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north of Nacogdoches, Texas
About Dave Watson
Dave Watson's web site




Owed ta Jim

He was sortin' first calf heifers, shiny stripers, heavy bred.
They were salty but his horse was workin' great.
His dog was posted in th' alley, open gate off to th' right.
"Hit" meant turn 'er and "bye" meant let 'er go on straight.

Thangs was clickin' like they oughta'. Perty day fer workin' cows.
On most outfits days like this was mighty rare.
Feelin' blessed ta' be a cowboy. Horse as honest as they come,
an' a dog, when put ta' test, none could compare.

His truck was runnin' good, for once, good rubber all around.
Tack an' plunder all in good repair.
The wife and kids was healthy.  All was well 'cept just one thing...
"you know my pard's bad sick, Lord, hear my prayer.

With hat in hand, he bowed his head.  The critters all took pause.
Not a creature moved a hair as he began...
"Lord you ain't up there a' sayin' 'Gee, I wonder why that happened?'
You don't wring your hands 'cause this weren't in your plan."

"You know he's got th' cancer, and cancer's why my daddy's gone.
I know I'm s'posed to pray "Thy will be done."
That's what I'm tryin' to do, Lord, 'cause I know that you know all
'bout life and death and what's best fer ever'one."

"It can't hurt ta' make petition. I don't think I'm outa line
to come right out and say what's on my mind. So...
I'm a thinkin' that you oughta' leave my pardner here below,
since he's been down, I've gotten way behind."

"You know that we're a team.  With him around things go lots smoother.
Last time we needed help... I don't recall.
We've rode so much together that our thinkin's just alike.
We seldom even have to speak at all.

"If ya' take 'im, Lord, you might as well just take me right on, too.
"Cause time and time again he's saved my hide.
Or I might just work ma' self ta' death.  That's prob'ly what'll happen.
That he toted most th' load can't be denied."

"He's got that brand new baby boy, and a perty young bride ta' love.
I know you ain't forgotten about them.
I can tell when he's a thinkin' 'bout his bride and that fine boy.
His eyes light up and he cracks that crooked grin."

"My wife, she loves 'im like her own.  The boys think he's their brother.
He's family, Lord, we love 'im just that way,
and what a mighty dark, black hole his leavin' us would make.
We need 'im here, don't take 'im, Lord, I pray!"

"Well, there ya' have it, Lord, I've give you all good, valid reasons.
I ask that you consider my request.
But come what may, I'll give you all the honor, praise, and glory
'cause I know you.  You always do what's best."

His reverence was broken when he heard a shrill, loud whistle.
He saw the owner wave, then jump the gate.
The cowboy watched the way he walked, then saw his misty eyes.
This man was bearin' news that he would hate.

He braced his self, took one deep breath. A lump high in his throat
had blocked the air he needed to exhale.
A million mem'ries of times they'd had began to wash his mind,
and down his cheeks they left a muddy trail.

He listened as the man took care to gently break the bad news.
He let his breath out slow and leaked a groan.
He thanked his boss. "I know this weren't no easy chore for you.
Right now I'm feelin' mighty all alone."

He turned his horse to cattle, crammed his hat back on his head.
He smiled and told his dog, "let's finish this."
"I reckon he's with you now, Lord, and that's O.K. by me.
Just tell 'im I saw 'im give his horse a kiss."

2004, Dave Watson 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Dave told us this poem: ...was written to honor my pardner. Jim Rushing. Jim died of cancer at age 36. If there ever was an "All-Around Cowboy," literally, Jim was him!

Before he passed, Jim asked me to "do somethin" to keep th' cowboy spirit alive for his son, Will Sterling.

I've written a novel and several short stories in honor of Jim... but this poem just felt right.

 "Owed ta Jim" is on on Dave Watson's CD, Easy on th' Ears, 
which you can read about below and on his web site:

Free Advice

He got word the old cowboy was nearin' th' end
of th' hard trail he'd rode. He had ta see his old friend.

When he got there th' Doc said, " Ya aint got much time.
"He's got some words for ya, an' he's put 'em ta rhyme."

