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Cowboy Psalms

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DUNCAN, OKLAHOMA— Dawn on the prairie. A lone cowboy saddles up his horse for a day’s work. Silhouetted agains the morning sun, is there anything that could possibly keep the viewing audience from thinking this is the true West? “I try to ride every day,” says erstwhile cowboy Ron Secoy as he struggles a bit to climb aboard his un-cooperative horse.

Even for Secoy the answer is no. He might have grown up in Ironton, Missouri suburbs. He might pay the bills as a physician’s asstistant in nearby Rush Springs, OK, but if you manage to put a man on a horse in this setting then the poetry just sort of flows. “Don’t know the history of who wrote the first poem,” he recites. “Maybe it was God who said, ‘let there be light.'”
Ron tries to ride every day. He tries to write in the mornings when the sun cuts through his front window to illuminate a talent he didn’t know he had for cowboy poetry. “I started looking up what cowboy poetry was,” says Secoy, “What the rhyme was, and the meter, and all this. I thought this is something real easy. Kind of a plain, easy way that you can drop into the pattern fairly easily and still say what you want to say.”

It started on trail rides around the camp fire and from listening to other poets at cowboy church services. Then Ron decided to give it a try. The subject matter was always close at hand, out his back door, under the saddle horn, or beneath his boot heels. “I’ve written about the horses and the dog,” he says. “My wife says I should write more about women but maybe I don’t know enough about women.”

He writes his poems by hand in a journal. Those post-devotional works became a book called “Cowboy Psalms” offered by the Tate Publishing Company. Ron says, “I think it’s a wonderful outlet. I really do.”

There are good days and good poems. Ron Secoy links them together easiest on a horse or in his easy chair. With a trusty horse and a solid couplet his view of the West is clear.