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Centerville, Tennessee
Woody Woodruff
Woody Woodruff's web site

Academy of Western Artists' (AWA)
Best Male Poet

Another Christmas We Spend

The morning was clear
It had snowed overnight
The trees are covered
All pretty and white
Tomorrow is Christmas
We haven't a tree
Today we will find one
Bob, Old Curly, and me
Just three old cowboys
No, we ain't kids
You might think we were
By things which we did
For 10 years now
Early every Christmas Eve
We hitch up the team
And go find us a tree
Bring it back to the bunkhouse
Decorate it up right
We use things we have found
It is truly a sight
We string up some popcorn
Hang on a pinecone or two
String on some berries
An old spur we use too
Shell casings become ornaments
Our bandanas we use
From a coffee can, Bob cuts a star
Places it on the top there too
Oh, our tree ain't as fancy
As the ones there in town
But it brings smiles to our faces
No frowns will be found
Bob will break out his guitar
It has only 5 strings
A few Christmas Carols
We all three will sing
On Christmas Day
We'll all share a meal
No gift's we exchange
It ain't a big deal
For we all share our friendship
Nothing else do we need
Another Christmas we spend
Bob, Old Curly, and me

Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

One Christmas Eve

A cold day in December it was
Darkness was falling fast
I hadn't realized so much snow had fallen
It was belly deep in the pass
I had packed in a load of supplies to the Miller line shack
Due to early snows, Bill was running low
Our regular packer had come down with the fever
I was the only one left that could go
In the spring and fall we had plenty of hands
In winter months we kept only a few
With Pete down with the fever, I had been sent
But this trail I barely knew
I had taken the wrong fork at the top of the ridge
Had gone the wrong direction for hours
Even though I had since corrected my mistake
Still darkness would fall within the hour
Through the scattering of clouds and the dim light
I could see the ranch down below
Yet, I had at least 10 more miles of winding trail
My horse growing tired from the deep snow
The night wind blew, it's bite ever so cold
Like my horse, I too, was growing tired
I began remembering stories of old... I had been told
Standing around the branding fires
I remembered ole Jim telling of the Inn at Traveler's Rest
It used to stand just around the next bend
How in weather like this, it housed weary travelers
Oh how I wish this was then
For me and Black were oh so tired
Still we had 8 more miles to go
As we neared the valley, the snow was deeper
The valley had received much more snow
I began wondering if we could even make it
The snow was so very deep
How I wished the Inn was still there
And me and Black for the night they'd keep
All of a sudden, through my half frozen eyes
A flicker of light did I see
There in the darkness stood a building
What on earth could it be?
I thought I must be crazy as I came to a sign
It read "Welcome to the Inn at Traveler's Rest
Bed your animal down in the barn out back
Tonight you're our honored guest"
I have to be crazy; yes I've lost my mind
This place hadn't been here before
But there was the barn and here stood the Inn
A sign said "Welcome, come in" on the door
I didn't understand, still I went in
I must have been on the wrong trail after all
This had to be the answer: the snow is so deep
Plus I haven't been in this trail for two falls
Inside the Inn was empty, no one was home
Only this short note had I found
"It's Christmas Eve... we had to leave
Gone to see Kin-folk in town"
"Dear Traveler, please stay the night
We know you must be tired
You'll find food in the cupboard, just help yourself
Out back there's more wood for the fire"
I added wood to the fire and bedded right down
By the fireplace I laid there beside
Early next morning when I awoke
Was when I found my biggest surprise
Here I was sitting square in the saddle
My horse I was still astride
I looked all around, not an Inn there I found
Our gate, Black stood there beside
Well, this is my story, believe it or not
Me, I truly believe
You can call it a Miracle or the Spirit of Christmas
It happened to me, one Christmas Eve

Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Mr. Pete

Let me share with you a story
Of a cowboy I once knew
You can bet your boots and saddle
The story I tell is true
Mr. Pete, he was a real cowboy
Even though, he hailed from Tennessee
His specialty was helping others
Every time there was a need
I couldn't list the cowboys
Mr. Pete showed how to pull a cinch
Nor the times you found him tossing hay
Because a neighbor was in a pinch
He taught so many to ride a horse
And so many he taught to rope
It was a standing rule around his place
There'd be no alcohol or dope
Oh, Pete now he weren't an angel
Yeah he'd had his wilder days
If he ever started with the stories
You'd be there for a stay
I never knew a man who liked to talk
As much as Mr. Pete did
But darn-it his stories would get so interesting
You were really glad he did
He'd tell tales about horses and cattle
Or some cowboy he once knew
And if you ever had screwed up
He'd tell a tale on you
He had stories when he was a youngster
Some about his rodeo days
Rest for sure, he'd tell you all about it
If a rodeo ever once did pay
I feel like I could write forever
On this cowboy I once knew
We lost Mr. Pete one November
And that's a story too
I've never known a person
Whose funeral drew such a crowd
It was because he had touched their lives
Each were so very proud
Like all funerals, there were some that spoke
We had a prayer or two
I never saw so many grown men cry
Oh yes, I teared up too
After the service as we headed to the grave-site
I stopped and looked around
People were walking 12 abreast
The end of the line I never found
A stranger may have thought it was a dignitary
A President, Governor or such
But, Mr. Pete was a simple cowboy
A cowboy we all loved so much
Second thought, he was a dignitary
The Proclaimed Mayor of Clovercroft
Now he's up there telling St. Peter stories
And pitching hay in Heaven's loft
in memory of William E. (Pete) Allen  1941-2000

2001, Woody Woodruff
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Cowboy and the Donkey

The young cowboy eased his rope up off the horn
  Quickly he built his loop
With the accuracy of a soaring eagle
  Upon it's prey it did swoop
He hit his target just like he'd aimed
  Yet the cowboy made one mistake
For after his loop had surrounded the donkey's head
  His dally he did not take
The donkey then looked up with a sheepish grin
  Then he turned and ran
Sliding the rope through the cowboy's fingers
  Burning deeply into his hands
But this cowboy was not a quitter
  He chased the donkey down
In a flying leap he jumped on the rope
  As it lay there on the ground
Once again the donkey looked up and grinned
  Once again he turned and ran
And once again the rope came sliding
  Burning the cowboy's hands
Still the cowboy did not quit
  He let the rope slide to the knot
He grasped it then oh so tightly
  While the donkey drug him around the lot
Once again the cowboy had made a mistake
  As around the lot he slid
But  one day this cowboy will make it
  For he never once lost his lid
2002, Woody Woodruff
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



That Fateful Day

I was ridin' in from checkin' fence
It was gettin' sorta late
I decided to cross the ridge through the Aspen grove
A short cut to our gate
As the Bay brought me to the top
In the shadows I saw a man
He looked as if he was talkin'
By the way he moved his hands
Yet, he stood there all alone
His head pointed towards the sky
I reined the Bay up to a halt
And didn't pass him by
It was then, I realized it was Bill
An old cowhand from the ranch
I pulled the Bay up near a tree
And hid there behind a branch
In the silence I could hear him speak
I'll never forget what he had to say
Bill was talkin' man to man with God
These are the words I hear him say
Lord, he said, it's old Bill here
I know it's been quite awhile
I used to think that prayin'
Well, that prayin' just weren't my style
Somehow I've always had the notion
To pray you were askin' for favors and such
So I never got into the habit
I always seemed to have so much
Then the other day I got to thinkin'
How you've blessed me everyday
That even through the hardest times
You never once did stray
Yes Sir, you've stayed right here with me
Through all my 80 years
The words Bill were sayin'
They brought me near to tears
Bill said, Lord, I haven't come to ask for favors
It's thanks I've come to say
For all the deeds you've done for me
And never once asked for pay
I, thank you Lord for this Aspen grove
For the blue up in the sky
The tall grass down in the meadow
The clear water that passes by
Thank you Lord for the mountains high
Their peaks covered a snowy white
For all the stars each night that shine
It's such a beautiful sight
The mustangs runnin' free on the range
The mavericks we gather in early spring
The Eagle soaring above my head
Lord, I thank you for everything
Thank you for all the good friends I've had
Through the years I've had quite a few
As I get older, I now understand
They were there because of you
Lord, I thank you most for my 80 years
And the few I have left to go
And Lord, thank you for lettin' me cowboy
I've truly loved it so
With that Bill mounted up, then headed off
Leavin' eyes wide open to see
For until then I just took things for granted
That day...I came to believe
It's been nearly forty years now
Since Bill stood in that grove of trees
But, his words are still here with me
I hope they never leave
Like Bill, I too am so thankful
For oh so very much
And ever since that Fateful Day
Me and the Lord...we stay in touch.
3/28/2002, Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



