Sunday, December 15, 2013

Joker's Pay

If you can make a week old prolapse seem
Romantic as a school girl's dream
Describe the sweet and lovely things
That are held together with hog rings

You'll deserve a gold B.S. degree
In Western cowboy poetry
But writing poems and jokes and such
For this cattle crowd won't pay too much

You see they can't afford to pay to hear
The real value of a dying steer
Or all about that market mess
That brings on all their money stress

And doubt about tiny checks towards giant notes
Wore out over shoes and coats
And old gloves turned inside out.

And don't forget the numbers, write those great big numbers down
You see all that pretty equity and forty cents
Will buy a cup of coffee almost anywhere in town
And who here hasn't visualized that long dreaded day
When some sympathetic crowd, and a somber auctioneer
Sells your world away

Some bitter husband, weeping wife
Decides what now to do with life
And where to go, how not to feel
Like failures at the only thing they know

And so, Joker, if you make the poems and jokes
To entertain these Western folks
Who herd the cows and tend the sheep
For their sake, keep it light

And take the laughter for your pay
Because right now 

Tears are cheap

Dangerous Beef

I chanced to have a steak one day
I was eating lunch in town
And this lady I was sitting near
Just looked at me, and frowned

She said, "friend, think of your arteries,
Have you no good sense at all
You gobble saturated fat
And pure cholesterol"

"You'll be a soggy, sodden mess
When your heart blows to pieces
Gee, I wish you would appreciate,
How dangerous that beef is."

Well, my steak arrived and began to cool
Her words were like the blight
God, I hated to admit it,
But that crazy gal, was right

'Cause I've been hooked and punched around
Sustained cuts and abrasions
I've been crapped on or hooked so many times
I forget those small occasions

Seen broken arms, and broken legs,
Seen my share of bad backs
Because darn near all my cowboy friends
Have been hurt in beef attacks

An old cow once had me against the fence
She about mashed me in half
While I pounded on her beefy skull
The milk bottle for her calf

She ripped off my watch, and tore my shirt
There was lots of blood and fur
For years, each time I tasted beef
I prayed I was biting her

And that old cow and there is more like her
Who sure could raise a fuss
Ma'am, you don't exaggerate
Some beef is dangerous

But this cold steak is proof to all
Of these last words to be said
I am not afraid of beef
After it... is dead.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No Apologies

Somewhere along the way
You have noticed warnings
Caught a dead scent whiff
Of old miseries,
Old agonies
Not so long, not so gone.
It is your right,
Your obligation
To protect your piece
Of hard won freedom.

You give unmistakable
Body language signals
And this deaf man
Obliges with pocketed hands,
No more jokes, and
Two steps backward,

It was great, when it was great, 
And after that,
It was mostly OK, like
Sundown, loose rein,
Riding tired horses      home.

I know the sleepless
Analyzing nights
Serve no purpose.
Still, some linear logic,
Reptilian, guitar string,
Trip-wire sensitivity
Wonders where
I accidentally stepped,
That sent things


Point of No Return

Loading possessions
Sorting for the journey
Go and stay

My hands are steady
Heart is calm
The many miles between us
Cannot detract from who we are
          or might have been.

Would I change us
Cut rough edges to fit?
Like the perfect linoleum seam,
Flush enough to appear


Life is the reward for
Where we've been, what we did,
How much we grew.

It's past the point of
No return.
Beyond Recalling
Energy gone kinetic
Outside the bounds of human shaping.
A wild God
takes a deep breath.

Bronc Riders, Gunfighters know well
That elongated instant
Where reality stretches like a placenta.
Time curves through a prism of
Adrenaline and joy,
Fear falls earthward
Like the innocence.

He deliberately slides the sixth
Shell into the empty chamber.
Turns away from the an empty glass,
Loop off the hammer
Feels the reassuring weight on hip
Tugs hat brim for
The last time.
Blinks to keen the eyes
Pushes swing doors outward
To clear the view of silent street.

