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Channing, Texas
About Diane Thompson

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of


Movin' On

That cowboy was real good lookin', great smile and blue eyes.
I sure never dreamed that I would win such a prize.
Folks said he was restless, wouldn't stay with me long.
Now, after all these years, I guess he's proved 'em all wrong.

I've spent years cookin' and cleanin' and feedin' the crew
Sortin' and brandin', even pulled a calf or two.
He knew he could count on me to always be there
Livin' and lovin' this good life we've gotten to share.

It seemed we moved around a lot in the early years.
Leavin' family and friends, I cried a few tears.
Some places weren't much better than sleepin' outside
But I was always glad I was along for the ride.

What a way to raise our kids, who've grown and moved away,
But they always laugh when they remember those days
When they had chores to do before goin' to school.
Those responsibilities taught them life has some rules.

Now ya know most cowboys work at the whim of the boss
But sometimes they move on 'cause there's rivers to cross.
We'd been livin' here longer than we'd lived anywhere
And I hoped we might stay, since there was gray in our hair.

But he says it's time to move on, it'll all be fine.
That's life with a cowboy - just one day at a time.
That look in his eyes says he is ready to go
And so I'll be ready, too, if I don't pack too slow.

One more garden will be left for the new hired man's wife.
I hope it will ease some of the stress in her  life.
There'll be some memories in this place that I'll leave
But it's just not in my nature to sit down and grieve.

The two of us together is the way it should be.
Staying anywhere without him don't appeal to me.
So I'm packin' our things with a smile on my face.
The sadness I'll hide, and look forward to a new place.

They sang "Whither Thou Goest" at our weddin', but see
I had no idea what that would mean for me.
Now I know it means I'll go wherever he goes
And where we're gonna end up, well the Lord only knows.

This move could bring us closer to a place of our own.
Yes, I married that cowboy, and I've always known
There'll be new and greener pastures somewhere to ride
And, Lord willin', we'll ride them together, side by side.

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Doug and Allen

Doug and Allen was ropin' and sortin' out strays
Things they'd done together a lot of days.

Why, with brand new knees, Doug was like a kid,
And they was cowboyin' for a livin', just like they always did.

  They sure didn't seem to move much slower
  And you can bet they didn't feel any older.

They mayby tried a little harder than most anyone
Just to prove they was the best at gettin' things done.

They was still ridin' and ropin' and startin' colts
And turnin' back cattle before they could bolt.

    They would heel, or brand, or flank that calf.
    Havin' them there would cut your work in half.

They was ridin' the best horses you could find anywhere
And if one needed a neighbor, the other was always there.

  They was proud of themselves and feelin' just right.
Doin' what they loved, and doin' it right.

   Then Doug said, "I'm sixty and you're fifty-six
And here we are, up to the same old tricks.

Can you imagine, back when we was young
Just exactly what we would've done

          If two old geezers over fifty-five
      Had wanted to come along on our drive?"

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Thank You 

I had another birthday
Just the other day.
I spent it prowlin' cattle
Doin' things my way.

I began to think of all
I should be thankful for.
How lucky I am!
I couldn't ask for more.

That feelin' overtook me
So I took off my hat,
And gave thanks to the Lord
Right there where I sat.

Thank you for my good fittin' saddle,
And this nice bay mare.
Thank you for the rain freshened
Breeze blowin' in my hair.

Thank you for this bright
Enthusiastic dog
Who keeps up with my horse,
Even at a jog.

Thank you for this grass
So lush and so green.
Why, it could be about
The best I've ever seen.

Thank you for the abundant rain
So much rain in fact,
That it ran over the spillway,
But left my water gaps intact.

Thank you for these yearlin's,
Fat and restin' in the trees.
Hey, there's the one that makes my count
Just as purty as you please.

Thank you for that
Little boy and girl of mine.
They're grown and educated
And seem to be doin' fine.

Thank you for blessin'
My mom and my dad
Though seein' them age
Makes me kinda sad.