My Life as a Cowboy

I've lived the life of a Cowboy
Mostly in a world of pretend
I wear my hat, my boots, my jeans
And will until this ole life it ends

I've owned several good horses through the years
I still have four today
Seems I spend less time riding now
More time I spend feeding oats and hay

There was a time I could really ride
Hell, I'd give them all a test
I didn't care how rough they got
I thought then I was the best

In my younger years saddles were optional
A man didn't need one to ride
As I get older there best be one
Or I fall off either side

Now I've been bucked, even fell off a few
Being young it didn't hurt like it does today
For a young body, it seems to bounce a little
An old fat one ...only lays

2002, Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



That Spring

A morning fog had encased the mountains
 The mountain air was cool and brisk
Ice crystals sparkled in the morning air
 From the foggy mist

Oh how beautiful was this picture
 Beautiful as if Remington had painted it himself
Snow covered peaks began to show through
 Displaying the grandeur winter snows had left

We were working the southern slope
 Where Mr. Waggoner wintered his herd
Our day was just beginning
 Sounds of spring were heard

Then suddenly in the distance
 A cry for help we heard
The pleading voice was that of Tom's
 Last man called to ride night herd

Quickly, I saddled the Bay
 And headed swiftly down the trail
Thoughts of terror raged through my mine
 Afraid of what might lie there on the trail

The closer I drew the more faint Tom's pleas became
 Eerie and frightful sounds
I topped the rise, there lay Tom
 Both he and his horse, bloody and mangled on the ground

A grizzly attack it had to have been
 Nothing else could have done such a thing
As I rode up, Tom drew his last breath
 I'll never forget that spring

2002, Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Walks Among Men

I wish you could have known him
 Said Jim, a tear forming in his eye's been most 50 years
 Still makes me want to cry

Yeah, I wish you could have known him
 Was how Jim's story did begin
He always had to tell it
 Every time we hired new men

For two days I laid there
 Pinned by my horse to the ground
I fired off several signal shots
 I saved my last round

My left leg busted badly
 Boy's you couldn't start to believe the pain
First there were those chilling winds
 Then came the snow and rain

Yeah, for two days I laid there
 On the third fever was setting in
Like an Angel sent from Heaven
 Through the darkness came "Walks Among Men"

He was an old Sioux Medicine man
 I never knew from where he came
The fever near had me crazy
 I was on the verge of insane

First he tried to dig me free
 But the earth was frozen hard
Then like a hog at killing time
 He gutted my old Pard

With much weight now removed
 Lift was what he did
He bent and lifted with all his might
 Finally free I slid

The Buffalo robe he took from around his shoulders
 He wrapped me as a mother would her child
Who was this man the Sioux called "Walks Among Men"
 Out here in this wild

For two more days he nursed me
 I was so very weak
As the Sioux women would to make their leather soft
 He chewed jerky... to help me eat

On the morning of the sixth day
 I awoke to voices loud and clear
It was Bill and Tom from the ranch
 Still weak I cried with cheer

I turned to look at my new friend
 Yet he was no where to be found
He had disappeared into the darkness as he had came
 Not even leaving tracks there on the ground

No, boys from where he came I never knew
 And where he went it is the same
But I owe my life to "Walks Among Men"
 An old Sioux Indian somewhere on these plains.

