Sundown Rides in an Evening Sky

They mosey ’round the tipi rings up onto Longview Hummock.
Comanche Champ III low-sets his head as is his wont these days.
The grizzled rider squints towards the south and thoughts of Texas,
the Goodnight Loving Trail, Wyoming, Montana, Whoop-Up,
and Johnny Ware’s Bar U drift over him like smoke and dust and rain.

Beyond foothill shades the Rockies edge red clouds and by the hooves
a fieldstone carved: Bill Yomers 1820-1909, camps with one old boot
and a coil of rusted barbwire. Yonder, a pair of steers still graze,
some Mulies bounce along the coulee’s draw, a Golden Eagle dips,
and silence holds a final remembrance between sun, prairie, and air.

Yet, beyond the dome a transcontinental thunders stampede echoes
and news from over the ocean flashes and troubles like saddle bones.
His thoughts seem to manifest then, like storm scent will kiss a cheek.
A distant low growl now grows, now shivers, now shatters the moment.
Champ’s ears slant back and the cowboy gapes up at a flying machine.

~ J.S. MacLean

J.S. MacLean is an independent poet who has been published in a variety of journals in Canada, USA, UK, and Australia. These publications include Ice Flow (University of Alaska),The Apeiron Review, Literary Review of Canada, THIS Magazine, Ottawa Arts Review, and Anobium. He has a collection, Molasses Smothered Lemon Slices available on In his spare time he works.

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