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fbharjo commented on the word cowboy poetry
From the Bar D roundup
(A Tribute to Owen Barton, 1987)
They gave me a gentle old pony
Too fat and lazy to run,
And sent me out on the rangeland
To see what the drought had done.
I could see it was only a Grandpa chore
To get me out of the way,
So I filled my canteen with water
And quietly rode away.
When I reached the forks of the draw
There was no water in the ditch.
In just two hours my horse had the scours,
And I had a case of the itch.
The spot where the beaver pond once stood
Is a big dusty salt lick now,
But I can remember when late in September
There was water to drown a cow.
But the ditch rider came along one day
With five sticks of dynamite;
He drained every drop of water
And blew the dam clear out of sight.
The beavers were the best engineers
Our valley ever had,
But the Government trapper took 'em out,
He said their influence was bad.
The cowboys dug out Moonshine Spring
To get water in big supply,
And now there is a four-inch pipe,
And the whole dam thing is dry!
I sat down there on the rim-rock
With these troubles on my mind,
And then I saw a hereford bull
The cowboys had left behind.
His head was hangin' near the ground
With a tongue too dry to drip.
And a protected species magpie
Roostin' on his hip.
'Twas then I saw a flash of brown
In the shaded brush near by,
A mangy, thirsty old coyote
Just waitin' for the bull to die.
I was wishin' for a rifle
As she walked over to a hole,
But when I saw her starvin' pups
I was ready to shoot that bull!
It's tough to get confused and old
After all the miles I've trod,
Me, a sittin' on the rim-rock
Tryin' to act like God.
While criticizin' all the dumb mistakes
I've seen some people make,
I should surely know by now
Life ain't no piece of cake.
But I've got my satisfaction
And had my biggest thrills,
Just watchin' coyotes and magpies
And thinkin' about red ant hills.
© Colen H. Sweeten Jr.
June 11, 2009