Outskirts Press (2015)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (01/16)
When I picked up “After the Chisholm” by George Rhoades, I knew I would like it because I know of the author’s work, but I never expected to identify with this book of poetry as much as I did, being an Italian from South America. The author divided his work into different parts, each one exposing a portion of his heartfelt feelings, experiences, and memories. George Rhoades’ voice comes out, loud and clear in his poetry, as he shares his raw and simple point of view in rhyme. Maybe it is the simple pleasures and melancholy of a simpler time of past that captured me, I truly do not know. But, capture my heart it did from the start, beginning with ‘Cowboy Heart’ as I remembered my simple life in as I rode horses, climbed trees and watch the stars; and ‘No-Tech Cowboy,’ as I now spend so much of my time in a virtual world craving the real one.
Rhoades, in my opinion, is a master of the written word. His main gift is expressing the melody of simple pleasures in contrast with deep memories. One of my favorites in this book that shows this gift, I quote below:
From my front porch on the hill,
Below the trees barren in November,
Winds wailing and a cold rain falls,
I huddle in my coat and remember.
Sunnier times, times of laughter,
But they have flown and gone away;
The view beyond dark, dim, bleak
Through the rain on this gloomy day.
Now and then a crack of thunder,
A flash lightning quick and gone,
The damp, chilly air engulfs me
As I wait for the rain to move on.’
“After the Chisholm” by George Rhoades is a well written cry from a cowboy’s heart for his missing trail which will warm up city hearts as well. A five-star book of poetry that I will read again, and again.