Th' old cowboy was smilin'. White teeth shined like stars
in that kak-leather face, decorated with scars,

and deep lines, an' wrinkles, from summers an' winters;
ridin into th' wind.Eatin' sand, bugs, an' splinters.

Those spring-sky blue eyes that calmed colts an' charmed women,
were sunk deep in their sockets. Like blue marbles a' swimmin'.

But they still had that mis-cheevus twinkle about 'em.
"Come closer, young poet, I don't feel like shoutin'".

He patted th' bed with that huge gnarled up hand
that looked so out of place on that little old man.

"Set cher pockets ri'cheer. I got somthin' ta say.
"Won't take very long. Then I'll be on ma way."

He said,

"Ride hard an' rope what ya may while ya can.
Dream BIG, an' race fer that sunset, young man.
"Don't let th' years pass; Chase 'em down. One by one.
And you can count on them mem'ries when yer ridins all done."

Th' young cowboy (slash) poet grew long in th' tooth.
He treasures th' mem'ries of his bold, reckless youth.

He'll never fergit that ole cowboy's last phrase.
Ask his advice now... This anthem, he'll raise:

He'll say,

Ride hard an' rope what ya may while ya can.
Dream BIG an' race fer that sunset, young man.
Don't let th' years pass; chase 'em down. One by One.
And you can count on them mem'ries when yer ridin's all done.

2004, Dave Watson 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Dave told us:  The "old cowboy" is a hand I rode with named Ray Pearson.

I didn't get to see Ray 'fore he passed.. Too busy, I reckon.

I'll always regret that. Th' poem is what I "imagined" Ray wanted to tell me 'fore he went on.

Ray had sayins' like, "Tis a good thang, fer a man ta Ponder."

B'fore th' WWJD ( what would Jesus do?) bracelets came out. long time b'fore,

Ray would find himself in a "Dire Sichee-ation" and say, " Reckon what th' Good Lord'd do right now?"

I know Ray was smilin' at th' end. He was sure where he was goin'.


Little Donny

She said, "I'd like to bring my kids to the ranch this Saturday.
That's all they talk about in class because some live out that way.
She was good friends with th' owner's wife. No way I could say no.
I'd planned on goin' ropin'-- I reckon now, here's where I'll go.

Back then I was good at poutin'. No brag, just simple fact.
And I employed sarcasm. I used it without tact.
So when she said, "The Lord will bless, these are very special kids."
I shot some scripture at 'er ; "I aim ta do what th' Good Lord bids."

I think I hurt her feelins' some. But they healed up right away.
She smiled, and shot back at me, "Good, we'll see you Saturday."
I had a hog-back geldin' I had just took on ta' break.
They said he'd near 'bout killed two men. A real four legged snake.

Th' only horse I ever met that growled an' bared his teeth.
I saw it in his demon eyes. He'd like ta' get me underneath.
I kept 'eem in a sortin' pen. A pipe fence, Eight foot tall.
I tried th' horse barn. That didn't work. Th' first night he wrecked his stall.

A big boned, flashy Chestnut, with a flaxen mane an' tail.
And th' hog back horses I had known were heck fer stout, an' tough as nails.
I guessed thirteen hundred fifty pounds, he stood sixteen hands plus one.
Broad chest, good muscle, and well rope long. Eyes that burned like a July sun.

Saturday, I left Rock saddled when we finished ridin' pens.
Th' cattle looked real good that day. There weren't but a few sick'ens.
Th' van pulled up, th' teacher waved. I said, "It's showtime, Rock!"
I watched th' kids pile out that van, and I went into shock!

There was only six of them; Girls an' boys, Three of each.
My heart gushed with feelins' I thought I'd put way out'a reach.
Every one of those sweet kids had a extra chromosome.
That is, every one of those sweet kids had th' Down Syndrome.

Th' last kid off that bus would make a blind mule stop an' cry.
Frail an' pale, crusty red eyes, no more n' ten hands high.
He stood there, lookin' 'round, on legs all wobbly like a newborn.
I felt a tear, then a ache inside. My heart was bein' torn.

I went ta' pick 'eem up 'cause I could see that he was weak- boned.
Th' teacher stopped me. She said, " He likes to do things on his own."
She told me he had ailments that'd put most grown men down.
If that little feller's courage was water, all of us would drown.

