When hard times come they sit a spell,
Like kin folk come to stay
A-packin' troubles, pets an' kids
That always get ‘n your way.
It's drought an' flood, an' flood an' drought,
There ain't much in-between.
You work like hell to make ’em good,
But still they’re sorta lean.
The ranch went under late last year,
The drought got mighty tough.
The boss held-out a long, long time,
But finally said, "enough!"
So here I am dispatchin’ cops
An’ watchin’ felons sleep,
In Junction, at the county jail,
A job I’ll prob’ly keep.
The wife, she works at Leisure Lodge,
Where older people stay,
A-makin’ beds an’ moppin’ floors
To earn some ‘extra’ pay.
Though “extra pay‘s” the term I used,
It goes to payin’ rent,
An’ after all the bills are paid,
We wonder where it went.
We hocked my saddle, guns an' chaps,
An' then our weddin' rings;
Then when we couldn't pay the loan,
They sold the 'dad-blamed' things.
We felt real bad a day or two
But then we let it go,
Cause it got Christmas for the kids
When money got real slow.
When hard times come they sit a spell,
Don't matter who you are;
They'll cost ya things you've set aside,
An' clean your cookie jar.
You'll loose some sleep an' worry some,
Won't pay to moan an' groan;
But hang on to your happiness,
They'll finally leave ya 'lone.
One day I was passing time
And wrote these words upon the lines,
I know not where they came you see
The Winds of Time were there for me.
If I could open a door to the past
And there before me were the paths
I'm not quite sure which I would choose
But The Winds of Time would see me through.
The vastness there before God's Hand
Then came the heavens, the seas, the land
Eden, Noah and the Christ Child's birth
Is the path that I see first.
I'm not into Knights or dragon days,
Nor Robin Hood and his saving ways,
But give me a Viking as he crosses the seas
And I'll dream of the lands so wild and free.
The music of Irland calls to me,
Where Kathleen's heart has ever been,
And for Danny Boy the fifes do call
I'll shed my tears lest he should fall.
As Immigrants touched upon our shores
The Indians prepared to fight once more,
But fate stepped in and eased the sore
They'd live in peace forever more.
The battles fought upon this land
To protect us from Tierney's hand,
The Civil War for Freedom's right
The Alamo where comrades died.
At Little Big Horn where our soldiers died,
As Indians defend their homes with pride,
The government later took a hand
And put them on Reservation land.
I remember well, when I was quite young
The days of World War II
And how my father's life did change
When the family business he assumed.
Twenty-four seven was unheard of then,
But that was their working day,
They helped keep our nations trucks on the road
Their battlefield was here in the USA.
I'll choose the path with pastures green,
Horses, cattle and the cowboy scene,
This is the land of my mother's birth
The most precious land to me on earth.
I chose this land and took a stand,
Married a cowboy and we ranched the land.
Though now retired and family gone
This land will always be our home.
The Winds of Time, know well my soul
I'll rest at night with days of yore.
And as I wake a prayer I'll say
Please God, may we have Peace today?
Wearing Daddy's boots & cowboy hat & not much in between
Why, Momma, ain't she just about the prettiest baby you've ever seen?
I'm sure wishing she was talking, reading her mind is quite a trick
And she's sure getting awful heavy, I hope she's walking quick
Whoa there, sassy, Momma look at her running wild
Why I am not sure there ever was a more rambunctious child
Life sure was a picnic when we could just bundle her up & go
Now I get tuckered just watching her, she's a pint size dynamo
Waist length braids, a gap tooth grin & freckled face
That's our girl, Momma, her calf just took first place
How old is she now, six? No, she can't possibly be eight
Seems she is growing up faster than I'd anticipate
Well I'll be, look at her standing on the stairs
in a fancy gown, heels & make up putting on womanly airs
this young girl looking back at me, yesterday she was only seven
Now there's a young buck staring at her like he's just seen heaven
Wearing a cap & gown, her diploma held high
Look, Momma, there's our girl, getting ready to give her wings a try
Wasn't it just yesterday she was afraid of the monsters under the bed?
Now she's off to college, her own path to tread
Wearing Grandma's pearls & a gown of antique white
Now, Momma, don't start fussing, everything will be all right
Wasn't it just yesterday, I was wishing she was talking?
Now the music is playing & down the aisle we're walking
Wearing Grandpa's boots & cowboy hat & nothing in between
Why Grandma ain't that the prettiest grandbaby you've ever seen?
Now listen, Sassy, don't go wishing for her to grow up so fast
Treasure each & every moment, create a memory to last
Be mindful of what you wish for when your babes are small
For in just the blink of an eye, they won't be small at all
You dream of turning back the clock & know you never will
For time flies, just as surely as you wish it would stand still
A cowboy is a hardened soul
When viewed by strangers eyes
A mind of honor and fortitude
A cowboy never cries
A cowboy lives with purpose, clear
His spirit can't be quelled
No hardship on Earth can take his pride
Though he rides to the edges of Hell
The cowboy is really a family man
Though affection he rarely shows
His daily toil is driven by love
and his family surely knows
A cowboy lives by a simple code
That city folk often can't see
But if you want to learn what life is about
A cowboy is something to be.
