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Empty Saddles at Christmas

The junipers whiten with snow softly fallin';
Somewhere down in the draw there's an ol' cow a-bawlin'.
There ain't nothin' ails her—we're plumb sure of that,
For grass has been good and the stock is all fat.
And yet, driftin' in on the snow-feathered breeze,
The sound brings a feelin' of wishful unease
To us old hands settin' here cozy and warm,
Snug-sheltered and safe from this Christmas Eve storm:
A strange, lonesome feelin' we can't push away,
Rememberin' tomorrow will be Christmas day;
Rememberin' it's Christmas and wonderin' when
Them two empty saddles will be rode again.

There's two pairs of spurs and two hats on their pegs,
And two pairs of chaps meant for young cowboy legs
A-hangin' unused on the old bunkhouse wall—
But the boys they belong to ain't hearin' cows bawl.
They're hearin' machine guns, the whine of a shell,
And all them strange sounds of a war that's plain hell;
The sea waves a-slappin' the side of a boat,
The ominous roar from a big bomber's throat;
The strange, alien language of little brown men—
The same sounds all over and over again,
While deep in their hearts what they're longin' to hear
Is wind in the cedars, the bawl of a steer.

Us oldsters, we set here this Christmas Eve night
A-thinkin' of cowboys that's gone off to fight.
If our thoughts could reach 'em, here's what we would say:
"We're doin' our best, boys, since you went away.
The ranch is still here and the cattle well-tended.
Your horses are fed and the fences are mended.
Looks like a white Christmas will show up at dawn.
We hope it's the last one you boys will be gone.
There's an old cow a-bawlin'—she claims her calf's missin'—
Sure wish that you boys was here with us to listen.

© 1966, S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker, further reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.

"Empty Saddles at Christmas" was the winner of a 1967 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and was printed in Western Horseman magazine December, 1966, illustrated by Brummett Echohawk.



Line-Camp Christmas Letter

Inside an Old West line-camp,
   settin' on his lonely bed,
A cowboy wrote a letter home,
   and this is what it said:
"Dear Folks: It looks like Christmas time
   is comin' on again,
And I ain't wrote no letter
   since the devil don't know when.

So now I thought I'd drop a line
   just like I done last year,
To let you know I'm safe and well
   and full of Christmas cheer.
Seems like the news ain't much to tell.
   A blizzard blowin' now.
There'll be some cattle driftin',
   Merry Christmas, anyhow!

I've been out ridin' most all day.
   The horse I rode went lame.
The cattle sure are scattered.
   Merry Christmas just the same!
Last night my waterholes froze up.
   Snow sure is slow to thaw.
Some cattle lookin' porely.
   Merry Christmas, Pa and Ma!

This line-camp shack has got some cracks
   that let the snow sift through.
Well Merry Christmas to you, folks,
   and Happy New Year, too!
Excuse this crooked writin'.
   Got my hands frostbite I guess.
The cattle sure are driftin'
   Merry Christmas, Frank and Bes!

Ax handle busted.  Woodpile low.
   Ain't got much fire tonight.
The drifts have knocked some fence line down.
   I trust you're all all right.
My post of beans boiled dry
   and scorched while I was out today.
Them cows are driftin' awful.
   Merry Christmas anyway!

Well folks, I've got to cut this short
   and mend my busted rope.
Just thought I'd drop a little line.
   You all keep well, I hope.
The cowboy life is wonderful.
   Sure glad I came out West.
Give my regards to Adelaide
   and Jack and all the rest.
I'm glad I ain't a cow tonight
   Outside I hear 'em bawl.
Pore critters sure are driftin'.
   Merry Christmas to you all!

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker, further reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited; this poem is included in Cowboy Miner Productions' Classic Rhymes by S. Omar Barker



A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer

I ain't much good at prayin',
   and You may not know me, Lord—
For I ain't much seen in churches,
   where they preach Thy Holy Word.
But you may have observed me 
   out here on the lonely plains,
A-lookin' after cattle, 
   feelin' thankful when it rains.

Admirin' Thy great handiwork.
   the miracle of the grass,
Aware of Thy kind Spirit,
   in the way it comes to pass 
That hired men on horseback
   and the livestock that we tend 
Can look up at the stars at night,
   and know we've got a Friend.

So here's ol' Christmas comin' on,
   remindin' us again
Of Him whose coming brought good will
   into the hearts of men.
A cowboy ain't a preacher, Lord,
   but if You'll hear my prayer,
I'll ask as good as we have got 
   for all men everywhere.

Don't let no hearts be bitter, Lord.
   Don't let no child be cold.
Make easy the beds for them that's sick
   and them that's weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride,
   no matter what we're after,
And sorter keep us on Your side,
   in tears as well as laughter.

I've seen ol' cows a-starvin'—
   and it ain't no happy sight;
Please don't leave no one hungry, Lord,
   on Thy Good Christmas Night—
No man, no child, no woman,
   and no critter on four feet
I'll do my doggone best 
   to help you find 'em chuck to eat.

I'm just a sinful cowpoke, Lord—
   ain't got no business prayin'
But still I hope you'll ketch a word
   or two, of what I'm sayin':
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord—
   I reckon You'll agree—

There ain't no Merry Christmas
   for nobody that ain't free!
So one thing more I ask You, 
   Lord: just help us what You can
To save some seeds of freedom 
   for the future Sons of Man!

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker, further reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited; this poem is included in Cowboy Miner Productions' Classic Rhymes by S. Omar Barker


S. Omar Barker earned more from the publication and uses of his "A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer" than from any other poem. A December 23, 1998 article by Ollie Reed Jr. in the Albuquerque Tribune, "Church on the Range," comments on the poem:

In November 1962, New Mexico author S. Omar Barker received a telegram asking permission for his poem "A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer" to be read on the Lawrence Welk TV show.

Barker, a sunup-to-sundown, every-day-of-the-week professional writer for much of his more than 90 years, telegraphed back that for $100 they had a deal.

Back again comes a telegraph from the TV show's agent asking if Barker would settle for $50.

"Fifty bucks no steak. Beans," Barker wired in response on Nov. 26, 1962. "But will accept anyway to help TV poor folks."

