Thursday, March 22, 2012
At home on the range.
My Edouard was, for a time, a cowboy. (Until he grew so tall his legs dragged on the ground when he rode. Tragic, yes?) So, I find myself -- a person who has never even ridden a horse (though I did feed a donkey once... does that count?) -- writing cowboy poems.
Sure, it helps that I'm currently in a rural setting, where horses clip-clop by my balcony from time to time (and the most swayed back horse ever grazes at the stream below the house), where I pass sheep and goats and chickens every time I head to the convent to write, and where I hear cattle mooing from beyond the walls of the garden.
But what helps even more is Google. I can't think of a better invention for a writer, except maybe the alphabet. In the past few days I've Googled: "treating lump jaw in cattle," "how to castrate a calf," "how to stop a horse from rearing," "how to start a fire in the rain," and so many other oddball things I can't even remember. (Side note: as I start to type "How to" into Google, the option that pops to the top of the list is How to Tie a Tie. Maybe there's a poem in that too.) I've also become a big fan of eHow.
I don't expect the poems will ever sound like they were written by a cowboy, but I hope they might have some moments of authenticity. And, in the meantime, I'm learning about all kinds of interesting things. (Just like I'm learning how to light a gas stove, how to perk coffee, how to navigate this hive of a town, and how to sit with my head in the shade and body in the sun.)