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 Commanche (aka "Spot") and H. D. Hughes

 

H. D. HUGHES
Salem, Wisconsin
About H. D. Hughes

 

 

 

J R's Ride

Across the paths of Buckskin mares,
of Stallions, Paints, and Bays,
through lands of peace and pleasantries,
is where our rider stays.

He rides forever through the skies,
cross vista's far and wide,
no fences to obstruct the joy,
no boundaries on his ride.

A soft contented cowboy,
rides fast on Heaven's plain,
passed purple mountains majesty,
and field's of endless grain.

Old chaps and weathered saddle,
worn boots and soiled hat,
and now and then a simple fire,
with souls, awhile to chat.

A horse that's never skittish,
but reactive to the bit,
knows when to rest, a quiet stream,
and also when to git.

No need for conversation,
no loneliness invades,
this place abounds with all he needs,
until forever fades.

He lives, though not of body,
in a place of joyful tears,
in a land of milk and honey,
a land not fenced in fears.

Close your eyes you'll surely see him,
in the pastures of your mind,
on the back of some wild pony,
on a ride of God's design.

Across the paths of Buckskin mares,
of Stallions, Paints, and Bays,
your cowboy rides forever more,
through countless, endless days.

2002, H. D. Hughes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

A tribute to Edwin Day Brainard (J.R.) Junior
A well loved Rancher in Montana who passed away one day before
his thirty second birthday from Leukemia on December 28th, 2001.
He was a great husband and father to his family, and is greatly missed by
All who knew and loved him.




The following poems are a part of series of over twenty five poems about the people and places of "Prescott Corners."  H. D. says "I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story which naturally culminates in a rodeo where old veterans of the arena teach younger more energetic upstarts the ways of the rodeo and the true life experiences that make cowboys the heroes
of everyone from six to ninety six."  

 

Lonesome Rider

See the lonesome tired cowboy,
head bent forward to the wind.
Ridin slumped, his worn out saddle,
sway backed mare, his only friend.

He is bushed, patrolling fence line,
it has been two weeks or more,
since the foreman sent him out here,
he has earned his pay for shore.

He has watched too many sunsets,
and too early seen it rise,
cause it seemed was just an hour ago,
he'd finally closed his eyes.

His hands were blistered, broken,
his skin was cut and raw.
When last he tried, tear off a hunk,
could hardly feel his chaw.

His face was filled with stubble,
his beard not kept or clean,
was true was not the prettiest,
hisself had ever seen.

He smelled like old potatoes,
or something very dead.
A constant buzzin in his ears,
the flies about his head.

Had beans last week fer dinner,
this week, had et the same.
Afraid he was to go to sleep,
too near an open flame.

His teeth became discolored,
a week ago today.
His mouth was a kaleidoscope,
of shades of green to gray.

His hair was knotted, dirty,
like no one seemed to care.
Protruding from his dirty hat,
was matted everywhere.

His fingernails encrusted,
with dirt and dust and grime.
Were broken, split at different lengths,
had been so quite some time.

His skin was dark as chocolate,
like leather from the sun,
and wind that blowed across his skin,
some sez since time's begun.

His hip an old revolver,
all round had quickly seen.
The only thing of man or beast,
he'd bothered keeping clean.

He oiled it every evenin,
then wiped it down with pride.
Then gently with adoring care,
into his holster, slide.

His saddlebags were empty,
cept for jerky and some flour.
A couple cans of pork and beans,
and lemon candy, sour.

A shirt, fer if he went to town,
Witch Hazel if he should,
by chance a diner find hisself,
and want to smell so good.

Inside a comb for who knows what,
some matches for a fire.
A pliers should he find hisself,
repairin broken wire.

He also kept a picture,
of someone name of Belle.
Another story of this man,
someday I hope to tell.

He also had some coffee,
an old and battered pot.
To take the chill from off his bones,
he needed, somethin hot.