Sooo, ya think you're THE ace
In this jingle jangle place, UHH!?
And you're proud, OOH, SOO proud !
And you're talking here so loud...
That nobody ever noticed
That you're offering a contest
With a weird melody
I would call cacophony...
If an English word exists
To describe your foolish lists !
O.K. Don't you cry like this
Or I would call you Elvis
For the rest of your life...
By the way, I met your wife
And I told her, once again,
How frustrated I remain
Every time I see your pages,
I wish I'd put these images
on my own imagination:
WHATCHA goo' job you done, son !
< Now hold on there Tex !
Let me get dressed !
Let me saddle up my horse
To trollop around this Halloween course
Got on my chaps
My spurs and cowboy hat
Replica's of forty five's
Riding on my hips very high
With lasso in my hand
This little cowboy has a plan
So all you ghost and goblins
It's candies bounty I'll be coming an robbing
And I'll be taking loot for mummy
And for my daddy who has a bigger tummy
Happy Halloween To All
Especially little tikes who are so cute and small
Halloween Costume Contest
The underwear bandits watch the tv matinee The irony the tragedy the comedy dubbed The spaggetti western but we just ran to play cowboys and indians until it was time for the tub The violence of the real world was yet unknown We had are cap guns a blazing a hero of the age the rubber tipped arrows hits the mark as shown friendships grow helping the wounded in the day someone yells the one liner and falls to ground rushing to the aid of the helpless was the norm Innocence is betrayed those days they can't be found the violence learned from lighting and storm the underwer bandits have road into the sunset but the friendships gained is what I like best
-The Same Old SongS-
That's all he ever talks about
Hey there Buckaroo
what’s your hurry?
Momma hollered after
her pride ‘n joy
she smiled swiftly
as little boots clomped
with spurs jingle janglin’
across the kitchen floor
“Aw Momma, don’t worry!
I’ll be home before dinner
but I drew the rank bronc
It’s a sure winner!”
Then whistling Lil Joe
and roping the cat
her boy mounted up
on his trusty hobby horse
“Don’t slam the door”
She said with a laugh
has the hinges rattled
& the old screen door crashed
He was already gone
riding silver screen dreams
that old grey black hat
setting low on his ears
Hey there Lil Buckaroo
Don’t be in such a hurry
Time passes quick enough
You still have stick ponies to curry
Too soon you’ll grow tall
& become a young man
chasing girls & fast cars
enjoy your childhood while you can
In a blink of an eye
or faster than that
you’ll no longer wear boots
toss a rope or wear that old hat
You’ll follow your own path
but where ever it leads
I hope you remember
Your Lil Buckaroo deeds
Hey Lil Buckaroo
slow down, what’s your hurry?
Don’t gallop too quickly
through these Buckaroo Days
© February 2003
camera three is having
an existential crisis;
his long languid lens
has suffered in silence,
an impotent shard of
for his vision won’t
focus on faecal injustice,
camera three is having
an existential crisis;
or other devices,
just won’t solve the problem,
or even negate,
this delicate time
in his delicate state,
camera three is having
an existential crisis;
Osiris, Anubis, Oasis and Isis,
have all shed the skin of
guitar band dementia,
wheeling out wisdom
for the fear of inertia,
camera three is having
an existential crisis…
Two of Eight
My back’s against the wall
Cold granite above me
Mountain stream to the right
On the left a big ol’ spruce tree
Almost three hours back
I was holed by a shot
Given to me from a Ute rifle
And they want me a lot
My hoss caught one too
He got me to this place
High among the peaks
His final breath to win the race
Once I cussed him
As not worth his feed
But when the chips where down
He proved a most noble steed
I am alone here now
My own personal Alamo
I know here I will die
Only a short time to go
It could be worse though
I have no wife to cry
No young-uns to carry on
No family to notify
All I can do now is
Make them Ute’s earn it
If I have no family to mourn
Let the Ute’s sing of it
I hold no hate for them
For this is their way of life
So I must not show cowardess
When they end my life
For if I must die
As I know I will
I will meet my maker
With my scalp belt full
I have not gone down to death
With out counting my own score
Three of eight dead now
And I plan to take more
My Winchester is empty
That is now matter now
This wont be fought at range
They come for my scalp now
I draw my colts from their holsters
Let them come then!
To bring an end to me!
To bring me home again!
