Folks' Poems

Back to Lariat Laureate Contest
Back on home
Back to the list of Folks' Poems

Vail, Arizona
About Catherine Lilbit Devine
Catherine Lilbit Devine's
web site
Cowboy Craic web site





Christmas for Cowgirls

She stood in quiet wonder, gazing at the babe in the hay
Removing her battered Stetson, the cowgirl knelt to pray

Father, how can we every say thank you for this gift you gave
This tiny babe, your very own, a sacrifice, our souls to save

I cannot find the words, but this debt I will set right
Gladly will I ride for you, I'll sign on this Christmas night

She rose to her feet, leaned in and kissed the babe's curly head
Brusquely wiping away the trail of tears she'd shed

Bless this child, Lord, keep his heart from straying
So that he'll not wish to dance to any tune that Satan's playing

His life's trail won't be an easy one, this you already know
My pony is getting restless, guess I best mount up and go

She turned and strode to the back of the church, pausing at the door
"Thank you for the sermon, Parson, it truly moved me to my core"

As the cowgirl turned her pony West, she heard the Parson say
"Friends, on this Christmas Eve, for the cowgirl let us pray"

God bless the cowgirl, she sure has had one long, hard ride
When she gets to Heaven, give her a good pony and trail that's wide

The cowgirl stopped her pony and looked back one more time
Whispered, "God bless the town folk, they've got a long hard climb"

2005, Catherine Lilbit Devine
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem is included with other 2005 Christmas poems.



Little Cowpunchers

Down in Southern Arizona along the borderlands
They were children of the ranches, Anglo and Mexican
They wrote of new roads, parades and the first day of school
Their stories and drawings, each one is a jewel

In Sasabe, you wrote of two cultures, both trying to survive
Of devastating drought and sickness, and long push Cattle drives
From Red Rock, came stories of Baseball and Rodeo Trophies
Of Christmas wishes for Sandy Claus and winning Spelling Bees

Sopori takes us back to rationing during the World War
To paper shortages, war gardens and no gas for the car
Baboquivari takes us to Poso Nuevo, Espinosa & Palo Alto
Adios to the familiar & looking forward toward room to grow

Redington, Sasabe, Red Rock, Baboquivari, Sopori
Your old, school newspapers provide a glimpse of history
Though the information is outdated and the language a bit coarse
It gives us all an insight in to a time ruled by cow & horse

The students, they've all grown and gone, the schoolrooms gone, as well
It 's been forty-nine years, since Sister rang the classroom bell
Once so young, now gone beyond or of grizzled brow
Little cowpunchers, where are you now?

2006, Catherine Lilbit Devine
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Lilbit told us: "Little Cowpuncher" was the name of a mimeographed school newspaper, written
and illustrated by Anglo and Mexican-American ranch children. It appeared from 1932 to 1943 at five different rural schools in Southern Arizona, where Eulalia Bourne was the teacher. Most of the students who attended these one-or two-room schoolhouses, close to the Mexican border, were bilingual and bicultural. Some were the sons and daughters of pioneer Mexican and American ranch families; others were children of ranch hands working for large landowners; and a few were temporary students from families living on mining claims or road camps. To read these archived periodicals, visit The Arizona Historical Society-Tucson or


Letters Home

Letters home, recalling memories and stories
Of horses he'd known, not of war and glories
On parchment or scrap, by horse and by rail
recalling his youth and better times on the trail
From Antietam, Vicksburg or a post way out West
He talked of the Horses and the life he'd loved best

Letters home, recalling memories and stories
of horses he'd known, not of war and glories
On linen or scrap, every week without fail
Recalling his childhood and the rodeo trail
From Saipan to London and the Isle of Crete
He talked of bronc twisting and a cowgirl sweet

Letters home, recalling memories and stories
Of horses they'd known, not of war and glories
On paper shakily scribbled, as mortars fell like hail
Recalling his youth and better times on the trail
From the Gulf of Tonkin to Saigon and the DMZ
He talked of good horses, of sage scent on the breeze

Letters home recalling the memories and stories
of horses he'd known, not of war and glories
In emails and blogs, most every night without fail
Recalling his youth and better times on the trail
From Baghdad and Bagram, standing stalwart in battle
He speaks of his horses, wishing he was back herding cattle

Letters home, recalling memories and stories
Of horses they'd known, not of war and glories
All tied up in ribbon, fresh written or old and frail
A reminder of their youth and better times on the trail
All that is left of these brave fighting men
As they talked about horses, they'd not ride again.

