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SUE JONES
Alma, New Mexico
About Sue Jones


Sue Jones and Chapo

 

 

 

Grandma's Pullin' Up Drag

I've heard it said that the West is dead,
But partner, I hate to brag:
Small saddles with big dreams made a handsome team
With Grandma pullin' up drag.

Cowboy kids love the land, and understand
When hearts are brave and true;
And the smallest of all will push, scrap, or crawl
To be part of Grandpa's crew.

One slipped a cinch, got dumped, didn't flinch;
Another just had a loose girth.
But the oldest can track and sure bring 'em back,
Showin' how much she's worth.

With hat, spurs, and vest, he's ready for the quest;
The youngest sits ready to roll;
He and his cousins are watching as dozens
Of cows bawl at the waterhole.

Grandmas always worry and tend to hurry
While bringin' up the rear.
Keepin' an eye on the little guys
Who are completely absent from fear.

After all, it wasn't so long ago, though,
That Grandma rode the same seat;
Ridin' bareback gatherin', and takin' chances in the lightning;
The challenge was pretty sweet.

Ranch kids today preserve yesterday:
They love this land, their cows, the flag.
They've got the best of the young ranching West
And Grandma pullin' up drag.

2005, Sue Jones
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Sue told us what inspired this poem: A friend of mine, in Pleasanton, New Mexico, whom we do "day work" for, had been injured when she got thrown from her mule.  Since she couldn't ride that day, she said, "Sue, since you're going on the roundup, would you look after the grandkids for me?"  Of course, since I have 8 grandchildren of my own, I said "yes."  I spent the day ridin' drag and taking pictures, which I use for my paintings. The poem came to me in the week following roundup.

 

The Fifty Dollar Horse

Bob had a colt who could be difficult,
He was three and just full of bad luck.
But Bob figured to ride him 'til he stayed astride him,
Then he'd sell him for fifty bucks.

Indian Joe came by a ridin' high
And wanted to try out the horse.
But Bob turned him down as the colt bucked around
Without the least bit of remorse.

Next day was Sunday, and the colt was ready,
Indian Joe showed up with the money.
Bob laughed at his outfit until his sides split,
As Joe was simply too funny.

He wore Mexican spurs from times that were,
The rowels three and a half inches wide.
A spade bit hung with wire for all to admire,
A bear-trap saddle to make the ride.

Nothing discounted, Indian Joe got mounted,
Pulled his hat down around his ears.
Took a deep seat in the saddle and sat astraddle
As the colt started shifting gears.

Now this arena was indoors and something to explore,
The rafters hung down every two feet.
But the funniest ever was watching as forever
The pair bucked between the rafters so neat.

Joe raked the colt's shoulders, becoming bolder,
Drawing blood, they continued the dance.
The colt bucked and squealed 'til Joe's head reeled,
Then he loaded up and left the ranch.

Next morning the phone rang as Indian Joe sang
How his Sunday had been more than luck.
Seems a rodeo contractor had seen the bronc
And paid him eighteen hundred bucks!!

2005, Sue Jones
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Sue told us this poem was inspired by a story from a horse breaker named Bob Peterson.

 

The Buffalo Mare

The buffalo mare was a buckskin, I swear,
Like the buffalo, she'd foal every other year.
She'd roll under the fence, keeping all in suspense,
And for two weeks she'd disappear.

When she stopped to roam, she finally came home,
For the mare was definitely bred.
She foaled without restraint a buckskin paint;
Five colors:  Black, Brown, Yellow, White, and Red.

Now every other foal could rock-and-roll,
And this one was no exception.
He was full of pluck and bad to buck;
It started with his conception.

One day Bob's new bride wanted to go for a ride
So she rode the buffalo mare.
Bob rode the colt like a thunderbolt,
It would surely give you a scare.

Suddenly the mare swapped directions much to Sandy's objection,
The mare was out of control.
Sandy screamed through her pain as she tugged on the reins
Throughout the whole rigmarole.

The bride turned the mare and laid iron in despair,
Bob waited on the wooden bridge.
All the colt heard was the clackety-clack absurd,
He panicked more than a smidge.

He spooked wide-eyed, plunged over the side,
Straight down to four feet of water,
Through four inches of ice they fell so precise
As Bob envisioned the slaughter.

But Bob stuck like glue and made it through,
Bucking and sunfishing every which way.
Up the bank they went 'til the colt was spent,
He recovered to continue the fray.

A dry pond lay ahead with a spiky bed,
Dry willows poked out of the snow.
The colt bucked and squealed through the whole ordeal;
Bob continued the rodeo.

They bucked through one four-wire fence without any sense,
Then bucked right through one more.
Bob blew his stirrups like a happy pup
When a large cottonwood tree he saw.

With reins tied around the trunk, it'd be his bunk,
The horse was wrapped up with rope.
He laid on his back, Bob cut him no slack,
Legs in the air and little hope.

