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PAUL QUINTON
About Paul Quinton
 

 


Ranchin'

Distant
A whiteface saunters head-on toward me.
Stops.
Dips her head and waters for hours.
Raises the white face straight-on at me
Turns and walks away dead-on from me.

Every day
 Straight in coming
Stopping
 Straight on going
    Morning and evening
Year upon year
Till I sell her
To pay the hands
That brought her
That numbered her
That cured her
That protected her
For you to eat.
 

© 2014, Paul Quinton
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

 

Paul Quinton comments: This poem came from just watching an old Hereford cow in the distance walk straight down the fence line directly to her tank to drink. The event and view spoke to the life of repetition, many loves and labors that lead to a final destination that most who must eat, never see.

 

 

from Bubba, Sr.

Well, Bubba, Jr., —it’s been a good, hard ride.
     We knew it was going to rain,
          —just not so soon.
     You fell off, but got back on.

We heard some thunder,
     but the sun shined still.

You carried many and more on the way.
You kept our horses close
     never far apart—
          telling stupid jokes and singing,

     “Ol’ Stewball was a racehorse, and I wish he was mine.
     He never drank water. He only drank wine...
     ...Summertime and the living is easy.
     Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good looking ...”
Then, there it was—
     Lightening cracked the sky.
Your pony spooked and bolted off our trail.
He carried you where I cannot go.
He took you where I cannot know.
It is raining now.
My face is wet. My saddle stings. The wind bites cold.
     The place you had beside me
          is open now.
I search for you, but that damned stud
     took you where I cannot know—
          — to where I cannot go.
     I’ll ride on a little more,
          till this dark mare gets to where we’ve gone

© 2006, Paul Quinton
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

 

Paul Quinton told us that he and his younger brother,  ".. were trail riding partners in the Sierras, cow pastures, and life. After his sudden death, these lines try to keep some of his presence despite his irreversible departure. On his horse, when he was happiest, he would often try to sing 'Summertime' or 'Old Stewball.' Some said a bawling calf sang better, but he helped a lot of people along his way."

 

 

 

 

 


 

About Paul Quinton:

The author was raised in a rural southeast Texas town with a horse, a cow, pigs, dogs, rabbits, armadillos, turtles, “crawfish,” and an unrelenting wish for a ranch. After a stint of hitch-hiking in South America and returning some time later, he found living poetry in an old campo in central Argentina twenty some years ago with a cow-calf operation, mainly grass fed, with a few horses. He's still not a "real” cowboy (can’t rope worth a damn), but he gets as close as he can sitting on a horse moving out a cow or two.




 

 

 

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