They come for me now
I can hear them now
Just over the ridge
And I know just how
My colts are ready in my hands
I will go as a wolf should
Fighting with my last breath
As only a warrior could
Two of eight now stand looking
At the man who fought bravely
Three of bullet one of arrow have fallen
As two look on gravely
They will not take
This white man’s scalp
Or the brave man’s weapons
It would be no help
Tonight in the Ute lodges
There lifts a warriors song
A man wounded and dying
But still fought on.
I cowboy on this acre here
To preserve the legacy I hold dear
This is the life I’ve chose to lead
In my children, I’ll plant a seed
They may one day choose city life
with its equal parts of glitz & strife
But deep in their hearts they’ll heed the truth
And hold fast to the teachings of their youth
Along with their ties & suits
I’ll bet you they’ll wear cowboy boots
Though far & wide, I know they’ll roam
This ranch will always pull them home
For on this acre that you see
Was instilled in them a cowboy legacy
I’ll cowboy on this acre here
for it’s the bond that keeps them near
© August 2003
You see that man over there
sitting stern faced in his chair?
Look closer, see that twinkle in his eye?
That's a glimpse of softness that you spy
You see that woman laughing there
dancing eyes & witty air?
Look closer, see the iron & grit?
That's a glimpse of strength, wrapped like a gift
They made me who I am today
tightened the reins when I went astray
The calming center in a teenage storm
The home fires that still keep me warm
He gave me the gift of discipline & control
She is the sunshine that fills my soul
He taught me young of the cowboy ways
She set my passion for words ablaze
He taught me to be fair & just
She showed me kindness was a must
He showed me how to draw respect
She taught me to rely on humor & intellect
A parent must first be your teacher
sometimes judge, jury & preacher
Their wisdom guided me in my youth
They guide me still, to tell the truth
(c) August 2003
I wake-up missing you
Last 10-10-07 feels like a dream
But it is so true
I cry until i cant cry anymore
Daddy God has finally open His door
We had you
But we had to let you go
No more pain
No more sorrow
Oneday we will learn to understand
You completed your journey
A boy to a man
A wife and a family
finally you can sleep
im still crying out but i know your soul is at peace.
“A Cowboy is born with a broken heart”
I once heard someone say
But it’s life’s travails
that make it seem that way
Just settle back & lend an ear
I will see if I can explain
Its every “good bye” left unspoken
every tear that’s never shed
It’s the pride you just can’t swallow
every apology left unsaid
It’s the emptiness & sorrow
you carry with you on life’s trails
It was in the way back years
must have been six or seven
I watched a strong man crumble
When I saw my Daddy cry
He’d just come from burying Grandpa
Never got to say Good Bye
We lost the ranch when I was eight
and though his dream had failed
I watched my Daddy shoulder on
Never buckling under the weight
He altered course & tried again
Heart worn & weary but he prevailed
When I was but a woman child
True love found, my forever friend
We’d talked of “Through Forever”
He rides in Heaven’s arena now
True love’s bonds the veil can’t sever
All to soon I lost him to a Brahma wild
A Cowboy’s heart isn’t broken at the very start
It’s the unspoken words and unshed tears
Its all those lonely midnight memories
that creates a Life Worn Heart
(c) January 2004
The Spade Ranch had the beef issue
For the Indians at Pine Ridge
And each time that he's take the herd
Mollie'd go along with Sid.
The Spade had been good to them
By now they numbered four,
The time had come for them to find
A ranch that was their own.
They took a homestead east of Gordon,
At last they had their chance.
And when Sid's brother joined them it became
The Irwin Brothers Ranch.
They later leased the Ross Ranch
And here was born child three,
A sickly little daughter
So delicate, so wee.
To complete their preemption
A homestead they did seek.
Southeast of Gordon near Lavaca,
Down by the Ol' Pole Creek.
Here a daughter and a son
Were added to their life,
Then fire struck and they were left
With hearts full of Strife.
For years they wandered here and there
Seeking out each lead
A hope or promise was all they asked
For their ailing daughters need.
Though the years were fruitless
And no cure was found
Their last child was born to them
A daugher in health abound.
Time took it's toil a short seventeen
Their daughter would laugh no more,
So many years they searched in vain,
And now their hearts were sore.
The long years over, at last they came home
To the hills so sandy and green
On a ranch south of Cody, down by the Niobrara,
So sparkling fresh and clean.
Sid first lost a son,
Then two weeks later his own Mollie too,
With two such blows he hung up his spurs
His cowboy days were through.
His life wasn't easy thought it was long
He died at age ninety-three
In the same sandy hills that a lad of fourteen
Once said, "You'll be home to me."
This poem first appeared in the Centennial Edition of the
Nebraska Cattleman Magazine.
Young Cowboy On The Battlefield
Remembered His Mama’s Words
‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
Her Voice Echoed, As He Heard …
Rapid-Fire and Revolution
Missiles, Right and Left
Bomb-Blasts and Confusion
… and Silent Tears, He’s Wept
… Every Day, A Minefield
Every Night, A Raid
Every Moment, A Terror
Trying to Make Him Afraid …
Any Second, A Horror
Of A Buddy, Laid To Rest
Every New Tomorrow
Wondering, What’s Next ?
