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Goodnight Goes Riding and Other Poems
by Rod Miller
Rod is a three-time Spur award-winning author.
"Miller is a talented man. Writer. Cowboy. Poet. He understands the complexity of the West and the
good people who live on the land and make it work, and his skill with words tells the tale well."
~ RANGE magazine
Praise for Rod Miller
Rod's poetry is infused with a genuineness that elevates his work above the medium's predictable
yarns and gives the reader a front-row seat at a captivating reality-based dramedy. You observe
from a respectful distance the poignant moment shared by a young girl and her horse. You take a
seat at the kitchen table in a ranch house in which the "romance of cowboy life" is balanced
against the realities of mortgages, droughts and volatile markets. And you're let in on the West's
unique brand of humor, shaped by hard luck, eccentricity, and the unpredictability of lives shaped
by the land, weather and livestock. Rod is a truthteller.
And truth can, on occasion, be dangerous.
Rod Miller writes with no quit. He invests his all into each carefully crafted poem, and they shine
for it, like those stars that "punch holes in the dark" in his poem, "Morning Glory." Readers will
be richly rewarded.
~ from review on Cowboy Poetry
This time for sure. According to his notes Rod Miller is expecting to be ambushed by Cowboy
Poetry purists. Sometimes he has written with no rhyme, broken meter, and dang well done
what he pleased. But this award winning poet knows what he's doin,' so don't tell him what
he did. He's way ahead of you.
More so than with some in the genre, you know that when you're starting on a Miller ride you
will arrive somewhere. There is a payoff, be it a truth, view, impression or realization.
There is a justification for your having invested the eye energy. How he's chosen to reach
each this time is just so-much cowboy stretching room.
Picks include "Preliminary Aftermath," "Goodnight Goes Riding," "The Colorful Pageantry of
Rodeo," "Lamentation For A Living Legend" and just about all the rest of 'em! Enjoy!
~ Rick Huff, from review on Rope Burns
Rod is the recipient of three Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, for his poem
"Tabula Rasa," the short story "The Death of Delgado," and his novel "Rawhide Robinson Rides
The Range: True Adventures of Bravery And Daring in the Wild West." He also earned two Westerners
International Fred Olds Awards for Poetry from the Western History Association, one in 2012 for
his book The Things a Cowboy Sees and the second in 2015 for Goodnight Goes Riding.
Horses by scores and dozens I've had between my heels,
And driven hitched to implements dragged or rolled on wheels.
Horses I've worked aplenty, but I've never handled a mule;
For they're obstinate and intractable and don't play by the rules.
Hybrids take special handling according to what I've seen —
Oversize lungs, an earsplitting voice, and a vocabulary mean,
Belching clouds of loud profanity that drift in a toxic mist;
Words that don't belong in any mouth a mother's kissed.
Like [EXPLETIVE], [DELETED], [CENSORED], and [BLEEP],
Calling mules [ASTERISKS], dumb as [CROSSED OUT] sheep;
[DELETED] and [BLEEP] and dirty [OBSCENITY] [CUT],
Threaten them with [STRIKE THROUGH]; no ifs, ands, or buts.
Muleskinners don't apologize for their filthy, nasty words —
Claim that what they're saying ain't the worst a mule has heard
And burning their big [BLEEPING] ears to gain the upper hand
Is the only kind of language them [EXPLETIVE] mules understand.
Poet, novelist, historian, biographer, journalist, essayist, reviewer, screenwriter—Rod
Miller is a versatile writer. His work appears in books and magazines, anthologies and
collections, online and on the screen. From poems to stories to articles to opinion, he writes
in a variety of styles for various media. His subject matter is, largely, the American West,
and he writes about its people and its places, its past and its present.
Copyright © 2011–2015. Pen-L Publishing. All rights reserved.