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Happy holidays folks!

 

The Old Time Christmas

I liked the way we used to do,
   when cattle was plenty and folks was few.
The people gathered frum far and near, and
   they barbacued a big fat steer.
The kids tried stayin' awake because,
   they reckoned they might ketch Santa Claus.
Next mornin' you'd wake 'em up to see,
   what he'd been and put on the Christmas tree.

It was Christmas then fer the rich and pore,
   and every ranch was an open door.
The waddy that came on a company hoss
   was treated the same as the owner and boss.
Nobody seemed to have a care,
   you was in among friends or you wasn't there.
For every feller in them days knew
   to behave hisself as a man should do.

Some had new boots, which they'd shore admire
   when they warmed their feet in front of the fire.
And the wimmin folks had new clothes too,
   but not like the wimmin of these days do.
Sometimes a drifter came riding in,
   some feller that never was seen agin.
And each Christmas day as the years went on
   we used to wonder where they'd gone.

I like to recall the Christmas night.
   The tops of the mountains capped with white.
The stars so bright they seemed to blaze,
   and the foothills swum in a silver haze.
Them good old days is past and gone.
   The time and the world and the change goes on.
And you cain't do things like you used to do
   when cattle was plenty and folks was few.

Bruce Kiskaddon

 

Reprinted with the kind permission of Cowboy Miner Productions, publishers of the finest in classic and modern Cowboy Poetry.  This poem is from their book Classic Rhymes by Bruce Kiskaddon.  That book is now out of print. currently out of stock, but a 2002 calendar is still available, which includes some of Kiskaddon's previously unpublished rhymes and other selections.  

Click for Cowboy Miner   

You can read more classic poetry from Bruce Kiskaddon
here
at the BAR-D.

Happy holidays folks!

 

Dust and Snow

Out in Wyoming it was a dry year--
hard to find snow, there wasn't much cheer.
In letters to Santa, the ranchers just wrote--
"Jist send us some water!", down in their notes.
Hay was darned hard to come by to feed out to the cattle--
the stalks of the corn would shake and would rattle
in a warm drying wind that dried out the land.
It was hard to believe Christmas was now at hand.
But old Gran would have none of it, she would just smile.
"Got to have faith, you jest wait a while!
I have seen it before, seventy-odd years ago
and when we finally got it, well, it really did snow.
We had to dig trails down through twenty-foot drifts
to get to our neighbors and bring them some gifts.
We didn't have much to give or to get,
but I think gladly of those times without much regret.
For we had each other and faith to keep us warm,
for He looked out for us all, to keep us from harm.
Let 'em talk of global warming, heck, it's happened before
and when the snow came it was up past the door.
Water will flow in the river once again
and the warmth will still flow from friend to a friend,
from family to family, from Him to us all--
just as sure as you'll hear that old dog coyote call!"
Gran's words rubbed off on us--we'd best listen up
while she heated the coffee and poured us a cup.
"Ye've just got to have faith and the waters will flow--
smile while you're feeding and someday, it will snow.
I have seen it before and I'll see it again.
Listen to your old Gran, pass it on to a friend."
So that's what we'll do as we sit down to write--
have a good holiday and a Christmas that's white!

2002, Jean Mathisen

You can read more of Lariat Laureate runner up Jean Mathisen's poetry here at the BAR-D.  Jean is the author of six books of poetry. 

She is:

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of CowboyPoetry.com.

 

Happy holidays folks!

 

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