Lying on his back all night, he looked a fright,
The colt wasn't doing too good.
His mane and tail were frozen and frail,
But there his master stood.

Bob put on his spurs and unwrapped the fur
To see just on a whim,
If he'd still buck after coming unstuck,
Then got on the colt and rode him.

You know, he made a pretty good horse after that!!

2005, Sue Jones
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Sue told us this poem, too, was inspired by a story from a horse breaker named Bob Peterson.

 

Cyberspace Cowboy

J.T. paused on top of the ridge,
Looked back where he had been.
Mountains rose above the valley floor,
Storm clouds loomed up on the rim.

He was draggin' just one pack horse
And his dog was at his side,
His friends were those two critters
Plus the saddle horse he rides.

Prettiest day you've ever seen
For a cowboy gettin' gone,
"Where do we go from here, ol' pard?"
The time was just past dawn.

J.T. traveled light that day,
Took only what he'd use,
The nightmare he'd just been through
Certainly made him change his views.

The boss's kid's a computer junkie,
Everything dot com this 'n' that,
Red eyes - - a computer monkey,
Even tried to program the cat !

Last night the contraption shook and smoked,
The likes I've never seen,
It said I had to tow the mark,
Enough to turn a cowpoke green !

The hounds were all plumb quiet
With eyes trained on the thing,
It had all their attention
As each bell and buzzer'd ring.

It was smokin' and a blowin'
As it filled me full of woe,
The cows were grazin' circles,
The keyboard's stuck on "o" !

The mice were runnin' figure 8's
Makin' tracks for their abode,
All across the saddle room floor
Locked in infinity mode !

That machine just rocked and smoked
Keepin' everyone at bay,
I was to pick up my daily assignment
'Fore I went to work that day !

Now I kindly ask you,
How does this darned thing think?
Knowin' when the fence needs mendin'
Or the bull bogged in the drink?

The herd needs pastures traded
Or the cow who lost her calf,
How can a stupid contraption
Try to speak on my behalf?

How could that computer know
When the licks are needin' salt?
How much protein block to pack?
Or the hunter who's at fault?

When the gate's left open
Or the calf who's got the scours,
The saddle horse full of cactus
Or the one who got devoured?

About the time it went berzerk
I tried to bulldog the darned thing,
It had a dad-gummed virus
As it started to ping and zing.

That virus spread like blackleg
As it melted down in place,
And I watched with incredulity;
It disappeared in cyberspace.

Well, finally it bucked me off
As it faded from my sight,
And left a starry trail behind it
Full of rams and megabytes.

So, where do we go from here, my friend?
Just tell me at any cost,
'Cause I'm goin' back to the ranch
Where the cowboy's still the boss!

2005, Sue Jones
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Read Sue Jones' The Silver Spurs, posted with other 2005 Christmas poems.

 


About Sue Jones:

Sue and her husband, Bill, live in the small community of Alma, New Mexico, on the west side of New Mexico near the border.  They do day work for friends and neighbors on local cattle ranches and participate in cattle grower events.  Previously Sue was on a professional ladies quadrille team which performed at all the major rodeos in Arizona. 

They raised Longhorn cattle near Wickenburg and Corrientes on their grazing allotment in the Verde Valley.  Both have worked as wranglers and  up until recently, Bill and Sue owned/managed Horseback Adventures, a horseback riding business in the Verde Valley.  She cooked on the chuck wagon for the dinner rides and entertained the guests with her cowboy poetry.  Every day in the "dude" business provides plenty of humorous
material, so the stories came easily.  

In the years since 1991, she has written many poems, ranging from humorous to profound; and has produced an album which she dedicates to her grandchildren.  It is easy listening with toe-tapping music and funny stories.  Ranch kids, parents, horse lovers, cowboys and seniors with lots of memories love this album.  In 2006, her book of poetry, Tales from Across the Fence was released. In the not-too-distant future Sue will have a book of her "Ranch Recipes."  In 2002 Sue was nominated for Female Poet of the Year by the Western Music Association, and she has recently received awards for her pastels and oil paintings of ranch scenes.

Sue has been an invited poet to many gatherings in the Southwest, including Elko, Nevada; Silver City, New Mexico; and Prescott, Arizona.  She has been a featured performer at Lubbock, Texas and Wickenburg, Sierra Vista, and Grand Canyon, Arizona gatherings.

Sue says, "I was originally born on Long Island, and my family moved to Arizona when we were very small, so we grew up in the West.  We have spent the last year in our new home in Alma, New Mexico.  It is very rural, but allows us to pursue our first love, working cattle and branding.  Out here, you can see deer and elk going through to water from the kitchen window.  There are also lots of javelina and antelope."

Tales from Across the Fence

Tales from Across the Fence includes 26 of Sue's best poems, including her new works up through 2006.

The artwork is a collaboration by Grace Cooper of Camp Verde, Arizona and Sue Jones.

The book is available for $13.95 postpaid from:

Sue Jones
P. O. Box 115
Glenwood, NM 88039
 

 

 

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