BrooksLooks @ Tears in Chiricahua

TEARS IN CHIRICAHUA

Brooks Bradbury

November 2013

ANCIENT CHIRICAHUA

SACRED LONG AGO

NOW CALLED ARIZONA

THEIR ANCESTRAL HOME

THEIR MOUNTAINS AND

THEIR GRASSLANDS

THE PLACES

THEY ROAMED THEN

NOW ONLY TRACES,

OF ‘NDE CHOKONEN

GENERATIONS CAME BEFORE THEM

UNKNOWN APACHE HEIRS

NATIVE BLOOD SPILLED TOO OFTEN

DEFENDING WHAT WAS THEIRS

WHO THEN ONE DAY WILL ATONE

FOR THEIR BROKEN HEARTS

EACH APACHE BROKEN BONE

THEIR BODIES DIED YET SANCTIFY

THEIR CHIRICAHUAS STILL

UNBROKEN NATIVE SPIRITS

UNBROKEN NATIVE WILL

THEIR VOICES WHISPER IN THE SILENCE

SPIRITS ROAM NOW WITHOUT FEARS

WHEN IT RAINS IN CHIRICAHUA

IT RAINS APACHE TEARS

© Brooks Bradbury | Innspired Hospitality

BrooksLooks @ Back of Beyond

BACK OF BEYOND
Brooks Bradbury

BEATEN DOWN BY POLITICS
MY OFFICE RAN AGROUND
IT’S TIME TO GET A COWBOY FIX
GET OUT OF THIS DAMNED TOWN

LEAVE THE RACE TO MY FELLOW RATS
CLEAR MY HEAD AND RECONNECT
THE CHAPARRAL IS CALLING
LEAVING NOW TO GET THERE FAST
TO FIND MYSELF AND REDIRECT
HEAR MY THOUGHTS
AND RESURRECT
I FEEL LIKE I’M FALLING
AS I DRIVE ON AND ON AND ON
WAY OUT THERE
TO THE BACK OF BEYOND

I’LL FIRE UP THE FARMALL
LEAVE ALL MY TROUBLES BEHIND
RIDE OUT INTO PURPLE SAGE
IN AN ARIZONA STATE OF MIND
OVER DIAMONDBACKS
THROUGH COYOTE PACKS
OCOTILLO AND PRICKLY PEAR
SOUNDS LIKE MY OFFICE I SWEAR
THERE I’LL SAVOR STILLNESS
EVERY BRILLIANT SUNRISE
THE COTTONWOODS ARE BEAUTIFUL
TIME TO RESET, REGROUP AND REPRISE

ONLY DIRT ROADS TAKE YOU OUT THERE
BRING YOUR SIDEARM AND SOME GUTS
GO LEFT ON DOUBLE BUZZARD
TAKE HIGH LONESOME IF YOU MUST
A THOUSAND MILES LATER WHERE
YOU’RE FAR FROM ALL THE CHAOS
YOUR FIRST BREATHS OF RARE FRESH AIR
TELL ‘EM ANYTHING YOU WANT TO
TELL ‘EM I ABSCONDED
TO THE WIDE OPEN COUNTRY
TELL ‘EM I DROVE ON AND ON AND ON
TO THE PLACES FAR BEYOND IT

I’LL FIRE UP THE FARMALL
LEAVE MY TROUBLES BEHIND
RIDE OUT INTO PURPLE SAGE
IN AN ARIZONA STATE OF MIND
OVER DIAMONDBACKS
THROUGH COYOTE PACKS
OCOTILLO AND PRICKLY PEAR
I’LL SAVOR STILLNESS AND BRILLIANT SUNRISE
WHERE THE COTTONWOODS ARE BEAUTIFUL
I’M NEVER LEAVING THERE I SWEAR

APACHE VOICES AND NATIVE SPIRITS
TEMPERED BY THE YEARS
IN THE STILLNESS STILL I FEEL THEM
AND HEAR THEM LOUD AND CLEAR
THEIR BRAVE STRUGGLE AND THEIR FEAR
I’VE HUNGERED FOR THEIR FREEDOM
KNOWN A SOUL’S GREAT WILD THIRST
FOR THESE GREAT WIDE OPEN SPACES
WHERE LIFE’S TRIALS ARE REVERSED

