Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Riding Drag with Debra Coppinger Hill

Sixteen years ago I was asked if my column could run in a paper called the Cowboy Gazette. The Gazette was put out monthly by the Great Falls Rodeo Club and their faculty advisor and editor for the paper was Jeff Streeby. Over the years we have become great pals. Jeff and his wife raise good horses and good kids and such as we did the same we had a great deal in common. Even more, Jeff is an incredible writer. I have been fortunate to have been allowed to do a great many first reads of Jeff’s poetry and character sketches for his book Sunday Creek.

I have waited a long time to see this book in print and my patience has been rewarded. Sunday Creek is now available at Amazon.com. If you search Jeff Streeby, Sunday Creek you too will be rewarded. I recommend this book; no, I insist that you get it. It is a masterful piece of Western literature. Based in the mythical Montana town of Sunday Creek the residents are all based on actual characters of the old West. Their posthumous dialogues weave together a story of pioneers, miners, cowboys, western businessmen, lady entrepreneurs, wagon trains, soldiers and Native Americans. Below is one of my favourite pieces, young cowboy Wiley Rawlins.

Wiley Rawlins
I pulled my weight like all the rest--
rode the outside circle on the roundup in the broken country east of Sunday Creek--
did rough service for my outfit in the breaking pen
twisting the wild out of snuffy broncs--
stood my turn at guard under Montana stars thick as snowflakes--
and no complaint--
rode a freight train to Chicago once when Nedringhaus shipped steers--
At 22, I'd had my share of fun--
And then topping a rise one bright August afternoon
wondering at the length of shadow that we, man and horse, cast down the hillside,
the world went white and hot at once
and I, my last flash of wit caught in the like instant when flint strikes steel,
tried to say

"By God. Lightning."

Who'd have thought?

*Jeff Streeby

*For more about Debra go to the Cowboy Poetry section at AlwaysCowboy.com. You can also see more by Jeff in the Cowboy Poetry section there or at JeffStreeby.com  

Go to Amazon and order your copy of Sunday Creek!

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

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