Zuzuni on the badlands
Montana's muddy badlands spread for thirty seven miles
along a cleft of sandstone bed, eroded years before;
the chestnut paced upon the bare of grass and well worn aisles
and I wore two new Navy Colts, of gauging forty four
beneath the noon light that defines but also eyes beguiles.
An anchorite, some years ago, upon the ridge of Grapes
where monasteries in the clouds are reaching out to God,
I learned to draw and shoot amidst the fog's white waving drapes
and prayed til the time was ripe to abandon this abode,
cause solitude was molding deeds, constringing, thus, escapes.
I saw them waiting on the trail; three bandits stood apart:
Coyote Chit, Cheesecake Labif and Mambo-Jumbo Crock
with cross-tied low their pistols stood, assumptive and upstart
bemocking fools who patented their e'er noetic block
that teachers, tho', could not explain; not even wise Descartes!
My shots intended at their guns, the hoisted hammers broke;
I ordered them to start the dance that turns the clouds to rain
the land was in compelling need, as turf and plants evoked
the sympathy of Heavens that magnanimous ordained
the good ol' boys (and volunteers) to dance the rain's refrain.
Coyote was allowed to dance a prominent gavotte
meanwhile Labif's romantic soul preferred a marigold
but Crock's mazurka had untied the nimbus' Gordian knot
and rain began to pour upon those who the skies extolled
heroic men were meant to be, defining, thus, a blot.
Zuzuni, the Algonquin chief, had noticed this ordeal
and marveled at the outlaws forms, that caused the skies to rain
in order so, to buy the fools he offered a good deal
fourteen strong horses for each man, who danced to ascertain
that rains returned upon the slopes and also on the plains.
© 2014-10-15, G. Venetopoulos, All Rights Reserved
Contest Name: Sketch a Character
Sponsor: Gautami Phookan
The Farmer woke,
Before break of day,
And for a little rain did pray.
Then hitched his team,
And plowed the land,
Given him by the Master’s hand.
The Cowboy awoke,
And a prayer he sighed,
“Please give us rain, for the prairie is dry.”
Then in the heat,
He did rope and brand,
The cattle given him by the Master’s hand.
At night, before sleep,
The Farmer read,
The words from the Bible that God had said,
“If you’ll keep my Commandments,
In it’s season I’ll make it rain,
And you shall eat,
And your land shall fill with grain.”
The Cowboy fell asleep remembering,
A verse his Ma had read,
A promise God made and the words he said,
“Love and serve the Lord God,
And it shall come to pass,
That I shall make it rain,
And for the cattle, there shall be grass.”
So each resolved, in his own way,
To be a better man,
And follow closely the Commandments,
And there-fore save the land.
And though they never met,
They prayed for the same thing,
And watched the sky for the clouds,
And the rain that they would bring.
And though it was long in coming,
The drops fell upon the land,
And revived and refreshed these special places,
Given by the Master’s hand.
The Farmer and the Cowboy,
Each prayed for the land of which they were fond,
And through their belief, they saved the Earth,
Through the Lord’s Common Bond.
As deep thunder in the distance growls,
I ponder now just how to begin,
This dark story mid coyote howls
Of the ghost cowboy on the wind.
It began upon a stormy night
With soft pounding rain like horse’s hoof—
And I could not sleep, try as I might,
With that tempest hard on my roof.
The blind lightning lit and shook the room,
The horses cried and paced the corral—
They seemed to sense an impending doom,
But they or I did not know how.
Then the cabin door blew open wide
And I heard his spurs now clear as sin—
There was no place that my mind could hide
From that ghost cowboy on the wind.
Then guns like thunder roared in the night
And a hot rain of blood slapped my face—
I fired wild and cursed with all my might
As I heard his boots run from that place.
The storm is gone now and skies are clear,
But I ride toward clouds like long lost kin—
Thunderheads in the west are now near—
I am that ghost cowboy on the wind.