Handful of horn, it's easy up
Right boot cuts a perfect arc
Over steel hard trembling
Hip muscles,
Toe reaching to embrace off stirrup.
Spurred foot falls faster
Hips swivel to meet the leather
"Watch his ears, always watch his ears"

Just one more instant.
The wait is almost

Work for Food

Mementos of Vietnam - the metal box holds all of Rod's letters home to his folks.

Where highways
93 and 40 cross
     a 4-way stop
     an overpass
I interupt my hurry, north
To notice this solitary
He's paunchy, a pigtail grey
               and that
     Sickly, indoor kind
     of pale,
His bulbous, pockmarked
     Tells much.
He holds a cardboard sign
     (magic marked) that
Begs---Viet Vet---Work for Food.
He (and it) hold my eye, and
     I wonder hard
     About this man
The miles          and the years
     Have blurred the green
     Bent the Memories
     (and Minds)
     to suit
He can probably recite
The Names, the outfits
That climbed some hard-won
Hill--and gave it back.
Knows somebody who knows
Somebody who knows     you

It's getting hard
To tell an honest, grizzled
     Who sucks cheap wine
     and yearns for youth
     and the
We once were
     all too glad
To lose,
     from a
Common, grungy, middle-aged
Who knows which words
     Will work
I take the smooth, Corporate
I have a truck to chase,
Cows to sort for tomorrow's
     Beef auction
     In Jerome.
I have responsibilities.
So     I roll through
         the stop          and
         Save . . . the wave.

Lyle and Hawkeye

Rod and his brother Lyle feeding cattle.

After preg-testing
while the crew
puts the heifers back
Lyle speaks quietly
to Dr. Boyd,
they ride home early.

Hauling our horses home
we meet Lyle
leading Hawkeye
both with bad knees
hobbling along
The ultimate compliment
leading an old crippled
saddle horse
to the bone pile
on foot.

I took my hat off for Hawkeye.
There were no words.
Lyle didn't look up.

The next afternoon
about five o'clock
after shoeing
Lloyd and Mr. Powell,
putting away my
shoeing tools,
stable jack,
I could hear
the red loader tractor
on the hill
behind the dump.

Lyle never said a word,
that's not his way.
But it occurred to me
digging one grave
with a loader
on a smooth and rockless
took Lyle
all afternoon.

For Steve and Ted

Rod, Steve and Buster Wines, and neighbors branding in Ruby Valley

Slim comes back, reporting
After jeeping through the wood hills.
He brings home no surprises,
"Times are hard, there, for a drink."

It's hot and drouthy; by October,
Gardner Spring, and Willow
Are long dry; and Maverick
And Medicene, and Cherry
And Mountain seep a trickle.
They barely irrigate the feral horse
And the mule deer tracks that circle
Down from the brush to constant danger. 
God's creatures know
The lion and the hunters watch
      The water.

One old gelding lives alone
Up the draw from Willow Windmill.
He holds no commission, no command.
Fearlessly he limps up to the windmill
     In the daylight,
Stands by the pipe that split last winter,
Tries to slurp the gook that puddles
     In the trail.
It's not a fancy drink, but
These many vicious winters later,
He knows well he cannot walk too far.

The ranch that owns the windmill
Went broke, sold off the cattle.
Without them, there's no reason
     To repair. 
So the mule deer, and this gelding,
Innocent, thirsty victims
Of the interest rates that drove
     The lady down.

Among those of us who clamor
About respect for thirsty creatures
We hold our enviro-sensitivities
Aloft for all to see. . . .
Except to whine about wildlife problems,
Not one helpful hand was lifted.
Then two cowboys
     For the lady,
Steve and Ted, came in a pickup.
Brought a pipe and couple-wrenches,
Fixed the mainline to the stock tank,
     And then went back to work.

