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GORD PERRY
Quesnel, British Columbia
About Gord Perry

 

 

 

Hop-a-Long-Hiccup


He's a funny kind of cowboy
And that's for doggone sure.
His legs are bowed,
They never growed;
He's only two foot four!

His ridin boots come to his knees
His face is black as sin;
He wears his hat
With the front at the back,
Tied to a dimpled chin.

His eyes are blue as the western skies
His grin would melt your heart;
But it's all just show,
His guns hang low,
And he calls himself  "Black Bart."

He parks his horse behind the door,
His Mom can't find the broom;
But she follows the straws
And her word is law,
His morning ride is doomed!

Grounded!  Waiting for his steed -
'What the heck can a fella do?
For a cowboy walks
Like a baby talks,
And this wrangler is king of his crew!

But then again there's "stuff" in the fridge
And it's just about time for chow;
So maybe ice cream
And "chocolate Supreme,"
Would be better than chasing cows!

© 2005, Gord (Granpaw) Perry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


We asked Gord about his inspiration for this poem and he told us,  As far as inspiration goes, my wife said, "Well shucks, that's easy - four kids and six grandkids!" She's dead right. Like kids everywhere, when they weren't playing with trucks, dolls, or planes, they were rompin through the house on Momma's straw horse, and only the threat of bed or a quick trip to Dairy Queen would give Mom a break from the ruckus. Heck, I even rode one myself. I'll bet kids are still doing it, computers, TV, or video games notwithstandin. The west will never die!

 

 

The Rancher and the Veggie Queen

There are strange things done in the western sun,
By those who live on the land;
The prairie trails have their secret tales,
Some difficult to understand.

And the great starlight has seen queer sights,
But the queerest it's ever seen,
Was that day on the plains of the Adams range,
Where I met the "veggie queen!"

Now the veggie queen was a sight supreme,
From her flaming hair to the tips of her toes;
And why she hedged and ate veggies instead,
Only the Lord really knows!

She was brave and bold, and pure as gold,
So there's really no way to tell -
Why a lass like that would give up fat,
And marry a rancher as well.

His name was Lorne, a lad true born,
Of Alberta "stuff" and style;
He was big and rough, and twice as tough,
With a smile you could see a mile.

He was raised on beef and it was his belief,
That "veggies" were a breed mighty queer;
And so you can guess his considerable stress,
When this flaming redhead drew near.

For quick as a wink, before you could think,
She had him all roped and tied;
To a life mighty strange from his home on the range,
With its beef in the pan, and liver, stir fried.

She plied his plate, come early or late,
From sunup to sundown I guess -
With "stuff" she had picked, like celery sticks,
And some kind of green, stringy mess!

And so it went on, from dawn to dawn,
His bacon and eggs laid aside;
No steak on his plate, only veggies he ate,
'Till his skin turned pale and he darn near died.

But enough was enough, of the terrible stuff,
And despite his love for his queen;
"Woman", said he, "It's you or it's me,
'Cause my cowboy tan is a-turnin green!"

Then he made her a deal, as he butchered a veal,
And he said, "I'll tell you what;
You eat your "grass", like a good little lass,
And I'll put beef in the pot."

"Then I'll sit here, across from you dear,
And carve my steak with a knife;
While you sit there, with your cabbage and pears,
And we'll both get on with our life."

Well it was plain, she could see, that she'd better agree,
After all, the beef brought in the "bread";
And she had to allow that those dirty old cows,
Were the difference from him being dead;

And so she gave in, beef steaks were in,
Then there happened a scene mighty strange;
There he sat with his meat, while she munched on her beets,
And a "peace" settled over the range.

There are strange things done in the western sun,
By those who live on the land -
The western trails have their secret tales,
Some difficult to understand.

And the great starlight has seen queer sights,
But the queerest it's ever seen,
Was that mixture of grub, a gal and her hub;
The rancher and the veggie queen!

© 2005, Gord Perry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


We asked Gord about his inspiration for his Robert Service parody, and he told us: As for inspiration for writing the "Veggie Queen," just the thought of a gal who wouldn't eat meat marrying a rancher was enough to get me goin. Dianne - pronounced DEE-ANNE, is a fiddle playing, twelve string guitar pickin, country singin ranch wife, who just happens to also be an excellent country artist. She paints a horse that actually looks like a horse. She's really very good. And guess what? She actually loves those cows. Maybe that's why she won't eat 'em. In fact she has a small herd of rare cattle that hail from Scotland - weird lookin beasts for sure. But that's another poem.

