Rosas y Mesteños

by An American Forrest

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I dreamed I was there in your dreams
I dreamed a horse
& two cañons
& two humans who dreamt of more than hands dealt.

I dream for you & these are them
& there aren't always answers to anything
- but these are new maps
with names on unnamed mountains
& country divided where water divides
untouched by any lines.

This is our place we can live long upon.



released March 27, 2016

"The sky tonight at sunset looked like God himself feedin' diamonds to his horses made of gold." - Matthew Houck, Phosphorescent

For Cass, who brought me to horses & Eagle, who brought her to horses.

Produced/Engineered by Bart Budwig & Forrest
at the OK Theatre, Enterprise, Wallowa County, Nez Perce Country, Oregon, America
released December 1, 2015

Forrest - Guitar & Words
Jonny Wade - Bass
Cooper Trail - Acoustic Drums
Faith Grosnicklaus - Fiddle
Bart Budwig - Trumpet
Seth Kinzie - Piano
Cassandra Gene - Art


all rights reserved



An American Forrest Oregon

Western Music from Eastern Oregon.
Ragged-voiced tales and wild, hybrid style, finger-picked and strummed guitar. Poetic incantations that conjure images: a lone rider silhouetted against a sunset, the days fading light, the unspoken bond between horses and people. Songs as detailed as tooled leather about old love, and new frontiers. ... more

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Track Name: Absaroka &c.
I been readin’ the bible by cigarette light,
been lookin’ for a poet dead enough to plagiarize
I been tearin’ my thumbs apart, scratchin’ my name
into every down Hemlock from here to Cheyenne
& the stars burn white blisters in the backs of my eyes, I’m sunscorched & sober & uncauterized
& you could trail me like Ephraim through the Absaroka hills
to the cañons I fell through like handshaken deals
& we don’t build white fences & we don’t build white homes
& heaven ain’t built big enough for my kind to roam so step softly in the sugarpine, light lightly in the live oak
I’m too tired for sleepin’ to young for the cold unravel my restlessness, cinch me down tight lead me to the Clearwater, weep when I die unravel my restlessness, cinch me down tight lead me to the Clearwater, weep when I die
Track Name: Laurel Leaves
Laurel Leaves, turqouise eyes silver sage unbaptized
constance if it’s you that’s callin’ we’ll be there tomorrow night laurel leaves turqouise eyes
Two-step o’er my tombstone
break soil upon my grave
cauterize my memory unshoulder all the blame twenty years of disappearin’
losin track of days
broken soul at sunrise, sundancin’ on my grave
Mezcal & Mentzalia, midafternoon moonrise spring’ll bring syringa to West Twin & Paradise constance I can hear ya callin’
we ain’t wastin’ no one’s time
Mezcal & mentzalia, midafternoon moonrise
Give the canyons all our love, give the mountains all our time
give rosa my salvation give mesteño all my wine, constance I can hear ya callin’ & the cañon walls reply we give the canyons all our love, we’ll be there tomorrow night
constance come on, constance come on...
Track Name: Hannah Maria
Hannah Maria, she came from Jicarilla, she filled me up & I listened well
I broke my promise, I did not outlive her, swear I used to know her, I used to know myself

Hannah Maria, saw seven doves in the mornin’ outrode the storm she was born in
outrode any man you ever saw
I once believed I’d see here silhouette ridin’ through the pines some sweet summer dawn,
I once believed there were no sins on this earth for which one could not atone

Maybe mesteño’s still out in the mountains, maybe he’s runnin’ where the rivers run red
maybe some sins they don’t need no redeemin & it’s us that owes a sting to death

Hannah maria, come on home to wyomin’ lay down the diamonds you’re holdin
head your pony for home & hold on
I can still hear the wind sing your name in the sagebrush, I can still hear your high lonesome song
I can still hear you call this cold, calloused country the only country to which you belong