I learned a little about his dad. I pray I never meet 'eem.
B'fore th' law took hold of him, he starved th' boy and beat 'eem.
"He never talks, though he knows how, he just hums lullabies.
His name is Donny," th' teacher said." He never frowns or cries."

Rowdy, that's ma cowdog, took ta Donny straight away.
He never left his side. He was Donny's dog that day.
Th' kids saw Rock an' swarmed 'eem, like blow flies on a green hide.
They rode inside th' barn awhile, an' then we went outside.

They kissed and hugged that special horse, All those special kids.
And God refueled my empty heart with love, plumb to th' lid.
Th' kids took turns on Rock, then they all got on his back.
Rock was in horse heaven; they fed 'eem apples. A whole sack.

I turned ta' check on Donny. He kinda stayed off away.
He wasn't where I'd left 'eem, sittin' on that bale o' hay!
I panicked, ran outside and heard th' teacher go ta' yellin'.
She was runnin' after Donny. He was with that hog back geldin'!!

I whistled, then saw Rowdy posted right b'side that lad.
Th' teacher stopped. I told 'er, " Take it slow. That horse is BAD!!
Donny's stubby little fingers stroked that monster's velvet muzzle.
Th' boy an' horse were cheek ta' cheek an' they commenced ta' nuzzle.

Then Donny went ta' singin' to that horse. Right in his ear!!
Th' beast shut both eyes, let out a sigh, I felt another tear.
Rowdy looked at me, like; " Say th' word. I'll rip his head off."
I waved him off an' th' teacher said, " I don't mean to scoff,
but I don't see a BAD horse here. Look! He's sound asleep".

I figgered I'd done said too much, so I didn't make a peep.
That horse an' Donny smooched an' kissed. He sang his lullaby.
Th' teacher said, "He's using words!" Then she began to cry.
We had ta' break th' "lovebirds" up. Th' kids were late for lunch.

I patted heads an' hugged their necks. They all said, "Thanks a bunch!!"
That's right! They ALL said, "Thanks a bunch." Even little Donny.
He hugged my neck real tight an' said, " That horsie's name is Johny"
He pointed at that hog back horse that looked ta' still be sleepin'.

I told 'eem, "Johny it shall be!" Th' teacher started weepin'.
Me an' Rock an' Rowdy watched those kiddos ride away.
Th' hog back horse (I mean Johny) dozed an' nibbled on his hay.
Already, I missed Donny. Everything he touched that day
took on a gentler attitude. We all wanted him ta' stay.

Long story-short; that hog back horse (I mean Johny) took a saddle.
He never bucked. He knew his leads. In a week he was on cattle!!!!
"How'd ya' do it?" his owner asked. I said, " I didn't do a thing."
"Johny was broke th' moment that he heard little Donny sing."

Th' teacher called, weeks later, with news that grieved me deep.
Donny went in a coma. Th' Lord took him in his sleep.
"You must know this", th' teacher said," about our little Donny."
"I started not to tell you this...... but...... his daddy's name is Johny."

For  thirty years I've been a stingy miser with that tale.
It's been my little "stash of gold" when I found my soul in jail.
All Donny had ta' offer was Love, Kindness, and Forgivin'.
He showed me then, but I'm slow learnin'; That's th' key ta' joy- filled livin'.

Now I share my little "stash of gold" with those of yall who care.
I've kept it to myself too long . I've been told that wasn't fair.
To me, this story isn't sad. It brings joy to my heart.
'Cause I know WHO Donny's with right now. And that's my favorite part.

2004, Dave Watson 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Dave told us: That day with those kids, and more especially Donny, turned my life around.

God can use a 1800 pound bull, a run-away horse, a busted cinch, a tornado, a swarm of snakes, wasps or hornets to get our attention. My attention has never been got, like it was got that day with Donny.

I believe everyone has a " Little Donny " story, tucked away somewhere, that they never have shared.

For one reason or another. I'm thankful that my bride talked me into finally sharing mine.

