by Leon Flick (1954-2013)
He was made in the West
where a man’s put to test
by the horses and tracks that he’s made.
And his love for the land,
is a thing that is grand.
Life’s dues have been hard, but they’re paid.
The lessons he’s learned
and the pride that he’s earned,
and the knowledge that speaks in his eye
comes from hours in the saddle,
where he’s trotted astraddle,
‘tween the land and the good Lord’s blue sky.
Through the drought and the flood,
he’s bathed in life’s blood.
Life and death seem the stones of his path.
He’s seen nature’s death,
put the unfit to rest,
and the love of a cow’s newborn calf.
He’s been imitated
till he’s near constipated
by the folks who are faking his part.
They can play till they strand,
but they won’t understand
that they’re missin’ what lives in his heart.
He’s got enough sense,
to take down the fence
that corners most mortal men’s minds.
He knows Mother Nature,
and sure won’t forsake Her.
She’s twice as hard as she is kind.
And his God, as he knows Him
and the things that He shows him,
has taught one thing for sure.
Mother Nature is hard,
and you die what you are.
So friend, hope your tracks have been pure.
© 1992, Leon Flick
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission
Much-loved and missed cowboy Leon Flick entertained audiences across the West with his poetry, including appearances at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. This poem is included on his 1992 Home for a Buckaroo recording and is in his book, A Cow’s Tail for a Compass. His friend Kathy Moss recently shared a video on Facebook that includes the poem.
The annual Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show in Paisley, Oregon, raises funds for a local cowboy crisis fund and scholarship and honors the memory of Leon Flick and his fellow Lake County poet and cowboy Sunny Hancock.
This years’s show, emceed by poet Jessica Hedges (one of the show’s founders) takes place August 11, 2017, and features popular poets and reciters Jim and Karen Ross and musicians Rico Nova and The Desires. Find more about it on Facebook.
These photos are courtesy of Billie Price Flick. Thanks to her for her kind permissions.