In this world, not one soul noticed.
No one took the time to thank them.
But the new pipe carries water
To the tank at Willow Windmill.
And one old gelding, tired and crippled,
     Gets a decent drink.

On Checking the Cows Sunday Evening, March 21, 1993

I'm not so angry now

froth melted to fatigue
i see the lump over by the twin ditches
low and insignificant
another dead cow

observed calving after lunch in some scattered willows
while we worked out some calvy heifers to take
to the barn
one heifer got on the fight
would not be cut out and driven
pingo and i turned her on the ice a dozen times
she stampeded blind down the fence
fell through the ice
broke her shoulder

back at 5:30
i see the flailing legs
rush to the rescue in time to watch
this cow's final thrash
last gasp
laid down on a dry ditchbank to calve
slipped in the ditch
with her head upstream
her swollen belly
stopped the snowmelt trickle
made a puddle that just fit her face

i'm not so angry now

it was a dumb mistake but
did the best
she could
trapped straining in the rising water
throwing her head and kicking between spasms
she spit out her new red heifer calf
cold and bewildered
on the soggy sandbar behind

i'm not so angry now

exhausted past caring of life or death
her head to heavy to lift
the water in one nostril
without help
beyond hope
while I doctor a calf
gaze at my broken-legged heifer
prolapsed and drowning
left us something

For Sorrely

It was just business between us,
            He and I,
He was wild and untrusting,
I thought training horses was to crawl on them,
            and ride.
I would rope and choke him,
Then catch one hind foot and stretch it
So he couldn't kick.
Hook my cinch ring with a wire, and
Away we'd go.
He didn't buck often, but when he did
It was hard and quick and flat
He'd bawl and spin, trying to unload
The man he never liked
             and would not trust.
I never petted Sorrely,
It was beneath us both.
The best we ever had,
For a friendship,
Was an uneasy

A couple Sorrely horse-trades and a dozen years later
Returning from some fall cow-work,
Four or five of us stopped for the
Mayhew field gate
Below the Connelly Corrals.
Buster, on a borrowed Sorrely, stepped off
To let us through.
As his right foot hit the ground,
He saw his left spur caught in his
Hobble buckle.
He tried to step right back,
But half-way on, Sorrely blew.
They scattered the rest of us like deer.
Trying to keep a bay filly from hitting the fence,
I watch it all over my shoulder.
Buster, hatless, both hands on the mecate,
Sliding, sitting half-up,
Kicking frantically at his trapped boot.
Sorrely stampeding, bent by the load
On the snaffle bit, bawling and kicking
At the old enemy.

At that moment,
I learned a lot about
Training horses.  

In Like a Lion

She showed her true colors
In the Middle Field Gate.
Trying to get past me,
Pirouetting like a dancer
Sliding, leaping for an advantage
Finding none, she shuts her eyes
For the blind run to freedom.
My horse is fresh, he bashes her
Off the feed ground, into the deep snow,
             and knocks her down.
She never takes another willing step
Toward the corral.

Two hours later,
She still will not drive toward the barn,
And I am ashamed
To ask my lathered saddle horse
To drag her any farther.

I step down to retrieve my rope
From her sweaty, sullen neck.
For her nasty disposition, and
Seven dead calves in two
Miserable, freezing days,
I can't resist a "goodbye"
Kick in her ribs.
"Get up, you weak-hearted bitch."
She does.
A tussle erupts,
A mix of anger, exhaustion,
             and coils of rope.

That's what spooked my horse.

Life and Times

When they ask of Life,
What will I say?
Can I describe time that swirls,
Flits with fickle castanets,
And disappears?
A shrinking, self-swallowing serpent?

