I walked up to the bunkhouse, beneath a cloudless sky,
searching to find the Christmas star, still shining there on high.
The bunkhouse was warm but lonesome with no other cowboys there.
They had all gone home for Christmas. I pretended not to care.
Christmas carols on the radio brought back thoughts of the star
that had shown down on those pastures in that Eastern land so far.
Taking off my vest and Sunday shirt, I threw them on the trunk.
I stripped down to my underwear and crawled into my bunk.
My day had started early. I had worked hard with the crew,
so they could start their Christmas fun, when all the chores were through.
With no wife nor kids to need me, I had told the rest I'd stay
and watch out for the cattle. They could have their Christmas Day.
The warm room made me sleepy and I started into doze.
Right there before my astounded eyes, the Christmas Star arose.
I was a lonely shepherd in that land so far away,
who had been left to guard the sheep until the break of day.
I heard the angels singing and saw the moving star.
I marveled at the beauty and glory from afar.
The bright star beckoned to me and angels led the way
to where the future king of all lay in a mound of hay.
I wanted so to follow them but I had pledged my word.
I had to turn a deaf ear to the messages I heard.
I knew my solemn duty lay in guarding helpless sheep.
I prayed the Lord's forgiveness but the vigil I must keep.
The star reflected in the eyes of creatures all around,
waiting for the lonely stray or any sheep they found.
I could not shirk my duty to seek Him out that night,
but I knew I never would forget that glorious, wondrous sight.
I had that dream some years ago, but should that star reappear,
I've hung my rope and saddle up. I can follow with no fear.
Posted: 12/1/14 For "One of your best" contest
“Back in my day” his stories all would start
I’d lean in close to listen though I knew ‘em all by heart
He was a living legend, one of Texas’ best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest
He fought along “RIP” Ford & John Coffee Hayes
When Texas was wooly & wild, back in the good old days
“One Riot, One Ranger” I’ve heard it said many times before
from fighting off Commanches to turning the tide of a range war
A Ranger never faltered, never imagined he could lose a fight
He’d go hell bent for leather just to turn a wrong to right.
From Nueces to Salado Creek he patrolled the border land
Dealing out swift justice with a smoking Colt sitting easy in hand
Hardin, Iron Jacket & Sam Bass thought they could get away
The Rangers ran them down to ground, the stories still are told today
Great Granddad was a hero, one of Texas’s best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest
He passed on the legacy & the stories I’ll now tell
as I hear his voice echo when I start off, “ I remember well”
So tip your hat & raise your glass to the Rangers out there on patrol
and to all the Shadow Rangers, Rest in Peace, God rest your soul
The foreman and his missus
Had invited me to share
Their supper on this Christmas Eve
And to join their evening prayer.
Their little ones with shining eyes
Gazed at the Christmas tree,
Excited about their Christmas socks
And the presents they would see.
I walked back to the bunkhouse
Beneath a cloudless sky,
Searching to find the Christmas star
Still shining there on high.
The bunkhouse was warm, but lonesome
With no other cowpokes there.
They'd all gone home for Christmas.
I pretended not to care.
Christmas carols on the radio
Brought back thoughts of the star
That had shone down on those pastures
In that Eastern land so far.
Taking off my vest and Sunday shirt,
I threw them on the trunk.
I stripped down to my underwear
And crawled into my bunk.
My day had started early.
I had worked hard with the crew
So they could start their Christmas fun
When all the chores were through.
With no wife nor kids to need me
I had told the rest I'd stay
And watch out for the cattle.
They could have their Christmas Day.
The warm room made me sleepy
And I started in to doze.
Right there before my bugging eyes
The Christmas Star arose.
I was a lonely shepherd
In that land so far away,
Who had been left to guard the sheep
Until the break of day.
I heard the angels singing
And saw the moving star.
I marveled at the wonder
And glory from afar.
The bright star beckoned to me
And angels led the way
To where the future King of All
Lay in the mound of hay.
I wanted so to follow them
But I had pledged my word.
I had to turn a deaf ear to
The messages I heard.
I knew my solemn duty lay
In guarding helpless sheep.
I prayed the Lord's forgiveness but
The vigil I must keep.
The star reflected in the eyes
Of creatures all around,
Waiting for the lonely stray
Or any sheep they found.
I could not shirk my duty,
To seek Him out that night,
But I knew I never would forget
That glorious, wondrous sight.
I had this dream some years ago,
But should that star reappear
Ive hung up my rope and saddle.
I can follow with no fear.
Buy: Joyce Johnson (Posted in Cowboy Poetry. Com Dec. 2007)
Beyond the moon and past the last star
is the realm of cowboys who dream.
Who ride their horses across plains,
their mounts noses snorting steam.
As comets streak across the chalkboard,
horses whinny and bawl through the night.
Every glare and solar flare filling the steeds
with a celestial spook and a heavenly fright.
The moon is a constant glow as it rides
along through the moonbeams and clouds.
Night winds blow the cosmic dust around,
making the gauzy glitter into planetary shrouds.
I want to be a cowboy and hear the angels sing
as the campfire glows, dimly, singing me to sleep.
the stars are my doggies; lowing as, at last,
the shadows fail and sunlight begins to creep.
He was a gunslinger from the lone star state,
With a mind full of anger and a heart full of hate.
He wore two six shooters,one on each hip,
With the notches of the dead cut into the grip.
The eyes of this gunslinger showed no emotion or fear,
Every one kept there eyes on him when he was near.
Then along came a stranger,with a star upon his chest,
Looking for the man from the deep southwest.
He called the man out from the lone star state.
He knew that talking was useless,his words would carry no weight.
As they pulled there guns,the gunslinger gave it his best.
But the bullet that struck first was from the man with the star on his chest.
When the gunslinger hit the ground,the marshal asked him why,
The man from the lone star state showed emotion and shed a tear from his eye.
She was just a kid when the gang rode into town,
She was barely sixteen,why did they gun her down.
You finally put me to rest,the anger and hate will finally subside,
And as the gunslinger past away,the marshal finally knew why.