Read Dave Watson's

Headin' Home in our Art Spur project


A Christmas Tale in our Art Spur project



About Dave Watson:

Dyan, my wife and soul-mate, and I have a poultry farm just North of Nacogdoches, Texas.

We have six broiler houses (20,000 birds per batch), a few cows, three horses (one of them, I still need to break), three dogs, three cats (one of them will never be broken), two married sons, two wonderful daughter-in-laws, and....... two PERFECT grandsons. (We have pictures!!!)

Since I can remember remembering, I wanted to be a cowboy and a Texas Ranger (not the baseball kind).

I started cowboyin' soon as I could, got busy doin' that and never got around to bein' a Texas Ranger.

I've ridden for a few "big brands" in Texas, and a bunch of smaller outfits.

I've given a whole slew of colts and horses opportunity to hone their buckin' skills with me on (and off) their backs.

I learned a little bit about myself from each one of them.


Easy on the Ears


 Facin' Willis Tweed
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is)
A Christmas Story 
Owed Ta' Jim 
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is)
Hillbilly Preacher
The Mourner
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is)
Alpha Cow Dog
Grace And Th' Cowboy
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is)
The Vow
Ever' Single Bite
Dyan's 50th
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is) 
Cowboy Math
Poppa's Wisdom (Such As It Is)
To Dyan- 25th Anniversary
Last Will and Testament


Review by Marvin O'Dell, host of Classic Heartland's " Around the Campfire" internet radio program.

The album may be called "Easy on th' Ears," but it sure is tough on th' heart. If you're going to listen to this CD, be prepared for Dave Watson to squeeze, wrench, and even break your heart as he so honestly and personally recites his poetry. Oh, it's not all that bad -- he'll make you laugh, too -- a lot, in fact. And he'll also leave you sitting there contemplating "Poppa's Wisdom" with the realization that Poppa really was a wise man. Primarily, though, this CD is about family -- and love -- and values-- and courage -- and precious memories -- and God -- and the emotions that accompany such.

The first thing you'll recognize when this CD begins to play is that Dave Watson is real. This isn't some kind of hyped up production orchestrated by some marketing genius for the purpose of gaining world-wide or even national recognition. In fact, you get the feeling about halfway through this CD that Watson doesn't care whether you like this compilation of poems or not 'cause he's still gonna tell 'em -- 'cause he's got to -- just like he's got to have those ropes ( "I'd like ta keep th' ropes with me if that's alright with y'all. There aint no reason for it, I just want 'em there, that's all.") You'll have to hear the final cut to understand - but this is the kind of stuff that can only be delivered from the heart or else no one will give it a second listen. And what you're listening to here is as genuine as it gets.

The poems aren't long and contrived - they're just honest and get right to the point. Who hasn't felt the emotion Watson expresses in "Daisy?" This doesn't have to be a long story. You and I know exactly where he's coming from. And though most men wouldn't want to admit it, the same thing is true of " A Christmas Story." And if you don't get the point of "Grace and th' Cowboy," listen to it over and over until you do. This timeless story of God's love has never been told more eloquently.

In " To Dyan - 25th Anniversary," Watson gives us a peek into his very personal and intimate relationship with his wife. What strikes you at this point in the CD is: he BETTER be genuine. Because there's a gal named Dyan who'll know!

The CD concludes with a poem called "Last Will and Testament" -- a fitting end to this wonderful album of poetry. By the time you finish listening to this final cut, you feel like you know Watson personally. You feel like you've made a new friend. And you wonder if Watson could ever record another CD of poetry -- because it seems like he's bared his heart, soul, and life to completion in this one.

2005, Marvin O'Dell
Reprinted with permission

Review by Joe Baker, host of the Backforty Bunkhouse radio program

Over the years with experience and cowboy livin' Dave has mastered his talent with cowboy poetry. I feel his CD, Easy on the Ears is the finest cowboy poetry I've heard in many years. My hats' off to Dave Watson for his ability to not only recite but to deliver in a down to earth style all his own that everyone in the western industry can understand and relate too with their everyday lives. Dave can make you feel your at home with his easy going presence and I am sincerely honored to call him friend.

 Visit Dave Watson's web site for more about him and his CD, Easy on the Ears



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