"Saddle Tramp" by Michael Garman‘Saddle Tramp’ by Leland James The Society July 18, 2021 Beauty, Ekphrastic, Poetry 5 Comments . —like his saddle, hat, and spurs No silver on this cowboy’s working saddle; borne bedrolls, stray calves, and dry canteens, carried beside lame mounts home to the stable, baptized in thunderstorms and mountain streams —horn scarred by years of lariat, grooved deep. The smell of leather, home, a cowboy’s keep. The cowboy’s dust gray, wrinkled hat, a map, sun, snow, and rain, Montana, the Baja, Old Mexico, a cowboy’s endless tract, an open range; his hat his brand, his law: a “saddle tramp,” a “drifter,” a “cowpoke,” plain as mountain streams, mystic as smoke. Spurs: to guide not goad, a pair of timbrels, —a pair of silver, melancholy minstrels. . . Leland James is the author of five poetry collections, four children’s books in verse, and a book on creative writing and poetry craft. He has published over three hundred poems in poetry venues worldwide including The Lyric, Rattle, London Magazine, The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New Millennium Writings, The American Poetry Review, The Haiku Quarterly, The American Cowboy, and The Ekphrastic Review. He was the winner of The UK’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and has won or received honors in many other competitions, both in the USA and Europe. Leland has been featured in American Life in Poetry and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 5 Responses Paul Freeman July 18, 2021 My two favourite lines ‘—horn scarred by years of lariat, grooved deep’ and ‘plain as mountain streams, mystic as smoke’ exemplify the timelessness of a gone era. A very atmospheric piece. Thanks for the read. Reply Leland James July 22, 2021 And thank you for reading and your comment. Leland James Reply Margaret Coats July 19, 2021 I love the three-part structure; it makes a rare-form cowboy sonnet. And the style: it sounds like the cowboy himself slowly coming out with words not always directly connected. And the color, starting with “no silver” on the saddle, moving to the dust gray hat, then to the man himself mystic as smoke, until we finally hear the sound of silver minstrels in the spurs. A plein air painting with music to it! Reply Leland James July 22, 2021 Your comment certainly ring true to my intent. Reply Margaret Kundmueller July 25, 2021 I love your poem! It is very creative! I like the part about the smell of leather best! Happy writing! Best Wishes, Margaret K Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.