Jodie Phillips, wife of Barker's nephew Bob Phillips, smiled as she pointed out copies of the telegrams pasted in a thick scrapbook put together by Barker himself....

Pictured: Some of S. Omar Barker's scrapbooks, books, and photographs, photographed at the home of his grandniece, daughter of Jodie and Bob Phillips, November 2007.  Photo by Jeri Dobrowski,

"If he didn't sell a poem, he didn't eat," Jodie Phillips said of Barker, who died in Las Vegas, N.M., in April 1985, just a couple of months shy of his 91st birthday.

Apparently the Welk show decided not to use the poem.

That was a rarity. Tennessee Ernie Ford and sausage king-country singer Jimmy Dean read it on national television, and it has been reprinted much more than 100 times in collections of Barker's works, anthologies, magazines and Christmas cards.

Leanin' Tree cards of Boulder, Colo., has used the Barker verse...more years than not for more than two decades.


Jodie Phillips said she never heard Barker talk about what inspired him to write the Christmas prayer, but she thinks it's based on his own brand of theology."

"There were no churches where Omar grew up," she said. "He believed in God, and I think he had a very strong religious conviction. But he belonged to no sect. He never went to church services."


Read more of S. Omar Barker's poetry here.



Santa Claus in the Bush

It chanced out back at the Christmas time,
When the wheat was ripe and tall,
A stranger rode to the farmer's gate—
A sturdy man and a small.
"Rin doon, rin doon, my little son Jack,
And bid the stranger stay;
And we'll hae a crack for Auld Lang Syne,
For the morn is Christmas Day."

"Nay noo, nay noo," said the dour guidwife,
"But ye should let him be;
He's maybe only a drover chap
Frae the land o' the Darling Pea.

"Wi' a drover's tales, and a drover's thirst
To swiggle the hail nicht through;
Or he's maybe a life assurance carle
To talk ye black and blue,"

"Guidwife, he's never a drover chap,
For their swags are neat and thin;
And he's never a life assurance carle,
Wi' the brick-dust burnt in his skin.

"Guidwife, guidwife, be nae sae dour,
For the wheat stands ripe and tall,
And we shore a seven-pound fleece this year,
Ewes and weaners and all.

"There is grass tae spare, and the stock are fat.
Where they whiles are gaunt and thin,
And we owe a tithe to the travelling poor,
So we maun ask him in.

"Ye can set him a chair tae the table side,
And gi' him a bite tae eat;
An omelette made of a new-laid egg,
Or a tasty bit of meat."

"But the native cats have taen the fowls,
They havena left a leg;
And he'll get nae omelette at a'
Till the emu lays an egg!"

"Rin doon, rin doon, my little son Jack,
To whaur the emus bide,
Ye shall find the auld hen on the nest,
While the auld cock sits beside.

"But speak them fair, and speak them saft,
Lest they kick ye a fearsome jolt.
Ye can gi' them a feed of thae half-inch nails
Or a rusty carriage bolt."

So little son Jack ran blithely down
With the rusty nails in hand,
Till he came where the emus fluffed and scratched
By their nest in the open sand.

And there he has gathered the new-laid egg—
'Twould feed three men or four—
And the emus came for the half-inch nails
Right up to the settler's door.

"A waste o' food," said the dour guidwife,
As she took the egg, with a frown,
"But he gets nae meat, unless ye rin
A paddy-melon down."

"Gang oot, gang oot, my little son Jack,
Wi' your twa-three doggies sma';
Gin ye come nae back wi' a paddy-melon,
Then come nae back at a'."

So little son Jack he raced and he ran,
And he was bare o' the feet,
And soon he captured a paddy-melon,
Was gorged with the stolen wheat.

"Sit doon, sit doon, my bonny wee man,
To the best that the hoose can do—
An omelette made of the emu egg
And a paddy-melon stew."

"'Tis well, 'tis well," said the bonny wee man;
"I have eaten the wide world's meat,
And the food that is given with right good-will
Is the sweetest food to eat.

"But the night draws on to the Christmas Day
And I must rise and go,
For I have a mighty way to ride
To the land of the Esquimaux.

"And it's there I must load my sledges up,
With the reindeers four-in-hand,
That go to the North, South, East, and West,
To every Christian land."

"Tae the Esquimaux," said the dour guidwife,
"Ye suit my husband well!"
For when he gets up on his journey horse
He's a bit of a liar himsel'."

Then out with a laugh went the bonny wee man
To his old horse grazing nigh,
And away like a meteor flash they went
Far off to the Northern sky.

When the children woke on the Christmas morn
They chattered with might and main—
For a sword and gun had little son Jack,
And a braw new doll had Jane,
And a packet o' screws had the twa emus;
But the dour guidwife gat nane.

A. B. "Banjo" Paterson, 1906


Read more of A. B. "Banjo" Paterson's poetry here.


The Christmas Tree

They've been to get their Christmas tree, they hadn't far to go.
They live in that high country where young timber starts to grow.
The day is cold the snow is new, there's not so many tracks.
The dad has got the Christmas tree, the kid he has the ax.

You  notice by the chimney that the fire place is wide.
They have their house built strong and low, it's plenty warm inside.
They've got a good set of good corrals besides a stable too;
They are fixed up pretty handy fer a place to winter through.

And when they put the candles on it's easy to believe
How that tree will look by fire light this comin' Christmas eve.
There won't be any carols sung, there won't no organ play
But they'll have a happy Christmas in them hills so far away.

I'll bet the old man's thinkin' back to when he was a kid.
How folks would spend their Christmas and the things he got and did.
Of course the kid, he looks ahead, he don't think of the past,
But he'll soon have Christmas memories that he'll keep until the last.

Bruce Kiskaddon, 1950 Union Stockyards calendar


Merry Christmas

We was whistlin', we was singin' on a winter afternoon;
The hobble chains and fryin' pans was jinglin' to the tune.
Fer we knew the day was Christmas and the line camp was in sight,
No, it wasn't much to look at but it suited us all right.

We onpacked and we onsaddled, then we turned our hosses out;
We cooked lots of beef and biscuits and we made the coffee stout.
We et all we could swaller, then we set and took a smoke,
And we shore did work our memory out to find a bran new joke.

