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SIDNEY M. "SID" BENSON
New Mexico
About Sidney M. "Sid" Benson
 

 

Rodeo Dance

He stood along the fence line
His eyes were wide in awe
Transfixed there in his terror
With clinched and trembling jaw

The Brahma  there behind the gate
Was snorting loud and clear
The boy stood as if hypnotized
And trembling in his fear

Then up the fence the rider came
With riggin' in his hand
Ready for the contest
'Tween animal and man

He drops the riggin' on the bull
They cinch it good and tight
The bull squeals in his madness
Slings slobber left and right

The cowboy nods the gate to swing
And open wide and full
To have his full eight seconds
“ A dancin' with the bull”

Through the gate they do erupt
Into the air and down
The boy sucks in a hasty breath
For fear they'll hurt the clown

This one is a spinner
To the off hand he does turn
Spurs rake up his shoulders
Infuriate and burn

Horns and hooves are flashing
But the rider keeps his seat
Pulled up to his riggin'
Around a ton of meat

He twists and turns and does his best
To fling the pest away
This thing that's clinging to his back
And hurting him this way

The flank strap tight and binding
Hurts as nothing can
Enhancing his eight seconds
“ A dancin' with the man”

Though fear is his companion
And seems to fill his skull
The boy dreams he's the rider
Who is seated on the bull

There beside the fence he dreams
All cheers are meant for him
He feels the glory in the ride
His pride swells deep within

All eyes are eager watching
As the contest rages on
Eight seconds to the whistle
Seems so very long

Still seated tight and raking hard
The rider gives a yell
The bull tries that much harder
To send him off to hell

The whistle blows the ride is done
Eight seconds done in full
The bull a dancin' with the man
Who's dancin' with the bull

A young boy stands beside the fence

Sidney Benson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Whiskey Bill

Whiskey Bill one day declared
“ I ‘lows I’ve had enough,
I’m hangin’ up these rusty spurs
And spittin’ out this Snuff.”

You see this here Cow-ography
Has really got me down
I’m packin’ up my duffle
And driftin’ off to town

No more chasin’ doggies
Up and down the plains
Instead of roping', brandin’
I’m goin’ to use my brains

When you all greet the mornin’ sun
I’ll lay me up in bed
With fluffed up feather mattress
Beneath my back and head

I’ll never eat another bean
I think I’ll dine on Ham
Instead of dust upon my bread
I’ll spread it thick with jam

I’ll get an order off to Sears
Buy suits for ev’ry day
I’ll even get a new “Shap-o”
To keep the sun away

I’ll never shave myself ag’in
In water cold as ice
I’ll let the barber do the chore
With lather warm and nice

Each night I’ll pay a visit
To the parlor down the street
Where women will get cozy
With any man they meet

A game of cards to wile the time
And earn a buck or two
I’ll have a shot of red-eye
When ev’ry hand is through

White shirts under “Galluses”
Cravats about my neck
I’ll make a great “Jim Dandee”
You know I will by heck

But best of all I’ll no more have
To find the choicest word
After I’ve baptized a boot
Within a big cow turd

Sidney Benson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

      

A Bare Facts Situation


The boss came up to me one day
And said to me “Old son,
I’ve got a special job to do,
And  you can get it done.”

“You know that string of mules I bought,
Up north of Ogilby ?
Well, we’ve got to go and get ‘em
And bring ‘em home you see.”

“You’ll have to go all by yourself,
To bring the critters home,
But heck a good hand such as you,
Can do it all alone.”

What could I say my head was swelled,
By all those words of praise
I’d go up there and get ‘em
If it took me thirty days

I saddled up my trusty steed
And tied my bedroll on
Picked me up a bait of grub
And in a flash was gone

Well up till now my story’s fine
As you can plainly tell
But soon things would be different
It all went straight to . . .

Well the first darned thing that happened
And the cause of all my woes
I fell into the river
And got wet from head to toes

Now . . . I ain’t afraid of water
I take a bath each week
But I’d rather have a towel
And do it in the creek

I hadn’t brought a change of clothes
So figured I would try
To hang these out upon a bush
And give them time to dry

I no more had them all hung up
And sat me down to rest
When in the brush I heard a sound
That took away my breath

The rattle of a snake I’d heard
I jumped to grab the reins
Too late, that nag had bolted
And was headed ‘cross the plains

I chased him for a half a mile
And had to stop and rest
Then realized while standing there
I wasn’t even dressed

In boots and hat and underwear
I stood there in my pride
In front of all creation
A showin’ all my hide

I headed back to get my clothes
As fast as I could go
And though I was a runnin’
It seemed almighty slow

I thought I heard some talkin’
And laughin’ up ahead
It sure enough was ladies
If they seen me I was dead

I hid there in the bushes
In hopes they’d soon be gone
A blushin’ to my very bones
A wantin’ my duds on

At last I heard them movin’ on
And prayed they’d hurry up
For sittin’ in my Birthday Suit
I’d had about enough

I found my clothes and got them on
Just in the nick of time
For standin’ there in front of me
Was a woman left behind

“Sir have you seen some ladies,”
Was what she said to me
“I’m lost and cannot find them,
I know not where they be.”