Hannah maria, she came from Jicarilla, with a .44 & an empty past
Lilacs grow green in the garden, all good things have come & passed
Track Name: Saintless (All We Had)
Saintless in Socorro, Saintless in Soledad, they came here to save our souls like souls were all we had. & evenin’s eyes are openin’ on Idaho to find the blessed unbroken badlands, the bastard border lines -
You were dreamin’ women on blue horses & old stars overhead that burnt out before we were born like God’s sunday cigarettes
you said “love’s like livin’ on gravel roads - you’re just waitin’ to be lost”
you said “do you think about your mother often,”

I said “more often than not”
& we thought about the bad lands, & the goodlands, & the indifferent lands &
we thought about southpaw gunfighters & horses tradin’ hands
She was closer to that ol’ Idaho paint than she ever got to any man - she’d tie our sheets into hackamores, whisper “amen” & scream “goddamn”
I said “it felt strange to learn my mother’s name”

she said “what was it?”

I said “maria” & “I get hungry when I’m in wheatfields” she “you have dinner yet?”

I said “just tequila”
we walked soft so the sleepin’ ground could just ignore us, & we poured no sugar in the coffee she poured us & I dreamt a fast dream about a golden plain & how it feels to lose control - and feelin your legs grow hungry & feelin your lungs blow & you sang rosas y mesteños like a sparrow in the spring, & we sundanced from here to cimarron
& that was no dream
& You said “just bring the cigarettes & matches, I got the gasoline & the atlas, the sun’s in the south & I been reckless since the day you were born”

& I said “I will still be lovin’ you when we’ve ended every war, broke our backs in Absaroka,
broken bread with salvador,
learned to curse our covered colors & the blood where we were born & we’ll lay naked in the graveyard like another unburst bomb
& when we’ve mended broken circles & histories told wrong, & faithfully forgiven all their god forsaken sons & when we’ve buried all the borders & reclaimed our stolen songs - we will not be lonely, we will not be alone”
Track Name: Mesteño's Waltz/Hannah Hold On
Hannah, hold on
your sister’s sleepin in the back seat
we’re just this side of Las Cruces, you musta passed out just before we passed Abilene
there’s a bottle of wine on the floorboards,
and another cigar in the glovebox,
grab my lighter outta my pocket, honey, I need both hands & we need a talk
now in all the years I have known ya,
I have never asked a lot
never asked about the scars or why you left or your mother’s maiden name or who took the first shot
but it’s a constant reminder,
just like a softpack of unfiltered reservation cigarettes bloodshot eyes in the mornin’ & the swallows buildin’ nests under the eaves
it’s not a matter of whether or not it’s easy
It’s a matter of not havin’ a choice
it’s a matter of how you define dyin’ & how you choose to leave
cuz there’s always bibles in motel nightstands
& there’s always lightnin’ in July
& they say everything rhymes for a reason but whoever said that don’t speak Spanish & they probly ain’t alive anymore anyway
so Hannah hold on... Hannah hold on... gimme the keys, honey,
Track Name: Untitled w/Bluebelles
Bluebelles bloomin’ in the canyon,
mornin’ breaks like an unbroke Colt
she left Jicarilla before it left her cold
cuttin’ ‘cross the horizon line like blood in a cup of gold with a gun she stole from her grandfather & a fear of growin old
so tie our blue bandanas across our arms & crosses, I’m comin home, cuttin’ gravel roads gonna see them bluebelle blossoms
She was an undivided continent in a country prone to divides
unbroken as the earth under her horses holy strides he shone like god had stole his light from the gold in August’s eyes
they breathe like air was born to be the breath that breathes inside em
We rode bareback half-wax-moonlit hills til we could hear the country cryin’
& our horses balked like the blood we bought this land with never finished dryin’
She says “some days I believe in God, somedays I feel it’s me He’s denyin’”
somedays I swear she feeds her horses nothin’ but Copenhagen & diamonds
so tie our blue bandanas across our arms & crosses, I’m comin’ home, cuttin’ gravel roads, gonna see them bluebelle blossoms
there’s unholy harmony keenin’ across our gritty, deathless, West,
there is a sacred mountain slicin’ new stars into Orion’s sunscorched chest
there are sins I’d like to leave behind me when I lay me down to rest
there are blue eyed mustangs in the moonblind mornin’ & a woman outridin’ death
singin’ Tie our blue bandanas across our arms & crosses I’m comin’ home cuttin gravel roads, gonna see them bluebelle blossoms
Track Name: Lightnin' Strikin' a Barbed Wire Fence
I used to disappear in half a breath
born with an outlaw’s taste for death
they said “you ever hear a whistle that wasn’t blowin’ lonesome?”