Sometimes in spring
When ropes with eyes
Fly to heads and heels

The smokey celebration of
Surviving another winter
Buys the seven-way and Bud

Dusty faces crack from laughing
Bloody hands pass Copenhagen
Back and forth

No furtive glances hopefully
Caress snowless ridges
The future is studiously ignored
For the intensity of

Ground crew limps - unnoticed
Tomorrow's hips and rope-arm
Get no second

By God
We are a primitive
Futureless Band

At least we avoid
That flatland
Urban trap
Of measuring life

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Cowboy Poets in Great Britian

[a journalist's review of our cowboy poetry tour of Great Britian in 1995 that just popped up...]

The Cowboy Poets.
The Cowboy Poets are in a mean mood. The long journey from Cambridge by minibus combined with a tricky television interview has turned their spirits as black as the clouds hanging over Cardiff Bay. A polite petition from the photographer to Randy Rieman requesting that he slip a dark jacket or jumper over his white shirt for the pictures meets with the rebuke” “I don't have one, and even if I did I wouldn't put it on.”

My pardners, but we're off to a good start.

The four poets: sometime bronc rider Paul Zarzyski, ranchers Sue Wallis and Rod McQueary and horse breaker Randy Rieman are in the throes of their first British tour, a stint which includes two appearances in Wales as part of the U.K Year of Literature and Writing hosted by Swansea. An hour before the start of their first Welsh date at Cardiff‟s Norwegian Church Arts Centre, they are mooching around the sea front, grumpy and incongruous on a slate grey evening. At the first hint of an interview they scatter and retrieving them is as challenging as mustering cattle on the plains of Montana. Eventually a pained Paul Zarzyski is collared and he recovers his good grace sufficiently to reveal a few details about his life and work.

A professional rodeo rider for many years, he specialised in “riding the strongest, rankest horses to win a little money to buy some gas and a few groceries and get on to the next rodeo.” By the age of forty the knocks had taken their toll and he decided to quit while he was ahead.“You get hurt pretty bad every once in a while and I had a couple of friends who got killed in a rodeo arena, then finally your body kinda wears out and I decided to hang up my spurs, as they say.”

“But I missed it so much. It left a kinda void in my life, so I blew the dust off my rodeo gear and started to ride on the “old timers‟ circuit. I could still ride pretty fair but I couldn‟t walk for a week after, so I finally decided once and for all to quit.”

Zarzyski was lucky. His having to let go of bronc riding coincided with a rekindling of interest in the epic poetry of the pioneers and a thirst for the offerings of ontemporary cowboys. He found that he had the knack of stringing words together and reciting them. Poetry gatherings replaced the camaraderie of the
rodeo circuit.

“Cowboy poetry is as much about friendship as about folk art, or tradition or entertainment,” he claims.

For Randy Rieman the poetry is a chance to rectify the erroneous picture of the cowboy psyche as put about by Hollywood. Machismo is an element of a tough, physical, outdoor life, but it‟s only part of the picture.

 “My work expresses emotions which run through all humanity, and, contrary to the image most people have, cowboys experience those emotions too,” he explains. “Joy, passion, elation, humour, tragedy, romance, it all comes out in cowboy verse. We live a life that‟s very free of the bangles and baubles of society and we have the time and space to feel and express intense emotions.” Rieman’s day today life isn‟t so very different to that of his forebears during the last century, which is why much of his repertoire consists of the works of the old masters such as Charles Badger Clarke and Bruce Kiskaddon.

Any modern stockman can readily identify with the timeless cadences of Kiskaddon’s “When They’ve Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall:”

“Only two men left a standin’
On the job for winter brandin’
And your pardner he’s a loafin’ at your side.
With a bran’ new saddle creakin’,
Neither one of you is speaking’,
And you feel it’s goin’ to be a silent ride.
But you savvy one another,
For you know him like a brother,
He is friendly but he’s quiet, that it all.”

Cowboy poetry does have a tendency to veer into the hick and mawkish. Sue Wallis, however, disengages herself from cliche. Hers is the most evocative voice of the touring poets, both in terms of her written work and her ability to recite. Poems like A Thousand Pretty Ponies conjure up the space and freedom of the open range without wallowing in sentiment.

