ADVICE by Deanna Dickinson McCall

Beauty-and-Strength

© 2017, JaNeil Anderson, “Beauty and Strength”

ADVICE
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

The corrals were full enough to bust,
And we’d all had our share of dust.
But, we’d got all the pairs in
And the separating was about to begin.

Our new son-in-law was working the gate
Trying hard to discriminate
When an angry mama came charging up
Mad over the hold up.

Hearing the commotion I rode through the dust
And shared some advice he could trust,
“Son, don’t crowd her, whatever you do,
When her head is held high she’ll take the fence or you.”

Better off to just let stand, cool down a bit
She’s not afraid of horse or man, let her have her fit.
It’s Nature’s way to attack or run, fear and anger is part of life.
I know it’s not exactly fun, but, remember she is your wife.”

© Deanna Dickinson McCall
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without the author’s permission.

Fifth-generation rancher and writer Deanna Dickinson McCall never lacks for inspiration for her poetry and writing; her family is a great source. She and husband Dave have given the West new generations of ranchers and cowboy poets and reciters, as well.

Her just-released collection of stories, Rough Patches II, follows the first award-winning volume of Rough Patches. Red Steagall comments on the new release, “…This collection is brilliant.” Western writer Johnny Boggs declares, “Deanna McCall writes without frills or foofaraw–just hard, believable stories of tough, flawed people and strong women in the modern West.” In his foreword, poet and writer Rod Miller writes, “When it comes to women writing about the West, you would be hard-pressed to find one more authentic than Deanna Dickinson McCall.” Find order information here.

Deanna also has a highly praised book of stories and poems, Mustang Spring, and an award-winning CD of her poetry, Riding. Her work appears in many anthologies and magazines and she’s a popular performer at gatherings, often appearing at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and other events.

Find more about Deanna Dickinson McCall at CowboyPoetry.com; at her web site, deannadickinsonmccall.com; and on Facebook.

roughpatches2

New Mexico artist and rancher JaNeil Anderson’s painting, “Beauty and Strength,” graces the cover of Rough Patches II. She and Deanna have collaborated previously, pairing poems and paintings in Split Reins, an impressive book that received the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

JaNeil Anderson studied under Cowboy Artists of America painters James Reynolds and R.S. Riddick. She and her husband live on their family’s third-generation ranch along the banks of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico. She is represented by Thunder Horse Gallery in Ruidoso.

Find more about JaNeil Anderson at janeilanderson.com and on Facebook.

THE GOOD YEARS by Deanna Dickinson McCall

dea623

 

THE GOOD YEARS
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

The soft sound of hooves on leaves
Shuffling over rock on the slope,
The gentle pull uphill as you look
Praying for grass, praying for hope.

It’s autumn and no rain has fallen
No summer monsoons ever came.
Last year’s grass is gone to dust
Too many years of the same.

You recall waving gramma grass
Cured brown with seed on the stem
It would put a cow through winter
Up here on the ridge and rim.

But, it rained at least some,
Even those marginal years had grass
The springs and creeks flowed
Laden clouds didn’t blow past.

You re-live the really good years
The land was unbelievably green
You rode in mud fixing water gaps
Tanks blown, canyons scoured clean.

Grass and wildflowers was stuff of fairies
Seeds and blooms nodding to dancing dew
Cows and horses sleek and shiny fat
Lord, it was like the land was new.

Those memories keep you hanging on,
Heaven sent rains would finally come.
You have been in tight spots before
Tough old times, you’ve seen some.

Drier than the dirty thirties
Record dry they say.
God will open the heavens
Wash this drought clean away.

‘Til then, you pull your hat down
Squint through the dust some more
Summon faith back in your heart
That God will heal this land’s sore.

Close your tired eyes against the dust
See the fat cattle and green grass
Feel the moisture on the soft wind
Dream of the good years of the past.

© 2013, Deanna Dickinson McCall
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Fifth-generation rancher, writer, and poet Deanna Dickinson McCall wrote about the drought in an eloquent piece in the Ranch and Reata magazine in 2015, The article, “The Gift,” begins, “The leaves crumble beneath my horse’s hooves, scattering into flakes onto the gray rock as we climb the trail. We’ve labored upward, hoof striking rock to dust repeatedly, through oak brush that never turned green, algarita too dry to produce the berries I cherish for jelly, and rust-colored cedar and piñion stands. The stunted grass is buried in dust.”

Deanna appears with Randy Huston and Jim Wilson in a July 22, 2017 show for the National Day of the Cowboy in Timberon, New Mexico. Then she heads for two other good events next month:

The Real Cowboy Music and Poetry Show Benefit for Ranching Truth takes place August 5, 2017, 7 PM, in Ruidoso, New Mexico. In addition to Deanna Dickinson McCall, the show features Gary Prescott, Jean Prescott, and Randy Huston. Find more at the Ranching Truth site.

