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The Drove

Shadow Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Drove which was written by poet Shadow Hamilton. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Drove

The trail was long and very dusty
great clouds churned up by hooves
of the vast herd being wrangled on
300 more miles of eating their dust

Bandana's tightly wrapped round faces
cries of "get up there" ringing out
bawling calves separated from mothers
hiss of hot branding irons scorching

A rumbling constantly moving mass
stretching back as far as eyes can see
horses reeling back and forth, pushing
always pushing them on, 200 miles to go

Storm is approaching as they settle down
tightly bunched up wranglers keeping watch
hard as nails falls the rain, lashing down
cattle milling round and round as flashes

Of lightning light up the sky causing 
restless beasts to try to break and flee away
tumultuous thunder now joining in causing panic
"Keep them circling, don't let them break out"

Came the cries of the foreman as they tried to hold 
chuck wagon knocked over as through camp they run
woe to anyone on foot or even a thrown rider
"keep them going south, They will stop at the river"

Gradually the storm quietens and dies down
first light shows how scattered they are
some needing to be shot where they lay mangled
the rest pushed through the river to the plains

Here they can be regrouped, lush grasses to eat
no urgency now 10 miles or so a day we push them
letting them gain some more weight, 50 miles to go
the foreman sends two men on to warn the yards

At last they see the rail tracks, only 15 miles away
"one last big push lads and we will have them there
tonight we will wet our whistles and eat like kings"
hot tubs to soak in, washing away dirt that is caked

We push them into the waiting pens as they bawl and churn
settled now with fresh hay and water the plaintive calls
of mothers looking for their calves, the wranglers push 
them together keeping the bulls apart, they will ship first

Now work is done, 800 miles or so we have driven them
it is time to relax and let our hair down, find ladies
of the night with which to dally for awhile, some poker
played, several fights break out over who gets which one

As dawn breaks low rumbles from the pens as the cattle stir
the town but for a few still fast asleep, until the train
spitting steam and smoke arrives, and buyers now alight
many offers are made and rejected out of hand, these cows

Are already sold to keep our armies fed as they war against
the Maverick Indians, that are plundering the homesteads
30,000 at first of drove, now reduced to 27,000 or so
loaded up on the train our job is done we are homeward bound    

written 09/17/2013

contest Epic Only

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  1. Date: 10/22/2013 6:35:00 AM
    wow,...this poem is very superb,....

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 10/22/2013 8:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    hi and Ty glad you enjoyed it Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/25/2013 4:38:00 PM
    A marvelous story you told in this poem, Shadow. This was a great entry for the "epic" contest. Fantastic work! Congratulations on your win, as well!...Thank you for the kind comments, once again!

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 10/22/2013 8:35:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    hi Kelly I love all things western lol Ty Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/24/2013 7:37:00 PM
    wow....this is an awesome poem, love how you tell the story in this piece...congrats on your win....

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/25/2013 4:27:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hi Sandra My first epic so not sure I got it quite right ty for enjoying it Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/24/2013 6:18:00 PM
    great write Shadow ...congrats..Seren

  1. Date: 9/24/2013 4:56:00 PM
    Shadow, amazing......&......Congrats................. Love~SKAT~

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/25/2013 4:26:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ty Skat I really appreciate all the work you do to promote Soup Shadow x smile
    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/24/2013 5:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    hi Skat and ty Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/24/2013 11:33:00 AM
    Shadow,, :)Congratulations!!! Thanks for supporting my EPIC contest with this amazing deep imagery. Exactly what I was looking for. If you'd like:-) stop by my latest poem ""In The Stars"" OR my latest blog! " Wartime Memories " at -----> http://www.poetrysoup.com/poetry_blogs/blog_detail.aspx?BlogID=15948&PoetID=18720 always & forever **LINDA

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/24/2013 4:17:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    certainly will Linda always enjoy your poems and ty for place and running contest
  1. Date: 9/18/2013 8:19:00 PM
    Wonderful Shadow You wrote it as if you had led the life. Should be a winner in the Contest.

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/19/2013 7:02:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    hi SuZ a misspent childhood of reading westerns lol Edison boy did I love his books. Ty for lovely review
  1. Date: 9/18/2013 5:10:00 PM
    WOWOWOW, you surely did an epic poem. GREAT narrative writing skills, Shadow. . I am impressed.

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/19/2013 7:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ty Andrea that means a lot to me Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/17/2013 4:10:00 PM
    What a wonderful poem you made out of this story. OI thought it was quite brilliant. Well done Shadow....Peter

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/17/2013 4:21:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Ty Peter many childhood hours of reading and watching westerns boy did I want to be one lol Shadow x smile
  1. Date: 9/17/2013 10:12:00 AM
    What a story. You had me gripped. You painted such a tale here, yet it feels quite similar to some life occurrences today. Excellent job!

    Hamilton Avatar Shadow Hamilton
    Date: 9/17/2013 2:37:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    hi Drake so glad you like it Shadow x smile