Sammi’s Weekender #251 (rune)

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Pulled Curly’s Rune

At first, years ago
when I was a green carrot,
Texans were, it seemed,
wonderful; charming, friendly,
funny-talking folk in spurs
and special wide brim hats,
and mess on their boots;
mysterious, clever, dashing,
men, woman, and children;
lovers of prickly flora
and less flattering fauna; frank
but short of blunt, somber souls.

For forty years I lived among ‘em,
counted myself one,
married another,
raised three more,
befriended many, tolerated more;
a citizen with resident rights,

I’ve noticed fewer hold that mythical
individualistic spirit,
lost in a dangerous land,
well-known as
Houston in New York.


Look both ways when we pine for the past.
Enjoy the stories and the myths, but mind the gaps where rattlers sleep.

Why Houston in New York?

City Slickers movie slice. My point.

14 thoughts on “Sammi’s Weekender #251 (rune)

  1. This all comes together especially after watching that clip from “City Slickers”. I read, watched and then reread with a new pair of eyes. Wonderfully done, as per, Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. It did come to 96 words, but I had to cut quite a bit. I’m reading Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove). His take on Texas was my inspiration. I saw the TV serious years ago, so trying the book now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Are you Texan, Bill? Love the poem and the picture you paint. Though as a Brit, I felt like there was a deeper point I was missing 🙂 I was very impressed with how that cowboy managed to speak with a fag hanging out of his mouth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Sunra.
      Your comment is not the only one to hint that the poem’s point may ricochet. I should say ‘points’ because I had several in mind. Too many, I’m afraid.
      Another problem is that I took a fragment of a longer poem, and tried to edit it down to fit the 96 words and the “rune” prompt, defined as a poetic story.
      I’ve lived in Texas for forty years, but I am not native to the state. In a way, I am a spectator to the culture and the myth. While I love Texas and its people, I criticize its nationalistic nonsense.
      With the poem, I intended to at least address dying breeds of people, in this case Texans or cowboys, and how that culture today tries to own the mythical past without experiencing the hardship. The native Texan novelist, Larry McMurtry was part of my inspiration.
      The ‘City Slickers’ movie clip was intended for that purpose, as the character, Curly Washburn, points out. Note that Dale’s comment says she understood the poem better after watching the clip. My poetry should not rely on a movie clip. My putting it there is my confession.
      Another point regards the political divide that has dampened, if not destroyed, friendships and families. But I barely hinted at that, and such may be why you ask your question. You may sense that there should be more, and you’d be right.
      Note that the Houston, Texas. newscaster claims that New Yorkers say the name Houston wrong. Different, yes. But wrong? Texans think so. And then there all those words Brits and Americans say differently.
      The actor playing the mostly humorous character, Curly, in the movie was Jack Palance, an American actor of Ukrainian descent born in the same Pennsylvania county as I was, separated by three decades and 20 kilometers. I also wondered about that distracting cigarette and the steady ash while riding a horse.
      Thanks for asking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely fascinating, Bill! Thank you for filling me in, I appreciate it. How interesting to be a spectator to the myth. The idea of identity and choosing one’s identity (not to mention mistaken identity) is very close to my heart, being British yet Pakistani yet also having spent significant time in Europe, I have an affinity with multiple cultures.

        I have never seen the City Slickers movie but it seems to parody the cowboy stereotype or at least not take it seriously, from what I can see, which is a good thing, I think. I’d like to know more about the history though so I might read up on it. Thank you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘I’ve noticed fewer hold that mythical
    individualistic spirit,
    lost in a dangerous land,’

    A dying breed indeed!

    Really enjoyed reading this Bill, and watching the clips.

    Liked by 1 person

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