No, it wasn't like the Christmas like the folks have nowadays—
They are livin' more in comfort, and they've sorter changed their ways—
But I sorter wish, old pardner, we could brush the years away,
And be jest as young and happy, as we was that Christmas Day.

Bruce Kiskaddon

Bruce Kiskaddon wrote an annual Christmas poem for the Chuck Wagon Trailers, a group organized in 1931 "by old-time cowboys who were Hollywood's first stunt men and western stars."  This 1933 piece is posted courtesy of Bill Siems, whose the recent, monumental book, Open Range; Collected Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon, includes more of those Christmas poems, and all of Bruce Kiskaddon's known poetry. Siems notes that the poem was reprinted in the Western Livestock Journal in December, 1933.

Read more of Bruce Kiskaddon's poetry here.



Busted Cowboy's Christmas

I am a busted cowboy
   And I work upon the range,
In summertime I get some work,
   But one thing which seems strange,
As soon as fall work's over
   I get it in the neck
I get a Christmas present
   Of a neatly written check.

I come to town to rusticate,
   I've no place else to stay
When winter winds are howling hard
   Because I don't eat hay.
A puncher's life's a picnic?
   It is one continual joke.
But there's none more anxious to see spring
   Than the cowboy who is broke.

The wages that a cowhand earns
   In summer goes like smoke,
And when the snow begins to drift 
   You bet your neck he's broke.
You may talk about your holidays,
   Your Christmas cheer and joy,
They're all the same to me, my friend.
   Cash gone, I'm a broke cowboy.

My saddle and my gun in soak,
   My spurs I've long since sold,
My rawhide and my quirt are gone,
   My chaps, no. They're too old.
My outfit's gone, I can't e'en bum
  A cigarette to smoke.
For no one cares what happens 
  To a cowboy who is broke.

Just where I'll eat my dinner
   This Christmas, I don't know,
But you can bet your life I'll have one
   If I get but half a show.
This Christmas holds no charms for me,
   On good things I'll not choke,
Unless I get a big handout
   I'm a cowboy who is broke.

D. J. O'Malley, 1893

Read more of D.J. O'Malley's poetry here.



Christmas Shopping in Cactus Center

Women's scarce in Cactus Center, and there ain't no bargain stores
Fer to start them Monday rushes that break down the stoutest doors;
But we had some Christmas shoppin' that the town ain't over yet,
Jest because of one small woman and a drug store toilet set.

She was Cactus Center's teacher, and she had n't left the stage
'Fore she had the boys plum locoed  -- and I don't bar youth nor age;
She was cute and smart and pretty, and she might 'a' been here yet
If it had n't been fer Dawson and his drug store toilet set.

It was old and scratched and speckled, for 't was in his case for years,
But ol' Dawson, sharp and clever, put a whisper in our ears—
'Lowed he'd sell that set at auction, and he says:  "Now, boys, you bet
This 'ill make a hit with Teacher—this here swell new toilet set."

Well the biddin' stated lively, and it got to gettin' hot,
For every mind in Cactus on that single thing was sot;
Purty soon I'd staked my saddle, worth two hundred dollars net,
Jest to own fer one short second that blamed drug store toilet set.

It was then began the shootin'—no one seems to know jest how—
And 't was lack of ammunition that at last broke up the row;
And thirteen of us was hurted, but the worst blow that we met
Was in findin' that some bullets had gone through that toilet set.

But we plugged the punctures in it, and we plugged the wounded, too,
And agreed we'd arbitrate it, and the bunch 'd see it through;
So we sent a gift committee, but they came back sorer yet—
Fer the teacher'd fluttered Eastward—so we've got that toilet set.

Arthur Chapman 

Read more of Arthur Chapman's poetry here.



Sermon on the Mount

I sit here on my steadfast horse
  while the moon begins its nightly course
I'm ridin' nightherd, so I guess there's time
  to reflect upon this life of mine.

My right leg is crooked over the saddle horn
  as I wait for signs of the imminent morn'.
It's not hard for a cowboy's thoughts to dwell
  upon his Creator, and the Lord's words, as well.

The wind carries the sound through the night air
  of the grazing remuda, and the belled mare.
My horse would like to join them, I can imagine,
  and I'd like to be sleeping, like the others, by the wagon.

But, instead, I'm here, and I'm wonderin' how
  anyone who's ever worked with a cow
Could disbelieve that there is a God
  who put us upon this wonderful sod.

Ain't it amazin' how an old mama cow
  will go off by herself, away from the crowd
And for the most part, calve out, without hardly coughin',
  tho' we take it for granted, we see it so often.

And what about those geese I saw fly by today?
  Who tells them to fly southward, and which is the right way?
And my horse's winter coat, now that's a strange thing,
  and who tells him he should shed it when winter turns to spring?

A cowboy might think that an eclipse is a mystery,
  tho' we've seen them many times, all down through posterity.
But, ain't it something how the sun and moon have their charted courses?
  And how a mighty river springs from the smallest of mountain sources?

This manger scene before me reminds me of my Saviour's birth,
  and that God would give His only Son to die for all the earth.
I'll never understand it all, I can only believe...
  just like I'll never savvy how a spider learns to weave.

My horse stomps his forefoot, and champs at his curb bit.
  Our job tonight is over and I'm right glad of it.
I believe there is a God, if my opinion you would count,
  and I hope that you will pardon...this sermon on my mount.

© Virginia Bennett
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Virginia Bennett

Read more of Virginia Bennett's poetry here.


Santa's Helper

Santa's checkin' through his list
The elves are workin' overtime
Rudolph's shined his nose up bright
The sleigh is lookin' fine

Mrs. Santy's been acookin'
For ole' Santy and the boys
Cause Santy needs his nourishment
While spreadin' Christmas joys

Ole' Santy checks his schedule
And studies through his map
That Mrs. Santy plotted out
While Santy took his nap

The Mrs. stayed up half the night
Sortin' presents shoulder deep
Cause Christmas is acomin' soon
And ole' Santy needs his sleep

Christmas Eve, she's up 'fore dawn
It's sourdough biscuits for the boys
While Santy eats his breakfast
She's out loadin' all the toys

She helps to harness up the teams
And hitch 'em to the sleigh
While Santy drinks his coffee
She's out loadin' feed and hay

Then she helps him in his longjohns
After pressin' out his suit
Helps him fasten his suspenders
Spit shines both his boots

In  a twinkle, Santy's on his way
Yuletide duties he'll not shirk
How come Santy gets the glory
When Mrs. Santy does the work

© 2001, Jay Snider  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Jay Snider's poetry here.



