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About Steve Deming
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The Box
I hadn't seen him in several years
  But still I saw his face
He taught me how to be a man
  I'd grown up at his place

A great old house...the woodshop there
  I loved best the barn
He'd talked for hours of his life
  Embellishing each yarn

He taught me what it meant to do
  What’s right and not look back
I grew up wanting to be strong
  and more to be like.. Jack

His place was there right next to ours
  It seemed like home to me
So when my mom came look’n
  She knew right where I'd be

Upon the mantle in his den
  There was a small gold box
When I tried to open it
  I found that it was locked

I asked him 'bout a hundred times
  What was beneath the lid
He'd say,” It's what I treasure most
  Some day I'll show you kid”

Well life and love and other things
  Beckoned me out west
I left old Jack 'n the barn behind
  The wood shop and the rest

Not long ago my mom called up
  She said that Jack had died
I couldn't think of words to say
  I just hung up and cried

The funeral wasn't much you see
  Just a few old friends
Most of Jacks acquaintances
  Had long since found their end

The house was pretty much the same
  The barn, two cows, an ox
But much to my dismay
  There was no sign of the box

I thought one of the family
  Must have taken it themselves
As I looked around… it
  Was not upon the shelves

When I got back home again
  I found a postal note
There’s a box a wait'n for you Steve
  Come pick it up they wrote

Well I could plainly see that it
  Was wrapped up by a man
And Jack had scribbled my address
  In the scrawl of his old hand

I unwrapped the box
  And a tear welled in my eye
A key was taped upon the lid
  There for me to try

I opened up the box and found
  An antique gold cased watch
I read the note through silent lips
  As I could hardly talk

"Thank you for your time," it read
  "For spendin it with me"
“Time is all we have." he said
  "It's precious don't you see"

I wiped the tears from my eyes
  And grabbed the phone to say
I won’t be comin in to work
  No sir not today

I think I'll take the day off
  And spend it with my boy...
And thanks for spending time with me...
  I hope it's brought you joy

© 2012, Steve Deming
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


Steve comments: The source of “The Box” was a friend, Chris Buck. She gave me a story version of the message.


Steve has shared some beautiful photos here in Picture the West

Just Around the Bend

I rode a trail the other day
That I'd been down before
It seemed better this time
I enjoyed it even more

I'm older now you see
I know that is the case
I have time to taste the things
That used to be a race

Old songs, old movies, old friends
Things I cherish most
I take the time to live each day
I take the time to coast

It seems like only yesterday
When I was young in school
I married then, had two kids
Who said that "Old Guys Rule?'

We bought a ranch and lived the life
Where did those years go?
Only memories now remain
It seems so long ago

The Winter of my life is here
It just sneaked up on me
Where are all the hopes and dreams
The things we thought would be?

Some of them we lived of course
Tasted as they passed
Now we savor every day
And hope it's not our last.

So if you're young, and think'n
The trail will never end
Tell your friends... you love them
Winter's just around the bend

© 2013, Steve Deming
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


Steve comments, "There are many aware of the 'End of the Trail' analogies of life. But at 73 it begins to look like the 'Winter of Life.' As we see more and more of our friends come to the end of their trails, it dawns on us that it is somewhere out there, 'Just Around The Bend." As I rode my horse one day, reflecting on the experiences of life, it occurred to me what a wonderful poem that would make... the experiences of life, with the awareness that the end is always just around the bend, at any age."


  About Steve Deming
                 provided 2012

Steve is a member of the Wordsmiths Chapter and the California Chapter of the Western Music Association. He is a trail rider, rodeo participant, and winner of various buckles and awards.

He lives in Southern California, and is a member of the Rancheros Visitadores, and The Los Caballeros Catalina Trek. of which he is currently the President. He rides with the Santa Barbara Trail Riders and the Vaqueros Del Desierto,

He has recently published his anthology of poems, The Source, Poems of The Trail. It is his perspective on life and life’s moments of challenges. His poetry CD, Poems of the Trail, was nominated for consideration for the WMA poetry CD of the year 2010.

He is a harmonica player in the California Cowboy Band, and has played with Dave Stamey, Belinda Gail, Jennifer Lind, The Tumbling Tumbleweeds and many others.  

The Source, Poems of the Trail

Book, 2011

A collection of Steve Deming's poetry, with his comments on each poem's source.

 Cover photo by Justin Scheller, sketches by Keith Christie

The Source, Poems of the Trail is a hardcover book, available on Amazon for $38, or for $30 from Steve’s web site, or call 310 871 6300.



Poems of the Trail

CD, 2009


Dedication: "Santa Ynez Trilogy"
Good Night Dear
Lady and the Hawk
Trail to Heaven
The Bell
To Sons of a Trailrider
The Box
The Trail
Harper's Knife
Granite Chute
Empty Saddles
Cowboy Flats
The Bucket

See Rick Huff's review here.

The Poems of the Trail CD is available for $10 from or call 310 871 6300.



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