Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Never Forgotten



Prairie Rose

Ramblin by on her cow pony
spurs jingling as she goes
step back and give 'er room boys
here comes a Prairie Rose!

Her hair was streaked with sunshine
and fell soft around her face
from under the care worn hat
that had long since been stripped of lace

what a sight she was
in pants and homespun shirt
her high heeled boots lacked dainty buttons
were cracked and covered with dirt

the oil skin coat she was wearin
was rolled up a few turns at the sleeves
obviously made for a larger frame
thick with trail dust from followin' beeves

in her tanned face there were lines
from the bite of sun and rain
and on her hands were calluses
come by honest, sometimes with pain

she'd see the looks and hear their words
when folks stopped to stare
but she was proud and would just ride on
what they thought she didn't care

or that they'd duck their hats
a genteel gesture you'd suppose
or mumble to each other
"there goes a Prairie Rose"

life was never easy
for a cowboy of yesterday
and for a woman who tried her hand
well, it took nerve to stay

you'd usually find her workin
alongside a husband or pa
a small starved-out operation
no wages did she draw

she still had the regular chores
of cookin and cleanin up
then out ta ride after the stock
no time to pick buttercups

the boys would pay attention
when she would throw a loop
for brandin, doctorin or draggin
a critter out of a boggy soup

some of her sisters you'll recall
like Annie, Kate, and Jane
but her name goes unwritten
she never wanted fame

Ramblin by on her cow pony
spurs jingling as she goes
step back and hive 'er room boys
here comes a Prairie Rose!

© 1995 by Carol Malnar All rights reserved

Calling Up the Horses

calling up the horses home
with a high shrill song
from far off pastures where they roam

they lift their heads to hear my call
long manes catch the wind
they know I wait with hay and stall

swinging round into a lope
they hurry to me
I catch them all without a rope

crowding around me, pushing near
with painted coats
eager noses, there is no fear

I know each and every one by name
they know mine
at the barn I am of fame

calling up the horses home
with a high shrill song
from far off pastures where they roam

some have pastures high above
I think of them
and send my love

so when I die I pray to thee
my last request Lord
let my lost horses come to me

© 1995 by Carol Malnar All rights reserved.


We Must Abide

There's no place I'd rather be
than right here by your side
but I know there'll come a time
when I'll take my leave and ride

I'll leave behind my favorite things
I won't need them where I go
don't think of me with sadness
I'll be happy there you know

I'll ride on up and sit a star
to gaze down on all of you
and there sittin from my lofty perch
I'll be watching all you do

There is no pain where I ride
I can feel my strength return
yes, it's good to be out again
for old friends my heart does yearn

I'll be waitin to cross your trail
when on this path you ride
the Lord has got his patience
and this time we must abide

There's no place that I'd rather be
than right here by your side

© 1995 by Carol Malnar All rights reserved.


About Carol Malnar, by Janice Mitich:

Carol Malnar grew up in Long Beach, CA, but spent many memory-filled vacations on her grandfather's ranch in Silver City, New Mexico.  At age 16, she purchased her first horse, a mustang she named Bridgette, and thus began her long love affair with horses.  She was one of California's original free-lance pony girls on the racetrack.  She met her husband, Rick, in Murrieta, California, the town that Rick's maternal grandparents founded. They celebrated their 25th anniversary last June (2001).

Rick taught her how to drive 18 wheelers, and after finishing her training at Truck Masters School of Driving, she began driving under the CB handle of "Cat Ballou," eventually hauling horses commercially. They moved to Idaho, where they built their own log cabin, farmed hay, and raised ponies. Their first son, Levi, was born at the cabin in 1983, with the midwife accepting hay and a horse as payment. Later they moved to Temecula, Californa, where they restored and managed the old Vail Ranch.  Shiloh was born at home, in 1985, with the help of another midwife.

The family then moved to northern Arizona in 1991, to renovate and manage the 3200 acre Rancho Diamante, a private guest ranch.  Rich says, "It was one of the happiest times of our life.  Carol's poetry came alive as she was placed in contact with people who sang cowboy songs and recited poetry around the campfire as we entertained and fed the guests. It gave her the inspiration to begin reciting her own work and to find her gift that was hidden for so many years.  That gift soon became a door that opened us to an entire family of friends and fellow-poets that we came to love and appreciate.  There aren't words to describe how important that friendship has meant to us.  Carol loved to perform and be a part of those gatherings, and I really came to love many of the people we met.  In truth, they became an extension of family. When you have that kind of rapport and empathy with a group of people who love the same things you do, you can't help but become a part of each other's lives and loves."

In 1996, the Malnars made Paulden, (north of Prescott, AZ) their home, where they still trained and traded horses.  Carol also worked as a veterinary technician at the Circle L Animal Clinic in Chino Valley. While living in Paulden, Carol became very active in the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering hosted by the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, serving on their Planning Committee for several years. She was an invited/featured poet at many gatherings in the southwest, including, Prescott, Wickenburg, Sierra Vista, Safford, Apache Junction, Las Vegas, Cedar City (UT) among others where she delighted her audiences with her beauty, love of horses and the West, and poetry.

