The Cowboy’s Lament

Gone are the days of
Wild fires on moonless
Nights – by rocks that
Rise up to lone,
Starry skies.

Gone. Gone are the moments
On open ranges and times
By streams that whisper
To sad men that look out
To mountains and trees:

Ridges and aspens that
Quake in breezes on spring
Days when you awake to pure
Smells and embers that still
Burn from fires lit
Long ago.

Gone. It seems all
Gone and the lament of horses
That pick up clods in forests
That wind and twist up steep slopes
And I can’t help thinking that
Once we reach the top there

Is nowhere to go
But down. Below to valleys with
Streams that float across stones
Miners picked up once and tossed
Back to the past, to moments

When the wind was all you heard and the
Firm feeling of horse was all
You needed as you rode off
To lands where storms spoke of
Truth of whispers of…

Immortality. I seek

Ranges. I seek mountains still
Left untouched by the hands
Of shallow men.

16 thoughts on “The Cowboy’s Lament

  1. C.C. March 13, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    I adore those last three lines. As an avid mountain lover, they resonate so powerfully with me 🙂


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 13, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    This is wonderful… i feel the dream of a past, of something lost to the shallowness of now… Sometimes I long for simpler days… sometimes I really long.


  3. Sherry Blue Sky March 13, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    This evocative poem took me back to those earlier days. I know the feeling of seeking the wild places still left untouched – not too many of them around any more.


  4. Shawna March 13, 2016 / 6:41 pm

    “Ridges and aspens that

    What a beautiful poem.


  5. Donna@Living From Happiness March 13, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    This gave me goosebumps as I lamented this same thought…wild open places still left wild. I was jus in the SW desert and thought these things…of olden days and wild open spaces….the stories they can tell.


  6. Mary March 13, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    Oh, this is one of my favorites of yours, Matthew? Why? — well, as a child I yearned to be a cowboy! And oh, for those starry skies…..out on the open range! So sad that these days are gone….but I think in my mind I pictured them more perfect than they actually were. I definitely yearned for those days when a horse was all you needed. And what I would have done, as a kid, to have had my OWN horse!


  7. thotpurge March 14, 2016 / 1:08 am

    untouched by hands of shallow men…. rings true Matthew…considering we’re wreaking such environmental disaster upon ourselves..great writing.


  8. Luk Lei March 14, 2016 / 3:31 am

    I have a soft spot for all western tales, and this just seeps with fascinating images. The deep connection to the land that the “shallow men” over look so easily.


  9. Jae Rose March 14, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    So much to hook onto in this majestic poem – what indeed is there if we reach the top – but still we must climb and seek the mountain top which fits us just right


  10. Kerry O'Connor March 14, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Your poem contains a mournful regret for the loss of those days – they seem so romantic now but I’m sure the life of a cowboy was hard, yet fulfilling.


  11. Myrna March 14, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    Love the last three lines. I think many of us long for the purity of nature. But shallow men have touched and harmed so much.


  12. Tatius March 14, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    The times may be gone as far as doing and enjoying some of these things to a point. As long as we have someone like you to keep those memories alive in your words maybe we can get that and more back to enjoy again.


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