Folks' Poems

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Riverside, California
About Louis A. Carle


Never Forgotten
Louis A. Carle    1924-2000


One of

Lariat Laureate Runner Up

Second Lariat Laureate Runner Up

Recognized for his poem, Winter of Life




Winter of Life

Lord, he is old and weakened
He walks where he used to run.
In his youth he was always a happy dog,
Now he sleeps away days in the sun.

Please make his trail mostly level
As he travels this last long mile.
Provide shade away from the heat of the day
Where he can stop and rest for awhile..

If it rains let the raindrops be gentle,
If it blows let the breezes be warm.
Let this winter of life be kind to us both,
Give us shelter to keep us from harm.

Please, Lord, if either must suffer
Give the pain and the hurting to me.
He's been with me through life's changing waters
As only a man's dog can be.

He doesn't deserve to be hurting
He has lived a hard life and long time
And, I hope, as he leaves he'll leave knowing
Your love as he's always known mine.

I raised him, Lord, from a puppy
We have followed some rough rocky trails.
Please Lord, make this last trail more gentle
As he comes to where Love never fails. Amen.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.


Freckles, by Irma-Ann Carle, 1996
Irma-Ann Carle, 1996

Louis A. Carle tells us that the above poem "was written as a prayer when Freckles was dying. He actually lived another year and I had to have him put down at 17."


The Making of a Friend

Making a Friend, by Irma-Ann Carle
Making a Friend
Irma-Ann Carle

Folks, I used to ride rough horses
When a lot of men would quail.
When the ride weren't scored in seconds
But, on ride-it-out or fail!

And you had to make him understand
It weren't no use to  bolt;
'Cause you was gonna stay on top
And break that ornery colt.

Then, when he ain't so boogered
And you sort of got his eye,
Your job's to make him trust you;
And that ain't no piece of pie!

Then there's all them feet need shoein'
While he tries to stomp your head,
'n you want to beat his hide off
But, you're gentle-quiet instead.

Then comes a day you're out there
On a mountain steep and slick
'n the weather ain't behavin',
Muddy water in the crick.

Then he brings you off the steep side
'n he swims the ragin' flood,
'n lopes back to the ranch house
Steamin' hot and splashin' mud.

Now he's become your partner
'n you know you've got a friend;
That the breakin' season's over
'n he'll be there to the end.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.



I called the big hoss "Centipede," 
Here's how he got his name—
'cause never, ever had I see'd
A hoss with all them legs.

He's four year old 'n ain't been touched
'cept when he was asked to load.
They brought him in a big stock truck,
To me, 'n want him rode.

I ask 'em "Where's his halter?"
"Ain't never had one on."
I tell 'em that his feet need trimmed.
"Yep, he's never had it done".

They backed up to my stud pen
'n he broke the loadin' side.
The feller says "I know he's mean
But I want him broke to ride."

I say "we got to geld him,"
He says "I see the need.
Are you agonna do him in,
Or get a vet to do the deed?"

He says "I'm told they cut 'em standin'"
'n I guess I must'a frowned
I said "fer this here oporation
He'll be sleepin' on the ground!"

He made his move to kill me
Afor I got through the gate.
He rared 'n struck 'n whirled 'n kicked
'n showed his vicious hate.

I roped him from outside the rail
'n dallied to a post.
I choked him down 'n took the slack—
Then sucked him up real clost.

Inside the pen I roped his fronts
'n made him eat the ground.
Then got a third rope on his backs
'n tied that sucker down.

The choke rope had him wheezin'—
He ain't gettin' any air.
He's soundin' like he's dyin'
But right then I didn't care.

I eased the neck rope dally
So's he could catch his breath
Then snubbed him up real cozy
When he threatened me with death.

I got his legs cross hobbled
'n a halter on his nose
With a neck loop through the chin strap
Dragin' thirty feet of rope.

Then I took off all the tie ropes
'n poked him with my toe;
He come up like explodin'
'n, as quick, lit on his nose.

I left cross hobbles on him—
Oh, he could get around—
But now 'n then he'd start to fight
'n end up on the ground.

A usin' that there drag rope
I snug him up again—
'n start to gentle rub his
Forehead, withers, neck 'n chin.

I starts in picking' up each foot
'till the fight begins to go.
Not all at onest, you understand;
You take this stuff real slow

The second day I spook him out 
With a blanket 'n a sack.
Jist as he starts to trust me
I ease a saddle to his back.

I hang a snaffle in his mouth—
Loose reins it to the horn.
Then slips the hobbles off him
'n the calm becomes a storm.

I've paid good cash for rodeos
But this was one free show.
He'd built a mad that wouldn't quit
And he let the whole world know.

When he finely stops enough
I loop the drag rope 'round the snub;
'n get his front legs hobbled
'n go at that soothing' rub.  

I keerful pick each hind foot up
'n down -'n up 'n down agin.
He don't give me no problem
So, I think "I maybe win."

I pulled me to the saddle
'n I eased a leg acrost.
I'm settin' light fer leavin
That hundurd legged hoss.

