Charlotte Thompson lives the life she writes
about. She and husband Dave are working at a ranch in Montana
right now, but have worked in most of the western states and at
a great many of the ranches in those states. Dave is a classic
cowboy...a cowboy is always going someplace else. Charlotte's
poetry is so real and so vivid, I have seen more than one hardened
cowboy cry when she recites.
Here are two of her best:
Mirage or Mustang © By Charlotte Thompson Desert sun drives them to water, I hear them coming at
Blacks and bays, paints, and palominos, and a big
roan mare in the lead. Clouds of dust
boil thick around them, this is a sight not many see, They circle
twice, then come in closer, sneak a drink so cautiously.
I’m hid up here behind a boulder; I don’t
move or hardly breathe, If they knew that I was watching, they’d
all turn tails and quickly leave. Some
gravel shifts beneath my boot heel, she senses danger in the air,
Whinnies once to warn the others, she can’t see me, but knows I’m
there. Then she snorts to claim her
baby, calls him to her inside flank. Turns away and leads the
others right straight up the offside bank.
Heat shimmers off this desert, it’s hard to tell fiction
from fact, It’s hard to tell – mirage or mustangs, in the mud
is proof – they left a track.
110 At The Ropes
© Charlotte Thompson 4-25-04
Every morning after Breakfast, Come rain or
bright sunshine Cowboys leave the cookhouse, With a halter,
rope or twine, And they gather at the rope corral, Horses
comin’ on the run. Call out just what horse they need,
And the cowboss ropes each one. Snort, Frosty and Lizard,
Tescardo, Guapo, Fox. Sleepy, Slippers, Willy, Sourdough
and Sox. File in and take their places In the ropes there
by the barn. Applejack and Blondie, Redman, Blue and Far’n.
The cowboss swings his lariat And lets a hoolihan go.
First horse caught is Preacher Then Jet, Horn and Chino.
“What else?” Nate yells, Dave calls for Lurch Another horse
loop tossed. Half-pint nips at Johnny Walker Lynn calls
out for Ross. Shorty, Bell, and Freight Train, Festus,
Cash and Snip. Looking Glass, Tuxedo, Silver, Slash T
and Flip. Are all getting restless, As Stanley calls
for Stretch. Another loop flies through the air, And makes
a perfect catch. Blackrock, D Jay, Traveler, Cocaine,
Gunsmoke and Ace. Have done this many times before, So
stand quietly in their place. Harley, Peanut and Thunder,
Are right next to the gate. Spider, Whiskey, Denny, Cowboy,
Deano, Snake. Are getting pretty edgy, As Jay gives the
gate a fling. Out runs Eveready then, Alpo, Bailey, Ring.
Darlene, Mickey, C.P.C. Leppy, Wally, Slim. Lope straight
down the meadow ‘Til they wrangle them again. Whistler,
David, Lucky, Skunk, Rocket and Concho Badger, Blucher,
Kelly, E.T., Doc, and Zero. Bridle horses, snaffle colts,
and some just pound the ground. Red Mountain, Pinky, Handsome,
High Roller, Sambo, Clown. They traded off the bad ones,
Kept the ones that they liked best. James Bond, Mouse, N.I.C.
PeeWee and T.S. They rode ‘em on the desert, They held
‘em in the ropes. They dressed ‘em up for Elko, And on
them hung their hopes. Dusty, Tango, Bourbon, Kojack,
Gambler, Doug. Tabasco, Martin, Louie, Porky, Peppy,
June Bug. Cody, Tomcat, and Billy, Quatro, Jimmy, Will.
Cotton, Stub and Rain Drop, Trot through their stories still.
So here’s to you Buck and Burro To Ringo, Chief and Ghost.
To the geldings in the cavvy, We lift a glass and toast.
© Charlotte Thompson 4-25-04
Charlotte Thompson The YP cavvy that is the subject of
Click on photos for larger views.