Thursday, October 8, 2020



Cutting Loose in the Springtime


Billy Brown, being an old Texas cowboy,

Was a hard and fast tie man.

That means he tied his rope solid,

Or fast, to the saddle horn, as against dallying.

Dallying means to take turns of the rope around the saddle horn,

To hold an animal you've got roped,

So if something happens and you start to get into a wreck,

You can let your rope slide around the saddle horn,

Or take those dallies off the horn.

Billy only dallied roping little calves in a corral,

'Cause, he said, you had to learn it when you were young,

Or you couldn't do it well enough to keep from losing

A finger, or a hand, or a thumb.

Billy carried a knife strapped to his chaps right above his thigh bone,

So if he had a cow brute, or some critter roped,

And he was tied hard and fast,

And was maybe riding a spinning, pitching colt,

With the coils of that rope winding around him,

He could pull his knife free, and start cutting loose.


Sometimes, Spring comes whirling up these desert canyons

From the South so strong, I'd cut loose and go a-prancing. . .

With one of these light seeds that flies up towards the canyon rim.

Sometimes, those sweet scents of the Sprintime

Come whirling up these draws from Mexico so strong,

When the blood-weed starts greening up,

And the mourning doves start calling long,

Long into the beginning of the morning.


When the Spring winds come blowing down the ridge lines,

And you feel them blowing along the creased lines of your skin,

Who would tell Springtime to be still,

Or to go away from the rims of these dry canyons and hills,

Till all the honey and all the humming bees,

And those light blue eyes are gone?

Who would tell the Springtime to be still?


Drummond Hadley

Voice of the Borderlands

Rio Nuevo 2005



I had a phone call once from Drummond Hadley.

Nice surprise! Drum was calling me in the very

early days of the cell phone, those big submarine sandwich

size things. Drum said he wanted to tell me how much

he liked my book of poems Where Rivers Meet, and 

he said he had driven his pickup truck to the

highest section of his vast ranch in 

Arizona (Drum was a real cowboy)

so he could tell me. With guys like

Drum, it's important that you know

that he means to get across.

Voice of the Borderlands

is a masterpiece at stories

and true characters getting across

in elegiac and narrative poems,

side-glances and the great unknown.

Go there. Get lost. Be found.

[ BA ]