WHY DO ALL THE TREES LEAN IN WYOMING?
by Baxter Black
He said, “The wind never blows in Wyoming.”
I said: Mister, where are you from?
It’ll take the top offa big R.C.
Or peel an unripened plum!
Wherever you been, you been lied to!
I lived in Wyoming, I know.
I once seen a horse turned clean inside out
From standin’ outside in a blow!
You don’t have to shave in the winter
Just pick a cool, windy place.
Stand there a minute, yer whiskers’ll freeze
and break off next to yer face!
They claim that a boxcar in Rawlins,
A Denver and ol’ Rio Grande,
Was picked off the track and blowed to the east
And beat the whole train to Cheyenne.
Why, they tell of a feller in Lander
Who jumped off a bale of hay
Before he hit the ground the wind picked ’em up
He came down in Casper next day!
They don’t have to shear sheep in Worland
When they’re ready, they wait for a breeze
And bunch’em in draws where the willers are thick
Then pick the wool offa the trees!
But the windiest tale that I heard
Was about the small town of Sinclair.
It used to set up on the Idaho line
Then one spring it just blew over there!
I carry this rock in my pocket
For good luck and here’s one for you.
Every little bit helps in Wyoming,
If yer skinny you better take two!
Well stranger, you might just be part right.
Though, fer sure you ain’t seen Devil’s Tower.
Let’s say the wind never blows in Wyoming…
Under eighty-five miles an hour.
© Baxter Black, from Poems Worth Saving (2013)
This week we’re looking at “windy weather” poems, and here’s one from top cowboy poet and occasional philosopher Baxter Black.
In the Introduction to Poems Worth Saving he notes:
…As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said when asked how many books he had written in his lifetime, he mulled briefly then replied, “Altogether…too many.”
In my case, I can’t keep them all in print. It’s expensive, and I think it is illegal in some states.
So, suffice it to say his is the first sort. I have chosen the title Poems Worth Saving, obviously, to leave room for a sequel, Poems Not Worth Saving.
It is worth noting that his actual next book was A Commotion in Rhyme, (2018), a worthy successor to Poems Worth Saving.
Baxter is busy with many media projects; he has retired from live performances. He wants to relay this message, a policy announcement: Since Baxter Black is no longer doing live performances, there are inquiries about others using his material in their performances. His policy is that anyone is welcome to use his material in appropriate occasions, including non-profit or paid-for performances. He requests that the poems or stories be performed the way they are written, allowing for editing of length if needed. Please give the author credit. His office adds that no one, for any reason, has permission to include his work “on cds, books, or dvds…or to try to sell it in any manner, including online.”
(Please respect copyright and see the message above for information about the use of Baxter Black’s poems. This photo is courtesy of baxterblack.com.)