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LINCOLN ROGERS
near Parker, Colorado
About Lincoln Rogers
Lincoln Rogers' web site

 

 

 

Last Long Ride
(Inspired by, and dedicated to, the Kiowa Kid)

On a beautiful day up in Heaven,
God took a walk with the Kiowa Kid.
And asked if he had any questions,
The cowboy replied he sure did.

"Lord, you know that I'm just an old cowpoke,
And I worked at that job awful hard.
The range of tall grass was my homestead,
The wide open vistas my yard.

I rode all those days on big Waylon,
That horse was to be my best friend.
Pulled each other through times of misfortune,
And were together right up to the end.

Though I'm here, I can still feel a yearning,
And it's one that you know I can't hide.
Can I saddle again that good gelding,
Maybe take him for one last long ride?"

God smiled then in deep understanding,
As He gave to the Kid His own leave.
But He spoke him a word of some caution,
"What you see there just might make you grieve."

The Kid couldn't contain a loud holler,
As he climbed to his horse's tall back.
"I think I'll be able to take it,
Avoiding trouble was always my knack."

He appeared then on Earth at the sunrise,
In the ranges where once he had worked.
Hoping to see a few cattle and cowboys,
Packing pistols for dangers that lurked.

But no one was there to observe him,
Only new things that he didn't know.
Sights his vision had never laid eyes on,
While he rode the range long ago.

Saw steel horses that rolled through the meadows,
With sweet "cakes" piled high to be fed.
No need to take part in a round-up,
When cattle come running instead.

He spied lines that divided the grasslands,
Their sight caused his jaw to grow tense.
What once was a scourge to all ranchers,
Was now called a requisite fence.

Saw a man in a field standing lonely,
Yet talking out loud and quite clear.
He seemed to be hotly conversing,
With a box that he held to his ear.

The Kid came upon calving heifers,
Thought of help that a good cowboy brings.
Was stopped short by a thunder bird landing,
Made of iron and rotating wings.

Back to Heaven the Kid finally galloped,
When he felt that he'd seen his fair share.
To talk with God about what had been happening,
And the sights that he'd viewed while down there.

"Lord, the jobs that did once need a horseman,
And cool nights sleeping 'round a bright fire.
Are now done by some soft lookin' fella's,
Seems a cowpoke they just don't require.

They've made the hard chores a might easier,
And I reckon they feel they're quite blessed.
But without any need for a saddle,
Seems to me that they've ruined the West."

The Lord calmly heard his sad story,
And said, "I don't want you to fear.
I knew then that these changes were coming,
That's why I brought all you cowboys up here."

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


Lincoln writes: I came to write this poem after having several conversations with a "throwback" cowboy friend of mine.  It just breaks his heart to see how all of our modern technology is "ruining the West" as he puts it, and he'll gladly bend your ear for a bit to tell you about it.  He's a good man and a good friend and I wanted to honor his cowboy convictions with this poem.


 

The Most of It

It was that hour of morning,
Time to feed all our horses.
Didn't matter the date,
Or how fate chose its courses.

They knew nothing of loss,
Or of the many that died.
September 11, 2001 -
The day our whole nation cried.

They just knew they were hungry,
And their bellies craved hay.
There weren't frets for the future,
Only thoughts of today.

I watched them roll in the pasture,
Run and kick their legs high.
Stop and eat some alfalfa,
Find some shade from the sky.

And knew that was the answer,
Like a bolt from above.
Spend some time each day playing,
With the ones that you love.

That could mean there's some laughter,
Or just quiet to share.
But take a cue from our horses,
And make the most of what's there.

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

This poem appeared in The Fence Post in 2002 and is posted with other poems that commemorate September 11th here

 

Honorable Mention

I hear the name of "Cowboy,"
Thrown about the world today.
By the sneer on those who say it,
It ain't respect they aim to pay.

Their voices drip with insult,
As they mock those of the West.
The ones in times of trouble,
Who weren't afraid to face a test.

Every time I hear the term,
It does remind me of those men.
Sweat and blood spilled on the earth,
Before they'd saddle up again.

There were lawmen with a badge,
Like Wyatt Earp and Masterson.
Or Jesse James and Billy the Kid,
Two outlaw heroes on the run.

But the image I can't shake,
Its picture branded in my mind.
Is horse and rider on the trail,
Through day and night and storm unkind.

Those 'pokes did work I can't imagine,
Riding mounts close as a brother.
Running cattle through the plains,
And lookin' out for one another.

I've read their tales and history,
And I believe the words are true.
Men tough enough to work the range,
Were not the many but the few.

So when you speak that sacred title,
About a Pard with boots and hat.
To honor those who rode before us,
Make sure you smile when you say that.

2003, Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Won't Give Up


Just bear with me...

