IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE by Deanna Dickinson McCall

ww111916photo © Walter Workman, walterworkman.com; request permission for use.

 

IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE
by Deanna Dickinson McCall

I hear them clatter off the hill
Hooves scattering rocks
Acting silly like horses will
Sliding down on hocks.

The day is over and they’ll arrive
Snorting and playing at the tank
Almost take a nose-dive
While acting mean and rank.

Like good Baptists or boozers
They gather at the water hole
There are no sinners or losers
From stud to mare to foal.

I see them splash and play
Fight for the best place
‘Fore settling down today
After the wild foot race.

Drawing long satisying pulls
With legs still spread and askew
Sucking a bloating bellyful
Like some folks I once knew.

I believe I saw the stud wink
At the pretty young mare
And I’m sure they do think
It is 5 o’clock somewhere.

© 2016, Deanna Dickinson McCall, used with permission

There are few better representatives of the people of today’s real working West than Deanna Dickinson McCall, a fifth-generation rancher, writer, and poet who currently ranches with her husband Dave McCall on their remote New Mexico ranch.

In recent years, Deanna Dickinson McCall’s artistic output has been a bountiful force of creativity. She has released recordings, books of stories and poems, and a book with artist JaNiel Anderson that pairs poems and paintings. She’s been recognized by organizations and her peers with awards,including the Georgie Sicking Award and the Will Rogers Medallion Award. Earlier this month, she was honored for her life and work with the Heritage Award from the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where she is often a featured poet.

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Her latest release is I’ll Ride Thru It, a CD with fourteen strong tracks of cattle, horses, humor, romance, history, and rough country. The poems are fresh, written and presented in in her unique style, authentic, and informed by a life rich with challenges and rewards.

The lead poem is “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere,” which first appeared in Split Reins, with a painting by JaNeil Anderson. “Last Horse in Dad’s String” comes through with moving sentiment, strong and real. “Cake” starts with wild cattle and ends on a note of humor and good advice. “The Good Years,” which deals with drought, goes beyond nostalgia with a message of faith and gratitude, a way of thinking that has no doubt guided the writer through many hard times. A phrase from “His Queen,” a poem both gentle and powerful, says something about women like Deanna McCall and would delight the late female cowboy icon Georgie Sicking, “…always tender but tough when times are rough.” “I’ll Ride Thru It” is a proud philosophy of true grit:


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…

“True Stories” sparkles with humor, an affectionate view of cowboys and their tales. And there’s more.

The widely varied poems are presented with a steady continuity. The flow is further complemented by a particular bonus: the musical accompaniment throughout by Jim Jones and Randy Huston. It is an art to pair music with poetry, an art that is rarely accomplished well. But in this case, the bond among these three artists and friends comes through with a perfect harmony. Jones and Huston create a true soundtrack, filled with imaginative tunes and moods and creative riffs that enhance—but never distract from—the poetry.

I’ll Ride Thru It comes together with grace. At the heart of this CD is the story of survival: of the spirit, of people, of horses and cattle, and of a way of life. Deanna Dickinson McCall’s poetry shines in this satisfying and original project.

Find the CD and more about Deanna McCall at deannadickinsonmccall.com and on Facebook  and at CowboyPoetry.com.  See the track list with our review here.

This fitting photograph is by respected photographer Walter Workman, taken at Arizona’s Babbitt Ranch. He shot some impressive photographs of Deanna and Dave McCall for a 2016 Western Horseman feature. Find more about Walter Workman on Facebook and at walterworkman.com, where there are not-to-be-missed photo galleries.

 

HOOFS OF THE HORSES by Will Ogilvie (1869-1963)

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photo © Walter Workman, walterworkman.com; seek permission for use

HOOFS OF THE HORSES
by Will Ogilvie (1869-1963)

The hoofs of the horses!—Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird
Can stir me as hoofs of the horses have stirred.

They spurn disappointment and trample despair,
And drown with their drum-beats the challenge of care;
With scarlet and silk for their banners above,
They are swifter then Fortune and sweeter than Love.

On the wings of the morning they gather and fly,
In the hush of the night-time I hear them go by—
The horses of memory thundering through
With flashing white fetlocks all wet with the dew.

When you lay me to slumber no spot can you choose
But will ring to the rhythm of galloping shoes,
And under the daisies no grave be so deep
But the hoofs of the horses shall sound in my sleep

by Will Ogilvie from Galloping Shoes, 1922

 

Scotsman Will Ogilvie lived in Australia for a dozen years, where he became a top station hand, drover, and horse breaker.

In the current episode of Andy Hedges’ Cowboy Crossroads, respected horseman, braider, and reciter Randy Rieman gives his impressive presentation of the poem (at 39:40).

Wylie Gustafson set the poem to music, and the song appears on Wylie & the Wild West’s Hooves of the Horses CD. Find a video here.

Ogilvie was a popular writer who contributed to the Bulletin—the paper that published poets and writers including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Harry “Breaker” Morant (Ogilvie’s close friend), and others—even after his return to Scotland.

Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

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

I’LL RIDE THRU IT by Deanna Dickinson McCall

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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.