Thank you for these pine trees
That seem a little out of place,
And forever I am grateful
To be saved by your grace.

Thank you cause it's my birthday
And I'm doin' what I please.
I know you are the reason
I can do it with such ease.

And last, but not least, I thank you
For my wife, who has that job in town,
And for whatever it is she sees in me
That makes her stick around."

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Sayin' Goodbye

I know it's hard to be sayin' goodbye
But just remember the good times, and try not to cry.

Life is for livin' and I tried to do it right
To run and play, laugh and cry, and love with all my might.

Livin' is an active thing, and watchin' was not for me.
There were too many good horses to ride, hills to climb, and beautiful places to see.

If my leavin' came too early, and you weren't ready to let me go
Just remember that dyin' doin' what you love is a blessin' few will know.

I'd have never left you alone if it had been my choice to make
But when you're really livin', that's a chance you always take.

I was blessed with a wonderful family, and lots of really good friends
And I look forward to seein' y'all in heaven when this world is at an end.

So cry if you must, I'll allow a tear or two,
Then move on, and live to the fullest, the life God has given you.

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


The Great Terrapin Race

The third Saturday in August came at a snail's pace
But at last it was here, the Matador reunion, with its terrapin race.
Now you may wonder why people in such a small place
Race turtles and call it a terrapin race?

Well, it's been that way forever, and things are hard to change
When everyone spends so much time out on the range.
Oh, but Dad and I hunted for weeks, the turtles to find
And at last there were two, my sisters and mine.

I chose the big one, the one with red eyes.
If he didn't win it would be a surprise.
There were three circles painted in the street
And here's where the fastest turtles would meet.

The winner would have to set the pace
And get to the outside circle to win the race.
We watched several races before our turn came
Then our turtles were numbered, and became part of the game.

In the small inner circle, the turtles were there,
Under a box, so the start would be fair.
With hundreds of spectators circling the track
I hoped my turtle would soon be leader of the pack.

Oh, but much to my horror, when they yelled "Ready, set, go!"
My red-eyed turtle put on quite a show.
While in such close quarters awaiting the start
He'd discovered another who soon won his heart.

While other turtles tried to win the race
Old red-eye and his new love stayed in one place.
This was the first time I'd seen turtles mate.
I wanted to run, but it was too late!

Most embarrassing of all, was after the race when the chairman called
"Claim your turtles, claim your turtles all!" And my sister just
We stood behind mother 'til all but two were claimed.
Then we left them there to multiply.  They weren't even ashamed.

"You did it on purpose!" was all Mother would say
When Dad asked how the race went that day.
Well, we were never sure, but just in case,
We never asked again to enter the great terrapin race.

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Miss "B"

One of the prettiest sights to behold
is a spring-time pasture of mares and foals.

The grass is green after the winter snow.
Now that it's warmer, it'll start to grow.

I glance at the pasture and she is there.
What a nice, well built good lookin' gray mare.

She'll look at a cow, move quick as a cat.
You don't often find a good mare like that.

The colt by her side looks just like his dad.
We knew they'd produce the best to be had.

The mares keep a watchful eye as they graze.
The foals run and jump and kick as they play.

Lots of colors, the mares and foals are a sight.
If you guessed my favorite's the gray, you're right!

I look again.  The gray mare and colt are gone.
It was my imagination all along.

She died giving birth to the colt, big and strong.
No one could help when things began to go wrong.

Alone in the world, his future was grim.
He died with no mother protectin' him.

I close my eyes and see her standing there.
What a nice, well built, good lookin' gray mare.

I know what a good mother she'd have been.
The colt.  No doubt we'd been real proud of him.

Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Town and Country

Folks livin' in town have a life of ease,
Use water and 'lectricity as they please,
Go for coffee and donuts down the street,
"Cause that's where a lot of the neighbors meet.
Plan what's for dinner and run to the store,
Buy groceries once a day, sometimes more.
Goin' to the office is a short drive,
And they can usually head home by five.
They buy what they need at a department store:
Tv's stereos, new cars, and much more.
There are nice places to go out to eat.
If they're early, they don't wait for a seat.
They never notice when the sun goes down,
"Cause the street lights come on all over town.

