Reaping nothing from what’s been sown,
arms outstretched, forsaken,
he wears his unkempt crown; king
of the hand-me-down. Dressed
forever in the same tattered rags
that suck the wind through or hang
from his frame with the weight
of the morning’s rain, he sways;
a metronome to an orchestra
of gale and sleet. This son of Man
is blind to purpose, rooted in solitude
and cannot find a voice to yawp
back into the squall; no sermons,
no parables, no disciples or flock.
Not even the birds.
(first published in Other Poetry series 4, number 4 Oct. 2011)
Poem for Larry McMurtry
My John Ford of the page, it seems our heroes
have always been cowboys. And whenever Ramblin’ Jack sang
I’m sure we rode with him on the trail of the buffalo.
Yet the crew I hooked up with knew nothing of Mustangs,
could sing lonesome songs but broke no broncos,
and their faces, though aged by weather, were reddened, not tanned.
They never chewed tobacco while riding the Llano;
the furthest they dared to move when smoking was banned
was to slide their arses off barstools and head out westwards
(the young and the old, the able, the fat and the thin)
to be silhouetted in doorways like Ethan Edwards.
Your Texas towns and this Welsh one could be twinned.
If I rode west, would adventures wait for me
in Colwyn Bay, Bangor, Holyhead, Dun Laoghaire?
(first published in The Interpreter’s House #51 Oct. 2012)
Brett Evans lives, writes and drinks in his native North Wales. His poems have featured in various small presses and he was a runner up in the 2012 Cardiff International Poetry Competition. He is co-editor of Prole.