What could I do but say that I
Had heard them passin’ by
And they should be just up ahead
That help her I would try

We headed off on down that road
That stretched across the land
When all at once she gave a shriek
And grabbed me by the hand

What is wrong says I to her
What’s causin’ you to fright
She threw her arms around me
And squeezed me awful tight

Then from the trees three riders came
A leadin’ my old bay
“Hey just what is goin’ on”
The older man did say

“That there’s my only daughter,
That you’re a holdin’ to,
Just what are your intentions,
What do you plan to do?”

Well sir, I was speechless,
I knew not what to say,
For they believed me guilty
Of kissin’ her that day

They put us both upon my horse
And took us at a trot
A lookin’ for the preacher
Said we would tie the knot

I tried to think of somethin’
That I could say or do
To get myself out of this fix
That I’d been led into

But nothin’ would come to me
No words would come my way
I stood there in my silence
Without a thing to say

So here I stand before you
A married man you see
And all because I got all wet
In the middle of the week

Sidney Benson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

We Called Him Vinegaroon

His disposition was salty
With habits nearly as bad
Once he was his mothers darlin'
And daddy's sweet little lad

What made this man a bad actor?
And bring him to this sad state
What caused his young heart to anguish?
And cloud his mind up with hate

Tight lipped he never had spoken
Of anything out of his past
No mention of friend or of family
Not even a pretty young lass

At first we'd tried to befriend him
To make him feel right at home
But soon we knew that he wanted
Only to be left alone

He did his job to perfection
A top hand with iron or string
The last to climb out of the saddle
When "Coosie's" triangle would ring

I guess we learned to accept him
And take him as he seemed to be
Until one day on the prairie
He showed us how wrong we could be

The herd had come to a river
Quite wide and probably deep
The foreman had said "get 'em over,
You'll do it before you can sleep"

Well I had been riding as point man
And knew that it was my chore
To get the herd started over
If ever we'd reach the far shore

I reckon it was about midstream
My horse must have stepped in a hole
I felt him struggle beneath me
And feared he'd pull me below

I pulled my feet from my stirrups
Though not a lick could I swim
In fear I floundered and struggled
Trying to reach shore again

Then out of nowhere I'm handed a rope
And someone yell to hang on
But when I tried to see who it was
The other person was gone

By rope I was pulled from the river
Strong hands pulled me up on the bank
I shivered and looked all around me
Asking just who I should thank

My partners said it was Vinegaroon
Who'd swam swift and strong to my aid
One end of a rope he had carried
While on the bank they had stayed

But where was this daring young cowboy
Who'd risked his life to save mine
No answer he made to our calling
Not hide nor hair could we find

We found him later that evening'
About a mile down the stream
He'd given his life for another
This cowboy we'd thought of as mean

We buried him there on the prairie
Then covered his grave up with stone
And offered his soul to his maker
Then left him there all alone

I often remember what that cowboy did
And wish that there might have been time
To reach out once more and shake his rough hand
And say "Thank you, you're one of a kind."

2003, Sidney Benson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

 

About Sidney M. "Sid" Benson

Sidney M “Sid” Benson was born in 1937 in Willard, Torrance County, New Mexico, USA. The oldest son of Roland Clark Benson and Berta Kathleen Smith Benson.

Writing was a natural for me as my mothers family were pioneer newspaper people in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. I began writing Poetry in 1958.

My father's family migrated from Alabama after the civil war to west Texas and eventually to the Estancia Valley in New Mexico where my parents met and were married. Discussions of events in the west were often in our home, this is where I learned the  vernacular of the "Cowboy."

Educated mostly in Yuma, Arizona, I was in the class of 1956 at Yuma Union High School. Some years later I attended Arizona Western College and majored in Creative Writing.

As a member of the United States Navy between 1956 and 1960 I served in the Submarine Service aboard the USS Tilefish SS 307 and re-commissioned the USS Oriskany CVA 34.

I now reside in the cool Pines of the Sacramento Mountains in south central  New Mexico. “It is quiet enough to think here, all I have to do now is remember how.”

 

 

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