His mare, he calls her "Flower,"
who knows why named her so.
Perhaps because she moved so slow,
beneath her they would grow.

Her head is always hanging,
like weighted near the ears.
Her eyes were always watery,
though wet plumb through with tears.

Her back I may have mentioned,
was swayed, not very sound.
When riding her her stomach almost,
rubs across the ground.

She's brown like leaves of winter,
with socks of black and gray.
Been with foal more times then not,
had little time to play.

She takes this Lonesome Rider,
wherever they decide.
For though they're tared and plumb wore out,
they both just love to ride,

So as the sun is sinking,
in slowly waning light.
The rider tells his tired mount,
let's bed down for the night.

Till morrow on the prairie,
or side a quiet stream.
The Lonesome Rider and his mare,
still ride in peaceful dream.

2003, H. D. Hughes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written
permission.

 

Dusty

His name was simply Eustus,
that's Eustus Frank McCoy,
a second cousin to a steer,
that's easy to annoy.

His specialty is ropin,
is known throughout the west,
in Rodeo's from here to there,
he's beatin all the rest.

The boys all call him "Dusty,"
cuz he wears a coat of dirt,
the pockets of his jeans are filled,
and just as full, his shirt.

He rides high in the saddle,
no prouder man then he,
his hat is pulled down to his ears,
it ain't a comin free.

His gloves are worn, three fingers,
but he will not discard,
cause findin ones that fit like these,
would be too dad gum hard.

His smile is quite contagious,
a bright and toothy grin,
if ever contest, strength of light,
I'm sure his smile would win.

His horse, he called him "Traveler,"
a stallion with a mood,
would buck the best of cowboy down,
especially a dude.

His coat was black as midnight,
a starless, moonless sky,
most thought him a bit deranged,
was something in his eye.

His temperament would soften,
but senses heightened some,
when Dusty whistled, called his name,
he wanted him to come.

He took to chasin critters,
like ducklin's to a pond,
why Dusty and old Traveler,
began to form a bond.
 
When Dusty, only sixteen years,
had watched the anxious steed,
who turned and darted on a dime,
though driven by a need.
 
He'd seen a special talent,
a certain kind of fire,
that drove the colt beyond himself,
that filled him with desire.

He saw a horse with strength and speed,
who loved to cut and run,
and knew that they would be a team,
before the day was done.

Now lets get back to ropin,
what Dusty does with pride,
this boy can rope both front and back,
or hangin on the side.

When the chute was open,
these two would all but fly,
in a flash the steer was roped,
him lookin in its eye.

He'd walk cross that arena,
uncinch the rope from horn,
climb aboard Old Traveler,
then tip his hat, adorned.

Old Dusty was a cowboy,
who dearly loved to ride,
as long as he had Traveler,
a rope, hung by his side.

2003, H. D. Hughes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The Room

At Ester Bishop's Millinery,
cross from Jake's Saloon,
up the stairs and to the right,
a quiet little room.

The Room, in pastel colors,
is painted wall to wall,
with windows on the north and south,
both seven feet, quite tall.

The windows both are covered,
with softened drapes of sheer,
so looking both from out and in,
the view, somewhat unclear.

The shades are lightly colored,
with tiny flowers and vines,
that run among the flowers there,
they softly intertwine.

The breezes in the springtime,
and after summer rains,
move the drapes, a soft ballet,
while heard, the winds refrain.

They wave in silent splendor,
though beckoning to come,
be hypnotized, be mesmerized,
in quiet dreams, succumb.

The bed lies in the corner,
well dressed in ladies faire,
of tapestries and fineries,
and pillows scattered there.

The bed clothes tucked in neatly,
in darkness, softened hues,
a random scene of gold and greens,
and interspersed with blues.

Was overstuffed and friendly,
inviting to the eye,
the kind of bed quite honestly,
is begging you to lie.

Near the farthest window,
a wingback, slightly worn,
who's arms are thin from yesterdays,
and cushions mended, torn.

