde of The Equestrian Vagabond.
I've chosen one of Merri's photos and have added some public domain shots archived from an old movie called Border Caballero.
I grew up in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley when it was ranching, farming and orchard country. Everybody knew someone who rode a horse and roped cattle for a living, and we all admired the big, brave, strong cowboys in movies and, later, on television.

cowboys were heroes when I was a child
when country surrounding our town was wild
we’d go up the mountain, or ford a stream,
pretend to be cowboys, that was our dream—

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Tonto, Lone Ranger
we’d pick a hero and act out the danger
of riding the range, protecting the cattle,
if rustlers appeared, there would be battle

although it’s not now politically proper
we would fight “injuns” who tried to stop our
wagon trains crossing their native homeland
as if we believed that it was our own land

first from the movies, and then from TV
that was the way we just thought it should be.


Margaret said...

we’d go up the mountain, or ford a stream,
pretend to be cowboys, that was our dream—

If TV or the movies inspires one to go outside and PLAY, it can't be all bad. Very dreamy "back in the day" poem.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is very cool, Kay, a cowboy sonnet, and very true to the narrative form.

Susan said...

A neat sonnet!
I remember playing Cowboys and Indians, too, with a corral of horses (skinny tree branches). When I was a professor I made up for that somewhat by creating a performance art piece about Roy's native American heritage and Dale's huge adopted family and how they loved Trigger. Somehow it all related to Matthew Shephard's brutal death--but I'd have to go through boxes to remember how. Thanks for the memories.

kaykuala said...

A good run of what it was, Kay! Lots of fun to be with and within all the works of cowboy country. You showed us the real thing. Great take Ma'am!


Helen said...

I may have been a kid ... but I fell head over heals for Guy Madison who starred in 'The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock.' Also loved his huge sidekick 'Jingles.'

Susie Clevenger said...

Gosh this brings back memories! We played cowboys and Indians and were glued to all the cowboy shows and movies on television. Thanks for the memories!

hedgewitch said...

I'm with you all the way to the Calgary Stampede here, Kay. All my early heroes were cowboys, especially John Wayne--cried buckets at The Alamo--and I've run into a few in later life as well, who, while they would never call themselves heroes, were definitely men with a great inner strength and resilience. I always think of Canada(or parts anyway) as cowboy country, because of the great Ian Tyson...he wrote some wonderful cowboy songs, like 'Red Velvet,' and 'Four Strong Winds.'

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh you took me back to afternoons after school when I'd watch Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger - I played cowboys and injuns, too, never for one moment thinking anything of it. I am remembering a red plaid shirt, and a silver and white handled toy gun. The early days of a pacifist!

Jinksy said...

Loved that 'proper' and 'stop her' rhyme. LOL Nice one!

Maggie Grace said...

I grew up with those cowboys too and played the games outside. Such nostalgia. Thank you for taking me back to a good memory!

Patricia A. McGoldrick said...

Your sonnet brings back many memories of the shows that dominated the screen for many years. Westerns ruled!

Fireblossom said...

Kids accept things as they find them, they really don't agonize over moral shadings!

I tend to go on binges of watching reruns of a particular old tv show every day, for a while, and then I switch. For a while, last year, it was "Gunsmoke"!