The Cowboy On The Battlefield
Vigilant and Brave
Stood Ramrod Tall and Terse …
Looking At Her Grave …
‘Just Make It Home, Son … ‘
… Echoed Thru His Brain
‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
… Echoed Thru The Rain
And Just Before She Was Laid To Rest
She Said, ‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
And With Those Last Words, She Blessed,
And Said, ‘I’ll Be Waiting, When You Come …’
* * * *
… Old Cowboy, On The Battlefield
Remembers His Mama’s Words
‘Just Make It Home, Son …
… and We’ll Celebrate Our Return …
Of Note: In The Words Of A Lady Rocker,
Pat Benatar: ‘Love Is A Battlefield’
(but I Say, 'Life Is A Battlefield'
He was to be for my daddy, they'd said
as they scooped him up from the pick up bed
He was speckled & flop eared & soft as a sigh
My Daddy knew he had lost by the look in my eye
With his masked bandit eyes, only one name seemed right
Thus, Ringo, was christened that long ago April night
Part wolf, part samoyed, part collie & aussie
He would herd anything from small kids to old Bossy
Every morning he'd walk me to the school yard gate
Every afternoon he'd return & patiently wait
When I graduated from high school in June of ‘82
I argued with the principal that he deserved a diploma, too
Wherever I wandered he was close at my side
Through my childhood years, we roamed far & wide
We hiked every inch of the old Hilton Spread & the Total Wreck, as well
I knew to bring him in with me, when my daddy would start to yell
He moved quick & shadow silent & hardly ever made a sound
But just say the word "Ranch" & watch him come unwound
He loved to chase the rabbits & running with the 'yotes
Its to his credit that some coyote pups had speckled coats
I learned to trust his instinct when the fellers started to call
Why, when his hackles started rising, I knew to end it all
He'd step in between us & stare them down to size
Yep, if Ringo didn't like you, there would be no compromise
He's gone on across the Rainbow bridge where all good dogs abide
But he'll be waiting at Heaven's Gate, to fall in at my side
He taught me loyalty & trust, & that love never ends
For sixteen years, through thick & thin, We were the best of friends
Mine was not a normal childhood or so I have been told
But I wouldn’t trade one day of it for all of Solomon’s gold
For I have been horseback since I was three years old
My grandpa cut me out a mount, a sturdy Quarterhorse bay
And helped me climb up on top & led me out of harm’s way
They bunched the cows & grandpa said “Bit, you’ll be riding drag today”
I heard a cowboy snicker & I heard another asking “Why?”
Grandpa just said, “She might be a “little bit” but she has a lot of try”
They knew it was best not to argue for he had that gleam in his eye
We must have pushed those cows for ten hot & dusty miles
But I knew not to whine for it wasn’t the cowboy style
So every time Grandpa would look back I’d do my best to smile
Now there are those who’ll tell you that riding drag is no place to be
But though I ate two lifetimes of dust I have to disagree
For I was riding drag for Grandpa & that was good enough for me
Now I’ll never make a roper much to Grandpa’s chagrin
He knew that I’d never rope my way to a jackpot win
I am walking proof that tossing true ain’t genetically built in
He knew with me on drag the day would end without a wreck
For though I might not ever settle one loop on a steer neck
I’d always done what I was asked & earned Grandpa’s respect
Grandpa knew that I would do my best to always make it right
He’d seen me & that old Bay keep the stragglers tucked tight
And he knew that with me on drag they’d all come home at night
I rode that bay for ten spring gathers, bringing up the rear
Some of the cowboys they still snickered but I pretended not to hear
I cared little for what they thought of me & wouldn’t waste a tear
They might think that riding drag was a child’s game to me
But though I ate three lifetimes of dust I have to disagree
For I was riding drag for Grandpa & that was good enough for me
Sidney Irwin, was his name,
From Texas he did come.
A lad of only fourteen years,
He's just begun to roam.
He joined his brother's cattle drive,
Along the Chisholm Trail
Pushing cattle to the North
To meet the shining rail.
Gently blew the knee deep grasses,
The waters crystal clear,
Though he was just a drover now,
He knew his heart was here.
His Mother back in Texas
Depended on her son.
The youngest of eleven
He's make this land her home.
He brought her to the Sandhills
Where a homestead she did claim
Around the region where the Spade Ranch
Later won it's fame.
The Spade needed a foreman,
Sid tried and got the job.
Though he was young he knew his stuff
And showed them he was boss.
For seven years he bossed these men
A hard and steady job.
He kept an average of sixty-five
Busy all year long.
As years went by Sid met a girl
Mollie was her name.
With sparkling eyes and lilting laugh,
This cowboy's heart she claimed.