“Over yonder, see them coming, there’s your Daddy and he’s running
With a thousand head of horses out of grassy Garvin Basin
They are rippling like a river with their manes and tails flying
Flashing, glinting colors, proudest thing I’ve ever seen
And see his hat it’s waving as he comes riding hard and spurring
Leading all those pretty ponies pouring down off Garvin’s Rim.”

Wallis’s work has been described as “a strong Western woman’s vision pronounced in a strong Western woman’s voice,” but there is more to it than that. The poems in her book Another Green Grass Lover have a bold, sassy edge; she tells it as it is from the woman’s standpoint, a factor which is missing from the traditional verse whose depiction of the female sex is stereotypical something which is perpetuated to a degree by the modern male poet. This poem is called Mamie.

“Mamie hasn’t been out with a feller in two or three years.
The sons sa bitches(sic) use her and leave her in tears
way too often, and far too long

Mamie figures that maybe it isn’t so healthy to be alone so long,
but her heart is spooked when she thinks of it
going wrong
way too often, and far too long

Mamie thinks perhaps she’ll open her eyes and start looking at men
but her soul stops and her skin clams,
her tongue thickens and her mind jams,
and Mamie be damned she can’t begin

But she thinks about it
way too often
and far too long
y’ know.”

Rod McQueary, the most taciturn of the four, specialises in the dry, deadpan delivery of wryly humorous works. Persuaded to get on the road with his poetry in order to supplement the family income, he takes a sceptical look at city society and its attendant fads and health crazes. In “Dangerous Beef‟ he mocks the cholesterol fixated generation, adopting an understatedly comic tone reminiscent of Garrison Keillor’s style in Lake Woebegone Days.

It isn’t possible to categorise cowboy poetry under one all encompassing banner. But the enthusiasm these bards feel for their art is conveyed in Paul Zarzyski‟s observation when asked to define the genre.

“’s the ring and ricochet of that jumping, rock and roll cowboy lingo which heads straight for the stirrup bone of your middle ear.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rod McQueary at the Will Roger's Memorial in Oklahoma in the Summer of 2012.
Read the rock above Will Roger's name, it says "When you live Life right, Death is a joke, as far as Fear is Concerned."

Tribal Horses – published in Range Magazine

There are 530 American Indian tribes in the 48 contiguous states. Tribes control about  20% of the land mass in reservations. Most of the western reservations are overflowing with abandoned and feral horses. Left unchecked, excess horses will eat the white sage in Nevada, prairie grasses in Wyoming, high desert forage in Arizona . They will starve out the deer, elk, antelope, and sage grouse in Washington. They will destroy the salmon habitat, sacred ceremonial plants, all before they destroy themselves. When they do, and the feral horses are gone, what will be left?
For as well known as the horse market heartbreak is to RANGE readers, much less is known about the horse overpopulation devastating American Indian reservations. These are horses not reported in any national census, they are not included on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) counts, no horse industry organizations even attempt to keep track. If they aren’t BLM horses, or privately owned horses, they are basically ignored.
Though no one is keeping any sort of scientific accounting of excess horses on tribal lands, there are startling numbers out there. Here are a few horse counts as reported to me:  

  • Yakama Tribe, northern Washington, 16,000 head of feral horses
  • Warm Springs Tribe, central Oregon, 6,000 head;
  • Navajo Nation, Arizona, 60,000 -75,000 head.
  • Shoshone-Bannock, Idaho, 500-600 head