I CAN’T SEE IT FROM THE CITY
BUT I KNOW IT’S WAY OUT THERE
I CAN’T SMELL IT’S WILD FRAGRANCE
IN THIS CITY’S ACRID AIR
THOSE DAYS I SPEND OUT THERE
ARE REALLY NO LONGER DREAMS
THEY ARE MY SANITY THESE DAYS IT SEEMS
THE BALANCE MY LIFE NEEDS

AS I STARE OUT MY OFFICE WINDOW NOW
DREAMING OF THOSE DAYS
I LOOK FOR IT ON THE HORIZON
AND LONG FOR WESTERN WAYS
MY HEART’S OUT IN THE SAGE GRASS
AND IN THE WILD PLACES
THIS HELPS ME CARRY ON AND ON
HELPS ME CARRY ON
ALWAYS TAKES ME BACK THERE
TO THE BACK OF BEYOND

I’LL FIRE UP THE FARMALL
LEAVE MY TROUBLES BEHIND
RIDE OUT INTO PURPLE SAGE
IN AN ARIZONA STATE OF MIND
IN SPITE OF DIAMONDBACKS
COYOTE PACKS
OCOTILLO PRICKLY PEAR
I SAVORED STILLNESS AND BRILLIANT SUNRISE
COTTONWOODS SO BEAUTIFUL
MY HEART’S NEVER LEAVING THERE I SWEAR

© BROOKS BRADBURY | INNSPIRED HOSPITALITY

BrooksLooks @ In the Company of Cowboys

A Picnic of Cowboys and Cowgirls

A year ago, a car was parked along the dirt road leading to the ranch and a man was on the other side of the barbed wire fence wandering in the field. This is quite a common sight here in southeastern Arizona, however I recognized neither the vehicle nor the occupants.

As soon as I heard the voice I recognized instantly that it was none other than cowboy poet Baxter Black standing there before me in all his cowboy glory, eyes twinkling out from under his wide-brimmed hat as he introduced himself and his wife the very delightful, CindyLou Baxter.

It seems Mr. Black was given the wrong date for the Southwest Pioneer Cowboy Association picnic to be held here in the Chiricahua Mountains, and he and CindyLou had arrived one week prematurely. Susan and I were just as happy to invite them for lunch, and while I welcomed our new friends and guests to Sunglow Ranch, Susan took to the kitchen making the finest lunch ever made under pressure. Baxter recited his poem, The West, phrases of which continue to this day to pop into my head such as, “the wind is the moan of the prairie” and “they don’t call it Death Valley for nuthin'”…

Today, over a year later was held this year’s SWPCA Cowboy Picnic. Over a hundred guests were in attendance just down the dirt road from the ranch, and a glorious steak dinner was cooked-out and beautifully served to all. More than one cowboy guest remarking to me that, “there are less and less of the real old-time cowboys left.”

Stackable plastic and metal folding chairs were ‘circled up’ after the meal, as raffle prizes and story-telling began. Cowboy poetry was recited. Stories were shared from the heart, and a celebration commenced for the real cowboys and cowgirls who were in attendance. Many sentences began with, “The Smith Ranch”, or “The Price Ranch”, or “The Riggs Ranch” and beautiful, time worn cowboy phrases like “prit’ near” and “howdy” were oft’ spoken.

A bit slowed by age, these were the originals–the ones who’s family tamed this very wild west from the 1870’s onward, and who continued in their parents’ footsteps ranching in this faraway land. Back then, this land had only recently been delivered up, wrested violently from the Chiricahua Apaches as their parents became the first white homesteaders here.

Now, a bit grizzled, thin and worn with age–it was clear that I was in the company of real cowboys and real cowgirls. Lord knows the hardships they faced. I couldn’t help but feel I was watching the passing of a way of life, and the end of an era. But I saw extraordinary character in these wrinkled faces, and simple lives.

Baxter and CindyLou never made it this year, but I’ll be looking down the road for them when next year’s cowboy picnic comes around. Heck, they prit’ near made it last year.