  'Cuz I find that I'm in quite a dander,
  That bucksnort Roan gone and throwed me again.
  So I'll act like a good Cowboy Poet,
  Dust off and go in search of a pen.

  I need to write down this experience,
  So I won't misremember today.
  And start jawin' when I'm old about victory,
  On a Roan- or was it a 16 hand bay?

Let me tell ya...

  He's quicker'n a bobcat on steroids,
  Ain't a move made that he doesn't know.
  Plumb suckers me with hints of contrition,
  'Fore he figures just how high I should go.

  I bought him on sale as a young colt,
  An orphan of a feral mustang herd.
  Should'a known by the looks on their faces,
  And the way no one there spoke a word.

Don't ya know...

  They averted their eyes when I paid 'em,
  Wouldn't answer when I gave 'em my thanks.
  'Cept one cowboy with a voice full of sorry,
  Warning me my new colt was sure rank.

  Got a taste when I tried to first load him,
  And he kicked my right kneecap real good.
  Then he stomped on my boots with a vengeance,
  I nearly cried like a girl where I stood.

I sure reckon...

  He ain't been too much better since that day,
  He's only growed and filled out at the hip.
  But his mind is plumb hateful I figure,
  I'm sure he'd give the old devil some lip.

  Now I'm a stubborn and foolish old cowpoke,
  No I won't give up tryin' just yet.
  Still got bones that young cur ain't seen broken,
  And a faith that won't let me forget.

'Cuz the truth is...

  That there stud sure reminds me of someone,
  A young man full of rage and pure spite.
  Wouldn't let no one near or close to him,
  Just as soon raise his fists for a fight.

  But the Good Lord Above finally roped me,
  His peace that saddled my heart only grows.
  If He can do that for this cowboy,
  Then I can give that tough hoss some more goes.

   2003, Lincoln Rogers 
   This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the 
   author's written permission.

 

From Ashes

Thick smoke obscured the high sun,
While fire ate everything in sight.
Looked like Hades flexed his muscle,
In a display of power and might.

Sulfur's smell rode hot air currents,
A film of ash embraced all things.
A dead of silence filled the earth,
No sound of beast or birds on wing.

Tall evergreen made wooden candles,
Spreading flame from limb to limb.
Reaching fiery boughs towards Heaven,
In nature's prayer for help from Him.

My eyes absorbed the bright inferno,
Helpless in my shell of skin.
Not big enough to halt its progress,
Too small to keep the grief within.

I know black images will haunt me,
Of charred destruction all around.
The West of Mountain, Pine and wildlife,
Its spirit burned but not struck down.

It's not just horses and a saddle,
Boots or livestock with a brand.
That beats the heart that pumps the blood,
Inside a cowboy's calloused hand.

It's the soul within that matters,
And shows the world what's different here.
New life will grow again with time,
In land and chests which hold no fear.

2003, Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Lincoln Rogers told us he wrote this poem in late October 2003 when fires were burning out of control in Canada and California and elsewhere, including just 20 miles from his Colorado hone.  He said he wrote this poem "while watching all the fires on tv and smelling the smoke from the ones closest to our home.  I hope it conveys the harshness of what the fires bring as well as the strong Spirit of those good folks I see soldiering on with life."  

 

Couldn't If I Tried

I hear peals of rolling thunder,
Across this land not filled with noise.
No shouts or sounds of roaring autos,
Unlike the city and its toys.
 
Windswept grass sways heavy laden,
Its blades of green must soon be cut.
For steeds and beasts to feed in winter,
Not bagged in plastic pails that shut.
 
Groups of mares race through vast acres,
Manes and tails flow in their sprint.
To watch them run brings such great pleasure,
No coin can buy struck in some mint.
 
Rain that falls from clouds unbroken,
Sweet and clean upon the soil.
It finds deep roots or rushing water,
Not concrete drainage slick with oil.
 
My calloused hands touch supple leather,
Of saddle, reins and boots of black.
I ride the range, my spacious office,
Not solid walls or chair's hard back.
 
I can't be sure I'm speaking plainly,
It's best to say it's in my blood.
The way the land and open spaces,
Wash my soul just like a flood.
 
I can't imagine life as different,
Enclosed by steel, red brick and glass.
Without the hills and noble stallions,
That first long day would be my last.

2003, Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

We asked Lincoln how he came to write this poem and he said: "I came to write the poem one evening after absorbing the sight of the tall grass on our land swirling and eddying with the breeze in the golden light of sunset.  From there, I went to our horses, feeding and spending time with those stunning creatures.  Pards, it just don't get any better than that and I thank the Good Lord each and every day for the opportunity to do it all over again.  I've lost my way before and spent a little over a decade following the siren call of bright city lights.  It won't happen to me again."


