Poetry Month: Day Twenty

In case you’ve stayed away from all social media where people like to share the things they’ve bought in order to feel like part of a community, today is Record Store Day. Normally days devoted to mass consumerism give me a reason to glare at people’s backs, but this is one that is relevant to my interests, so I look the other way. And the other way is often the direction of the used music racks of the nearest local record store. I stopped into mine on the way to work, and am happy to report that I fulfilled my tradition for the day. That tradition is going in looking for one thing I know I won’t find, then finding something I’d been looking for so long that I’d convinced myself I didn’t even want it.

This year that purchase was Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering. There is no story as to why this little book has been stuck in my mind as a thing I needed to own, except for the two first words in the title. Thank you, Jack’s, for making tiny dreams come true.

Gathering Cattle in the Deertack's Pasture

No wind, still the dry oat's stems are swaying.
In the winter sunlight on the pale dust, listen. . .
Hear the still rangeland ringing in your ears.

My dun horse swings his head toward the first click of hooves.
Vaqueros trailing a herd through the sands of the bed
Drift by calling "picale, ándale, ir'ya vacas."

Blue sky and the bald Peloncillo Mountains ahead,
a rocky trail behind. Come on, dun horse,
there's a long way left to ride

                   till daylight's gone and the work is done.

-Drummond Hadley

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