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Mark Black




Poets of the Cowboy Persuasion

Cowboy poets are my heroes,
And I'm sure you're wondering why.
We'll I guess its it's cause they make me laugh,
And then sometimes they make me cry.

They have a way of makin my old brain wake up it seems.
To make my mind's eye see the horses crossing clear blue mountain streams.

They can make my mind's nose smell a thing or two as well.
Like horse sweat and wet leather on a day that's hot as hell.

They can make me feel the snowflakes as they sting my ears and face,
As I'm bringing in a calving heifer to the barn at the Old Home Place.

They just up and lift my heart and soul to a place they call the West.
And there is just enough cowboy left in me to know that place is the best.

2002, Mark Black
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 

The New Ole Grey Mare

Old Charley the horse trader said
He thought she'd ride just fine.
Some little 4-H girl had owned her,
And maybe spoiled her from time to time.

My wife said, "Yea, she's just a little sour on the ground,
But she'll probably ride off great."
"Go ahead and climb up on her, hon,"
Then she stepped outside the gate.

Well, I though about it for a second or two
And figured what the heck.
'Bout the worst thing that could happen
Is she'd up and break my neck.

So I pulled her head around a bit
And stepped gently up into the saddle.
Ole' Grey just stood there calmly,
It appeared there'd be no battle.

I walked her around the pen for a bit
'til I felt like a real horse trainer.
That trader must have been honest.
Riding this mare was a real no-brainer.

In a short time the spectators decided
There would be no show today.
So they just moseyed off and went back to work,
Leaving me alone there on Old' Grey.

She was sure showing lots of promise
And picked up both leads just swell.
If there was a mean bone in Ole' Grey's body,
By gosh, I couldn't tell.

On the next trip down the rail, I guess,
As near as I can recollect,
Is when things went from being nice and smooth
So quickly straight to heck.

That first jump woke me up real quick.
Things were changing way too fast.
Though I didn't see my whole life
I darn sure glimpsed the past.

I can't say she bucked real hard
But Lord could she buck high!
At one point I was watching birds
And seeing them eye to eye.

The worst thing was I couldn't seem
To just get off and stop the hurt.
But before I knew what had occurred
I was planted in the dirt.

Every now and then my body jerks
And twinges in sharp pain.
As another blocked out memory of that wreck
Is brought forth from my brain.

It's difficult to imagine
How there are so many memories to sort,
From a ride upon such a quiet mare
That turned out to be so doggone short!

2002, Mark Black
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 



About Mark Black:

Mark has always been drawn to the cowboy life - from growing up in Iowa playing cowboys and Indians on his pony to spending time near the Black Hills driving cows and calves to summer pasture.  Aside from his marriage to a good woman and the birth of his two beautiful, brilliant daughters, Mark thinks the time he's spent astride a horse has been the most worthwhile hours of his life.  Mark considers the facts that he was born in 1952 (instead of 1852), that he works as a salesman to the food and dairy industry (instead of driving cows up the Abilene Trail), and that he lives in Wisconsin (instead of out West - anywhere out West) just a cruel karmic hoax.  But through his poetry, he's working through it.





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