The cowboy gits up, puts the coffee on,
And does his chores before the break of dawn.
That little calf he delivered last night
Is up and eatin', gonna be all right.
The storm knocked the power out one more time.
Happens a lot at the end of the line.
This mornin' the water pressure is low,
But there'll be plenty if the wind will blow.
He hurries to gather eggs and milk the cow,
Cause his wife is fixin' breakfast by now.
They will both be busy most of the day
Helpin' the neighbors put up their grass hay,
But they'll still have time for takin' a ride,
To go look for those pairs who like to hide,
And check the mares and foals on their way back.
Then, he'll spend some time cleanin' his tack.
When it's almost dark she still has to cook,
So he steps outside to take one last look.
Sittin' on his porch as the sun goes down,
He's sorry for his friends who live in town.

2005, Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Let Me Ride Him One More Time

The little boy, in cowboy boots, a diaper and his hat,
Said," 'Fore you take me and this saddle off yore ole horse Pat,
Please, Daddy, lead that horse around the corral one more time.
If you could go a little faster, that would be sublime.

At the "Little Britches" Rodeo, he'd roped and raced all day.
When it was time to load the horse, and get along the way,
The boy, wearin' boots and spurs, smiled through the mud and grime,
"Please, Daddy, let me ride 'round the arena one more time."

As a boy in his teens, he would sometimes meet his match.
He'd get bucked off and hit the ground while grabbin' his night latch.
He'd say, "Catch him for me, Dad.  Buckin' off is not a crime.
Come on, Dad, aren't you gonna let me ride him one more time?"

Prowlin' cattle in the breaks with his kids or with his wife,
Ridin' a horse ev'ry day became his way of life.
He covered lots of country on a horse, while in his prime.
He looked forward to each day, ridin' a horse one more time.

With his hat, boots and spurs and champion buckle on his belt,
The years flew by.  Some were tough, but no matter how he felt
He could catch his favorite horse, and up on him he'd climb,
And take him for a gallop through the pasture one more time.

The gray haired man watches the kids work young 'uns in the pen.
He's lookin' forward to healin' up and doin' that again.
He prays ev'ry night, "Lord, before you let those church bells chime,
Help me saddle my horse, and let me ride him one more time."

2005, Diane Thompson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

My husband, Allen, had a hip replacement last October.   He hadn't ridden comfortably for several years, but the new hip made a lot of difference.  In May, he had barely gotten back in the saddle when he got bucked off a colt and broke his elbow, and in June he had a heart attack and by-pass surgery. It was beginning to look like he would never be able to ride again, and cowboyin' has been his life.  I think anyone who loves horses and loves to ride may long to ride "one more time."  Thankfully, all of Allen's doctors have told him to "go live your life,"  so we are doing just that.   The plan is to ride every day, while we still can.

About Diane Thompson:

Allen and Diane Thompson have been married for 37 years. Their son is a stunt man in Los Angeles, and their daughter lives in Allen, Texas with her husband and daughter. Allen and Diane have worked on, or leased ranches in Wyoming, Texas and New Mexico. Diane has served as District and County Clerk of Hartley County for 16 years. They raise registered Quarter horses, Corrientes cattle and commercial cattle. They have two mules and use their chuck wagon and other horse drawn vehicles for weddings, funerals and hayrides. They have shared their ranching experiences at many gatherings including the Wichita Falls Ranch Rodeo, Boys Ranch Youth Poetry Gathering, Nara Visa Poetry Gathering, WRCA Finals in Amarillo and National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration. 

This is their first published book of poetry. Ridin' Side by Side focuses on life as a ranch family.

Ridin' Side by Side

The book has about 70 pages of poetry and illustrations, and is available for
$14.95, plus $2.50 shipping in the US, and $1.05 tax for Texas residents from:

Allen and Diane Thompson
P O Box T
Channing, Texas  79018



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