Horse Poetry

I have loved horses all my life. Now I enjoy finding horse poetry and posting it in this notebook!
Horse Poetry
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The Dusk of Horses
James Dickey, 1923 - 1997
Right under their noses, the green
Of the field is paling away
Because of something fallen from the sky. 

They see this, and put down
Their long heads deeper in grass
That only just escapes reflecting them

As the dream of a millpond would.
The color green flees over the grass
Like an insect, following the red sun over

The next hill. The grass is white.
There is no cloud so dark and white at once;
There is no pool at dawn that deepens

Their faces and thirsts as this does.
Now they are feeding on solid
Cloud, and, one by one,

With nails as silent as stars among the wood
Hewed down years ago and now rotten,
The stalls are put up around them.

Now if they lean, they come
On wood on any side. Not touching it, they sleep.
No beast ever lived who understood

What happened among the sun's fields,
Or cared why the color of grass 
Fled over the hill while he stumbled,

Led by the halter to sleep
On his four taxed, worthy legs.
Each thinks he awakens where 

The sun is black on the rooftop,
That the green is dancing in the next pasture,
And that the way to sleep

In a cloud, or in a risen lake,
Is to walk as though he were still 
in the drained field standing, head down,

To pretend to sleep when led,
And thus to go under the ancient white
Of the meadow, as green goes

And whiteness comes up through his face
Holding stars and rotten rafters,
Quiet, fragrant, and relieved.
Horse Poetry
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Horse in the Cage
Stanley Plumly, 1939
Its face, as long as an arm, looks down & down.
Then the iron gate sound of the cage swings shut
above the bed, a bell as big as the room: quarter-
moon of the head, its nose, its whole lean body
pressed against its cell . . .
I watched my father hit a horse in the face once.
It had come down to feed across the fence.
My father, this stranger, wanted to ride.
Perhaps he only wanted to talk. Anyway,
he hit the ground and something broke.
As a child I never understood how an animal
could sleep standing. In my dream the horse
rocks in a cage too small, so the cage swings.
I still wake up dreaming, in front of a long face.
That day I hugged the ground hard.
Who knows if my heartbroken father was meant
to last longer than his last good drunk.
They say it's like being kicked by a horse.
You go down, your knees hug up.
You go suddenly wide awake, and the gate shuts.
Horse Poetry
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Testy Pony
Zachary Schomburg

I am given a pony for my birthday, but it is the wrong kind of pony. It is the kind of pony that won't listen. It is testy. When I ask it to go left, it goes right. When I ask it to run, it sleeps on its side in the tall grass. So when I ask it to jump us over the river into the field I have never before been, I have every reason to believe it will fail, that we will be swept down the river to our deaths. It is a fate for which I am prepared. The blame of our death will rest with the testy pony, and with that, I will be remembered with reverence, and the pony will be remembered with great anger. But with me on its back, the testy pony rears and approaches the river with unfettered bravery. Its leap is glorious. It clears the river with ease, not even getting its pony hooves wet. And then there we are on the other side of the river, the sun going down, the pony circling, looking for something to eat in the dirt. Real trust is to do so in the face of clear doubt, and to trust is to love. This is my failure, and for that I cannot be forgiven.

Horse Poetry
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The White Horse
D. H. Lawrence, 1885 - 1930
The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent, they are in another world.
Horse Poetry
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Horse's Adventure
Jason Bredle
The horse discovered a gateway to another 
dimension, and with nothing else to do, moseyed 
into it just for grins, and man, you 
don’t even want to know what happened 
next—it was just, like, Horse at the French 
Revolution. Horse in Franco’s living room. 
Horse on the moon. Horse in a supporting role 
in an episode of ER. Horse being shot 
out of a cannon. Horse on The Price Is Right. 
Horse in a Whitesnake video. Horse 
at Kennedy’s assassination. Horse in the Tet 
Offensive. Horse at the Gap gawking at some 
khaki pants. Horse in Julie Piepmeyer’s 
bathroom. Horse being tossed out of an airplane 
with a parachute strapped to its back, plummeting 
toward Nebraska. Horse on Capitol Hill  
(Yes, I’d like the floor to recognize 
the distinguished horse from Arizona). Horse 
on the subway. Horse authorizing a peace treaty 
between the U.S. and Iraq. Horse 
in the Evansville State Hospital. Horse caught up 
in a White Hen robbery. Horse in the Kentucky 
Derby. Horse staring at the merry-go-round 
at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
The list goes on and on. And so goes 
the horse’s adventure, where one minute 
it’s standing next to Pat Sajak and with a violent 
flash like that of a murderous camera or the twirling 
screen and music of a Batman episode 
it’s standing in the middle of US-23 
with a screaming motorist speeding toward it. 
And this horse, whirling through dimension 
after dimension, spiraling carmines, suicidal 
jasmines, and mathematical theorems tornadoing 
past it, being placed in situation 
after situation—what had it learned 
when all was said and done and it was back 
at Tom Wallace’s farm? Nothing is better 
than Rachel Wallace while they stand in the barn 
in the middle of February and she draws pictures of it 
to take to school tomorrow.
Horse Poetry
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Dead Horse
Thomas Lux, 1946
At the fence line, I was about to call him in when,
at two-thirds profile, head down
and away from me, he fell first
to his left front knee
and then the right, and he was down,
dead before he hit the...
My father saw him drop, too,
and a neighbor, who walked over.
He was a good horse, old,
foundered, eating grass during the day
and his oats and hay 
at night. He didn't mind
or try to boss the cows
with which he shared these acres.
My father said: "Happens." Our neighbor
walked back to his place
and was soon grinding towards us
with his new backhoe,
of which he was proud
but so far only used to dig two sump holes.
It was the knacker 
we'd usually call to haul away a cow.
A horse, a good horse, you buried
where he, or she, fell. Our neighbor
cut a trench
beside the horse
and we pushed him in.
I'd already said goodbye
before I closed his eyes.
Our neighbor returned the dirt.
In it, there were stones,
stones never, never seen before
by a human's,
nor even a worm's, eye.
Malcolm, our neighbor's name,
returned the dirt from where it came
and, with the back of a shovel,
we tamped it down
as best we could. One dumb cow
stood by.
It was a Friday, 
I remember, for supper we ate hot dogs, with beans
on buttered white bread, every Friday,
hot dogs and beans.
Horse Poetry
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Hay for the Horses
Gary Snyder, 1930
He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
        behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the 
        sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."
Horse Poetry
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Two Horses and a Dog
James Galvin, 1951
Without external reference,
The world presents itself
In perfect clarity.

Wherewithal, arrested moments,
The throes of demystification,
Morality as nothing more
Than humility and honesty, a salty measure.

Then it was a cold snap,
Weather turned lethal so it was easier
To feel affinity
With lodgepole stands, rifted aspens,
And grim, tenacious sage.

History accelerates till it misses the turns.
Wars are shorter now
Just to fit into it.

One day you know you are no longer young
Because you've stopped loving your own desperation.
You change life to loneliness in your mind
And, you know, you need to change it back.

Statistics show that
One in every five
Women
Is essential to my survival.
My daughter asks how wide is lightning.
That depends, but I don't know on what.
Probably the dimension of inner hugeness,
As in a speck of dirt.

It was an honor to suffer humiliation and refusal.
Shame was an honor.
It was an honor to freeze your ass horseback
In the year's first blizzard,
Looking for strays that never materialized.

It was an honor to break apart against this,
An honor to fail at well-being
As the high peaks accepted the first snow -
A sigh of relief.
Time stands still
And we things go whizzing past it,
Queasy and lonely,
Wearing dogtags with scripture on them.