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Show Low, Arizona



The Cowboy Carousel

Sundance lay on his bunk that night
With cuts 'n scrapes 'n muscles tight.
Earlier that day he'd gone to the big doin's in town
There he saw this contraption goin' round 'n round.

The rot gut he'd drunk had affected his sight
He wasn't sure if he was seein' quite right.
Was there a herd of horses millin' round -
A kickin' 'n buckin' - jumpin' up 'n down?

His pardner said they should rope one or two.
Their cavey* was old. They could use sumpin' new.
They looked fer brands 'n could find no excuse
Why they shouldn't rope the bay 'n palose*.

Cactus was a roper who had lots of luck
Where he dropped his loop it usually stuck.
So he's surprised when the rope zinged through his hand
And left a trail like a sidewinder down there in the sand.

Sundance was next to give it a try
But his cinch was old 'n latigo dry.
They broke with a pop when he roped the paloose.
On the end of the twine he 'n the saddle flopped like a goose.

A tumblin' 'n cart wheelin' . . .  spinnin' round 'n round
When they cut him loose a spot wasn't found
That looked like it did just before . . .
He roped the paloose 'n got somethin' more.

2001, Barbara Baker  All rights reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Cavey A bunch of horses used for cattle work

Paloose A tribe of American Indians known for their horses -- a stout and hardy animal with striking spotted coloring --  hence the breed "Appaloosa."

Barbara Baker adds: Sundance is a real cowboy and a near and
dear friend. He's in his 60s 'n cowboyed in most all the western US and lives 5 miles away. He did his share a hell raisin' in his younger years. I asked what was the worst thing he ever roped. He said a big mule deer 'cause it came back up the rope 'n tried to climb in the saddle with him and the second worst was an 'exotic dancer from Chicago' that he roped off a bar stage and carried outside in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He said "It weren't no
problem ropin' er but I thought I'd never get loose. By the time I'd got free I's all scratched 'n gouged up. I'd rope another muley but never no 'exotic dancer."

The Sardine Virgin

Slim, an Arizona cowboy ate sardines with great relish.
Their culinary qualities he greatly embellished.

Sardines canned, salted, smoked or in paste,
He truly, truly loved their salty, fishy taste.

He shared them with his friends 'n dog
With his horse 'n Aunt Maude's ole spotted hawg.

One day he met a pretty little gal named Sue
'n thought he'd like ta share 'em with her too.

He invited Sue to take a romantic mountain ride,
Off they went, two horses, two riders, side by side.

For lunch Slim had gathered grub 'n carefully planned
Cheese 'n bread with wine 'n of course, sardines in a can.

Alas, a sardine virgin was this fair young lass.
Who said across her lips they would never pass!

So for now Slim has ta ride life's trail all alone
'Til he can find a sardine eatin' gal to call his own.

2001, Barbara Baker  All rights reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Barbara Baker adds: A Winslow, Arizona radio station was involved in a fund raiser. Dollars were pledged for the show's co-host Miss Vicky, a sardine virgin, to eat sardines. Sardines were discussed at length - whether they were better eaten head or tail first; which brand was best; what was best to eat them with, etc., etc. Guests came on the show to participate in the fund raiser and sardine discussions. This went on for over a week and the sum was near $800 pledged for the consumption of three sardines. Then another group sympathetic to the plight of Miss Vicky pledged an equal or greater amount for non-consumption. Somewhere along the way they ask for sardine poems. This is the poem that won.

Author's Note: (I too am a sardine virgin.)

The Same Moon

The same moon's shinin' on you as on me
In its golden glow I imagine I see
My reflection shinin' bright in your eyes
As I lay in my bedroll 'neath the great western skies.

The campfire's fadin' . . . a breeze starts to blow.
Storm clouds are building' to the south real slow.
Night birds call, it's your name they speak.
Each raindrop that falls is a kiss on my cheek.

You're the one that I've always loved.
N' you're the one that I'm thinkin' of.
Because you're you is the reason why
I'll love you forever as the years go by.

The sun's just breakin' over the hill
As I wake to the sound of the mockin' bird's trill.
Dew sparkles like jewels in the grass
As my pony heads for the last mountain pass.

The shadows have shortened to the top of the day.
My pony's pace quickens 'cause he knows the way.
Though it's still several hours to our old home place
Where I'll gaze once again on your loving face.

The stars in the dipper show that it's late
As I stop to open the last wooden gate.
Light from the window casts a warm yellow glow
'N smoke from the chimney's curlin' softly and slow.

I step off my pony . . . . you come out the door.
Then I'm bein' held in your arms once more.
Now, I'm where I really want to be
With the same moon shinin' on you as on me.

2001, Barbara Baker  All rights reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Barbara Baker adds: I had ridden about seven miles to join some friends camped at Bear Valley in the Blue Range Primitive Area which straddles the Arizona / New Mexico border south of Alpine, Arizona. The skeleton of the old homestead cabin stood not far from camp and I thought about the people who lived there. As I lay in my bedroll that night the moon shone through the pines, the breeze freshened and lightning danced on the peaks to the south and east. I carried the images and feelings home and wrote "Same Moon."

Barbara and her husband Jake make innovative belt buckles, each individually handcrafted from steel horseshoe nails. 



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