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Lafayette, Louisiana
About Dan Kantak
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Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of


A Cowboy Is a Man Who Likes His Spaces Wide

A cowboy is a man who likes his spaces wide.
He loves to stand in awe with landscape as his bride.
If he's penned up for long he'll likely go insane.
Always call him sir, and do not insult his aim.

A cowboy tells it straight and doesn't mince a word
He shoots right from the hip with truth that is assured.
If he's got a beef, you will know that cow by name.
Just look him in the eye, and listen to his claim.

A cowboy's word is his contract and guaranty.
No veneer on him, and you get just what you see.
A cowboy knows one big truth never to forget--
Always be true-blue, as God's got a lariat.

  2001 Dan Kantak, All Rights Reserved


The Great Divide

There's a warm wind blowing
beneath the prairie skies tonight.
My bones are tired and weary
I won't run--don't want to fight.
My pony stands restless on these hills.
Connected to the land, she always will be.
There's a warm wind a-blowing
through the prairie skies tonight.

There was a time when the land
was a pure and peaceful place.
When bees came to the clover,
and the land held God's own grace.
When you could drink from rivers
with the cup of your own hand.
Hear the deer running
in the shade of woodland stand.

A time when arm in arm
We were terraced with belief
In step with one another
in our joy and in our grief.
And there was dawn breaking
through the woodland trees beneath.

And the stars held out a beauty
in the blanket of the sky.
A dream for every dreamer,
a tear for every eye.
My pony could graze
without post or fence in sight,
And with a warm wind blowing
beneath the prairie skies at night.

But now my pony
lifts her head into troubled air.
Her hooves paw the ground
and her nostrils flare.
What's in the wind
holds a blank and sterile stare.
My spirit turns
Upon the prairie land, so fair.

Where can my children
ever call the stars by name?
Or know the sparkling waters
from where their spirits came?
In that lonesome valley
where they must walk alone,
what God will they talk to
if the earth is torn and blown?

Freedom is never free.
It costs the changing of the heart.
If no one asks for it to stay,
soon it will depart.
My voice may be a whisper
echoing in din
but the weight of being silent
is a mortal sin.

By my deeds I am written,
and to them I will return.
How I'll be remembered
are through my actions and concern.
And what I have done
for the sake of my children
and their home to come.

Now I cross the great divide.
The still small voice of something,
sounding deep inside.
For the sake of those who follow
I won't forget what's true,
and ride the foothills of my conscience,
doing what I must do.

  2001 Dan Kantak, All Rights Reserved


About Dan Kantak:

I live in Lafayette Louisiana and make my living as a safety manager for a Survey Company called C & C Technologies. We make some of the finest maps in the world.

I've been writing poems and making art for about 30 years. I've performed and shared many of them in coffee houses, schools, and in church.




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