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MARVIN HASS
Buena Vista, Colorado
About Marvin Hass

 

 

 

Prairie Church

It stands alone up on the hill
With prairie all around.
The windows now are boarded shut
loose shingles on the ground.

The cowmen that had built this church
have long since seen God's face.
No need to ring the Sunday's in
Or sing "Amazing Grace."

The graves are lined out in neat rows
In the fence on the northwest side.
A lot o' Nelson's buried here
Folks still recall with pride.

The gate that keeps the cattle out
No doubt has seen its best.
Them line posts speak of prairie fire
But the old Church stood that test.

When they built the church and settled here
All it took was a good man's word.
A lot of money made and lost
a handshake bought a herd.

Now beef is run on corporate spreads
New fences strung real tight.
Double graze and triple stock.
The profit makes it right.

The prayer book is the ledger
The good word now is gains.
No one to say, "Is this here right
or pull back on the reins."

We threw out them church values
Searching for the bottom line.
Fancy lawyers and agreements
"Three copies will be fine."

Use up the grass and move on west
There's money waiting there.
Don't worry about your neighbor none
That's his own look out to care.

I guess it shows I'm a getting old
When I harp on all this change.
Thinking about the good-old-days
When the Nelsons' rode this range.

I'm sure we told the redman
That change was here to stay.
He took a different view alright
But change came anyway.

Well, if you got some time to spare
And you're heading out this way.
Stop by up at the Prairie Church
It's real fine place to pray.

© 2005, Marvin Hass
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Delbert

We were trailin' steers to Denver,
bedded down near Trinidad,
us boys raced in to see the sights
spurred our mounts for all they had.
 
Ol' Delbert liked rye whiskey
and he wore a toothy grin,
came a-whoopin' in the Lucky Spur
...then came back outside again.

Comin' out was a Texas drover
Ridin' a big stout dapple gray.
Ol' Del went down a kickin'
and shortly...passed away.

We nailed him in a new pine box
with knot holes here and there,
in case Ol' Del came back around
and thought he might need air.
 
When all the words were said and done,
the clods made a deadly sound.
Right then came a-yellin' and a-cussin'
from that grave down in the ground.
 
We fished Del out and clean him up
had clods from boots to chin.
His forehead wore that half moon brand
that the drover stove plumb in.
 
We  found that Texas yahoo
"Yes," he'd replace Del's old John B.
So we wondered into the Mercantile
"A black beaver is what we'd like to see."
 
"Seven and a quarter," Del yells out.
"That been my size for years."
When the dry goods feller slipped it on,
it covered Del's big ears.
 
We pondered where them brains had gone
when Slim explained with grace,
"I reckon Del just passed 'em through,
quite natural...in his case."
 
Yes, we got the herd to Denver
Ol' Delbert made it too.
Still had a love for whiskey
But swingin' doors, he'd not pass through.
 
If you think it brought him temperance
Well that's where you'd be wrong.
He'd just mosey to the side door
And ease in with his hogleg drawn.
 
They hung Del up in Cheyenne.
Shot a Wyoming citizen dead.
Guess that feller made some comment
about that brand on Del's forehead.
 
We buried Del a second time.
This was his true amen.
It's hard to see a good man pass
And say goodbye to a hard-luck friend.
 
"Lord...here lies Delbert McCreedy
and ornery cuss it's true.
If heaven's got Texans and swingin' doors
There's a favor we beg of you.
 
Let Ol' Del come around the back
and bring him in real slow,
or he'll tighten like a fiddle string
since his head now's a quarter low.

© 2005, Marvin Hass
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

When Creation Was Young

Take me out to the edge of creation

Where the land and the rivers are wild

Let me see forever and…then some

To the place where God rested and smiled.

 

Show peaks that reach to the top of the world

Turning pink as they greet the new day

Help me feel the way that it certainly was

When the West was “The West” as they say.

 

Place me inside of the dust clouds

At the head of the great long horn herd

Astride a mustang just one step ahead

when “stampede” was the echoing word.

 

Hand me the letters all written in love

As I ride from St. Joe to the West

Delivered come hell, or high water

The Pony Rider who never knew rest.

 

Let me throw in my lot with the miners

where manhood was tested ten fold

bacon and beans was the meal of the day

just one in a thousand found gold.

 

I was born when the glory was over

with history all written and won

just thinking aloud how it all must have been

in the West when creation begun.

 

May my ghost haunt the shadows at twilight

When my days in the West are all done.

Let my soul rest not far from the Western Star

Then I’ll always and ever be young.

 

© 2008, Marvin Hass
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Marvin comments, "When I focused on creation in my part of Colorado and considered the rich history of the West it prompted my reflection on when creation was young."

 


Five Buckle Business

If you’re looking for the stewards
Of the livestock and the land.
Just have a peek down at their feet
Believe then you’ll understand.

Something spawned in outer space
That an Alien would shun,
Footwear for six months or more
It’s “How the west was won.”

Lots-a rubber, dash of felt
They come way up the calf
buckle some, buckle all
their jingle makes folks laugh.

Wear ‘em when the lots are soft
With every type of muck.
Wear ‘em when it’s ten below
And you got the pickup stuck

They’re known to spring a nasty leak
If you trip on a clod or two.
A circle patch from a tire kit
Will seal ‘em up like new.

When you’re wadin’, and a whistlin’,
At that steer that’s belly deep.
Your mind…it starts a-wonderin’
“Did my feet just spring a leak?”

You can always tell the time of year
When a cowboy’s steppin’ high
He shed six pounds of rubber
And it’s only mid July.

What a unique occupation
Sure, five buckles play a part
But the folks that truly love the land
…Agriculture’s in their heart.

 

© 2009, Marvin Hass
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


 

 


  About Marvin Hass:

Marvin R. Hass is a retired Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit Service. He has more than thirty seven years of agricultural lending and management experience and has served as President of entities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado and Kansas.

Hass was raised on a small diversified farm in central North Dakota.  He served four years in the U.S. Navy and attended Minot State College before beginning his cooperative career.

Hass serves on several volunteer boards and has completed volunteer cooperative consultant assignments in the countries of Moldova, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Armenia and South Africa.

He has recently begun writing western poetry that recalls his boyhood and ranching experiences.  Hass has been published in Colorado Country, Range Magazine, The Chaffee County Times, Fence Post, Union Farmer, Cowboy Poetry Online, Vintage Colorado Poetry, Prairie Poetry, Country Register of Colorado and is listed in the U. of N. Colorado, Colorado Poets Center.  He has read his poetry on  KVRH & KHEN in Salida, Colorado and is featured weekly on KSIR radio in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Hass lives with his wife Candy outside of Buena Vista, Colorado.  The Hasses have three sons, one daughter and three grandchildren.

 

 

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