It sits before the window,
a book lies by its side,
read front to back in solitude,
while viewing scenes outside.

Beside the worn old wingback,
a basket on the floor,
thats filled with goods and memories,
some yarn, and so much more.

About a dozen needles,
of different lengths and size,
half finished gloves and socks and scarves,
are there to grace your eyes.

Skeins of wool for knitting,
a rainbow on display,
of every color,type, and grade,
this prismatic array.

And in the nearest corner,
amongst the shadows hide,
the darkness, Oaken Rocker,
and its occupant do slide.

In the silence, gently sobbing,
it had been this way a spell,
for this sad and lonely darlin,
Lonesome Rider knew as Belle.

"Had been months!" she sobbed and whispered,
since that kiss had been their last,
but in truth that bears repeatin,
just three weeks had slowly passed.

So we leave our Belle in silence,
less the sounds of distant drums,
but the drums are born of hoofbeats,
for her Lonesome Rider comes.

2003, H. D. Hughes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Belle

Now Belle is pure and simple,
an ordinary girl,
with skin of not much color,
and hair, with not a curl.

It's straight and lackin luster,
cut close, below her ears,
a style that lacks inventiveness,
but hers throughout the years.

Its parted down the middle,
lays flat agin her head,
looks the same when mornin comes,
as when she went to bed.

The color, sort of reddish,
but really not at all,
in fact it is so nondescript,
the shade I can't recall.

Her height is five foot seven,
or so it seemed to me,
the store, she stood beside me once,
the top,  her head I see.

Her weight is unimportant,
bout average if I dare,
one year was round and out of shape,
the next seemed hardly there.

Last seen was gaunt and quiet,
her eyes, a veil of gloom,
had been three weeks, the gossip was,
since she had left "The Room."

She wore a sweet expression,
that melts a fellers heart,
cause even when they're not to close,
they're never far apart.

Her teeth are slightly crooked,
and not the brightest white,
they've not a hint of greenish glow,
that others maybe might.

Her smile I'd say is warming,
though seen so very rare,
the kind of smile you hear them say,
they wish the girl would share.

The thing I most remember,
what seems to mesmerize,
is how you see her very soul,
within her sparklin eyes.

They twinkle like a diamond,
a diamond, bright  and blue,
and seems but with a simple glance,
can see inside of you.

Belle is fair complected,
in fact she's very pale,
some sez so white she'd light the room,
should darkness drop its veil.

Her clothing, unassuming,
bland colors, loosely fit,
and tailored like a piller case,
with Belle inside of it.

Her shoes were hardly stylish,
guess functional's the word,
amongst the folks that stands a lot,
I'm  told, they are preferred.

Were made of softened leather,
yet light, when laced complete,
a comfort to her tired legs,
but mostly to her feet.

The thing thats most admired,
of Belle you understand,
how silently "The Room" within,
she waits without  her man.

In Ester Bishops Millinery,
within "The Room" above,
they hear Belle rocking endlessly,
aware she's deep in love.

From time to time one ventures up,
to see if she's in need,
she whispers from the shadows there,
just bring her man, Godspeed.

They know behind the window,
she watches through the night,
in hopes the Lonesome Rider soon,
will pass before her sight.

2003, H. D. Hughes
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The above poems are a part of series of over twenty five poems about the people and places of "Prescott Corners."  H. D. says "I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story which naturally culminates in a rodeo where old veterans of the arena teach younger more energetic upstarts the ways of the rodeo and the true life experiences that make cowboys the heroes of everyone from six to ninety six."  


 

 

About H. D. Hughes:

I live in Salem, Wisconsin. Salem is sixty miles north of Chicago and thirty five miles south of Milwaukee. My wife and I run a horse boarding facility here in southeastern Wisconsin. This gives me some help in writing about horses and their like, but in no way gives me the true western feelings that I found in my mind when the words revealed themselves to me.

 

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