There are dozens more reservations, how many feral or abandoned horses on them is anybodies guess.
Inside and outside of Indian country, the U.S. horse market as we knew it is in the tank. No part of the industry, or its satellites, have been spared. Horse ranchers, livestock auction owners, veterinarians, horse rescue missions, trainers, rodeo contractors, and horse enthusiasts throughout America are well aware of the dismal market for horses.  Tragic stories include 7,000 horses abandoned on the Appalachian Trail, 350 in the hills east of Los Angeles, some eastern states posting guards on state parks to ensure no horses are left within. The numbers of abandoned and abused horses increases yearly as financially strapped families lose their homes and corrals.
Since 2007, when the last horse processing plant closed, horse owners have faced a perfect storm of the market crash and depressed economy, and no legal way to dispose of valueless horses.  This downturn results in  460,000 direct horse industry jobs lost, and over a million jobs in manufacturing, sales, and service at feed stores, saddle shops, and horse-related services, nationwide. At a time when record unemployment is a national concern, these are jobs America cannot afford to lose.
“All our models of dealing with abandoned, feral, or estray (undetermined ownership) horses, were based on the horses having a value,” says Chuck Jacobs, a Sioux from South Dakota. “Without that value, we have a huge problem, and no tools.”
This national man-made disaster has hit tribes hard. This past January, at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, the United Horsemen (a 501c3 non profit educational and charitable organization devoted to the well being of horses and horse people)  hosted an international forum to address these problems. At least a dozen tribes were represented, and many members were invited to speak. It was a lively and spirited discussion, but not a debate. Every attendee agreed that something needs to be done to alleviate the damage that equine overpopulation has done to America.
At the Summit we heard from Jason Smith, Warm Springs Tribes, who talked about their efforts to utilize local feral horses, and create local jobs. Warm Springs has petitioned the Bureau of Indian Affairs for funds to study the creation of a horse processing plant--perhaps a module type that could be disassembled and moved from tribe to tribe.
Dr. Glenda Davis,Program Director, Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program, had to tell us twice--60,000 to 75,000 feral horses? That is a hard number to imagine. A thousand corrals full, a thousand truckloads. During long, cold winters, hot dry summers, these starving, defenceless animals draw predators like a magnet. Once the die-off is over, the next thing on the menu will be Navajo chickens, sheep, goats, calves, and colts. “Navajos, beware.”
Jim Stephenson, Big Game Biologist and Wild Horse Project Leader for the Yakama Nation Wildlife Program describes for us a traditional system of horse management that has been abruptly eliminated by the loss of a market for slaughter horses. What he describes in reference to the Yakama Nation can probably be overlaid on just about any other land-based tribe in the country...especially in the semi-arid grasslands of the West. 

“Wild horses are an integral part of Yakama tradition and culture.  In the early days horses were used for transportation and packing.  In this modern age horses are still used by Yakama cattlemen, as well as for hunting, rodeos and parades.

In the earlier period horses herds were managed by individual families and their numbers were generally kept in balance with the available forage.  Historic evidence indicates that Yakama people were capturing horses for the slaughter market at least as far back as the first part of the last century.  For many years the slaughter market as well as the market for saddle stock was what kept horse numbers at more or less a sustainable level.

For the past few years fewer and fewer horses were being captured and sold and for the last 4-5 years almost no horses have been gathered due to loss of viable markets.  During the last four years horse numbers have doubled from approximately 6000 to over 12,000 head.  This is at least 10-12 times the carrying capacity of the land and most of the forage is completely gone on the majority of the 400,000 acre range area.  On a condition scale of one to ten most of the horses fall at or below a three.

This situation has created an ecosystem breakdown that has impacted game animals including deer, elk and bighorn sheep, game birds including the recently re-introduced sage grouse, cultural food and medicine plants, and fish and other aquatic resources including endangered salmonids.   There is already a considerable loss of native plants and if the situation isn’t resolved soon recovery will take decades and in many areas the landscape won’t recover without a substantial effort at restoration.”

