Ron Wallace Poetry: Cowboys & Cantos

Award-winning Poet Ron Wallace comes from a long line of Cowboys and Indians and lives in the heart of Durant, Oklahoma. His love affair with the written word began the moment he read his first book.

Wallace is currently a Literature Professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He loves American Baseball, Waylon Jennings and he carries the sweat and the stories of the Western life in his cells.  With several books to credit including Hanging The Curveball: An Oklahoman’s Love Affair with Baseball, I Come from Cowboys…and Indians (I Come From Oklahoma), Smoke and Stone and Native Son: American Poems from The Heart of Oklahoma, Wallace has won multiple Poetry awards and toured the country reciting his words of wisdom and gifts of vision. Outlaw is proud to feature below an excerpt from his brand new book Cowboys & Cantos. There’s a wonderful endorsement from Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Letts on the back cover.   


      (Another One for Waylon)

Darkness outduels the sunset,

and night throws off a cape of grey clouds.

 Coyote yips

echoing across empty cattle pastures

          and the rumble of ghost trains

                    move yesterday down rusted rails.

 An outlaw moon rises through cottonwoods,

just south of summer

          and I remember nights,

nights beneath star-stacked Oklahoma skies,

dew, gathering on grass

          still green

before its shift to the pale fade,

crickets singing the darkness

          unwrapping the world

like a goodbye gift,

a silver locket on a silver chain of stars.

 Some nights the music fades

          some nights

                    the songs play on…

 I heard somebody yodel and a hobo moan

          Jimmy, he dead;

                    he been a long time gone

 been a long time gone.


God made a sound for the lonesome, Heaven knows,

and you can hear it when a train whistle blows.

                                                   ~ Chris Wall

             Two-in-the-morning Train

 August has burned the day to cinders,

and I sit in the dark

          on a worn wicker chair,

eyes trying to part the darkness,

see across five miles of forest,

          past highways to distant tracks

that carry a two-in-the-morning train.

It might as well be a ghost white

puff of smoke

          a phantom coyote’s howl

                  or Texas stars

lost across the Red.

It might as well be the pitch of night

before never open eyes.

 It’s leaving Oklahoma

          a fading echo in the ears

of fox and bobcat

prowling beneath a new black moon.

Won’t be long now

before it goes the way of dragons,

moves into another midnight

and the myth of Dakota Buffalo.

Ron Wallace reminds us that we need poetry in our lives to fill our senses and take us into the full experience of life. He reminds us to Feel.

Visit his site today and give yourself (or someone you love) the gift of Poetry.

~ Brigitte London

Brigitte London, otherwise known as The Highwaywoman, is a Singer/Songwriter out of Austin, Texas. She’s a poet, dreamer, crusader. She is also the host of internationally syndicated radio show, The Highwaywoman Radio Show). Visit or Brigitte on Facebook. 

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