You think you’re alone out on the range
Sittin’ silent under starry sky,
Just a marvelin’ at the universe
And wonderin’ ‘bout that ol’ question: why?
You shake your head at worlds of worry,
Knowin’ it ain’t often that you’ll find,
All the answers to your queries
Beneath the clear black sky and pine.
You wonder if we rose up from mud
And walked straight and tall upon this earth—
Or was it all created in a moment—
A conception that gave us true birth.
Are we all no more than those monkeys
Evolvin’ slowly down life’s long line?
Or is there more to earth and heaven
Touched by something truly sublime?
We keep on punchin’ clocks and cattle
And tryin’ to get through each new morn—
But is there more to life than dyin’
And will we somehow be reborn?
All the cattle know my hard proddin’
As I lead them along time’s sad way—
We live for but a flashin’ moment,
As we watch life go by in one short day.
So make the best of trails you ride, cowboy—
Each tomorrow is both yours and mine—
And gaze long at stars in that vast sky
Placed there by intelligent design.
Up in Colorado, in the forests of Pikes Peak
A cranky critters conference was held just this week
It was led by a mouse, 3 legs, whiskerless & without tail
"Against a common foe!" He said "We must Unite! We must prevail!"
He hobbled out to the edge of the woods & pointed toward a house
In that house, I once lived a good life, a young & healthy mouse
Then one day the rancher's wife decided she'd had enough
I will say she is a worthy adversary, Mercy she was tough!
He looked around at all the critters, weasel, skunk & squirrel
& said "I hate to admit it but I was bested by a girl!"
Its true, I escaped alive but she got her trophies, too
For I left my tail, paws & whiskers stuck there in her glue
The squirrel spoke up in a streetwise Brando voice
I'll accept the challenge! For this mission, I am the best choice!
I know this lady well, having enjoyed seeds & nuts out on her deck
I am not afraid of her & will show her we deserve respect
So the squirrel plotted & waited until the time was right
He saw his chance & took it while in the birds she took delight
He scampered up a pine tree & scurried out on to a branch
While she was distracted with a phone call & a pretty bird, he seized his chance
He took a flying leap, landing square on her blond head
Taking great delight in her squeals of surprise & dread
He then let loose with a torrent of the defecation sort
"That's for all the dead & walking wounded!" was his parting retort
The moral of this story, for one there must be
Is be mindful of avenging squirrels when you sit beneath a tree
The first time that you see her, She will steal your soul away,
And replace it with a being of her own,
Her white sands will glisten, underneath turquoise skies,
And make your heart always long, for New Mexico.
There is magic in her mountains, secrets in her sage,
A special kind of wisdom, that only comes with age.
The music of her canyons, will echo and roll,
And fill your life with desire, for New Mexico.
She'll captivate your spirit, keep it in possession there,
No matter where you are, you smell cedar in the air.
The song she sings you, comes from long ago,
And haunts you with a passion, for New Mexico.
You understand the stillness, of a desert afternoon,
You're enchanted by the beauty, of yucca in bloom,
While you wonder at the colors, transformed by the sun's glow,
Your thoughts are of being, in New Mexico.
Voices of the past, warriors and pioneers,
Urge you with their stories, of laughter and tears.
An unsettled feeling, is all you have to show,
As you roam familiar trails, back to New Mexico.
Some will call her savage, some will call her wild,
In ever fleeting shadows, she remains but a child.
This boldness of character is restless and untamed,
Gentled only by The Power, that takes on many names.
You'll hear her in the night sometimes, when Westward breezes blow,
And to fill that empty feeling, you know you have to go,
For once you hold her in your eyes, nothing else can make you whole,
And you're never really home again, until you're in New Mexico.
The Farmer woke,
Before break of day,
And for a little rain did pray.
Then hitched his team,
And plowed the land,
Given him by the Master’s hand.
The Cowboy awoke,
And a prayer he sighed,
“Please give us rain, for the prairie is dry.”
Then in the heat,
He did rope and brand,
The cattle given him by the Master’s hand.
At night, before sleep,
The Farmer read,
The words from the Bible that God had said,
“If you’ll keep my Commandments,
In it’s season I’ll make it rain,
And you shall eat,
And your land shall fill with grain.”
The Cowboy fell asleep remembering,
A verse his Ma had read,
A promise God made and the words he said,
“Love and serve the Lord God,
And it shall come to pass,
That I shall make it rain,
And for the cattle, there shall be grass.”
So each resolved, in his own way,
To be a better man,
And follow closely the Commandments,
And there-fore save the land.
And though they never met,
They prayed for the same thing,
And watched the sky for the clouds,
And the rain that they would bring.
And though it was long in coming,
The drops fell upon the land,
And revived and refreshed these special places,
Given by the Master’s hand.
The Farmer and the Cowboy,
Each prayed for the land of which they were fond,
And through their belief, they saved the Earth,
Through the Lord’s Common Bond.