He took her home back to the Spade.
This day it was so grand
She became the first white woman
To set foot upon Spade land.
The chickens scattered at the sight
Of skirts blown by the wind
Only the gentleness of her voice
Proved she was their friend.
She knew her work and did the job
Expected of Sid's wife,
And found the time to entertain
The countless dudes that arrived.
Part 2 follows
In the heat of July,
While bringing in the hay,
He gave her a baling wire ring,
And this is what he had to say...
“Someday I’ll put a diamond,
Here on your hand.
A diamond pure and perfect,
As sure as I’m your man.
But, you know, a diamond,
It won’t ever shine,
As long or as bright,
As this love of yours and mine.”
So they saved for her diamond,
By putting little bits away,
Money for the diamond,
He would buy for her one day.
But the money for her diamond,
Fixed the tractor and bought a plow,
And in the dead of winter,
Paid the vet. bill for the cow.
The money for her diamond,
Put the water to the barn,
And paid the increased taxes,
The county levied on the farm.
The money for her diamond,
Paid the doctor in town,
And when their daughters were all grown,
It bought the wedding gowns.
It paid for the new roof,
When the big wind came through.
Then it it paid off the mortgage,
Before it was due.
The money for her diamond,
Was always well spent,
She never even asked him,
Just where the money went.
The money for her diamond,
Helped them to survive,
The money for her diamond,
Kept their hopes and dreams alive.
Today it’s been sixty-three years,
And the diamond is on her hand.
But, as usual, in her pocket,
Lies her original wedding band.
A twist of baling wire,
Bent and covered up in rust,
A symbol of the greatest of loves,
His Promise and Her Trust.
Ponytails and blue jeans
Sat at Papaw's knee,
Watching as he whittled
On old branches from a tree.
And while he talked of cowboys
And big old Texas ranches,
He trimmed away the rough spots,
While I dreamed of pony dances.
A wild stick horse remuda
Began to run and play,
With every loving stroke,
As he peeled the bark away.
Using his "Old Timer"
And carving in my brand,
The best that he could find
And cut and shape with his own hand.
Now, each one of them was special,
And I felt I was too,
As they kicked up dust behind
This cowgirl buckaroo.
With reins of pink hair ribbon,
Shoe strings and baling twine,
There was "Buckin' Birch" and "Oakie,"
And "Ole Sticky" made of pine,
"Sassafras," and "Blackjack,"
"Willow," "Blaze," and "Scat,"
I never did corral 'em --
I just left 'em where they sat.
But next mornin', on the front porch,
'stead of roamin' wild and free,
They'd found their hitchin' rail,
‘cause Papaw lined 'em up for me.
Along our trails together
There were many lessons learned,
Like bein' a cowboy through and through
Is something that you earn
We'd partner up together,
And team up in cahoots,
Once he defied my Mama,
Bought me red cowboy boots.
And often, when I wondered
What to do on down the road,
He'd always tell me, "little girl,
When you get there you will know,"
Sometimes you have to let things go,
Sometimes you stand and fight,
And anything worth doin',
Is still worth doin' right.
With my wild stick horse remuda,
We rode the range for miles,
I knew I'd won my Papaw's heart
By the way he'd laugh and smile,
I still have his sweat-stained Stetson,
His boots, and his old knife,
Sometimes I take them out
Just to measure up my life.
And hold him closer to my heart,
And know I have to try,
To live up to the honor
Of the wonder-days gone by.
On my stick horse remuda,
I learned the cowboy way,
I’d give up everything I own
To ride with him today.
My wild stick horse remuda
Was quite the varied band,
Born and bred with me in mind
And trained by his own hand.
I’m longing for the legends,
And the way we used to roam,
With my wild stick horse remuda,
And the man that we called "Home."
one day I met a cowboy
he had no saddle boots or hat
but he showed me the reasons
why a cowboy's more than that
the first thing that he showed me
that no cowboy would forget
is how to tell when someone
tries to make him swallow poop
he said what a cowboy swallows
is the cure for any ail
so grab youself a bottle
cause a cowboy does not fail
then he told me how a bottle
was the cowboy's perfect drug
cause he gives someone a bottle
for a hand shake or a hug
I watched for years as people came
with problems much to great
he'd hand 'em each a bottle
then begin to demonstrate
he made everything look simple
passed nothing off as fate
then told them all try harder
and don't wait till it's to late
legend says the cowboy
was christ's righteous afterbirth
left behind with cattle
where it took root in the earth
the cowboy is as godly
as a man of earth can get
he can almost walk on water
just one foot gets wet
By: Jeremy Siedlecki
As I herd cattle in 104 heat,
just to get food to eat...
Rememberin' what it was to be rich,
then all taken by the witch...
A woman so very evil,
like a fat bollwevil...
To let lies eat away lives,
as if to stab by knives...