Christmas On The Prairie

If you'd never heard the radio
Or had never been to town
You'd still know it on the prairie
When Christmas rolls around.
It's not easy to explain it
But the prairie lets you know
Its more than just the winter wind
The ice and drifting snow.
There's a feeling like a shiver
It's like music to your ear
The prairie radiates it
At this certain time of year.
If you go out on the prairie
On a clear and starlit night
It can almost leave you breathless
Just to view the awesome sight.
Out here you need no mountains
To get you feeling high
Cause way out on the prairie
You can almost touch the sky.
If you listen, really listen
And believe with all your might
You can sometimes hear the sleigh bells 
as they tinkle in the night.
And out on the horizon
You see reindeer and a sleigh
You can see old Santa coming
For a hundred miles away.
Or if you stand in silence
And absorb that awesome view
Waves of former Christmases
Come rolling into you.
The frost may freeze your fingers
Or send shivers up your hide
But the warmth of Christmas memories
Makes you glow and glow inside.
It kinda makes you humble
And it seems hard to believe
The same stars shining brightly
Shone on that first Christmas eve.
There's a place for all that tinsel
And those artificial lights,
But they just can't match the splendor
Of those prairie winter nights.
The natural decorations kindle
Warmth down in your soul
It's ablaze in all its splendor
From Sims to the North Pole.
And the prairie lets you see it
So clearly and so true
There's no buildings, trees, or mountains
To muddle up the view.
They can have their city sidewalks
Or the mountains to the west
Way out on the prairie—
That's where Christmas is the best!

© 1997, Rodney Nelson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Rodney has a Christmas book that is a BAR-D favorite, Wilbur's Christmas Gift, illustrated by Scott Nelson. The hardcover book, a heartwarming Christmas story of a cowboy and his gift to the children of a rural country school. The book is available for $12.50 postpaid from Rodney Nelson, 4905 44th St., Almont, ND 58520  701/843-8081

Read more of Rodney Nelson's poetry here.



Mitten Christmas

We called them "Mitten Christmases"
   Back there when we were young,
For when the presents all were wrapped
   And stockings all were hung,
There's be no big surprises
   For we knew that in each box
Were things we need—like mittens,
   And underwear, and socks.
Through grateful for the warmth and love
   We longed for some surprise,
Some super-special gift that would
   Bring wonder to our eyes.

I thought that growing older
   Would be "mitten Christmas" too,
I'd settle for necessities
   As people often do.
I'd draw my circle closer
   Be grateful for old friends,
Forget about the dreams of youth,
   Make do with what life sends.
But a gracious heavenly Santa Claus
   Gift-wrapped some verse for me,
And I am like the child who finds
   A bike beneath the tree.

© 1997, Elizabeth Ebert, from Crazy Quilt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Elizabeth Ebert's poetry here.



Christmas at the Line Shack

It was late Christmas Eve when a young cowboy, Steve,
Riding line at the outfit's far shack,
Hung a sock, trimmed a tree, and decided that he,
All alone there, would just hit the sack.

You see, he volunteered, as the holiday neared,
Made an offer the others thought fine.
For the sake of the rest, he considered it best
If he spent Christmas Day on the line.

At this time of year, folks from far and from near
Came to share in the ranch's repast.
He would miss it this year, and as midnight came near
He just hoped that the night would go fast.

So he stuffed some more wood in the stove and that should
Keep him warm 'til the morning was bright.
Steve remembered his folks, and the other cowpokes
And what they might be doing this night.

He remembered the dreams and the ill-conceived schemes
That had left him there, cold, in the dark.
And a thought gave him pause: he alone was the cause
Of his dreams falling short of their mark.

Well, he tossed and he turned, for a homesickness churned
In the heart of this sad, lonely boy.
Then, sometime in the night, just before morning's light,
His self-pity was turned into joy.

He was deep in his dreams when a pounding, it seems,
Made the tin roof vibrate like a drum.
And the sound, like a hoof, was the positive proof
That a sleigh pulled by reindeer had come.

He jumped out of that bed with his eyes overhead,
Half expecting the rafters to fall.
But the noise faded out and he heard someone shout,
"Merry Christmas to one and to all!"

Then a sight made him jump: he thought he saw a lump
In the toe of that moth-eaten sock.
So he crept to it and, with the touch of his hand,
He discovered that it was a...rock!

He was awestruck, of course, overcome with remorse.
Was that all that Ole Santa had brought?
Then young Tommy burst in with a hoot and a grin
To admit to the joke he had wrought.

"Merry Christmas, there, Steve! Who'd have thought you'd believe
That Kris Kringle would fly up this way?
I've rode half of the night, 'cause it just isn't right
To be here all alone Christmas Day."

With the sun coming up, Steve raised up a tin cup
To the best friend a man could conceive.
For the best gift of all that a man can recall
Is what we don't deserve to receive.

© 2006, Dale E. Page
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Dale Page's poetry here.



Christmas in the County

There is a silence that comes with winter
when you live eleven miles from town,
fence posts and sage turning ghostly
and the glitter of snow on the ground,

That you'll just never see in the city.
Not with streetlights, busy walks, silver bells.
The snowdrifts here soften the landscape,
And time, and the wind, all stand still.

In the city snowy streets turn rotten,
A cancerous phlegm, corrupted by cars.
Across my pasture phantom deer come to visit
through the orchard, back-lighted by stars.

In early morning the first tracks are my son's,
 from the house to the horses' corral.
Though we've had breakfast guests at the haystack,
The native livestock is faring quite well.

I know women who plan expeditions
to the big stores up north every year.
Battle traffic, icy highways, ornery shoppers.
To purchase their holiday cheer.

But me, I'll bake cookies, send out home-made cards
Eleven miles from town, all alone
with my family, the snow and these critters.
Out here on this place we call home.

