Lefty

Lefty

A Poem by lee von cleef
"

A boy from five to eight years old can hold on to time.

"
My mom and dad with four kids had
enough of me and my ball of energy
tomato's in others boots,frogs in beds,
catching my sister's doors ,just before they slammed,
Mom and Dad had had "Enough" of ...me
Riding goats,firecrackers,and water balloons ,
Spurs,ropes and cats around the kitchen table
I'd bring a horse in the house,just to see if he'd fit( he did, of course his name was tiny)
Yes they had "Enough" of me
I was young ,not so young to wash naked in a water bucket.
Not so old where I liked going to church'
Somewhere in between, about where the flying monkeys from the wizard of Oz scared me
They concoct a adventure ...

Away to the Wilderness.Albuquerque to Mimbres .
Now to get there,in those days you caught a ride
with someone who, knew someone you knew,
So in a truck with a camper over the bed I shinny up,
Asleep was a cowboy,he didn't know me, I didn't know him
Long before "Stranger Danger" a kid was taught to trust his gut.
I thought what I could do? I thought I'd be quiet.I already knew about
a barking dog ,they say they won't bite,won't bite me, won't bite you
But the most important part my dad said was "Make sure the dog knew"
A cowboy is not a dog, but ?
I already knew ,a good roper could "Rope with any Rope" Because that's what daddy said.
And I could too,a lot ran from me,Dogs ,Goats,Cats,Sisters.
A lot were still for me,buckets,tubs,hay bales, Some said I swung my loop backwards,
" I catch em quicker that way"
I had never caught ,a colt,or horse, but I practiced the loop,as I'd seen it done.
A horse loop,The "Hula- han" The hitchin post,a limb worked well.
But what I liked most was when someone would jump for me,
There were a lot of people around the house,who taught me to "take what I gave"
That means nuthing to you,But to me ;Dutch rubs till it feels like the hair above my ears,
feels like its gone.Knuckle bumps they thought those felt neat,turn their ring over,
wack a knot on my head,I'd jump for them,up and their rope would slip under my feet and up around my knees.And every now and then they would "Jump" for me.
I must of fallen asleep too ,because when I woke up the cowboy asked
where I'd git in? I answered "The Bosque" with that he just shook his head ,
and went back to doing what he must of been doing to wake me up.
He would clap his hands over his knee once,twice and from a rope a
square knot would appear,...Magic....I moved to the left,right,
High,low, every time I couldn't tell how he did it,Clap Clap square knot.
I asked what he did? he said" Bosque,I,Head,my brother heals then, I tie above the dew claws"
 Clap Clap square knot, wow.Later Billy would call this...
Purposeful Practice, But for me it just looked like magic.(Billy might of been Zen)
Miles to go ,he showed me how,I was going to Mimbres,the cowboy got out in
Hillsboro, Over the tail gate he said "good bye Bosque" I said bye" whats your name?"
"Lefty"is all he said, and I just shook my head.
I offered my hand like daddy taught me,"Square,Tight,Measure his eye"
I said" I am going to Mimbres ,to see my friend Rankin,you turn at the station where the glass pumps are,Amanda the girl who sings works there,then go on up the road a good little ways,off on your right will be a rock house,with a big ol wallnut tree, Rankin and I will be there."We drove off,I don't know why we didn't talk more.But like my dad some men never talk much,but I tried to listen to them,Like Suzanne said I should a horse,"Even quiet ,they are talking to you and you've got to listen"