It's really just not fair,
that she does not love or care...
About my little boys & girl,
& their poor broken world...
GOD knows about my plite,
only He can make it right...
Just want my kids to care,
about the sacrafices I made there...
I LOVE them & swear,
that in My heart I am always near !!!
For My Kids, LOVE DAD PRV
My Father wears a coat of many colors
for all the world to see,
that deep inside his soul
beats the heart of a Cherokee.
What have I learned from his spirit,
and his laughing, loving ways?
I learned the past belongs to the present.
Not to waste my younger days.
The stories of my ancestors
are his legacy to me.
That honoring them and who they were
determines who I will be.
I am my Father’s daughter
and I can only hope,
that one day I will be worthy
to wear my Father’s coat.
He was just a stove-up old cowboy,
Who only drank to ease the pain,
And he really didn’t need it,
Except when it was cold or gonna’ rain.
He’d spent his life bull-ridin’ ,
Until he had that wreck,
The bull threw him high, he came down hard,
And busted his legs all to heck.
He’d been my Daddy’s best friend,
Up until the day my Daddy died,
They rodeo’ed together,
At the funeral, he cried.
I’d see him every now and again,
At one or another rodeo,
He always had kind words for me,
Acted like he hated to see me go.
He gave me my first pony,
And a saddle with a dally horn,
They say he drove my Mamma to town,
The icy night that I was born.
I heard he’d talk about me,
And only had good things to say,
He never told me to my face,
But I knew that was just his way.
It came as a surprise to me,
When I heard that he was dead,
I couldn’t forget the last time I saw him,
Or the last thing he ever said...
“I wish you’d been my own son,
I’m proud to know ya’ as a man,
I wanted to say ‘I love ya’,
While I’m sober, and I can.”
Then he turned and strode off,
And his back seemed straight and strong,
I’m not real sure, but I’d have sworn
That limp of his was gone.
So, on those nights when I’m alone,
And hurt gets in my way,
I think of him and the guts it took,
To say what he had to say.
And now, when I see an old Cowboy,
A little drunk and broken down,
I stop and listen to the stories he tells,
‘Cause I know he’s been around.
And Somewhere, Jake is bull-ridin’,
Hittin’ in the eighties on every ride,
Young , and Free, and Wild again,
In that place, called The Other Side.
We dream of it for Christmas Eve,
The swirling pearls of snowy down--
Its blanket grows and does not leave
And covers homes and barns around.
The horses stay within their stalls,
Thinking cowboys this day won't ride--
Far from the busy shopping malls,
Where folks seem so empty inside.
Yet, still the family gathers
On this rare white Thanksgiving day,
To thank the Lord for what matters--
Share their abundant feast and pray.
Though some are here in memory,
We love and laugh with them in death--
Knowing to cherish things that be
And relish our time with each breath.
So at tables we say prayers
Over food this white Thanksgiving--
As we put away all our cares
And thank God and kin still living.
We perched atop the corral,
as he read the men and horses,
And he told me about common sense
and it’s amazing, magical forces.
We watched the men choose their mounts,
some were firm, but kind;
While others used plain brute force,
to make their horses mind.
He said,” Dealing with horses and people
is a special kind of art.
If you watch ‘em work, you'll learn
what is truly in a man’s heart.
For though it once was common place,
common sense ain’t common any more
And many of the basic rules of life,
some folks will choose to ignore.
The truth is just as obvious
as these fellows working the pens.
There will always be Cowboys
as long as there are horses and men.
And just as it takes all kinds of horses,
from renegades to leaders to make a herd;
There will also always be outlaws
as well as men true to their word.
You see, a man who can’t,
will often bully his way through,
And how a man treats his horse
is how he’ll end up treating you.
The decisions that we make
should be rooted in our common sense.
Like horses, we should use our instincts,
or be prepared to accept the consequence."
We watched ‘em work for hours,
as I hung on every word he had to say;
About life, love and horses;
how God hears us when we pray.
I simply took it for granted
that he would always be,
Sitting on that fence rail,
talking and laughing with me.
Time makes changes as it passes by;
I grew up and followed my star.
But in times of trouble I’d hear his voice,
saying “Remember who’s child you are.”
He taught me to read the world
though I didn’t know it at the time.
I learned about strength and self-respect;
how to recognize the best in mankind.
Oh, I made mistakes, but have no regrets,
for each is valuable in it’s own way.
Combined with his words and an education,
they are a part of who I am today.
So I honor this Cowboy philosopher,
who taught me to follow my heart’s voice;
To see things exactly for what they are
and that happiness is a choice.
And nothing ever really gets me down,
because of these things I can be sure;
That home is where the heart is,
and that love will forever endure.
I realize all those things I learned,
from books and college courses,
Will never hold a candle to his lesson,
on common sense, and men and horses.
