Folks' Poems

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Queen Creek, Arizona
Kay Frenzer



Mule Train

The sun is brutal, the heat makes us weary
Bandanas are dry - we can't breathe
Camp is still a long way off
But the herd is our job, we can't leave

Dust whips our faces, burning our eyes
The wind doesn't give in
I can't see my mare's ears anymore
Or hear myself speak through the din

Horses and mules come crashing by
They appear and are gone in a flash
Sagebrush crackles, releasing its scent
Branches broken in their mad dash

I look down the hill and see the mule train
Through a moment's pause in the fray
Most of them stay on the narrow trail
The rogues keep breaking away

We reach the crest and drop down again
Now the hillside provides us with shelter
The raging wind and dust have stopped
But the heat still makes us swelter

Camp's getting closer, and everyone's eager
For the cool lake before we lose light
My tent looks good, my sleeping bag better
Now I'll bed down for the night

2001, Kay Frenzer
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


The Miner

Copper colored mules, shiny as pennies.
Massive and strong! Long-eared beauties!
They belong to the miner - a seeker of gold,
A man with a vision, his dreams big and bold.

Look at his face! Those mules are his riches.
See his pride, as he hoists up his britches
In the early morning light. I can hear them bray
For grain to fuel their grinding day.

Smoke from a fire - smell the scent!
Coffee's boiling, tin cup has a dent,
His gear in bundles, tools in the packs,
A shovel for digging and a sturdy pickax.

A true "Forty-niner" this goldfield dreamer,
A once simple man who'd caught gold rush fever.
A memory from the past, the images ghostly;
It's all in the photo - if you look at it closely.

2001, Kay Frenzer
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

About Kay Frenzer:

Although I didn't grow up on a ranch I wanted to, and I didn't grow up owning a horse, but I asked for one every birthday and Christmas. I got my first horse about 12 years ago and life has been better ever since!

Cowboy poetry is relatively new to me, in fact I hadn't heard much at all until our community had a Cowboy Poets Cookout. For fun, I wrote a little 8 line poem and ended up reciting it. After that, the poems just started coming! Rusty Calhoun is a friend and has become my poetry mentor and inspiration.

"Mule Train" is a mental snapshot of a horse and mule drive I went on in the Eastern Sierras in California the summer of 2001. The copper mules in "The Miner" are from that drive too.



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