The mental state of our dear blogger Kat O’Riley (a.k.a. “Ponybutler”) seems somewhat worse for the wear after a long Canadian winter. Let’s just say, she’s been writing poetry.
Horses are often described — by both casual admirers, and those of us who live the servitudus equus dream — as ‘poetry in motion.’ (Well, perhaps less poetic than plain *&#@ ! if, f’rinstance, they ditch us at an oxer and bound happily away.) But when is the last time you actually read an equine related poem? Not lately, is my uneddicated guess.
Equicentrics in this day and age have access to a wide range of books featuring our beloved hooved buddies-from classics like Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague to Pulitzer Prize winning writer Jane Smiley’s Horse Heaven. (See Wednesday Book Review on HN.) Horse-themed movies aren’t as abundant, but HN’s resident Friday Flicks reviewer has yet to run out of films both popular…and obscure.
So what gives with the relative paucity of pony poetry? Aside from a few lines penned by the prolific W. Shakespeare slapped on a t-shirt (“I will not change my horse with any but treads on four pasterns….”), we’re unlikely to encounter even one measly equine rhyme — conveyed by any medium, on any given day.
Well, not without Googling, or searching through library stacks, anyway. Maybe there are scads of Ponybutler wannabes intoning their pony odes on YouTube… but seriously, you pretty much have to channel your inner Sherlock and chase down horseverse; it’s just not on your average wall (graffiti, or Facebook).
And given the terse and hectic nature of much of our contemporary communication (i.e. BCNU L8R-FWIW BFF!), does stuff you can’t easily read in under 30 seconds even have a place in the world anymore? Maybe not, but on the other hand, could this ‘slow cooker’ art form have some meditative merit?
As a growing number of people choose to forgo fast! vittles, and leisurely digest more whole food type fare (at least some of the time), could the quest for meaning via a more contemplative form of writing be far behind? We still want our Facebook and Twitter accounts, plus Instagram et al., but what if a yoga-like dose of pony poetry is THE hottest new trend??
OMG, count me sooo totally in! How’s about a little limerick, just to warm things up:
There once was a pony from Nantucket,
who liked to see food in her bucket.
She was a svelte silver bay…Velvet also loved her hay;
and if she saw a flower, she’d pluck it!!”
Moving right along, let’s look at a rhyming po-em with a touch of ye olde English influence:
MY PONY DOTH THINK OF NOTHING BUT HER GRASS
I think that I shall never see, a pony who is as cute as thee!
Thy name is Velvet, thy coat glows red; thee dost indulge me, once thou art fed.
I groom thy contours and pick thy feet, then upon thy saddle I do perch my seat.
Along road and trail we canter and trot…until tasty grass beckons, and we must stop.
I sit and sigh as thee eateth away; if I could not pull up thy head, thee would eat all day!
Back to thy stable we amble at last; thy work is done…my chores now are vast.
When thou art comfy, and I am zonked, thee munches thy hay…and I guzzle my plonk*.”
And finally, in the more modern tradition of free verse:
you conquer the ground
with unrestrained grace;
neigh in disdain at mere earth
as you pierce the wind
…I have sat your back:
guided your eyes, urged you on, coaxed a halt:
you have humoured my hand
but when we are done
you claim your own brash dance
and ape the zooming clouds:
as blurred limbs skim a short crop,
nostrils reach greedy for
you are not mine, or
any worldly thing:
I do not know you
except to esteem your easy strength
but at rest
you softwalk, calm;
nose me needfully as you head-dip
and whicker your breath
we are man and beast;
we lean, each against the other
in the slow dark
and shore up warmth
in mute unity.”
I dunno about y’all, but I’m really feeling this pony poetry thing! I haven’t been right on top of a pop culture craze since the fire department had to rescue me and my huge ’80s hair from an elevator …but I think this Pony Sonnets concept is sooo cool, it’s dry ice! Hop on this mellow, pony-pulled bandwagon as we wander on by!
*plonk: British slang for wine J.
About Kat: I’ve heard that fortunate people have one great passion in life; aside from dark chocolate and my husband–not necessarily in that order!–mine has been “everything equine.” Beginning with lessons as a kid, I’ve been lucky enough to break a variety of bones riding a wide selection of breeds, in a number of disciplines–from TB racehorse (clavicle) to eventing Appaloosa (tibia) to endurance Arabian (ribs). It’s also been my privilege to play Ponybutler to my own hooved beasties on a succession of scarily rustic farms, over the past 20 [very] odd years. The dream continues!
Kat and her ex-hunter pony partner of 14 years (Provincial Velvet a/k/a the Amazing Velveeta a/k/a “Velvet, NO!!”).