© 2006, Jo Lynne Kirkwood
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

© 2006, Jo Lynne Kirkwood



 Dulce est Décor

The calendar’s come round to Christmas
And it’s tree-trimming time once more,
So we’ve hauled in the crates and the cardboard,
Until they’ve filled up the living room floor.
We’ve clearly too many old baubles
Plus there are new ones I buy every year.
So I resolve, as I dig in these boxes,
To get rid of the clutter in here.

There are dozens of home-made creations.
They’re battered, so I’ll discard what I can.
Oh, look. An old photo of my little boy’s face
glued on a gingerbread man.
And here’s another. This time he’s an angel.
Well, at four I guess that was true.
And a flowerpot snowman with stars and stripes
Painted in red, white and blue.

Here’s a needlepoint square of my daughter’s.
Missed stitches, but she was just ten.
Pop-can Santas, and clothes-peg-leg reindeer
Felt carolers, and pinecone wise men.
And here. These are icicles made from beads
Strung on elastic twine.
Another Christmas craft by a daughter
Back when she was just eight or nine.

And there’s a whole set of bells hand-crafted
by Aunt Lee. In bright green and red.
Tiny snowflakes, and a white crocheted angel
with a halo above her head.
There are a couple here made by my sister
From some Christmas long, long ago.
Painted glass, two small children, and
a Santa on skis, flying across the snow.

There are storybooks marked with smudges
made when my children were small.
And a white porcelain crèche, with camels and sheep
and the Christ child asleep in a stall.
These boxes hold our memories of Christmas.
There isn’t one thing I can throw away.
So I’ll hang what I can, set some on the shelf,
and save the rest… for our NEXT Christmas day.

© 2007, Jo Lynne Kirkwood
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Jo Lynne Kirkwood's poetry here.



The Gift

It had been bitter cold, for three long days
The wind blew sharp with swirling snow
So I bundled up, with lots'a clothes
'Cause I had somewhere I needed to go

I caught and harnessed my work mares
The harness was so stiff, it wouldn't bend
I warmed up the bits, 'fore I hung 'em on
On a cold day, you'll do that for a friend

And them ol' mares, are good ol' girls
They give me, everything that they've got
Not too many friends would go willingly outside
Then line right out, in a trot

Those hungry cows was sure glad to see us
They went right to work, on their hay
You know, when it's 24 below and breezy
You ain't just feedin' them cows for the pay

At least not the pay that the bankers loan out
But there are rewards, in the job that you do
So I drug out extra feed, 'cause it's Christmas eve
And I hummed a Christmas carol or two

When the cows were fed, we jogged on home
I poured a good feed of grain for the team
Most folks wouldn't enjoy my kind of lifestyle
That's O.K., 'cause I'm livin' my dream

And I think about a babe in a manger
As I fill my manger, full of hay
I think about all the people in the world
And how they all celebrate this day

Some folks enjoy Christmas, because of the gifts
And I sure don't think that's all wrong
But most'a the gifts, they give and receive
Are forgotten, 'fore the New Year comes along

The gift that I'm most thankful for
Is gettin' to ranch, not punchin' a time-clock
And strangely enough, goin' out in the cold
With a good team, to feed, my hungry stock

© 2005, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski

Read more poetry by Robert Dennis here.




Well, I've been out there lifting weights
And I've been out there jogging, too,
Shoving on some blocking dummies
Just like those football players do.

I bought some big knee braces
And some shin guards and some gloves,
Practicing on yearling calves.
How to block and duck and shove.

I'm eating healthy food and drink
working hard to get in shape.
Doing strenuous exercises
until my back and shoulders ache.

I filled my organ donor card
And my last will and testament,
I got the car inspected
And wrote a check out for the rent.

I started early in July
because time really slips away.
So I'll be ready this year
for that stress filled, frightful day.

Paid the bills, filled the gas tank
and got insurance on my life
'Cause tomorrow I'll be going
Christmas shopping with my wife.

© 1996, Don Kennington
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Don Kennington's poetry here.


Grubline Carol
(a new look at a traditional song)

Christmas is a-comin' and I've got no work at all.
I've been out on the grubline, since shipping in the fall.
Now the days are getting colder and the nights are getting long,
so I play my old French harp, and I sing this song.

Christmas is a-comin', and I'll work to earn my keep.
Can you find a roving puncher a warm place to sleep?
If you haven't got a bunk for me, a patch of floor will do.
If you haven't got a patch of floor, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and my pony's short of feed.
A little bait of oats is what he really needs.
If you haven't got a bait of oats, a flake of hay will do.
If you haven't got a flake of hay, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and my gear is wearing thin.
Could you spare a piece of rawhide, to patch it up again?
If you haven't got some rawhide, some baling wire will do.
If you haven't got some baling wire, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin' , and I'm feeling kind of gaunt.
A plate of beans and bacon is all I really want.
If you haven't got the bacon, a plate of beans will do.
If you haven't got a plate of beans, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin', and I've been alone too long.
Do you have a pretty daughter, to sing a Christmas song?
If you haven't got a daughter, a maiden aunt will do.
If you haven't got a maiden aunt, may God bless you.

Christmas is a-comin' and I've got no work at all.
I've been out on the grubline, since shipping in the fall.
Now the days are getting colder, and the nights are getting long,
so I play my old French harp, and  I sing this song.

© 2001, Dean Cook 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Read more of Dean Cook's poems and lyrics here.