“It has created what I call a broken spoke within the wheel and the wheel is beginning to wobble within the ecosystem.  Which in fact is on the verge of collapsing!” says Arlen Washines, Yakama, “A resource going unchecked is the sound of death to other resources that rely on the same or identical food sources, not to include the damage to the soil and water.  The loss of traditional ceremonial foods and medicines is and would be devastating to tribal members when all of our ceremonies rely on them for subsistence.  The question is, do we sacrifice all of our sacred foods and medicines to protect the very source that is damaging them?”
Washines speaks for the tribes, and for the rest of us impacted by too many feral horses without a slaughter market to sell to when he says, “unless a management control method is created, including humane slaughter, within the next five years, our Yakama Herd will grow to enormous size uncontrollably.  At some point in time, all will be lost! Remember, it is a human problem, not a horse problem.  And we as humans can change our ways--but, the horse cannot!”
The day is not far away when the tribes who care about their land, their sacred plants, their  wildlife, and their livelihoods will have to not only contemplate, but have to implement drastic measures to eliminate thousands and thousands of feral horses to protect the ecological balance of native lands. How much better that would be if it were not a total waste, if that good meat could be used to feed starving children? If the tribes could receive good value for their excess horses? Re-employ their traditional horse catchers, and provide new jobs in modern state-of-the-art processing facilities?
What HSUS/PETA did when they closed the horse slaughter plants was to take one fairly responsible and workable solution, and turn it into a plethora of nasty, unsolvable, expensive problems. For the sake of the tribes, their horses, their homelands, and their long-term futures we need to restore the markets for horse meat, and allow them to return to their traditional methods of management. We need to help fix the broken spoke in Arlen Washines’ wobbly wheel.
For more information, or to view the entire proceedings of the Summit of the Horse, visit

A Pair-odee in Play-jerism (written for, and like, JB and JD)




(for JB)

Hollow Men
You-forrick Acid
Pored in long dry reservoirs
make us check our head-gates
to precious for ruralites
They make us let it go . . . a peculiar new-age dyslexia
That says urban toilets are
More important than row-cros. 
On Finite Introspection, 
Divorce and suicide are in Vogue again
Viet vets give lessons to poetential
Old-Crow-magnons in places where you 
Bring two jugs,
                                   and stay all week. 
The History of Rural Sub-City is a popular
College Class, everybody gets an A
Nobody gets a credit

The chanting crowds scream for ice cream, 
Dolly Dairy Juice, lactation biorymes.
                                    Hunger makes them harder
...then a call girls heart on a pay-day weekend,
They scowl in hateful lines,
But the food truck drivers
all have families, and do not come back. 

Them whose wealthy stars
got em a Visa Platinum,
Pray the Eco-sanctuary gates don't bust,
and the roving bands of 
Run out of knock-knock jokes,
                                    and self in-jest.
De-vested bunches of us
bow-legged all-so rans
Who wait for bells          in big hotels,
Watch the bureau-hypo-condrycrats
Who got big raises for running us in
(and adopting us out) and 
Smile at last, watching them whine,
And pray for rain, just like we 
used...   to do .
Some ex-Colonel will volunteer
to drop surprise napalm on Yellowstone, 
& make the wolfhunt
Bangs thinned out the Buffalo
and makes the local poachers     undulant.
Eco-conscious LasAngels do the christian
          Green-piece thing,
They scour the old growth, the new growth,
and eat the loggers...last.
Its not an election year, so no help comes
from Washington.                       Besides, after
Five days without food, the nice clean folks 
                                   in Congress
                         are just another mob. 
Scared manureless
by visions 
of discomfort,
The Yupping Legions
yup, and curse the selfish
Generation that dreamed up 
This Damned "World Peace" Idea,
And jammed it down their throats,
and ruined their lives.
Hungry Savages, stalking
each other, abandon language,
re-embrace handsignaling, then telepathy.

Ma Bell stocks plummet. There is much blame,
Many lawyers volunteer unselfishly 
to prosecute, but the villianous ranchers
and farmers are gone, and cannot be made to atone. 
T.S., you may be right. 
We are becoming
hollow men. 

(for JD)