I signal to my railbird
"Let off the drag rope slack."
The big hoss felt the freedom
'n come shootin' up 'n back.

Even wearin' front leg hobbles
He give me quite a ride.
You see, he had a hundurd legs
'n  only two was tied.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.



The sun's gettin' low—I watched it come up.
But that seems like a week ago now.
We used the whole day—me an' "Ol Pup"—
Just locatin' one missin' cow.

We locate her 'long about midafternoon
A-nursin' her new heifer calf;
Bushed up in a canyon at six thousand feet—
'n her attitude gives me no laugh.

Since she seemed to be fine 'n her calf was alright,
I decided to leave her alone.
So I turned Ol Pup downward and head for the line
'n that danged old cow followed me home.

Well, the heifer got tired so I took me a chance
'n boosted her onto my hoss—
While her booger eyed mama did a dust raisin' dance
'n offered to show me who's boss.

Well, she threatened 'n bellered all the way in
To the corral that would be her bed.
'n for the first time today I managed a grin
As that wobbly-legged doggie got fed.

Now - Ol Pup has his oats 'n a half bale of hay
'n I'm totin' the tack to the barn.
I'm a tired, happy cowboy a-endin' my day
With a new heifer calf out of harm.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.



Winter Wheels of Yesteryear

The midnight hour comes and goes and sleep eludes.
I sit before a woodstove's comforting glow.
Outside - no normal sounds intrude
No movement save the gently falling snow.

Yet in the echos of my head I hear
As though it's now, the sound of wagon wheel.
In memory's mirror I reverse the years.
Again I live the sight and sound and feel.

Though years have past, I still can feel the pain
Of frozen fingers, toes, and face and nose.
Hear jolting wagon wheels creek and complain
As tired horses plod the frozen road.

My unencouraged memory sees a load
That could be firewood, coal, a pig or sheep.
Kaleidoscopic pictures come and go,
I could be hauling furniture or feed.

I smell, as well as see the steaming sweat,
And hear the heelchains jingle with each stride.
Untold my team stops at the barnyard gate;
I swing it open and they step inside.

Drop the traces—drop the wagon tongue,
Loose check reins—hang the lines upon the hames.
A gentle slap—a quiet click of tongue
And they trot to the water trough and drink
The dark barn offers some relief
From the cold that I have faced for far too long.
Before my comfort—I must care for these
The friends who uncomplaining brought me home.

Now half a century later with my dream
I sit not quite asleep and reminisce—
And hear and feel and touch the past I've seen
And thank my God that once I lived all this.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.


Grandpa! Watch Your Language

My granddaughter who was just about three
Watched me train—and she heard every word.
She'd sit quietly for hours to listen and watch
As I worked each fresh horse from the herd.

One day her mama was brushing a mare
And asked "How do you know which is which?"
The little one answered "Grandpa don't care—
He just names them all Son-a-#$%^!

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.


Backward Boots (not yet in the stirrups)

These boot toes are turned backward
'cause I can't see what's ahead
They point me back to childhood
To the life I lived, instead.

They take me back to hunting
in the hickory grove and oak
To hearing  wild birds singing
And to hear the bullfrog's croak.

To fishing poles and swimming holes
In spring fed "Crooked creek"
They point me back to daydreams
Of the things that all boys seek.

Daydreams of being a cowboy
On the wild and open range
As I read the books about it
"twas a dream that never changed.

These boot toes pointing backward
Take me through a life quite hard
As I lived the way I'd dreamed of
when I swung there in the yard.

Now, closer up, they're pointing
At the pards that I have made.
most of whom are waiting
 In the everlasting shade.

What I'm try'n to tell you folks
Friends and family still around
I'm thankful for my dreams fulfilled
In the "Pards" that I have found.

© Louis A. Carle
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.


Elsewhere on this site, in a tribute to Louis A. Carle, see his 3AM Night Herd, a poem
he sent to Janice Chapman a few days before he passed on.



Never Forgotten

Louis A. Carle    1924-2000


About Louis A. Carle

Louis A. Carle is a resident of Riverside, California. He was born in 1924 and raised on an Illinois “corn and hog’ farm” where the farming power was horses. A goodly portion of the family income was from breaking and training heavy work horses as well as light harness and pleasure horses.

As a helicopter pilot in World War Two he served in the South Pacific assigned to the 13th Army Air Corps,  2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron.

A severe heart problem in1987 stopped his active training and horseshoeing but, with the help of his wife of more than 20 years, he still keeps somewhat active breeding Quarter Horses, Longhorn cattle and Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.

He is now spending a large portion of his time writing “Cowboy Poetry” which he calls his rhyming autobiography. His poems have been published in magazines and newspapers nationwide and are featured in many cowboy poetry  websites.

His wife, Irma-Ann, is an artist and full time art teacher. She illustrates many of these poems and is a major reason for the acceptance of his books.

Kelly & Me (Louis A. Carle)

See the tribute to Louis A. Carle here.



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