2002, Woody Woodruff 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Lord, Thank You For Your Time

We were sittin' 'round Ole Cookie's fire
When Bill asked if he might pray
Pard, if I live to be a thousand
I'll not forget that day

Bill said, Lord, here we sit all gathered
A carrying on and such
Seems seldom do we stop and thank you
For givin' us all so much

Now, we're just a bunch of old cowboys
We know we oughta pray
Truthfully, Lord, we have no excuse
For not sending words you're way

Sometimes, I reckon we must be stunned
By the beauty you've placed a 'round
Lord, please let me  thank You proper
As I kneel here on this ground

Lord, thank You for these here Rockies
Their peaks covered white with snow
For the pure clear waters that filter down
Towards the plains You have them flow

Thank You, Lord, for the tall grasses
That grow up stirrup high
And for those soft white clouds
That's so gentle on the eye

The rains You send in summer
That cool us from the heat
Lord, we even thank You for Ole Cookie
For the grub on which we eat

We, thank You, for our horses
Yes, each and every one
May they live in Heaven's meadows
When their days here are done

These stars that shine so brightly
Just part of Your master plan
And Lord, for allowing us to be what we are
Just simple ole cowhands

We, thank You, Lord, for all You do
And for sure for all You've done
And ask only that we might ride with You
When our life on earth is done

'til that day You call us home
We ask You guide us on our way
Allow us to keep a good horse between our knees
Live life... the Cowboy way

Don't let us be unkind to others
Be it beast or be it man
And help us to watch the words we speak
As we ride here for Your brand

Lord, I didn't mean to get so windy.
But while I had You on my mind
I felt these words I had to say
Lord, Thank You for your time!

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



Only a Cowboy Knows, by Scott Taylor and Woody Woodruff

from the Academy of Western Artists 1st Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Roping Challenge


Linda Kirkpatrick and Woody Woodruff's team tied for first place in the Poetry division in the 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Penning Challenge
photo courtesy of Carla Woodruff



About Woody Woodruff:

Woody Woodruff, born in Hickman Co. Kentucky, attended school in Fulton Co. Kentucky.  Wife Carla and I have 3 daughters, Amy, Ashley, and Amanda, as well as 2 beautiful granddaughters, Alexia and Olivia.  Moved to Nacogdoches, Texas. in 1978 then after 8 years moved to Centerville, Tennessee, 50 miles west of Nashville and reside there today. I have always had a passion for the west and the cowboy way of life.  Be it movies, music, poetry or whatever.  Ever since my high school days I have been writing, mostly birthday, Christmas and prank poems.  I have always wanted to write poems on the west and cowboy way of life, so I have been doing just that.  Stories of friends, rodeo happenings, as well as stories of the old west.  


The Incomplete Works of Woody Woodruff; World-Wide Unknown Poet


My Life as a Cowboy
Becoming a Hand
Only a Cowboy Knows with Scott R. Taylor
All My Trails Lead Home with Linda Kirkpatrick
No More I Need to Explain
Walks Among Men
Rodeo Fever
Mr. Pete
This Ain't What Cowboys Are
Lord, Thank You for Your Time
Truck Dog
The Truck Dog Update
Truck Dog's Been Wrong
Truck Dog Pup by Alexia Brooke Dotson
That Spring
The Cowboy and the Donkey
A Cold Day in December
Another Christmas We Spend
Just One Point
The Man in the Mirror
That Fateful Day

Available for $14.95 postpaid from:

Woody Woodruff
983 Pike Lane
Centerville, TN 37033


Woody released a CD of his original work in 2003:

Woody Woodruff
World-Wide Unknown Poet
Volume 1


My Life as a Cowboy
That Fateful Day
A Cold Day in December
Truck Dog
Walks Among Men
Rodeo Fever
Mr. Pete
That Spring
The Cowboy and the Donkey
Another Christmas We Spend
That Fateful Day (original)

Ken Johnson, guitar
Bill Littleton, mandolin
Produced by Walter Ferguson, Jr.

Order by check or money order for $15 postpaid from:

Woody Woodruff
983 Pike Lane
Centerville TN 37033

And it is:

Jo Hargrave of Keepin' it Cowboy says "Woody's CD is as genuine as he is.  These poems tell the true-to-life stories of the kind of folks it takes to live a ranching life, all the reverence and love of the land, the heartbreaks and the humor.  He will not be a 'world-wide unknown poet' for long."



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