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MIKE MOUTOUX
Pinos Altos, New Mexico
About Mike Moutoux
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Headin' Home

Six miles out give or take, and we let the horses walk
Enjoyin' the company of each other, neither known for idle talk
The scenery magnificent, far off mountains softly lit
If Heaven is a place I'm sent, I hope this looks like it
 
The grass is only pastern-high, but showin' signs of greenin'
A breeze has every cloud a-movin' every blade of grass a leanin'
This is the time and space where thoughts are free to roam
Ours turn to a special place, you see, we're headin' home
 
Five miles out, give or take, we hit a level spot
Put some weight into the stirrups and then ease into a trot
I catch my partner's eye and we both begin to smile
She nudges her horse, I cluck to mine, and we lope them for a while
 
We call it the old wagon road, no doubt used by pioneers
It starts somewhere outside of town and crosses way up here
We plan to follow it someday just to see where it might go
The horses sense it's not today, they know we're headin' home
 
Four miles out, give or take, we finally hit the top
We see our valley down below and bring the horses to a stop
Spread out below before our eyes is everything we know and love
One good reason to make this ride, is to see this valley from above
 
Something always gets to me, seein' the ranch, our home our life
Makes me thankful for who I am, the children and my wife
Up here I've come to understand what is known by all who roam
It's nice to visit foreign lands, but there's nothin' like headin' home

Three miles out we find a cow motherin' a day old calf
Knobby knees and spindly legs--we both begin to laugh
"Another hundred just like this, we might be in the black," I say
"I don't know," says my wife, the realist, "You hear the report today?"
 
We pick our way across a draw; kick up a little dust
Pass by the old stock tank long peppered with holes and rust
Just another relic left by a man we'll never know
Who prob'ly passed this way himself when he was "headin' home"
 
Two miles out and lower now, the grass is getting' high
Down here in the valley, the soil ain't so awful dry
Some folks are proud of material things; we never joined that crowd
It's the grass here in the early spring that really makes us proud
 
Hardly a day goes by we don't think about our pasture
We pray for rain and move the cows to help it grow a little faster
We curse the weeds and try to protect our grama and mountain brome
As I ride, it's the grass I check whether ridin' out or headin' home
 
One mile out, we see the willows and the two big cottonwood trees
Splash through the creek, clear and cold, up to the horse's knees
Here we stop, let the horse drink, enjoy the dappled shade
On a day like this I often think that we sure got it made
 
Headin' out on a horse I'm always eager to turn our faces west
Ridin' out with the mornin' sun on your back well, it's just about the best
Only thing better than headin' out is the best thing I've ever known:
Finishin' a good days work out there and headin' home, headin' home 
 
© 2006, Mike Moutoux
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem is included in Art Spur

 

 

High Dollar Man

The boss calls me his "High Dollar Man"—I like the sound of that
Like I'm drawin' top wages for what I do and my bank roll is gettin' real fat
Tell the truth, I work hard for my pay and proud of what I get done
A lot of folks would just wither under our blazing New Mexico sun

I think the boss appreciates how I don't shirk from any task
He knows by now I'll do anything; all Jerry has to do is ask
Like dig postholes by hand where the fence runs through rock and sun baked dirt
I go home with red clay mud on by jeans; barbwire cuts on my hands and shirt

When we brand it's by tradition, we rope 'em and lay 'em down
I'm the one who flanks every calf and keeps 'em safely on the ground
Little ones is easy, but big ones make me fight 'em down there in the dirt
I go home with manure on my jeans; dehornin' blood on my hands and shirt

When Jerry calls me his, "High Dollar Man," I know just what he means
He's sort of payin' his respect for the mud and crud on my jeans
But Jerry is as tight as bark on a stump, he really don't pay a lot
He calls me his "High Dollar Man," all right, but I'm the only man he's got!

© 2006, Mike Moutoux
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.

 

Mike told us: My boss, Jerry MacDonald and I were on one of the ranch roads and had stopped to visit a bit with a neighbor who was passing by. Windows were down and the conversation passed back and forth between the drivers. After a while, Jerry looks over at my and then tells his neighbor, "Well, I've got my 'high dollar man' here and I better get him back." I got a kick out of that and within a week or so decided I better preserve that in a poem. I also decided to include it on the new CD, Headin' Home.