As you read her poem "Prairie Rose," you will find many things that remind you of this spunky cowgirl.  Carol lived a life most people only dream of. She touched the lives of so many people that she will leave her own tracks in the memories of hundreds of friends and family members.  As fellow poet, Ray Owens said, [She left] "Tracks that won't blow out."

Carol's book, Prairie Rose, can be purchased for $15.00 + $3.50 S&H from Rick Malnar, P.O. Box 479, Paulden, AZ 85334


In April, 2002, Janice Mitich wrote:  

It is with deep sadness that I tell you that Carol Malnar, fellow cowgirl poet, joined the Lord's brand on Tuesday, April 9, 2002 at her home in Paulden, Arizona after a long battle with cancer.  Her husband, Rick, two sons, Levi (now in the Army) and Shiloh (senior in high school) were with her along with family members and friends.

I am enclosing a poem that I wrote Thursday night until midnight, just before leaving for the services Friday in Chino Valley. Carol was buried in Prescott's Pioneer Cemetery about 20 feet from Sharlot Hall's grave.

My twin sister Joyce, Carol, and I went up to Cedar City, Utah, a couple of years ago to a cowboy poets rodeo.  We were gone about 5 days and had such a good time.  We always exchanged small Christmas gifts at Wickenburg's "Cowboy Christmas" gathering.

A Prairie Rose
January 7, 1952 ~ April 9, 2002

Like the lowly prairie rose, ya spread beauty 'crost the land,
Concealin' strength and courage which made ya a top hand.

A sweet smile, an honest heart, a soul of goodness and of grace,
Clad in cowboy boots and leather, not calico or lace.

Callused hands with gentle touch broke horses by the score
Who'd quit pastures at a lope hearin' the call they all adored.

A loving husband, Rick, who gave ya enough rein
To raise two boys and record it all.  The poetry remains.

How we laughed and cried, told stories of workin' on the range.
If we had the chance, doubt there's anything we would change.

In yer final battle, ya fought with all yer might
'Til a hoot owl called yer name just before midnight.

We gathered on a Prescott's hilltop where pioneers lie at rest
Watchin' Dazzle, led by Rick, pass, with dignity, one final test,

Breakin' trail up Iron Springs Road, holdin' folks enthralled,
To yer final restin' place near the poet, Sharlot Hall.

Roses draped yer saddle that was cleaned with lovin' care
Yer turquoise inlaid spurs sparkled in lilac-scented air.

We shared our love of horses, of all who'd gone before,
Placing trust in God, as He leads us through that Final Door,

That He's given us a heaven filled with paints, 'n' roans 'n' grays,
Who gallop up ta greet us as we start that Endless Day.

A Christmas star hangs by my desk. The center an embossed rose.
The last gift from my pard, Carol, a genuine Prairie Rose.

For Carol Malnar, the Prairie Rose, and cowgirl poet who was called to Heaven on April 9, 2002. and laid to rest at the Arizona Pioneer's Home Cemetery.  Please take care of Smoke, Checkers, 'n' Champ, 'til I get there.

© April 12, 2002 by Janice E. Mitich.  Picture Rocks, AZ. 85743  All Rights Reserved. Special Permission for personal use given to the Malnar Family.


From Nona Kelley Carver:

In Memory of a Prairie Rose 

Written for Carol Malnar, my friend.

She was a ray of sunshine to those who knew her well.
And in God's wondrous great outdoors was where she chose to dwell.
She loved her ponies running free.  She watched their supple grace,
And bid them come again to her, and let them touch her face.

To the mountains in the springtime, beside the rippling streams,
She'd go to ride where splendor invades one's hopes and dreams.
And in the whispering forests, where birds send forth their song,
Her heart was full of happiness, as she would sing along.

She knew the joy of young love, of her man and family.
They brought her so much pleasure.  That was quite plain to see.
She treasured time spent with them.  She did not choose to leave
When her time on earth had ended, for she had seen them grieve.

But God had seen her struggle, and from pain He did release
Her from her daily trials into everlasting peace.
He sent his angels for her when life was ebbing low,
Though those who loved her dearly were sad to see her go.

She was an inspiration to those who knew her best,
And may God give us comfort as we lay her down to rest.
God sees beyond tomorrow.  Perhaps that's why He chose
To draw into His presence this lovely Prairie Rose.

© 2002, Nona Kelley Carver

From  Rusty Calhoun:

Cowgirl True 

Wickenburg! Cowboy Christmas!
Carol would be onstage
A tiny cowboy poet
Dressed in brown and beige.

The colors of the desert,
The ones she wore the best.
Long hair flowing down her back,
A woman of the west!

Ardent look upon her face,
Words aimed straight at you!
Pictures from her cowboy heart,
You knew she felt them, too!

A little glisten in her eyes
Talkin' 'bout "long ago."
Or a tribute to her family ranch
Over in New Mexico.

She knew the desert, and its wealth,
Her words spun from its gold.
She painted pictures of its critters,
Horses brave and bold.

You couldn't simply hear her words,
You felt them in your bones.
Now she's gone, and left her pards
But we're not left alone.

We have her words down in our hearts,
Of one thing we are sure,
She's waitin' in cowboy heaven
Where we'll ride again with her!

© 2002, Rusty Calhoun

Last time I saw Carol was at the K Bar L. 
The sun was setting, and it highlighted her beautiful hair
and made her glow. That's how I'll always remember heróradiant!





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