Ray Whitaker – No cowgirls, no cowboys

Whitaker LE P&W March 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing March 2023

No cowgirls, no cowboys , poems by Ray Whitaker.

No cowgirls, no cowboys

The camp emptied some, from yesterday
in these Colorado mountains
my neighbors are new today, refilled some, like waves at the seashore
their men there partied for a while
beers were depleted, conversation boisterous

the men disappeared into their camper
leaving the women to set up the cooking area
tents, chairs, tables, cots, maybe even mattresses too
I see one of the women blowing into a deflated pad.

No one rode in on a horse,
no slung, holstered rifle for easy access
or lariat hanging off the saddle

no one was in long skirts
there was no cook-fire to keep going in the hearth
no stable with the medicine hat horses in it.

It is 2022, seems unsure
where the modern ways are
or even If there has been a sort of equality
discussed around the kitchen table
maybe that was just chased into the yard away.

You may realize that this
is not what you dreamed of
with your beautiful spouse
with your fine pedigree

you could be asking yourself
where is my easy life
where is the prosperity I once thought was coming

you may find out
that what you wanted is so ‘way over there
and one day is the same as the next, and the next.

Not like this

All those dreams you have, and have had…
once so present in the moment to moment
gathered in front of the life you wanted to live
the force multiplier of daily existence
with those that loved you
and the ones you loved.
Do those dreams really continue
perhaps stored on the back lobes in your mind
awaiting to receive brainwaves
electrical activity synapses to spring into action.

Those dreams, those possibilities
are climbing up belay ropes
somes now, more down than up
with tensioners swivels to control a fall,
ropes not as thick as your little finger
lowering the weight of dreams into
even so, so strong, holding your body weight easily
as the riverbed of reality looms closer.

You are going into the real, real gorge
where dreams mesh every way with the day you walk in
the rock walls of the gorge are wet with spray
with the waterfall plunging two hundred feet
thru a rainbow into a cool, pool below
where an Imperial eagle sits on a nearby limb, watching.

No wide-winged condor awaits you
there is no carrion here.

All those dreams you had
once so nearly present
now gathered behind in the life you once had
changed, simply by the events occurred
in the passage of time
in movement sublime.

All those dreams you still have…
are present in the moment to moment
gathered in front of the full green life you want to live
your fantasia multiplicand of daily existence
breathing in a life
fully in the living where the wine flows so freely.

The hike is long,
off in the distance
there is only dim light in the dusk
pointing to the provinces in the west.

A southerner in Colorado

I’m looked at sorta funny
when I say y’all
as I look at the red rocks
while thinking of the blue ridge.

My home is here now
but home was there then
the mountains are high here unique with their rocky crags
not even thinking that height is the only fine measure
when I think of the green hardwoods
of the North Carolina mountains.

I’m looked at sorta funny
when I say “All y’all”
as I look at the red rocks
while thinking of the blue ridge
the fun, in summer’s cold water at Slidin’ Rock
those lush green woods of Pisgah Forest.

Drinking coffee in Switchback Roasters here, these
full of character, and the such western persons
as there may be, cowboy hats on top of western boots
I remember the southern ways of a warmer nature
the cutoff jeans atop flip flops
it calls me by m’name.

The pretty women here are used to the great elevation
walk with the handlebar mustached men
I can see them all on horses headin’ towards a sunset.
You can take me easily to another day
where Ah can hear where such is said:
“She’s a real peach this hot day, in that halter top.”

Yeah, Ah’m sorta looked at funny
when I say things like “y’all c’mon back, ya hear?”
as I climb the ever heightening road to Breckenridge
over the eleven thousand foot, snow-covered Hoosier Pass
while thinking of fall’s riot of red and yellow leaves
in the piedmont’s rolling hills near Elm Street in old Greensboro.

© Ray Whitaker

Ray Whitaker has been writing both prose and poetry since he was seventeen. What Ray is writing now is very different from what he wrote those so many years ago. All writers and poets are writing out of “the Self” however there are directions that the self speaks into, that change. Now Ray’s writing is to put foremost in his work, just who he is writing for. He intends on writing for the everyday man and woman. He firmly believes that poems need to reach into the everyday person’s pictures in their minds and engage with those. This is where he aims to make a difference in his creative writing. He’s fulfilled when he sees that his work is provoking thought in his readers.

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