 

 

The Christmas Reminder

It wasn’t long ago; things weren’t much different then

Times were hard like they usually are and cowboys were gentlemen

Stubborn, sure, and calloused but mannered just as well

Young ones listened when their elders spoke as they had much to tell

 

Two weeks before Christmas and shoppers lined the street

Just outside Ma’s diner where cowboys often went to eat

At a booth near the front they were on their second cup

When the youngest of the three looked out the window and spoke up

 

“Why is it Christmas now is for stores to sell their stuff?

Seems the reason for the season would be holiday enough.”

The waitress passing by replied to what he said

“Last year some Christmas shopper bought you that hat that’s on your head.”

 

Of course the others laughed as the waitress walked away

And though he sputtered and he stuttered he had nothing else to say

Then the middle-aged cowboy raised his finger for them to pause

“And just who do we celebrate now: Jesus Christ or Santa Clause?”

 

Everyone in that diner sensed an answer in the makin’

But the cowboy who had spoken had returned to eggs and bacon

So an awkward silence fell in that ol’ diner there

Someone coughed, someone sniffed, another shifted in a squeaky chair

 

And the question lingered then as if nobody knew

Or if sharing their opinion was not the proper thing to do

And Christmas seemed to shrink there right before their eyes

Then, quietly the old cowboy, pushed back his chair to rise

 

He scratched his chin and searched his mind for words that would somehow

Give Christmas a sort of clarity that was sorely needed now

Clearly, speeches weren’t his thing; he shifted on his feet

While Christmas carols, distant now, played from speakers up the street 

  

“Here is what I think,” came the soft-spoken voice

“Christmas is a time when we are reminded that we all have a choice

We don’t choose between a baby and a fat man and his elves

We choose to think more of others or more about ourselves.”

 

You could have heard a pin drop as the words sunk in

The old cowboy just stood there and the silence made him grin

There was just one thing left, and he knew what he must do

“So I guess lunch is on me, my friends, Merry Christmas to all of you.”

 

His words and the deed were both something to remember

I’ll bet the waitress is now hoping he will remind them each December

‘Cause when they tipped the woman who for years had called them “Honey”

They left behind some piles of actual folding money

 

Now I would love to tell you that the town was changed that day

I was there, but just passing through, so I really cannot say

But that speech I heard still serves as a nice reminder

That I can choose to be less selfish and perhaps a little kinder

 

It’s our choices that define us; make us who we are

Some of them still hold us back; others lead us to our star

Oh the lives we’d have if we could see our choices clear

Or if we’d get a nice reminder more than just once a year 

© 2011, Mike Moutoux
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.

 

  This poem is a part of Christmas at the BAR-D, 2011
 



Find Mike Moutoux's YouTube channel with poems and songs here,
including "I Wish Everyone Could Be a Cowboy" and the beautifully filmed "Ranch Horses."
 

 

About Mike Moutoux:

Mike lives in Grant County, New Mexico and works on a 13,000 acre cattle ranch. At the JEJ, most work is done the traditional way and horseback. He's been performing original poetry and songs since 2002.

Read about Mike Moutoux's KSIL Cowboy Gathering radio show in our feature here.

Visit Mike Moutoux's web site, www.enchantingcowboy.com

 



Spirits Still Remain
is Mike Moutoux's fourth CD:

Spirits Still Remain

 

Includes 8 poems and 4 songs:

Spirits Still Remain
Horses and Cattle
Joker
My Best Compliment
For the Ones
Teenagers in the Pen
Shadows in the Draws
She Is
Sam Faces the Truth
Santa's Perfect Gift
Tack Room Charm
My Yodeling Song

Spirits Still Remain is available for $17 postpaid from:

Mike Moutoux
P.O. Box 53114
Pinos Altos, NM 88053

 www.enchantingcowboy.com

 

Headin' Home is Mike Moutoux's third CD:
 

Headin' Home

with 15 original poems:

Headin' Home
Ridin' for the Brand
Campfire Tenor
Cowboy Decor
Charlie's Hat
Flyin' Low
Ladies' Night
High Dollar Man
Prickly Pete
Billy's Big Test
Cowboy's Courage
Ol' Dobbs
Last Ride
The Story of the Wreath
One Last Look Around

Headin' Home is available for $15 postpaid from:

Mike Moutoux
P.O. Box 53114
Pinos Altos, NM 88053

 www.enchantingcowboy.com

 

How We Do it Here


2005

How We Do it Here, is available for $15 postpaid from:

Mike Moutoux
P.O. Box 53114
Pinos Altos, NM 88053

 www.enchantingcowboy.com

 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

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