near Bend, Oregon
About Eric Wyman
I looked up "progress" in the dictionary (Webster's edition),
it read, "move forward or to a better condition."
Dad said, "Always try to make progress throughout the year."
So I took a look back, since the end of this one's near.
I had another birthday, right at the start.
No matter how old I get, I hope I'm always a kid at heart.
The rainy spring helped my grass touch the sky,
and the ponderosa pines grew another foot high.
Heard the first robins sing on April three,
they later hatched 4 eggs up in that aspen tree.
A doe and 2 fawns came by now and then.
I noticed a lot of little ones following a mallard hen.
The 8 or 10 quail must have been 40 by August,
about when the water hole finally turned to dust.
The heifers gave me another 20 head runnin' 'round
and I had a new foal hit the ground.
That herd of elk still visits the meadow every day,
'cept now there's twice as many as the first part of May.
The sun has cut its arc across the southern sky.
Wildflowers in the yard are pretty much gone by.
Got a new set of tires put on the truck
and put some gravel on the road so it doesn't get stuck.
I split some dry lodgepole to warm the cabin through the freeze,
lately seen a lot of geese flyin' over in "V's."
The first snow came on October 29
and I got a year supply of elk steak around the same time.
Now here it is December, and the cabin is aglow
with smells of baking bread and a fire in the stove.
The tree is decorated with a few gifts for family and friends.
I can't think of a better way for another year to end.
They might not call it progress higher up the social ladder,
but judging by things here, progress couldn't get better.
© 2002, Eric Wyman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.
This poem is posted with our 2002 Holiday poem collection.
About Eric Wyman:
I was born in Farmington, Maine. My parents moved to the Willamette valley in western Oregon in 1978. Since I never got used to the
rainy wintertime weather in the Valley, I have lived at the edge of the high desert 20 miles south of Bend, Oregon since 1991 in an area near the
confluence of the Deschutes River and Fall River. I have been a carpenter since 1988 (self-employed since 1991). Also in 1988 I married a sweet young woman who is still my best friend and is glad to see me come in out of the weather at the day's end.
I have written poetry off and on as a hobby since high school. I write poetry mostly because it is a great way to unwind, and I don't like
television that much. I have never recited poetry at any kind of gathering other than a couple of times at a church function.
Like most people who read and/or write western and cowboy type poetry, I can't be kept indoors for long periods of time (a good night's
sleep and breakfast is about the maximum time limit). I like to write about the western outdoors and a simpler lifestyle than most people are familiar
with. I got interested in this genre of poetry in the early '90's. I listened to a radio station in Bend, KICE FM 100.7. A cowboy named Ranger
Pate ran the afternoon show. I really liked his show because he would regularly throw in songs by artists who weren't in the mainstream of country
music. Ian Tyson and Chris LeDoux were my two favorites. The pictures that they could paint with their words made me feel like I was right there
experiencing what they were singing about with my own eyes and ears. I wanted to write like that; taking things I had seen and experienced and put
them into words so that someone else could feel like they were right there with me.
I recently recorded 6 poems on a CD. Ranger Pate has played one on a radio show that he currently does called "Ridin' the Rough String" on KMTK FM 99.7 in Bend. I am continuing to write poems and fine tune my writing style. If I write just one poem that causes someone to recollect a fond memory they may have for a certain person, place, or time, or if I can bring a smile to someone's face after a long day, then I can ask for no greater success.
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