 

The Cyber Cowboy

I took a trip through cyberspace,
And found it mighty strange,
To fork a mouse, and not a horse,
On the megapixel range.

Instead of ridin you go surfin,
No, not the ocean kind;
You just line out for the internet,
And let that mouse unwind!

Now that knot-head's hard to rein,
He's got a "bit" without a bridle;
And the way he romps through cyberspace,
Why it's just plain suicidal!

Well we went lookin for a cattle drive
Or some work I might be gettin;
Instead we trailed a hard drive,
And I wasn't even sweatin.

We saw no cowpokes workin,
Still, it's not a place for slackers;
You watch your back most all the time,
'Cause the outlaws are all hackers.

Down in a draw we found a virus,
Those little boogers "byte";
I shot him with a finger click,
He won't crash my site tonight!

We came across a cyber hoss
With HTML upon his rump;
But them pathworks aint a brand -
They're a kind of hyper, language pump.

We spied a bunch of rustlers,
A-ridin through the night,
But they weren't chasin dogies,
They was stealin "copyright."

Well the ride was gettin tedjus,
My eyes wuz gettin sore;
It's not like gazin 'cross the prairie,
That monitor's a bore.

My old mouse was gettin tired,
And the sign was gettin pale'
I thought I was a goner,
'Till I found the breadcrumb trail.

It improved my navigation
And I per-chanced to find;
A website full of poets -
There were fifty million kinds.

And there I met a cowpoke,
Name of Bucky, so they tell;
Said he, "Rein up your mouse -
Come in and set a spell."

"Hunker down and tell a tale,
Or recite a poem or three;
If you're a poet your plumb welcome,
At the digital, BAR D."

© 2005, Gord Perry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

A Bunch of Belties

The strangest creatures walk this earth
And in my time I've seen some;
But never a thing like this --
I wonder where it comes from.

Black, blacker than the devil's sin,
Even blacker than the night;
And 'round its belly, like a ring,
A band of gleaming white.

Black, black I say,
With sable eyes a-glitter;
Its long black tongue a-lolling out,
A strange, foreboding critter.

I stop the truck and gaze in awe,
It takes a lot to get me rattled;
But just to imagine a scene like this,
'Twould be a losing battle.

My lights they rake the night,
I'd run but I'm no quitter;
My searching beams have now revealed,
A whole darned blasted litter!

The leader squares and stands head on,
Two beady eyes bore through me;
I could write a book about this night,
But no one would believe me.

Now comes the owner, a friend of mine
From off the Adams range;
"Why Gord, she says, These here are cows,
I've even named them names."

"Cows you say!  Well pardon me!
But what do you name a thing like that?"
"Well not Daisy, and certainly not Bossy --
That's "BAND-AID" you're a staring at."

 "And in behind, that black old thing?
Why that's "OREO" by gum!
You find them strange, these creature's names,
You wonder where I'm coming from?"

"Well I couldn't call 'em Blackie
Or the lot would come at once;
And I couldn't call 'em Whitey,
They'd take me for a dunce."

"So when I saw down at the store
A bag of blackened candy
With white rings runnin round,
I thought, by gosh, that's dandy."

"Just take this sweetie over here,
Her moniker, so easy came;
I found it in a bag of black and white -
ALL-SORTS is her name!"

I scratched my head but well I knew
This Bridge Lake gal was no one's patsy,
And if she said that these were cows,
Then cows they were -- exactly!

Not only that but dang the cards
If they didn't turn up winners;
So rare are they, their Hereford friends,
Come off like raw beginners.

Now this red head gal of Bridge Lake fame
Is laughing at the laughers;
Those blackened beasts are popping calves
And there's lots of white ringed heifers.

From miles around, from every town,
The folks drop by to view 'em;
And loaded dudes with wallets fat,
Why danged if they don't buy 'em!