Shorty's Last Christmas

Shorty was a bachelor, about 60 years old.
Some say when he was born they broke the mold.
He was raised up a cowboy just like his Dad,
Boots and hats were his fare, they weren't no fad.
But once a year he lay them aside,
Don a red and a beard for the coming Yuletide,
To play Santa for all the kids that he knew.
Every Christmas Eve he was there right on cue.
For weeks he'd been sniffing out clues from their folks,
Still he listened intently to each bright-eyed cowpoke
Then pull with a flourish a new rope or a doll,
Every toy on every list, Santa Shorty knew all.
Then with a wave to the left and a nod to the right,
Shorty would quickly disappear into the night.
Then late last year when Christmas was nigh,
Shorty passed on to God's range up in the sky.
See, even cowboys can't refuse when St. Peter bids,
But who had the heart to explain to the kids.
So when Christmas Eve came and the crowd gathered 'round,
At the church meeting hall on the outskirts of town,
They wondered just what the reaction would be,
When there was no Ho Ho Hoing Santa sitting there by the tree.
They'd tried to prepare their kids for the truth,
But little ones don't savvy while still in their youth.
Then just after dark with the last carol sung,
There was a jingle of bells and the side door was flung.
And a jumble of red on a strong wind from Montana
Blew in a guy who looked just like Santa.
The children all screamed and much to their delight,
Santa opened his bag on that magical night.
When he had finished he got up from his chair,
Danced 'cross the floor and turned with a flair,
And with a wave to left and nod to the right,
Santa quickly disappeared into the night.
When he had gone the grownups all pondered,
Just who was this Santa and how had he wandered
 From out of the cold into their Christmas Eve bash?
And from where came those toys he had hid in his stash?
But when they went to the door to look for this tracks,
Not a footprint was seen, just an old empty sack.
They picked up that bag and were just barely able,
To read Shorty printed inside on the label.
Now I'm not saying that Shorty came back,
But someone or something left that empty old sack.
And to this day on the plains of Wyoming,
They talk of the night when someone came roaming
 From out of the cold on a Christmas Eve night,
And then disappeared without leaving a track in sight.
Do miracles happen? Well, I don't know what you believe,
I only know what I saw on that special Christmas Eve.

© 2008, Tom Kerlin
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read about Tom Kerlin here.


A Christmas Ride/Jinglin' Bells

Dashing through the streets, on a panicked runaway,
If I can't get this colt to stop there'll be a price to pay.
I've pressured and released, but he won't give to the bit,
I wish that I was anywhere, instead of where I sit.

Jinglin' bells, flashing lights, reindeer on the roof.
This colt gets higher off the ground, each time he lifts a hoof.
If I could just get to the ground, the ground is where I'd stay.
And never ride no green-broke colt to town on Christmas Day.

Now we was doing fine, a-jogging down the lane,
I used equine psychology and got inside his brain.
But he could not stay hooked, when Old Saint Nick strolled by,
His beard ain't white at all compared to this old pony's eye.

Jinglin' bells, Santa Claus, snowmen in the yard,
Training colts around Christmastime's a job that's kinda hard.
Carolers that sing so loud and some jerk in a sleigh,
I wish I'd never rode this colt to town on Christmas Day.

A day or two ago, down in the old round pen,
We'd progressed nicely through the book. to chapter number ten.
I thought I had him broke, guess we had a ways to go,
Cause I don't think John Lyons himself could get this horse to WHOA!!

Jinglin' bells, dancing elves, and a merry HO-HO-HO!!
This colt is wound up like a spring,, I know he's gonna blow!
Angel hair and mistletoe and Rudolph's big red nose,
The end this ride is coming to, sure ain't the one I chose.

Oh Lord!, I'm still aboard, as he dashes in the barn,
That doorway's just a little snug, I think I've broke my arm.
Each time I try to rise, my ankle gives away,
I guess if I'se to tell the truth, this just ain't been my day. OHHHH!

Jinglin' bells, MRIs, ankle in a cast.
At first I'se mad at that old colt, but now my rage has passed.
I'll limp for life, just use one arm, and I guess I'll lose this eye.
But I should be back ridin' colts by the Fourth Day of July.

© 2008, Lavern "Straw" Berry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Lavern "Straw" Berry's poetry here.


Christmas Memories

We live on Christmas memories
since you’re not here with us.
We will have the old traditions
and the usual Christmas fuss.

We’ll save a spot on Christmas Eve
that only you can fill.
Although you’re not here physically,
your spirit’s with us still.

We’ll eat the customary meals.
We’ll decorate the tree.
You’ll share with us, within our hearts,
just like it used to be.

On Christmas morn our memories
bring back shared times and fun.
Our love will keep you close to us
‘til separation’s done.

While we ache to hug and hold you,
though we know there is no way,
our memories join us to you
this special holiday.

© 2004, Terry Henderson 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Terry told us: I first dedicated this poem to my son, who will be forever 19. But I also expanded it to my bigger family when I had several relatives in Iraq during the holidays. So this poem goes out to all the families who are missing, whether temporary or permanent, loved ones who should be in that circle, during Christmas.

Probably, anyone reading this poem will want to know the details about my son's death. I share this for other people who have lost a child, so they can pass on "survivor" tips to help others. My son was killed October 10, 1999. He was living at home on the ranch with us at the time, saving money to go back to college. His goal was to become a certified welder so he could come back to the ranch, but he knew he needed an off-ranch income to help pay his way. He was working as a welder's helper on the big gas pipeline projects in eastern Wyoming. On his way home from work, 9:00 that Sunday night, he stopped in the bar with his working crew (yes, an under-aged drinker with a fake i.d.) for a quick beer. He fell asleep on the way home and drove off the railroad overpass on our rural road. He had his seat belt on and the air bags activated but his pickup hit the tracks so hard it bent them out of line. Neighbors have asked me how I can drive by that spot when I go to town. It's a matter of attitude. Instead of saying "This is where my son was killed," I have to tell myself, "This is where my son went to Heaven to ride for the Lord."  If parents don't have faith in an after-life, I don't know how they can cope with the loss. 

Loui Montana "Monti" Henderson



Read more of Terry Henderson's poetry here.



No Regrets

“What d’ya want for Christmas?”

She asked him with a smile,

He said he wasn’t really sure,

He’d have to think on it a while.


But really that was a bold faced lie,

His choice already settled,

What he really wanted for Christmas,

No shop or salesman peddled.


He wished he could unwrap some of the time

Spent up on toil and sweat,

And give it back to his son and wife,

This would salve his one regret.


Those jobs would have waited sure

For a day or two he thought,

While he rode with his wife for pleasure

Or with his son to the fishing spot.


But he squared his shoulders to the task

Of living day to day,

He felt like he had plenty of time,

And after work they’d play.


But as dust raised up by treading hoof

That time just blew away,

And now those moments too few to grasp

Are fewer still each day.


So now the kid is grown and gone,

And there’s silver in wife’s hair,

It seems like only yesterday

That they were young and fair.


