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LONNIE R. FAUBION
About Lonnie R. Faubion

 

 

 

The Old Man and the Mule

The old mule stands in the pre-dawn light, 
     under the trees where she spent the night.
Looking up at the cabin that sits on the hill, 
     waiting for the cold winter sun,
to drive away the chill.
The door of the cabin finally swings back, 
     and the old man hobbles out to put some hay in her rack.
She walks slowly up and stands by his side. 
     He reaches out and scratches her old graying hide.

They stand in the silence as the frost turns to dew. 
     He reaches in his vest for his first morning chew.
As they stood there together the mule chewed her hay. 
     They were both dreaming of a long ago day.
At the edge of the pasture stood an old lean-to shed, 
      where three saddles hung, their leather all lifeless and dead.
The old man moved toward them, moving real slow. 
      Flinching at pains gotten at a forgotten rodeo.

He picked up an old McClellen and the rest of the tack. 
       Then slowly adjusted it to the old mule's back.
As he swung aboard she set herself for the load. 
       Then in no hurry they went down the road.
Though both were nearly blind, you couldn't really tell. 
       For they traveled in country they both knew so well.
They stopped on a hill now desolate and bare, 
       where not long ago timber stood thicker than hair.

As they started for home they both knew inside, 
       this cold winter's day would be their last ride.
It's been several years since they both passed away, 
       and the rack fell down where the mule ate her hay.
But when the moon is full on a cold winter's night 
       and the wind is blowing from the west just right.
Whether it's true or not, I've heard people say. 
       You can hear the old man singing and the old mule bray.

Lonnie R. Faubion
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


 

Dude Holiday

I just read another ad for a dude's holiday,
where they go chase cows, and for this they actually pay.
 
I laughed till I cried and the tears soaked the pages,
remembering "forty and found" which were good cowboy wages.
 
I recall 14 hour days when every muscle ached and hurt,
but we knew come daylight we'd be back eating dirt.
 
We didn't have dude ponies that were mellow, meek and mild,
the ones we rode , were bronco mean and wild.

The chuckwagon grub that these dudes think so grand,
was half burnt or raw and fifty percent sand.

In an old greasy bed roll we slept rain or shine,
Lord, one of those dude tents sure would have looked fine.
 
They come back each year, looking for all this glory,
then go back to the city, with their wild west story.
 
But I know when they leave, that out there somewhere,
there's a cow boss with ulcers pulling out his hair!

2002, Lonnie R. Faubion
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


 

 

Memories

When the old cowboys are all dead and gone.
Who will be left to sing their song?

Roundups and drives are a memory past.
The old cattle trails are fading real fast.

Many young punchers lost the fight.
From floods on the Red or stampedes at night.

Their bones are now dust lying beside the track.
From a one-way ride of which they never came back.

Fences and roads now divide the land
Where vast herds were once driven over oceans of sand.

Thanks to legends and history, their voices ring clear.
And hopefully their memories will always be near.

2002, Lonnie R. Faubion
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Stampede

The herd was bedded in the valley below
When an eerie wind began to blow

The thunder was loud and the sky was torn
By the jagged bolts that played between the steers' horns

The herd started running in a blind flight
As the flash of the lightning lit up the night

A horse went down and a rider fell
As the storm raged on through this night of hell

The punchers rode hard half blind in the night
Trying to circle the herd in its blind flight

The weak ones went down under the hooves of the strong
Every cowboy was praying it wouldn't last long

When the sun came up they counted their dead
One horse and rider and seventy five head.

2002, Lonnie R. Faubion
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 


About Lonnie R. Faubion:

I was born in Bassett, Nebraska in 1937 but have spent most of  my life on and off of the West Coast. Other then 4 years steady down in the Southwest working ranches and feed lots, most of my time was spent in heavy construction. I never did get completely away from the cowboy way though. I rodeoed for three years and have always had a few horses and mules around to play with. I retired in '99 and since then have spent a lot of time prospecting and riding the hills. Cowboy poetry has been a hobby of mine for several years.

 

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