So once again I've come to learn,
That too much thinkin' drives me crazy!
And with cattle and women I opine,
My judgment's awful hazy

(With apologies to all those Hereford ranchers)

© 2005, Gord Perry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Gord told us: I had never even heard of Belted Galloways -- I thought cattle were all Texas Longhorns and Herefords. Maybe if I'd had some warning aforehand, maybe had a glimpse of 'em in daylight, even from a distance, it would have helped. But to have a black beast like that sprung on me in the middle of the night, in the middle of a country road with no escape left or right, and then to find the thing not only was jet black but was wearing a white belt 'round it's middle, well, tell you what -- I've been on some pretty good benders in my life and had some really frightful hangovers, but never in my drunkenest nightmares had I ever seen a thing like that! Anyway, if I have an aversion to these things it's nothing Lorne's, the boss of the ranch. He don't like 'em either. Says he got even with Diane, his wife, by breedin 'em with his Herefords. I asked him how that got him even to which he replied, "Easy -- all the calves are turnin RED!"

Anyways, I'm glad they was there, otherwise I'd a never been able to write the poem.


 

Winding Down at River Ranch

Twilight time is creepin,

A couple boys are sleepin;

While others talk of cattle trails they’ve rode;

‘Bout the trail dust in their eyes,

And the heartless sun that fries,

And that crazy Gerald who got throwed.

 

Chaps and spurs hang on the wall,

Horses bedded in their stalls,

Iron coffee on the fire;

Henry deals a hand of stud,

There’s him and Ernie, Slim and Bud,

Of cards and dice they never tire.

 

Now Cookie tells a joke,

Old Gimpy rolls a smoke,

While Lenny passes him the lamp;

He sticks his pearly in the stack,

Takes a drag and settles back,

As the day winds down at river camp.

 

Dude he’s carving leather,

While cussing ‘bout the weather,

And Sam repairs a set of reins.

At the house the boss is scannin,

The days work that he’s plannin,

And wonders if we’ll get some rain.

 

Hugh, called Brownie, writes a poem

Of the ranges that he’s roamed,

And Cal he strums a western song;

And while Billy does a tally

Of the cows beyond the valley,

Brother Stan just strings the boys along.

 

In the shadows young Lou listens,

And you know he’s shyly wishin’,

He’d done half the things they’ve done;

Don’t worry kid, it’s nothin’,

‘Cause most the time they’re bluffin

With you they’re only having “cowboy” fun!

 

Night settles down upon the camp,

Chuck gets up and kills the lamp,

The rooster’s waiting for his chance;

Voices float without a face,

And with snores are soon replaced;

Just another day at River Ranch.

© 2005, Gordon (Lou) Perry
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Gord told us: One of the fondest memories I have of ranch life is hanging around the bunkhouse after supper, listening to the tails of the oldtimers, my cowboy brothers, and even the odd dude. We had one from England. A great guy, he established a ranch of his own. All the characters in this poem are real people, including Henry, my Dad. Other than in this poem though, they never all came together in one place at the same time. In fact, some never even knew each other. That's poetic license I guess. The bunkhouse is a special place. The smell of leather, wood smoke, a coal oil lamp, the rehashing of the day, the jokes and camaraderie of the most honest people on earth. Lou, of course is me—short for Llouellyn which I hated, 14 at the time. Special memories—a special time.





About Gord Perry:

I was born in the little town of Quesnel in the heart of the Golden Cariboo, in central British Columbia, Canada. I was one of about eight kids, six of them boys. Except for one sister and one brother who died in childhood, all my siblings and me learned to ride. The boys all took a hand at cowboying and logging, and all of them worked on ranches in the beautiful Chilcotin country—a wide sweeping plateau of grasslands, valleys, and rivers, lying between the Rocky Mountains to the east, and the Coast Mountains to the west. My Dad was a trick rider for Tom Mix in his Wild West shows, and worked at the famous 101 ranch in Montana. He left his home in Vermont at the age of 14 and never went back—so I guess there was always a spirit of western adventure in my veins.

It was in the Chilcotin country that I got my first taste of cowboyin, when one of my brothers spirited me away from my widowed Mother to give her a break. My brother was a great role model—so much so that when I had got hold of a black Stetson of his, I wore it to bed! Anyway, for my "edication," he pawned me off on a wild Chilcotin cowboy who roped wolves for sport—a half breed ranny who, it turned out, had no time for dude kids from the city. I got "edicated" in a hurry!

My cowboy experience wasn't very long however. I decided I wanted to be a hockey player instead and it's probably a little late to fork a horse again, since I'm 70 and countin. But you never forget the life and you can't take away the memories. It's from those memories and childhood experiences that I write, and from my association with the cowboys and ranchers in this great country. Since that time I've become a professional photographer and my dream is to photograph ranch life and put the portraits and poems together in a book of my own creation.

 

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