Lou Ward

His native wife had kicked him out
Of the house to live in an old trailer house,
Wearing his ten gallon hat, worn old jeans,
cowboy boots, vest and Levi jacket,
He held court in the blacksmith shop,
Entertaining his customers, who came
To buy car parts from his junkyard
Or rent the use of his anvil and forge.
Boys on their way to or from
The swimming hole in the creek
Below his ramshackle domain,
Would stop for a story
And sweet spring water.
They, we, marveled at the huge bump on his high arched nose
And envied him the deep stains on his jeans
That may have never been washed.
His stories gave a sense of reality to the old west.
I remember the pride I felt when
My father shod my horse as old Lou
Looked on.


Walking like a dog, slightly sideways,
He could cover ground fast and silent.
Suddenly appearing on our back porch,
His ancient cowboy hat
Upon his head:
A pearl handled six shooter on his hip
His filthy vest almost
Hid the pistol in his armpit holster.
Vance Hamilton
Kept horses and gave away his story
For free.

A veteran of World War The First,
He was shellshocked;
Not quite right, we said,
Given to long rambling monologues that made
Little sense, he would talk about his herb
Craft remedies too.
Years later I found one I remembered
To be the cure for a stubborn sore throat.
He left the mountain,
Moved into town,
Became something of a dandy
Wearing suits and ties
And clean polished boots.


Living alone,
A hermit
In a modern age.
Talking non stop
To the occasional
Visitor. His amber
Beard magnificent
Above his oil-stained
Suit, that covered clothing (perhaps another suit).
A suit so stained that one guessed
That it were (or was)
Dark blue like a bankers.
His non-stop talking
Held little wisdom
And not much interest
And when it stopped;
At his funeral, his beard was snow white
With the smoke and tobacco juice
Washed out of it.

At Rimrock İRory Link 2010 At Rimrock Bird sounds... If I hold my breath, No sound. Between breaths A master said Enlightenment Can occur I treasure silence, Listening Listening Between breaths Shadows play upon this page Courtesy of the sun And tree outside this window; The wind claims its share Recognizing breath As part of its family Between breaths , wholeness Bird song bright sun Breeze

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