"Where is this place they call The West?”,
a stranger asked of me;
“Where does it begin, where does it end,
where are the boundaries?"
I gave this question lots of thought,
I considered it quite carefully;
For everything from the Atlantic coast is West,
all the way to the Pacific sea.
Cowboy is a often an mis-used term,
open to interpretation,
And so it is, with The West,
it becomes a generalization.
The answer seemed too simple,
though it gave me cause to ponder;
The ways and life of the Cowboy
and how he is bound to wander.
I smiled as I gave my answer,
and please don't think it odd,
But the words I spoke, I truly believe,
were given to me by God.
"Everyone has a different definition,
and no single one is right;
It's like trying to define the Universe,
or freedom or faith or sunlight.
The West is like the sky above,
endless and wrapped around us all;
It's anywhere there's the soul of man,
or the sound of this Earth's call.
It's the place where we're going,
all the places we have been,
The past, the present and the future;
where-ever you find a friend.
Where is The West?
You're standing there;
It's no one location,
It's no place in particular,
it's anywhere living is an art;
It's any place a Cowboy is,
it's A Place in the Heart."
Sometimes the mountains call so strongly
that I shall never know peace
Until I stand where Heaven begins
and the bonds of this life cease.
I do not wish to leave you;
I've not but words to leave behind.
I pray, when you read, you'll remember me,
as strong and loyal an kind.
I rode the trail for which I was called,
in my mind regrets have no place;
The adventure was there for the living,
my heart says I ran a good race.
So listen for me in the laughter
that comes easy among true friends;
In the sounds of men and horses
beneath a sky that has no end.
And know that I loved you one and all,
when you hear music or smell sage in the air,
Dance hard and live for the moment,
my spirit will always be there.
Celebrate life and love and the West;
be fearless and funny and bold;
Please take the time to finish
any stories that I've left untold.
Past the meadow where blue bonnets grow,
near the creek by the gate;
My horse stands rigged for an easy ride,
and I can no longer wait.
So tell them I've gone to the mountains,
to the land I loved and called my home;
That I ride with the wild Texas wind,
somewhere west of San Antone.
© Debra Coppinger Hill
With love for TR, who gave me words and love and taught me how to be an outlaw.
The traffic flies by
At a fast-paced clip
They say on a warm day
It's a nice little trip
The county came in
And smoothed out the road
Past the porch where we sat
And learned of "The Code"
In my mind I still see him
Though he is long gone
And I still hear the words
To his old Cowboy songs
He spoke of the cow trails
And called them by name
Said the dust all around us
Was one and the same.
He told us the stories
Of the days that were past
We looked to the future
Swore we'd make them last
We rode our stick ponies
And we rounded up strays
And we knew we'd be Cowboys
For all of our days.
The buildings stand empty
A testimony to time
But they're filled with the dreams
That I still call mine
You can blacktop a road
But they will always be there
Those dust covered memories
That hang in the air.
They've paved the dirt road
That rolls by the farm
Where we laughed and played Cowboy
In the fields and the barn
And we learned where we came from
And who we could be
And the dust of that dirt road
Is still part of me.
I went to work for him that year,
early on, in the fall,
It was my job to help feed,
water, and clean the stalls.
The quarter horses that he raised,
were among the finest to be seen.
Then there were the mustangs,
rough and rank and mean.
From time to time, the mustangs,
would somehow make an escape,
No matter how carefully it was chained,
they seemed to be able to open the gate.
Then we’d saddle-up and chase ‘em,
and push ‘em back to the pens,
When it came to the mustangs,
trouble knew no end.
He never really answered,
when I asked him why,
He kept these three, who were dangerous,
with such wildness in their eyes.
Once, he said,”They’re the last of our kind,
a rare and special breed,
Spirits, not of this earth,
waiting to be freed.”
This didn’t help me understand,
the mustangs or this man,
Who seemed to keep them at all costs,
though they didn’t wear his brand.
Then, one day as we fed, I saw him...
as He took loose the chain...
Softly, he said, “Come with me”,
and we walked to the truck in the rain.
We rode the truck to the hill,
where we could see for miles.
Motioning to the tailgate, he bade me sit,
and gave me a knowing smile.
Below, the mustangs had finished their feed,
and, as if they had good sense,
They began their morning journey,
around their pasture, checking fence.
When they came to the gate,
for a moment, they did pause,
And gave a glance towards the hill,
as if they knew the cause.
I will remember the next few moments,
Forever, they are etched into my mind,
And the emotion I felt, as we sat in silence,
never again, shall I find.
We watched them bolt from the gate,
Running for all they were worth,
All four feet up off the ground,
Flying, between Heaven and Earth.
The explanation that he gave,
he didn’t have to give.
But, his words ring in my memory,
all the days, that I live.
He said, “I let them go sometimes,
so I can remember, when I see,
What it’s like to break loose,
and truly, be Free.