2007, Catherine "Lilbit" Devine
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Lilbit comments: "Letters Home" came about during a long drive back from a show in Maricopa, Arizona. We had gone up there to be part of a show, put on by the Maricopa-Butterfield Cowboy Heritage Club, celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy. Katy Creek band, Nancy & Wes Ruybal, were the headliners. They performed two songs inspired by a box of letters that one of Nancy's friends had saved which had been written by a relative during World War II, in which he talked of his horses. Those five words, "he talked of his horses" and the haunting lyrics and melodies sung by Nancy & Wes, rode with me as I headed for home. When I got home, there was an email from a friend who has a brother serving in Iraq. She simply asked for pictures of my horses to send him so that he wouldn't be so homesick. After emailing her those pictures, I opened up my word processing program and allowed "Letters Home" to write itself.

I hope that all who read this poem take a moment to whisper a prayer for those braving fighting men & women, those who have ridden good horses and will return to do so again and those who will forever only ride good horses in our memories.


Read Catherine Lilbit Devine's

The Cowboy Way, in a tribute to Rod Nichols

Line Cabin Christmas posted with 2007 Christmas poems


In Every Cowboy Heart posted with 2006 Christmas poems

About Catherine Lilbit Devine:

Catherine "Lilbit" Devine grew up and still resides in the Desert southwest. A Tucson native, she grew up immersed in a rich meld of Scot/Irish, Hispanic, Sicilian and Native American culture and customs. Lucky enough to be raised around horses and cattle, she began writing poetry in the fifth grade. She writes about the land, its people and the only way of life she has ever known. Rodeo and ranching are in her blood, as is the Code of the West. She is just as at home horseback, on a dance floor or in the back chutes. She divides
her time between her children; her close knit family, her menagerie of animals, her day job as a member of the Tucson Public Safety Academy, her jewelry designing and her writings.

She is one of the members of Whispers of the West, a Western Poetry & Music group. The other three members of Whispers are Debra Coppinger Hill, G. Casey Allen and Jeff Streeby. Whispers of the West have performed at private house concerts, Book Festivals, Cowboy Gatherings, Corporate Barbecues and other venues across North America. They have recently (2005) returned from an Educational Tour in Ireland. They taught a workshop on the Culture & Heritage of the American West through Poetry, Song and Story, introducing their 37 International students to the correlation between Irish Traditional Ballads and the songs of the Trail. While in Ireland, they also shared the songs and stories of the American West in Pubs and Private House Concerts. They have been invited to return in 2006 to teach once again at the Gerard Manley Hopkins Institute. They are looking forward to going back and are currently seeking performance venues across Ireland during July 2006.

Catherine Lilbit Devine's first children's book, Cactus Faeries, has been released:

Have you ever wondered what magic painted the colors into the desert blossoms or why you hear laughter on the breeze at first light? Come join in the magical dance of the Cactus Faeries as they lead you from the desert floor to the Superstition Mountains.

A sample: 

Long Ago, Long Ago from lands far away,
The Cactus Faeries came to stay

They traveled here on shooting stars
To live where the cactus and coyotes are

Just close your eyes and listen on a starry desert night
You will believe in Faeries and their magic bright

The book is available for $16.95 plus posted from Catherine Lilbit Devine's website.

September, 2006:

Gerald "Casey" Allen & Catherine Lilbit Devine would like to announce the launching of their new website and their new name, Cowboy Craic. Check out the website at You can still find us at, as well.

We look forward to seeing you at some point along the trail. Our camp is always open to friends, stop by any time.



 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  


Site copyright information