I’m just lightnin’ strikin’ a barbed-wire fence
rain on the mesa, all the junipers dance corralled in sage & constance
Cañoncito callin’ me somethin I ain’t like lightnin’ strikin’ a barbed wire fence
I been up all night waitin’ to work
the radio’s fadin’ the coffee’s burnt
you ever see Orion wear a cloak of stars?
 yippee-aye-o-yippee aye—aw
Stranded in the sandhills I tried to make sense dust in my eyes, the sun tryin’ to set
Herradera I’m unbranded & Unbranded I will stay like lightnin’ strikin a barbed wire fence
seven thousand miles nearer to God
yippee aye oh, yippee aye aw
you ever seen lightnin’ two-step to thunder’s call?
 you ever seen Orion wear a cloak of stars?
yippe aye oh, yippee aye aw
moonblind, maybe I still got a chance days’ eyes are openin’ openin’ again when I go, I wanna go down fast
like lightnin’ strikin a barbed wire fence
Track Name: High in Wyoming (160 Horses)
woke up this mornin-
sun was in the south
your lips upon my lips your smile upon my mouth
daylight broke like a dusty rose
or someone’s easy laughter
a hundred & sixty horses
shook the ceilin, shook the rafters
I will live no more forever for the better half of never for the better half of nothin’ to fall down at my feet we’ll find forever somewhere High In Wyoming
say our prayers in Absaroka we ain’t scared of anything
it was cold this mornin’
like a hundred winters bloomin like every norther knew when
all the others were rendezvou(s)in’
but the coffee’s brewin
& ponderosa pine sparks smell
like they know it’s cold out there,
but them horses won’t feed themselves
& i will live no more forever on the better half of never, on the better half of nothin’ to fall down at my feet we’ll find forever somewhere high in wyomin’
name our children Annie Oakley, Billie Holiday & Butch Cassidy
Track Name: Ride Out These Storms
God’s paintin’ horses in the early desert dawn
& I’m runnin’ outta roses to pin my dreams upon - I’m sleepin’ like a Santa Ana crossin’ Californ’ would ya hide with me, ride out these storms? Hide with me, ride out these storms.
The saddle nail’s are rusted & the latigo’s torn & it’s cold like creation, eighteen winters alone - they cut my hair & they shot my horse -
would you hide with me, ride out these storms? Hide with me, ride out these storms.
I stole an ol’ paint - he says his name’s Salvador,
& I feed him all the diamonds this .44 affords
we left Jicarilla like a prayer leaves a whore,
honey I was born, I was born, I was born, I was born I was born in this storm.
Track Name: Butch Cassidy Revisited
digame, darlin’, does it dress you down?

carve the stars in your conchos, pawn the silver in your crown
like a Jackson Sundown Hamley saddle, spurs for markin’ out
does it dress you down like drawin’ black cat back in Pendlestown?
if you died this mornin, to which horizon would you run?

Auroras across the sacred mountains or the badlands of Bolivia?
or would you unbuckle the bible belts in the deathless settin’ sun-
cuz we been waitin’ for a burnt-out bootsoled savior, Herradera
Or perhaps you’re paintin’ horses in the Largo Cañon walls
& perhaps it’s us that’s dreamin’
& you were never alive at all
so all night coyotes are callin’ me by names I can’t recall like sirens slayin’ gunfighters serenading them with “draw!”
I dreamed you were wayfarin’ long ghost continents by my side
I dreamed the sundown cañon where the light lay down to die
& my bones tied on my pony’s back in the rain his blue eyes cryin
for every song stuffed in his saddle bag before the ink could dry
so if there’s stars left over Cody, let ‘em light your way back home
& if theres anything you owe me, I got forgiveness if you got loans
if it ever rains in Santa Fe let it wash my saddle clean
& I’ll pray the wind comes quick to wash the rust out of your wings

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