A cowboy is what we are not
and never will again be
what I loved most about his ways
he kept in tune with nature for he
knew this was his destiny
the nature we have now is not the same
it is corroded and tossed aside
the same can be said with the rules
given that we cannot follow nor abide
how I wish I could go back in time
to live among the gifted
lots of hard work no crying in mind
the cowboy has been forgotten and shifted
contest: A Cowboy Is
by: Virginia Frayer
There’s a legacy inside him,
As he sits upon his steed;
His heart is filled with honesty,
Not perjury or greed;
He rides the same old range,
That his father rode before;
And it’s been that way for forever,
A hundred years or more;
Pushin’ cattle, brandin’ calves,
That is a cowboy’s life;
Someday he may settle down,
And make some girl his wife;
He’s spent so many lonely nights,
Sleeping under the stars,
He hasn’t got a tattoo,
What he has are battle scars;
There’s a rip across his stomach,
From a rangy longhorn steer;
And even though it hurt like hell,
He never shed a tear;
He always outs on a brave face,
Emotions locked inside;
And for his cowboy heritage,
He feels only pride.
IF YOUR VERY VERY QUIET
AND VERY VERY STILL
YOU CAN HEAR HIM TALKING
AND KNOW THAT HE IS REAL
WHISPERING THROUGH THE TREES
AND THE SONGS OF THE BIRDS
CHIRPING OF THE CRICKETS
MOVEMENT OF THE HERD
THE RUSTLING OF GRASS
SOFTLY PUSHED ASIDE
BY FEET STEPPING QUIETLY
PAUSING WHILE IN STRIDE
A MARE SOFTLY COAXING
A PRECIOUS NEWBORN FOAL
THE CREATION OF LIFE
WARMS YOU TO YOUR SOUL
IF YOU LISTEN YOU CAN HEAR
YOUR HEART SLOWLY BEATING
COUNTING OUT THE SECONDS
OF YOUR SHORT LIFE FLEETING
JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LISTEN
TO ALL THE THINGS YOU MISS
WORRYING ABOUT DAY TO DAY
TOO LONG IS YOUR LIST
LISTEN TO WHAT IS IMPORTANT
LIFE GOES ON ALL AROUND
THINK NOW WHAT YOU’RE HEARING
AND THE TREASURES YOU FOUND
SO IF YOU’RE VERY VERY QUIET
AND VERY VERY STILL
YOU’LL KNOW WHO IS TALKING
AND KNOW THAT GOD IS REAL
Now, I find it kind of funny how quickly things change
Once was a time when everyone wanted a home on the range
A place where they had room to stretch & grow
Out where the cattle bawl & the west winds blow
The city folk have all gone country or so they’d like to think
Why, there are new houses going up faster than you can blink
You remember that prime grazing lease? Take another look
Its looking more & more like an architect’s pop-up book
They come out here to escape all the big city worries & trouble
They said they weren’t concerned if their commute doubled
Now they are talking of bringing a super market in
And an increase in crime spreads our deputies thin
They thought that grazing cattle made a picture quite quaint
Now those same cows holding up traffic is an oft heard complaint
They throw out words like eco-friendly & enviromental plan
then scrape the land as clean as momma’s griddle pan
Yes, everybody wants a home out on the range
And I am just a cowboy trying to reconcile the change
I watch the valley whittled down into an urban scene
and wish that I was back again in childhood fields of green
(c) Februaury 2004
There once was a time
During the long forgotten era
The frontier so majestic
In the age of the arrow
All the tools needed
The Earth would provide
Nothing went to waste
Considered creed to the tribe
A land vastly open
Natives once called it home
A place where the buffalo
Majestically once roamed
Free from democracy
Yet peace was achieved
Answering not to dictatorship
Acknowledging only self beliefs
Men were not kept in cages
They were not hung for display
The equality was unimaginable
Freedoms not experienced in the present day
The ignorance of our species
Is second to none
People actually follow rules
Placed in force by only one
Our industrial evolution
Has destroyed the land
Our lust for prosperity
Has tarnished this sand
The buffalo once roamed the planes
Standing oh so bold and tall
The natives had foreseen
The inevitable rise to fall
Prosperity brought damnation
Of an entire generation
Now we are the ones
Who try slowing immigration
The hypocrisy in our laws
Exposes the true foundation
Who are we to deny
Anyone into this nation
It has yet been noticed
By the ignorant youth
The basis of history
Rarely holds truth
In a place so very near
The buffalo once roamed
The land filled with life
Now stripped to the bones
With the right kind of ears
You might catch the tone
Heard only by the damned
The sound of nature's wrathful moan
It slides softly in the night sky,
That pale moccasin of the moon—
It lights up a snow-bleached prairie—
Whispering summer comes too soon.
We trace the trail of coyotes—
Avoid the dark dens of the bear—
The full light of your white footprint
Lures us now to your fatal lair.
Oh, we chant into the black dome
Of all the things that used to be—
There’s no more Indian summer—
Long gone are Cree and Cherokee.
Yet, still the silky stealthy tread
Brings back images bright and keen—
Of lost Native Americans
Where so few are now seldom seen.
But moons do not let us forget
All the wild blood shed on both sides—
As we trace steps of moccasins
To where the dark of the moon hides.
Yes, it walks gently in tall sky,
That faint moccasin of new moon—
So gently it illuminates
As we dance mutely to its tune.