Deanna is also included in the lineup at the Fourth Annual Cimarron Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering, August 25-27, 2017 at New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch, just south of Cimarron. Other performers include Floyd Beard, Valerie Beard, Broken Chair Band, @Dale Burson, Janice Deardorff, Doug Figgs, Purly Gates, Danner Hampton, Randy Huston, Washtub Jerry, Jill Jones, Jim Jones, Peggy Malone, Terry Nash, Claudia Nygaard, Dale Page, Ramblin’ Rangers, Sandy Reay, Dennis Russell, Mark Smith, Rocky Sullivan, Rod Taylor, and Jim Wilson. Find more at cimarroncowboygathering.com.

Deanna has two highly praised books of stories, Rough Patches, which recently won a Will Rogers Medallion Award, and Mustang Spring, which also includes poems. She also has an award-winning CD of her poetry, Riding. She’s a popular performer at gatherings, often appearing at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and other events.

Her next book, a sequel to Rough Patches, is scheduled for release in October.

This photo, taken last month, is of Deanna and Dave McCall and ranching friends and neighbors.

Find more about Deanna Dickinson McCall at CowboyPoetry.com; at her web site, deannadickinsonmccall.com; and on Facebook.

 

I’LL RIDE THRU IT by Deanna Dickinson McCall

ddmww

photograph © Walter Workman, permission required for use

 

I’LL RIDE THRU IT
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

I seek out the strong broad chest
Sweet breath and gentle eye
Strong neck where my head can rest
On the horse’s strength I rely.

I’ll ride thru it.

When the cold makes my bones ache
But there’s work to be done
For those cows’ and calves’ sake
I’ll finish what’s begun.

I’ll ride thru it.

When struggling to understand
Life’s peaks and falls
My soul seeks the range land
I answer her siren call

I’ll ride thru it.

When dreams fill me with pain
Of loved ones now gone
Tears fall like a soft rain
In the early light of dawn

I’ll ride thru it.

When dust sticks to my sweat
Heat bouncing off the ground
Horse’s shoulders dripping wet
No breeze is to be found

I’ll ride thru it.

When my life’s fading away
I’m about to be set free
I hope on that last day
In that saddle I’ll still be

and I’ll ride thru it.

© 2017, Deanna Dickinson McCall
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Award-winning poet, writer, and fourth-generation rancher Deanna Dickinson McCall comments about this poem, “Riding has always gotten me through tough times; the important part is to keep riding, and not to stop. Horses have always been healing to me, and we have traveled life’s roughest trails together.”

Recently, Deanna and noted painter and rancher JaNeil Anderson collaborated, pairing poems and paintings, in an attractive and engaging book, Split Reins.

Deanna has two highly praised books of stories, Rough Patches, which recently won a Will Rogers Medallion Award, and Mustang Spring, which also includes poems. She also has an award-winning CD of her poetry, Riding. She’s a popular performer at gatherings, often appearing at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and other events.

Find more about Deanna Dickinson McCall at CowboyPoetry.com; at her web site; and on Facebook.

This photograph is by respected photograph Walter Workman. Find more about Walter Workman on Facebook and at walterworkman.com, where there are impressive photo galleries.

 

START OF A COLD MORNIN’ by Deanna Dickinson McCall

coldmornin

painting by JaNeil Anderson

START OF A COLD MORNIN’
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

When posts are glazed like a cake
And the wire is taut with ice
The troughs need busting
The mornin’s ain’t so nice.

The red roan resembles a camel
His back has such a hump
You’d better cheek him up
He’ll likely buck and jump.

The saddle is sitting high
Good inch above his back
He’s sucked all up
Under blanket and kack.

On mornings like these
It’s a chance you take
Sliding into the stirrup
No room for mistake.

You wish you were 20 again
When you make that swing
But, you’ll do it because
That’s what cold morning’s bring.

© 2016, Deanna Dickinson McCall, used with permission

Award-winning poet, writer, and fourth-generation New Mexico rancher Deanna Dickinson McCall and noted painter and rancher JaNeil Anderson collaborated, pairing poems and paintings, in an attractive and engaging book, Split Reins.

splitreins

In the foreword, respected singer, songwriter, and rancher Randy Huston comments that the book, “…is a wonderful look into real life in the rural West, a contemporary landscape still flavored by the frontier era, and a place in which many values and traditions haven’t changed in more than a hundred years. The hardships, triumphs, and daily routines of this unique world come to life in this collection.”

He explains that “split reins” are associated with the working traditions of Southwest cowboys; “two independent reins that must be used in concert to signal a horse.” He concludes, “As the saying goes, the sum is greater than the parts.”

Deanna has two highly praised books of stories, Rough Patches, which just won a Will Rogers Medallion Award, and Mustang Spring, which also includes poems. She also has an award-winning CD of her poetry, Riding. She’s a popular performer at gatherings, often appearing at the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and other events.

Find more about Deanna Dickinson McCall at CowboyPoetry.com; at her web site, deannadickinsonmccall.com; and on Facebook.

JaNeil Anderson studied under Cowboy Artists of America painters James Reynolds and R.S. Riddick. She and her husband live on their family’s third-generation ranch along the banks of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico. She is represented by Thunder Horse Gallery in Riudoso.

Find more about JaNeil Anderson at her web site, www.janeilanderson.com, and on Facebook.