For awhile I’m allowed, by Grace of God,
to be a part of wondrous, unseen forces...
And that, my fine young friend,
is why I keep wild horses."
The subject was dropped, but when Billy went out on the next run I
was with him. And sure enough, there was number thirty-nine proudly showing
off her precious little boy. Billy just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
Oh how I love spring! The renewal of life and memories.
The little boy threw down his hat
And marched right from the room—
The TV on with nightly news
Of murder, muggings and doom.
The grandpa called out to the hall,
“What’s the matter lil’ pard?
Come back in here and cowboy up,
Don’t be takin’ life so hard!”
The kid slunk back into the room,
This grandson they named Roy,
And with disgust and mistrust said,
“Don’t call me no cowboy!”
“I reckon that you’re right upset,”
His granddad did allow,
“Pick up your brand new cowboy hat
And let’s walk to the corral.”
Then as they leaned on that old fence
That seldom now was used,
The old cowpoke now listened to
His grandson vent his blues:
“I keep hearin’ on the TV,”
Slowly spewed the little lad,
“How some wild folks are just “cowboys”
And ain’t nothin’ but pure bad.
“They even called our president
A cowboy behind his back—
Like it was something terrible
Or something that he did lack.”
The granddad stroked his long mustache,
Then told that boy what’s so—
“Son, bein’ a cowboy’s a good thing
And don’t let them tell you no.
“We’re keepers of a heritage
That started in the Old West
With good God-fearin’ settlers
That worked hard and gave their best.
“But like all folks, creeds and races,
There’s the bad and the good—
It just takes some figurin’ out
To see where most folks stood.
“There’s always them that question us
Because we don’t seem real
And try to hoe an honest path
And plant instead of steal.
“A cowboy’s handshake is his word—
He’ll risk his life for what’s right--
He loves his country, that’s for sure
And defend her with his might!
“Some may think that he’s just too brash
And too quick with his gun—
He don’t ride life’s ol’ middle road—
He does what needs to be done!
“The cowboy helped build this country—
In that we can be proud—
Tell ‘em you’ll always be a cowboy
And tell ‘em good and loud!”
The little boy looked up relieved
And donned his cowboy hat—
“I’m sure proud to be a cowboy!”
And that was the end of that.
Rodeo Roy was a buckaroo boy,
A buckaroo boy was he—
Bulls and horses determined his courses—
They say he was only three!
Rodeo Roy never found his true joy,
Until he was all of ten—
He learned to chaw just like his dear ol’ paw,
Till he gulped and lost his grin!
He shot the bull until he was plum full
And had to prove he’s a man—
He rode longhorns till he bucked in the thorns,
But he showed he had the sand!
He wrestled steers till they came out his ears
And threw a good houlihan—
He rode bad broncs and took him some hard knocks—
But his life was never bland.
Rodeo Roy had to seek new employ—
It seemed he had done it all—
Sioux City Sal then soon became his gal
And that’s how ol’ Roy did fall!
Sioux did allow Roy into her corral,
But he’s the one that got caught.
Rodeo Roy has a buckaroo boy—
He’s changin’ diapers like he ought!
I was born in a very small town in the middle of a vast, vast land.
It was filled with ranches, cattle and grass and the world’s toughest breed of man.
I was raised with the mythical western cowboy but he halts no mystery for me
for they were my friends, neighbors and some were my family.
Large ranches leave little room, for things that bloom, that a cow will not eat up,
the mystery is not in the cowboy but it is in what the cowboy loves.
In West Texas there stands a great giant hole a void where only the cattle grow,
there are few schools and little to do, but work and watch the wind blow.
It is a harsh land and it has culled many a man for not being tough enough,
he will pack up his kit and hit the road go looking for something more to love.
I was born and raised and culled from there and for me the mystery goes on.
I have given it thought for many a year just what is it that the cowboy loves.
If you find yourself in West Texas stop in on any little town
where you can shake the hand of the world’s toughest breed of man
and ask him what it is that the cowboy loves.
He may share his secrets with you. or just say he doesn’t know,
stay only a day then drive away get the hell out of that hole.
For it is a harsh but magic land were you must bring your own opportunely.
So if your ignore my warning and give to the lure of the Prickle-Pear and Mesquite tree,
then I’ll envy you, to be the few, who live in the hole where I so long to be,
for I love and miss those tough hardy souls with there open hearts, who greet you so
Maybe that is what the cowboy loves and it was always there for me to see
I wonder to lat you know
Time for you my notes you are much poetic
To Us It's foreal our contest has no end
When five Stars are down and loney no one
Seems there we don't even have to think
A word why you are them goodlight In Night
Came apond I justed said badlight brings swet
Naturely a smile to my handsome Face look I want to say
I new and thank Life everyway sending such
Special poet Into my World this Day how I pray
Alot planed on Earth I wisemine this walk that
A poet can last with talent and strength a poet