Western Wisdom

I’m in the midst of typesettin’ two more of my grandfather’s Western Tales. Yesterday I caught myself readin’ instead of movin’ fast, flowin’ type, applyin’ style sheets, and fixin’ up his wonderful words for bein’ self published and bound into yet another family and friends book. Perhaps his last, as at 97, we know his body is wearin’ out.
Certain phrases and plot twist moments, keep jumping off my computer screen as I work, that make me grin and guffaw. Then there are others that make my heart squeeze in empathy.
The line of dialogue speaking to me right now is after the sheriff received a letter from concerned parents, asking after their hastily married off daughter who was sent away, “in trouble.” Instead of replying that she’d had her baby, and a few days later her worthless, no good varmint, rat of a husband was dead – murdered – Sheriff Wells simply said where they could reach their daughter. His mentor, John Wade, replied after readin’ the communique in progress, “Good shot. Let her tell her own story.”
Indeed. Yes. The other bit of advice I keep readin’ is to keep your head up high, no matter what the circumstances in your life. Lots of horse talk too. How I love that!
I’m completely charmed by my grandfather’s writing. Stories. Songs. Poetry. I have been since childhood. It’s more poignant now. Readin’ with a woman’s heart.
He’s a marvel. Still alive and kickin’, atop a bluff overlookin’ the mighty Mississippi River where he’s lived since he was nine months old, other than those years he was needed to serve his country in WWII. He began writing stories while recovering from night patrol injuries in a hospital in England. The Red Cross gave him paper. He mailed the stories home. All because he’d read everything he could get his hands on, and figured he could do as well or better. Once he started writing, he never stopped. That is a lesson for me, and all the aspiring authors I know. Writers write. A lot.
~ Janean Marie Thompson Baird

April 10, 2013
Quote from, “The Invincible Three” by Erwin A. Thompson.

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sing your song
with a tweet, tweet, tweet
and may it be
sweet, sweet, sweet
pleasing to the eyes and ears
as you share your heart
without any fears

sing your song
like the peaceful dove
coo, coo, coo
trilling from a perch above

sing your song
like the robin true
chirp, chirp, chirp
a sign of spring anew

sing like a cardinal male
so bold and strong
with a lighthearted lilt
to your song

try not to be a crow
CAW, CAW, CAW
from the treetops
about all YOU know

sing your song
like the smallest sparrow
peep, peep, peep
perched on wire narrow

sing your song
alongside birds of a feather
as you find one another
and sing together

My paternal grandmother was an avid bird watcher. My grandfather her ever faithful chauffeur. She kept her eyes peeled for first time sightings as she traveled the world. She also savored the visits from feathered friends to the feeders she kept filled at home. I notice the birds and their songs more, now that I’m spending so much time outdoors with the puppy. I’m thankful for that time spent under the sky above. It’s thinking time. Pondering time. Drink in the world time. Puppy playtime too. Recently there were five robins a bit surprised when Blue barreled around the corner, into his yard, and woofed them over to the neighbors.

a Mississippi morning dawns

with a whisper of sounds

from the river road

a crowing rooster

and the warm colors

of the sunrise

from deep orange

to a whisper of pink

still showing 

along the horizon

I stand in the old pasture

rolling terrain

reaching from atop the bluff

to the mighty river below

how I love this very spot

and the people who reside

on this rocky hill

and the glow

of the January sun

on my face

as I visit my grandfather

and parents

my cousins too

at Evergreen Heights

in southern Illinois

my heart home