Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the Passing of a Champion
(for Turk Greenough, who said that the secret to Life is to “stay in tune.”)

Turk, you stroked your spur lick symphony
with lifted rein and turned out toes
astride a million twisting, pounding, jump-and-kicks
across a thousand wild arena miles
you rode ten seconds at a time.

We thought we might
divvy up your ashes into fifty little piles
poured with reverence…and awe,
into the open, un-gloved hands of fifty cinched-up champions
in fifty fine arenas, just before they “turn ‘em out,”
and by the winning whistle
the pieces that were you, would forever be a part of the
arena earth you loved.

Instead, just like you wanted
we take you back into Montana,
set your stone beside your folks
and make a simple place where
the friends you always treasured
might lay a hand and reminisce
upon the legacy you leave.

And, Turk…
may your free soul
make a time-less, space-less, perfect ride
through flitting cloud…the sudden breeze
that touches manes
or flips some fringe
and may the rider setting down
to boot the stirrup, measure rein,
feel your hand, and hear your whisper
say, “Good luck…my friend…ride pretty

“Just stay in tune.”

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