© 2014 lee von cleef


Author's Note

lee von cleef
"Lefty" was a "Hand",Roper,Pick up man, yes a cowboy, Just quick thoughts,I need to put down,need to add too,If you've read my poems,you will know some of the endings, but
I am now reaching back to the start.
"Hall of Famer Charles "Lefty" Wilken Dies
Charles “Lefty” Wilken, a pickup man at a record 10 National Finals Rodeos and 1999 inductee into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the rodeo arena, died Feb. 14 at La Posada-Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 87.
Known to everyone as Lefty, Wilken was born March 19, 1920, in Valentine, Texas, to Karl and Kate Garlic Wilken, a family of pioneers who made their living with mules and wagons.
At a very early age, Wilken was riding horses and packing a rope. He was an outstanding track and field athlete and also excelled in basketball, where he mastered the art of shooting with either hand.
He joined the Cowboys' Turtle Association in 1942 and competed in tie-down roping and team roping as a header and heeler. Wilken also worked as a pickup man for Beutler Brothers Rodeo and was known for his horsemanship skills. His uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time earned him a reputation as one of the most dependable pickup men in the business.

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Featured Review

How'd I miss this? Lee, this must have been posted when I was gone, but I'm glad it came to my attention.
I've always liked your style, you buck convention because you have an earthy down storytelling that can't be told straight up, or it wouldn't be authentic. Always, be authentic. And here you give "Lefty" Wilken the space he needs to come alive, at least, for me. And you do this from the perspective of a wide eyed kid, Who better to believe? who better to tell the story? describe the magic, that all the rest of us will one day grow to lose, forever; but not you, sir, not you, cowboy. You didn't just document. You immortalized.

Excellent piece.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

lee von cleef

6 Years Ago

A kid has not equal footing with a adult, but they bring little "Baggage" to the story, so the trut.. read more



Reviews

How'd I miss this? Lee, this must have been posted when I was gone, but I'm glad it came to my attention.
I've always liked your style, you buck convention because you have an earthy down storytelling that can't be told straight up, or it wouldn't be authentic. Always, be authentic. And here you give "Lefty" Wilken the space he needs to come alive, at least, for me. And you do this from the perspective of a wide eyed kid, Who better to believe? who better to tell the story? describe the magic, that all the rest of us will one day grow to lose, forever; but not you, sir, not you, cowboy. You didn't just document. You immortalized.

Excellent piece.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

lee von cleef

6 Years Ago

A kid has not equal footing with a adult, but they bring little "Baggage" to the story, so the trut.. read more
Nice to look into your window on the world and see how different it is to mine. Fascinating read, thanks.

Posted 7 Years Ago


You writes are very different and unique in a complimentary way.

Posted 7 Years Ago


And, oh how very special and wonderful were those days! Rural - small town American is sadly gone as we know it! I talk a bit about it in my "Second Creek Chronicles" of which I have so little posted here, but it is tales of my childhood days.
I love your story, how you tell us so very much as you entertain us, educate us, give us a change to look back at former times when all seemed okay in the world!
I am eagerly waiting for you to reach round to the middle as you continue your story!
This is just great my friend!!!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


lee von cleef

7 Years Ago

tank you ,this piece will remain scattered,un- till I can work on it but for now I will just keep s.. read more
what you said is right, and I loved how you said it. Rural living held a certain thought and image everyone understood it because either they were raised in the country or escaped to it. Now days we think rural living is no mall, but don’t give up the search the simple live is still out-here, our neighbors bailed a 20 acre field of ours while he was bailing up his own, just so we wouldn’t have to hall our equipment up the road. We still leave our front door standing open and keys in all our vehicles. Don't get me wrong our open door poicly is not without risk, cause we are well armed, so come on by we have a unlimited supply of both coffee and or lead. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

very hip...very beatnik style...freeform writing...that's my fav

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Funny how nowadays people under 40 won't even acknowledge you're there. I suppose something gave in when 'stranger danger' started in schools. Wonder if what we gained is worth what we lost?

Great story. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

lee von cleef

7 Years Ago

Rural used to mean something, a style,going going gone.

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Added on October 13, 2012
Last Updated on July 10, 2014
Tags: westen, boy, cowboys, steer trippers

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lee von cleef
lee von cleef

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Good morning,Thank you for stopping by. I like to write,I like to layer a story into a poem,I want to crack through to the reader,add emotion to life, theirs and mine. more..

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