 

To Be, Or...

Now just because I'm a grown Cowboy,
Doesn't mean that it's all I can do.
I've been known to sit down and watch football,
Or two-step to some choice Chris LeDoux.

It may be true I don't cotton to opera,
Or ballet and the 'Lord of the Dance'.
Can't envision an enjoyable evening,
Watching men wear uncomfortable pants.

My taste in fine things could be broader,
I'll admit it's not quite up to speed.
When I'm doctorin' a fine horse or a heifer,
A Van Gogh is the last thing I need.

See, the canvas of sunrise and sunset,
With its palette of violets and red.
Nothin' better I wish to lay eyes on,
Or contemplate while I'm lyin' in bed.

And I don't mind a good poem or story,
Read aloud by the light of campfire.
Words by Ramsey and Steagall or Kelton,
Make my love for the West just burn higher.

No, refinement is not on my short list,
Of the items I need to get done.
Because it wasn't the theater or symphony,
Cowboyin' is how the Old West was won.

2003, Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

We asked Lincoln how he came to write this poem and he said: I was contemplating all kinds of hooey-falooey which seems to pass for what's fine and important these days.  Now I don't mind people enjoying what their tastes dictate, but nothing beats the simple pleasures of enjoying the awesome spectacles our Good Lord sends along each and every day.  It's Western poets and writers who seem to understand that truth the best, as
near as I can tell.

 

I Knew Him

I wish I could tell ya I always was good,
Seldom in trouble and did what I should.

But that would be lyin' as far as I know,
Like a claim of a win, when I really got show.

I remember a Cowboy who took me under his wing,
He spoke on many a topic of what life would bring.

His voice deep and rough always told what was true,
It was like bein' in church amid the dawn and the dew.

He imparted sage lessons about cow and horse,
And taught me of God to keep me on course.

He talked some of family, of kin and of pride,
While we sorted out cattle and rode side by side.

On the subject of women, he'd grow quiet and smile,
Said whatever men knew mostly missed by a mile.

Though the brim of his hat gave him shade from the skies,
I saw his tan, creviced skin showing age 'round his eyes.

Soon I noticed him hunching against the cold of the weather,
And the strength which was fading from hands of hard leather.

The day he stopped riding was the week he went Home,
But he'll always be with me wherever I roam.

I'll never forget him, of every memory I'm glad,
You may not know him... but I called him Dad.

May 2004, Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Ride With Him Again

He done checked his gear's condition,
His cowboy hat was on just right.
His mount was prancing nervously,
'Fore he cinched that saddle up tight.

Today's his longest journey,
And it's been coming for a while.
Though he knows it's hard departing,
He'll be starting with a smile.

He spoke his piece to children,
While he softly held his wife,
And he said to those who'd listen,
She was the best thing in his life.

A braver man there wasn't,
When life would challenge him with trouble.
He would charge into the fray,
And do the right thing on the double.

But the Trail Boss called his number,
And the White Steed couldn't wait.
It was time to ride those hooves of starfire,
'Til they reached the Pearly Gate.

So he left us at his bedside,
Watching over him with love.
And he spurred that Spirit Stallion,
Toward his new home up above.

Well, we'll miss that long tall cowboy,
Maybe tear up now and then.
But we know we'll see him someday,
And ride the range with him again.

January 16. Lincoln Rogers 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Lincoln writes: I wrote a poem a couple of years ago while I was keeping vigil at the foot of my father-in-law's bed inside a local Hospice.  He made the brave decision to get himself off the machines keeping his spirit tethered to this here earth.  The poem came washing over me while he was still barely hanging on, and I put it to paper.  Not twelve hours later, the tall Texan who was a loving husband, good father, WWII pilot, and eternal optimist was gone, making that last long ride to meet up with the Heavenly Father.  He's waiting for us there with a smile as wide as his ready embrace, we're sure of it... It was posted at his funeral and folks seemed to think it turned out all right.  I'm just glad to have known a man like him.  They don't make 'em like "Fech" any more, that is for certain.

 

Read Lincoln Rogers'

Christmas Message, posted with other 2006 Christmas poems

and

A Life Untamed, in our Art Spur project,

and

Ride the Light, in our Art Spur project

and

  The Pilfered Slice, posted with other Holiday 2003 poems

and

December's Trail Home, posted with other Holiday 2004 poems

 

 

About Lincoln Rogers:

I live a bit east of Parker, Colorado where I spend my time writing and working our horses as well as cutting, baling and putting up hay during the summer months.  I've had the good fortune of having poetry and short fiction accepted for publication in American Western Magazine, Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine, The Fence Post, Prairie Times, The Horsethief's Journal, The Copperfield Review, Over the Back Fence Magazine and The Green Tricycle

.

 

 

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