The back door opens and the kid walks in,

With his young wife and child,

They all hug and laugh together

At the grandson free and wild.


 “Just in time,” he says, “to help with chores,”

And he throws on his winter gear,

And three generations of working men

Go out to feed the steers.


Grandson steers the pickup

While Dad and Grandpa pitch the bales,

As the sun creeps past the ridgeline,

And the daylight quickly fails.


They make their way back to the barn,

Grandson checks the hens,

They chop the frozen water trough,

And bed the pony’s pen.


Grandpa shares some of his regrets

While forking out some hay,

‘Bout how he should have made the time,

Instead he let it slip away.


His son said, “You don’t recall

The hours we spent together

Stringing wire or digging holes,

Or cursing about the weather?”


“Or you and Mom and me out riding

From dawn till end of day,

And how I helped you during calving

You think you let that slip away?”


“You are your work, your work is you,

You’re the man I hope to be,

I hope that you will never regret

The life you gave to me.”


“I’m doing just the same darned thing

You claim you’re sorry for,

I know there’s fun we didn’t have

But we’ve had something more.”


Lost for words, he breathed a sigh,

Off his shoulders a weight did lift,

And then to his puzzled son and grandson said,

“Thanks boys, for the Christmas gift.”

© 2004, Morgan Wilson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Morgan comments: Should we all be so lucky as to live a life without regrets. Most of us would live our lives a little differently if we had another chance and knew what we now know about how quickly time passes. This time of year reminds us of that relentless flow of time as we gather in celebrations and notice how suddenly some of us have aged, grown, changed or how some are missing from the table. The celebrations and gatherings of the Christmas season are opportunities to address some of those misgivings. I hope we can apply some of the Season’s peace and good will to help us live our lives with no regrets.


Read more about Morgan Wilson here.


Christmas on the Trail

I was up in the hills, checkin' fence for Dad,
while home from school on vacation.
It started to snow, and soon covered the trail,
but I knew my exact location.

I put up a lean-to for my mare Bill,
then put up a tent for me.
I started a fire, then started a stew,
then I boiled me some sassafras tea,

It was Christmas Eve, and it snowed all night,
but by mornin' the sky was clear.
I found myself thinkin' that this has to be
my favorite time of the year.

I got the feedbag and gave Bill some oats,
then got my fire goin' again.
I thought of my folks and all of the guests,
that for days had been wanderin' in.

They'd be on the carpet in front of the fire,
and passin' their gifts around.
And here's old Bud, snowed in, in the woods,
my carpet, the frozen ground.

I spotted a pine tree, with cones that hung
like ornaments Nature had made.
The green of that tree was somethin' to see,
like beautiful Chinese jade.

A hidden choir of coyotes sang carols,
while a brown bear watched from a hill.
I boiled me some more of that sassafras tea,
then sat there and drank my fill.

Three mountain jays came to check me out,
and flitted from branch to branch.
They too were like ornaments on our tree
in the livingroom back at the ranch.

There, by now, all the folks would be sorry
I'm missin' their Christmas cheer.
But when I get home, I'll have to tell 'em
how I had Christmas here.

© 2003, Hal Swift
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Hal Swift

Read more of Hal Swift's poetry here.


Star of Wonder

Some make their livin’ tendin’ cattle, me I’ve always tended sheep.

Sometimes we’re judged both by the friends and by the livestock that we keep.

Still, over time, I’ve always found that sheep have got a gentle manner,

And they’ll do their master’s bidding, if the man’s a decent planner.


O’er the years, I’ve tried to pass along the lessons that I’ve won,

And I take pride in sharin’ all the skills I’ve garnered with my son.

He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and he works as hard as me,

He’s overdue to have a break…and so tonight I set him free.


I let him meet a couple buddies once their sheep had bedded down,

And I was glad to tend our flock alone as they walked into town.

The night was calm, the air was still, the sun long set, the moon was low,

And so the stars above were sparklin’ with a special winter’s glow. 


One in particular was brighter than I’d say I’ve ever seen,

And on the distant stables, seems this star had cast a silver sheen.

Now when you work out in the open, you begin to know the sky,

And when a star is shinin’ brighter, makes you kinda wonder why.


But as I rested by the fire, it seems a weight was slowly lifted,

And a youthful energy restored, my attitude was shifted,

And my outlook on the future was so gradu’lly renewed,

I realized an inner peace had found its way into my mood.


And resting there, I kinda lost track of how long my son was gone,

And when he fin’lly wandered into camp, the night was near to dawn.

He was approachin’ in the distance, th’other two had gone their way,

And as he came in by the fire, he had an awful lot to say.


He kinda stared off in a daze, like he had met up with a ghost,

And then he mumbled somethin’ crazy ‘bout an angel’s heav’nly host.

He stammered on about a couple, ‘bout three learned scholars, maybe,

And he seemed a bit confused as he went on about a baby.


Seems he wasn’t makin’ sense, and he could tell what I was thinkin’,

And he swore to me he’d seen it, that he hadn’t been out drinkin’.

Then he come up nose to nose with me and looked me in the face,

And then with arms held out he gathered me within his firm embrace.


And in that moment, I could tell this son of mine was overcome,

And I could feel a mighty presence turnin’ both our senses numb.

A night of wonder and enlightenment had come without a warnin’,

And we settled in, agreein’ that we’d talk more in the mornin’.


Was it really something spiritual that happened in the night,

Or just an optical illusion with a star’s refracted light?

Did I become a new believer as my proud defenses fell,

Or will I wake to find myself unchanged?  I s’ppose that time will tell.


But if two other shepherds witnessed it, I’m sure we’ll all agree it

Was a miracle; if so, I’m glad my son was there to see it.

As a witness, he’s articulate, not prone to foolish prattle,

So it’s good it was three shepherds… ‘stead of men who work with cattle.

© 2007, Al Mehl
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem was inspired by a 2007 Christmas Art Spur.


Al Mehl

Read more of Al Mehl's poetry here.



Night Before Christmas 

It Was The Night before Christmas
At home of dog, cat, and maybe a mouse.
Cat was sound asleep, on the sofa while
Old dog Biscuit, as usual guards the house.

