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MARVIN WILKINS
Oklahoma
About Marvin Wilkins

 

 

Buildin Fence

A cowboy is a hardy fellow
Not many things will make him run
Neither heat nor cold nor rain nor hail
Not the orniest bull or a man with a gun.

But one thing will strike dread in his heart
and cause him to think of self defense
When the boss announces on Monday morning
Boys, this week we're a buildin fence.

Buildin fence is an evil thing
as any hand will quickly tell
It's punishment for things we've done wrong
thought up by Lucifer in the bowels of hell.

We know it's something that must be done
this we grudgingly admit
But whether you're abuildin or amendin
there just ain't no damn place to quit.

There's brambles and briars and trees with thorns
to gouge and tear the skin
There's ticks and chiggers and snakes and skeeters
of those plagues there seems to be no end.

No matter where you have to dig a corner
or have to drive a 6 foot T-post
You can bet your boots to a big rock
the ground will be playin' host.

Tearin out the old fence and post
will really test your grit
Old wire breakin, tanglin and snaggin
will surely make you want to quit.

Shortly into the job you'll get a hole
in your brand new pair of leather gloves
And every damn barb on the roll of wire
with that hole will fall in love.

Clippin wire to a mile of T-post
is really quite a thrill
If your legs don't cramp and give out on you
then your back surely will.

But after a week of living hell,
the job is finally complete
You sit back and lick your wounds
and rest your achin feet.

But just a few days later
When you are finally up and about
You check your brand new fence to find
Some old bull has torn half of it out.

So if you get to feelin salty boys
and you want to prove you're tough
Don't take it out on someone else
and resort to fist-a-cuffs.

Just find a mile of rocky ground
and if you so aspire
You can use 6 foot T-post
and 5 strands of 4 point gaucho wire.

After a week of that little chore
you'll be easy to convince
You ain't near as rowdy as you thought you were
after a goodly spell of buildin fence.

2004, Marvin Wilkins
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


The Picture

I saw a picture the other day,
It was dusty, faded and torn
It was an old cowboy on his horse
and he forked a saddle weathered and worn.

His skin was tanned like leather
from long days in the wind and sun,
his clothes were worn and faded
and he was astraddle of a big rangy dun.

He was a wrangler from olden days,
the kind of man we don't find today
He rode for the brand and gave his all
for his found and very little pay.

As I stared at the picture in silence,
and I looked deep into his face,
it seemed he began to speak to me
of another time and another place.

He spoke of hot days and freezing nights
he had spent out on the trail
and of the cool desert nights silence
broken only by lonely coyote's wail.

He had ridden all the old cattle trails
thru deserts blistering hot and dry
and crossed magestic snow-capped mountains
so tall they seemed to reach to the sky.

He had crossed the rivers deep and wide,
the Rio Grande, Brazos and the Red,
and he had never even seen a road map,
he traveled by the sun and stars and his head.

In hushed tones he spoke of old saddle pals
and true compadres he had known
but like the longhorn and buffalo
they sadly now are most all gone.

We can never do the things he had done
or see the sights he had seen
We can only imagine how it must have been
living the Cowboy life in our dream.

2004, Marvin Wilkins
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Gina Wilkins told us what inspired Marvin to write this poem, The poem was inspired when a cowboy friend showed him an old black and white photo of his father, taken in western Oklahoma.  His father was not just a cowboy, but "the real thing."

 

 


Marvin and Gina Wilkins ready for a Sunday afternoon buggy with paint mare, Melinda.

The buggy was manufactured by Union City Carriage Company in Union City, Ind. circa 1875-1885, who went out of business about 1913. The buggy is commonly referred to as a "Doctor's Buggy."  We have restored it to almost original.  We use it for parades, weddings, special events and pleasure driving.  We also have a larger 2 seater buggy and a wagon, with teams for each.


About Marvin Wilkins:

I was born in 1936 and raised to age 19 in rural northeastern Oklahoma, enlisted in USAF in 1955 and retired in 1975.  I returned to the farm I was raised on after retirement.  I have always loved country life and cowboy lore and music. I worked for a local newspaper and post office from 1975 til 1988, when I began to day hand at local ranches.  As a day hand, you get to do jobs the regular hands don't like, such as building fence.  I was first inspired to try my hand when I attended Cowboy Poet Gatherings at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame at Oklahoma City and the Lincoln County Symposium at Ruidoso, New Mexico.  

 

 

 

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