Folks' Poems

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Plano, Texas
About Karen Hargis




He Would Know

He would know,
This cow pony of mine.
The closest way home,
In the least amount of time.

He'd done it before,
What I asked of him.
Just one calf more,
As the day grew dim.

He would know,
To keep the rope tight.
To drag that ole steer,
And do the job right.

He knew very well,
That mountain trail.
The way through the canyon,
In a bad rainy spell.

And he'd known before,
What it means to be free.
To run past the wind,
When he didn't know me.

As I hadn't known,
When I took my time,
Bringing him 'round,
What it'd take to be mine.

And he had felt,
That dense smell of fear,
That drenched my soul,
And he stood very near.

He had heard,
My sighs of pain.
My moments of stress,
The emotional strain.

He had known,
And he'd kept very still,
Lending me strength,
With an unknowing will.

He always knew,
How much I could take,
What was left of me now
Alive for his sake.

He would always know,
What he meant to me then.
When he waited on me,
Like I'd waited on him.

2002, Karen Hargis
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Good Fellows

They were good fellows, those two, Nick and Joe,
A fine pair of geldings, to work, ride and show.
They worked well together, some take, some give,
The same quiet creed all great horses live.

We traveled that road, he and I, us and them,
Long days in the saddle, cold nights growing grim.
They stood alongside us, as we carried on,
Two people, two ponies, four lives in a draw.

They strung us together, like latigo and twine,
Yet we walked in a silence, even ties couldn't bind.
Still they settled beside us, Joe with me, Nick with him,
Kindly devoted, gentle grit, muffled sighs that won't mend.

The Lord came to take them, one hot summer's day,
And he glanced at me, but I looked away, at the
Barren land, hollow saddles, futile wills that won't bend.
And no word was spoken, no not one, but why then?

But they were good fellows, all the same, Nick and Joe,
A fine pair of geldings as we'd ever known.
Yes, they'll be sorely missed.
He'll be sorely missed.

2006, Karen Hargis
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Nick and Joe, August 2001

Karen comments: This particular piece was inspired by two geldings that my ex-husband and I owned who were taken quite suddenly from us. We traveled everywhere with those horses and they were glue that held us together, part of our family as any human could be. The whole experience was so surreal back then and made a huge impact on my life, how I valued myself and the sadness of losing a relationship so easily.


Puppy Love

I owned a young colt,
In the bloom of my youth.
A fancy red roan,
With a blaze and a boot.

And I loved that ole colt,
With a young girls' own pride.
Swore he'd be cared for till
The day that he died.

I spent many an hour,
Brushin' him down.
Huggin his neck and
Walkin him round.

He was cocky and sure
As young studs often are,
Full of spirits and vinegar
Pent up in a jar.

I hardly noticed
when he grew big and stout,
how that colt pushed me hard
and drug me about.

Always rubbin and nippin'
He'd fall asleep leanin
As the farrier grumbled
And I pushed on him steamin'.

There wasn't a gate or a fence
That could keep him.
That colt was too smart,
He was always just leavin'.

He gobbled his feed
And stomp with such force.
Push me down with his shoulder
Like I was horse!

But later I'd grin
As he'd lean into my brush
And against that stall wall,
My breath left in a rush.

The more that I loved him
The worser he got.
My smile turned to bruises
and I finally got taught.

That a firm hand is needed,
Consistent and strong,
You can't love colts like they're puppies
Or lead studs like a dog.

2007, Karen Hargis
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




  About Karen Hargis:

I was born and raised a Texan and quite proud of the fact. I live and work in north Texas and spend my time working and riding on my small farm. I have been involved with the horse industry in some aspect since I was a kid. Over the past few years I have trained young horses and traveled the country doing a little clinician work, teaching people about the intricacies of starting a young horse right. I spent the rest of my time gathering what I could from the masters I met along the way, horsemen who valued the art of true horsemanship with patience, hard work and time. A culture, it saddens me to say, that is slowly diminishing in my part of the country with generations of urbanites and ranch-ettes that are flooding the Texas countryside.

I have been writing poetry since I was young although I never thought of writing for anyone other than myself.  A bout with cancer in 2003 gave me a new appreciation for the way I was able to live, working and doing the things I loved.  Much of my inspiration comes from that time of waiting to heal, and the special horses and people who motivated me to press on.

Now I work in the public sector as an environmentalist and my free time is spent training and showing my gelding in ranch horse versatility and cow horse events. I look forward to the summer when I and a close group of lady friends travel to the mountains to ride and spend time in God's country, our annual "Chicks Ride."  I write when an idea comes to me and I hope that each verse spurs a moment of thought, maybe a warm recollection, by those who enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.



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