Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Albuquerque, New Mexico
About Gary Bauder



Stringin' Fence

Been out diggin' post-holes
And found 'em already there
I'm just takin' the dirt out
And turnin' 'em back into air

Amazin' how they were all lined up
Waitin' for the posts to go in
Spaced just right for stringin
'Til the prairie filled 'em in.

Old Gus came out to help me
And he's busier than myself
'Cause every time I need him
Seems he's off somewhere else

He's got some brand new line-pliers
Can't figure him so glad
They can't smash his thumb no better
Than that old pair he had

For twenty years I had that
Old beat up shovel of mine
Replaced the head only twice
And the handle just three times

Seems I broke her once again
But we're done anyhow
We'll just get it all picked up
 And head on back for chow

Guess I'll go back on my own
Seems Gus has a longer ride
Now that we got the fence all up
He's still on the other side

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



Rainbow, the Mustang

Old Rainbow was a mustang
Not the Hollywood kind
But a mangy sway-backed clod-foot
As ugly as you could find

His face was full of whiskers
And his eyes would roll around
And he had legs that were so short
They barely reached the ground

His hooves had never seen a trim
They looked like hobbits' feet
Clydesdale hooves in combat boots
Would've been more petite

When you rode him you sort of seemed
Like a clown upon a pony
Your boots would almost drag the ground
Like that squire of Don Quixote's

But man you should have seen him climb
Even a rocky slide
Just point him straight up any hill
And hang on for the ride

He'd plod across a sheet of ice
Where other horses skated
And he'd roll those eyes back at you
If you ever hesitated

Don't know where he is right now
Or even if he's still running
Don't think there's ever been a horse
So homely or so cunning

I hope he's in some grassy field
Up past his knobby knees
Just grinning through those whiskers
Just a'flapping in the breeze

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

Gary told us: Rainbow was a wild New Mexico mustang that the state captured, was 'green-broke' by prisoners, then offered up for sale at 300 bucks. He had the disposition of an easy going dog. Nothing from game carcasses to rattlesnakes would make him spook. I thought a horse like that should be immortalized in verse.

Summer Gather

It was hot in that sweltering pass
As we pushed cows to higher grass
When a few strayed we quickly followed
'Cuz we knew a pond lay down in that hollow

Under our hats with sweat-stained brims
We had us a notion of takin’ a swim
Disrobed and dismounted, ‘twas hard to stand
Barefoot in that blistering sand

It was hot, but in my head
I knew that pond was glacial fed
An icy plunge was my assumption
So I paused to muster gumption

Then in the corner of my eye
A blinding white flash went streaking by
A cowboy yell and a thirty-yard dash
A bare backside and a mighty splash

I followed suit and truth be told
We both screamed like girls. It was cold!
That spooked the horses who ran off in fear
And tied to the saddles, so went our gear

There went our hats and so too our boots
We tracked them horses in birthday suits
We finally caught ‘em, but it took a while
They hadn’t stopped for several miles

We told our story to the rest of the guys
They laughed so hard they had tears in their eyes
Embarrassment then reddened our faces
The sun had reddened all other places

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

told us, "The inspiration for the poem was a true story told by my father’s ‘uncle’ in his memoir. It is a very good read entitled Memories and Musings of an Old Cowpoke’ [by Walt Stahlecker, 1919-2003]. It happened in the San Luis Valley in Colorado around 1940."

We found the book cover at Amazon; there are copies available from used booksellers. An obituary here tells, "After completing his schooling, Walter began working as a cowboy, primarily on the Medano Ranch in the San Luis Valley," and includes a comment from a cousin, "....when an older person dies, it is like a library burns down as so much knowledge and precious memories go with them. In Walt's case, it is as though we have lost a whole wing of the Smithsonian." 



About Gary Bauder:

I was born and bred in New Mexico, and although city-fied, have done my share of fence stringing on some family mountain property.



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