Santa came back from the chimney.
He’d found it much to small to go down.
He slid down off of the rooftop, in a hurry—
With both a few quick hops, and a bound.

Now Santa had to walk, all bent over
From  the weight piled onto his back.
Those want lists bulged, in anticipation—
Many wrapped boxes, stuck out of his sack.

The sleigh bells softly jangled, all waiting,
His squeaky foot steps, sounded a bit loud.
The deep snows lay about, softly drifted—
His foot prints were shown, widely plowed.

Santa gathered his wits up, about him,
As he slipped quietly, up to the door.
He turned the knob, ever so gently—
When out of his grasp, it was tore.

It seems winter's cold, gusty breeze,
So quickly, had turned into a blast.
Violently, jerked the door— wide open,
And wrenched it, right out of his clasp.

The Toys were everywhere, scattered.
Things looked a mess— that's for sure.
Old Santa picked himself up, so slowly
From where he lay in a heap, on the floor.

This wild clatter, disturbed old Biscuit.
The moving shadows, gave him a scare.
While events happened fast, thereafter—
I will make an attempt, to here share.

His dark shadow crossed over the window,
And he crept silently up, to the  door.
Old Biscuit, became much more vigilant,
And he bounded straight up, from the floor.

He managed to stay, barely upright
On that throw-rug, placed to catch drip.
He was airborne so quickly, into flight.
Onto a dog-gone, runaway, rug trip.

On a past Santa, he sailed like a vision,
Our old dog Biscuit riding fast. on a rug.
Into a storm cloud, he quickly disappeared—
While Santa gave his shoulders, a shrug.

Now Santa still had a long way to travel.
It was somewhere between, and be-twixed.
He had managed to leave off, their gifts—
Though he was stirred, and a little bit mixed.

Had been a long time, since he'd eaten.
He felt hungry, and started looking around.
When he spied a large plate of fresh cookies,
Plus a large glass of milk, to gulp down.

He sat down on a chair, and pondered.
For  a little while, only, should he rest.
And this is, where old Biscuit caught him.
But maybe, you have already guessed.

Aloft, Old Biscuit was quite bedazzled,
The rug let him view, all lights of the town.
For rug seemed to have, a mind all its own,
His next thoughts were, how to get down.

He discovered he could change his direction,
By just wagging his tail, to and fro.
In excitement he wagged it round, and round,
While his old rug made two loops, in a row.

He leaned, crouched, and he squatted,
As he began circling downward, to earth.
Tried to slow down, that rollicking rug—
And to again land, at the place of his birth.

Finally he sat up, and tucked his tail under.
That flapping contraption, eased to a stop.
He floated like a leaf, down to his doorway—
Barking loud, as he bounded off from its top.

The door  left a-jar, was open, and waiting,
As Biscuit's return came sudden, and swift.
Like a cyclone, he dashed through doorway—
Snow sprayed ahead of him, out of a drift.—

Old Santa fairly flew, out of the door.
Of course, it was in opposite direction.
For sure, it was not long that he tarried—
to take any view of his moving reflection.

When he hit that wide open doorway
He too, disappeared fast into the night.
For he was atop that very same, old rug—
Which launched him quick, into flight.

Now you won't see Santa, quite so often,
Out in the white snow, riding his sleigh,
For he has found, this flying old rug—
Sure does make for a quick, get-away.

Santa just keeps on, riding his old carpet.
While his reindeer again, get a good rest.
“Christmas Greetings” he keeps right on sending—

Both from the East, and out of the West


© 2007, V. June Blevins Collins
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of V. June Collins' poetry here.



Christmas Night in Big Elk Country

Someone round up Curly Joe
And get him to the ranch house now.

He’s either down at the Big Elk Saloon
Or out tearin’ up the town.

He might’ve rode over to the Box B place
To take on every hand combined.

He never did cotton to that mean outfit
And right now he’s fit to be tied.

Maybe he rode into Big Elk tonight
To break Buck Henry outa the clink.

Buck Henry is his only best friend
Especially when they’re on the drink.

He’s always been an ornery cuss,
Ready to fight at the drop of the hat.

But the other day he became a holy terror,
When Emma Watkins told him to scat.

But get him to the ranch house pronto,
There’s kids waitin’ on the mean galoot.

He’s the only cowboy in parts hereabouts
What can fit in a Santa suit.

© 2008, David Althouse
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of David Althouse's poetry here.

St. Nic's Beginnings
Part 1

In the mid 1800's when St. Nic was young
In the days when he started that long midnight run
He knew there were children who needed some joy
With a sock full of candy, or a small hand carved toy

Though the way to accomplish this feat of good cheer
Was not yet perfected, using sleigh and eight deer
A system of transport from the old wild west
Was tried early on and put to the test

A twenty mule team, with wagons behind
Would carry those gifts the children would find
Yep, that spry jolly elf was once a muleskinner
Of course he was younger and quite a bit thinner

His mules were all sturdy, with strength that would last
But a method was needed to help them move fast
An old man from Persia told St. Nic to try
A secret, when used, would make carpets fly

With effort and practice it worked like a dream
Though acres were needed to maneuver the team
Calling twenty names caused more than frustration
Only half were acknowledged 'til their next destination

Because of the size and length of the rig
There were no housetop landings, there was no roof that big
The weight of the wagons was prohibitive too
When resting on buildings, they'd fall right on through

If one mule would bray the rest would begin
And wake each poor soul of the town they were in
After two years, with problems and noise
A better way was needed to deliver the toys

Then he met a young lady, she captured his heart
When they married forever the magic did start
This sweet blue eyed beauty he loved and adored
Conjured sleighs and a carriage, from a pumpkin or gourd

Next was needed a hard working critter
That's loyal, instinctive, and won't be a quitter
He searched the world round 'til finally he chose
A beast from the north, where the ground's mostly froze

Yes, reindeer are used to pull that small sleigh
They are graceful, fleet of foot, don't eat that much hay
They are perfectly suited for altitudes cool
And besides, no one's seen a red nosed mule

© 2008, Jan Erickson
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of Jan Erickson's poetry here.


See a complete list of all the holiday poems from 2000-2008 here.

See the links here for holiday news and more.

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