Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

North Dakota
Jarle Kvale



Time Machine 

Now perhaps I should have told him that the colt was kinda rank—
That he shouldn't attempt to spur him on his tender, quiverin' flank—
And I guess I could have mentioned when he bobs his head just right
That you best be gettin' ready—better screw your hat down tight.
But I musta plumb forgot it when he offered up that dough,
And now when lookin' back, I should have stopped and hollered whoa.

'Course the horse is darn good lookin'—there's no denyin' that—
And his breeding's pure performance—why, even Joe brought up the fact
That he's just the type of prospect he's been wantin' for his string,
And if I'd consider sellin', why he'd pay most any thing.

Well, my figure was outrageous, but old Joe didn't even flinch—
He just nodded his okay and went to tighten up his cinch—
Then he wrote me out a check before he swung up on his back,
And I was countin' zeroes when that horse became untracked.
And I was livin' high about this deal I'd just connived,
But was comin' back to earth about the same time Joe arrived.

Now I didn't observe his orbit, but he surely must have flown—
Just by judgin' by the impact and the loudness of his groan—
And by the time I reached him, he was strugglin' to his feet,
And he's stringin' words together that I'd rather not repeat.

But in between the swearin', his words weren't makin' sense—
He's referrin' to the past, but every phrase was present tense.
He kept spoutin' 'bout his schedule as he dusted off his shirt—
How his Saturday's too busy—didn't have time for gettin' hurt—
He had fencin' left to finish, and a wife who just wouldn't wait—
She'd expect him to be ready for their evenin' dinner date.

Joe went searchin' for his boots while I was tryin' to comprehend
Just what the heck had happened to affect my dear old friend—
Cuz it's clearly Sunday morning when that cowboy flew away,
But when he finally landed—poor old Joe had lost a day.

Now when it comes to physics—that's a subject where I'm lost—
But that International Date Line's what I figured Joe had crossed—
Seems that parabolic curvature times altitude times speed
Had produced some kind of time machine when launched by that young steed.
Course there could be other reasons—but that's what comes to mind—
For a fella to be bucked so hard that he goes back in time.

Now each day is startin' over like that fateful Sunday morn—
Joe just writes me out a check, and then is promptly sent airborne—
And I'm feelin' mighty guilty 'bout my monetary gain,
And I sure do hate transactions causin' other people pain -
But Joe don't seem to mind—in fact, he's swellin' up with pride—
Cuz he keeps on gettin' younger every time he takes a ride.
© 2013, Jarle Kvale, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Who Nose?

Twas a cold December evenin'gauge was readin' 10 below

and the Northern Lights were dancin' while I worked beneath their show,

pitchin' hay in feeders
fillin' up the tank

with frozen toes and frostbite and a mind that's numb and blank.

But then my eye was captured by a flicker in the snow

and I hesitate to say this
but you'd even say it glowed

as it darted back and forth between the feeders and the shed,

and was divin' in the hay
a shiny orb of flaming red!

Well, it clearly was a nose
and it's attached to somethin' live

and just in case you're wonderin', I'd had nothin' to imbibe

and it's clear it loved alfalfa
it sure weren't playin' games

the way it's blazin' thru the bales, I feared they might go up in flames.

'Course there's fables told of noses, but correct me if I'm wrong,

there's only one whose story has been glorified in song.

There's Pinocchio's protrusion
'course there's gallant Cyrano

if my guest was the most famous one
I guess I'll never know.

But, it's Christmas time
I’m thinkin' that my mind has played a trick

somehow conjured up a creature that belongs to old St. Nick

But I wasn't takin' chances, so I threw some extra hay,

and as I hurried home, was kinda lookin' for a sleigh

Course I figured it impossible
I never did believe

in Santa, elves and reindeer who all worked on Christmas Eve

But I pondered ‘bout the magic as I nestled in my bed

thankful there weren't sugar plums a'dancin' in my head

and I hoped my kindly gesture was enough to not be missed,

and this cowboy's been deleted from the Old Man's naughty list.

© 2013, Jarle Kvale, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Man's Best Friend

Let's face itthere's decisions that are better left to men,
And none is more apparent than selectin' man's best friend

Now a man prefers a sportin' dog
a lab in brown or black
A border collie smart enough you'd swear he's talkin' back.
An aussie or a heeler
some breed to earn its keep
Protectin' home and property
perhaps for herdin' sheep.
Someone to tell your troubles to
companion for your chores
A hound that's almost human, tho still walkin' on all fours.
He wags a friendly greeting when you pull into the drive

Just bein' in your presence makes him glad to be alive.

But that story changes drastic if a woman gets to choose,
And it causes men to suffer from a case of doggone blues

She'll insist upon a lap dog
some yapping piece of fur
And dismiss your canine choice as just a mangy flea-bit cur.
She'll want a dog to baby, cuz she's missin' all the kids

Maternal instinct rules the roost while your life hits the skids.
She'll spend a thousand dollars on some tiny green-eyed mutt,
And you'll quickly lose your status as that thing proceeds to strut
Around your princely kingdom like its you-know-what don't stink,
And making matters worse, your wife will dress it up in pink.

'Course there's hours spent in groomin'
and there's more for clippin' nails
And, of course, you see it coming, cuz of course, it never fails
That there's ribbons and there's booties
there's hair tied up in bows
That pooch won't go in public 'less it's decked in matchin' clothes.
It really steams me up, you know
there's simply no excuse
For a dog to be all gussied up and wearin' bright chartreuse.

Now men demand a workin' dog
a partner for their truck
But if you let a female choose
well, boys, you're out of luck
So you better heed my warnin'
I've been around the block
And it ain't a pretty picture bringin' "Princess" for a walk.

© 2013, Jarle Kvale, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.

Jarle told us:  On occasion, I’ve been seen in the company of small dogs wearing bright outfits and colorful leashes. This poem is a tongue-in-cheek attempt to show the differences between those types of family “pets” and the typical farm or ranch dog.


Buyer Beware

When folks are sellin' horses, they've been known to lie and cheat

And the unsuspecting buyer's easily duped by their deceit—

But I've set some rules for buyin' to prevent you actin' rash,

And I'll share 'em with you freely, though I'm usually wantin' cash.

Don't ever buy for color—9 of 10 times you'll get stuck—

Avoid a horse that's coughing—never buy a horse named "Buck"—

I wouldn't take a crazy one whose eyes resemble bugs—

Be wary of those deadheads—it might only be the drugs.

Just say "no" to former racers—turning left is all they know—

You'll forever ride in circles while you try to teach them 'whoa'.

If a horse is billed as gentle and the type to suit a kid—

Best bring along a seatbelt—wear a helmet on your lid—

And if they claim the horse is green and merely needs some work,

You've the right to be a skeptic while the owner hides his smirk.

'Course always buy from strangers—don't react in disbelief—

If a closer look upon your friends reveals a common thief.

And stay away from ring sales, though the deal may seem compellin'—

The situation's risky—might be me who's down there sellin'.

© 2015, Jarle Kvale, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


Custom Made



Man's Best Friend
First Horse
The Shopping Trip
Custom Made
Buyer Beware
Darn Near 60
How's it Goin'
Mighty Mare
Fear Factor
Time Machine
Arch Enemy
For Better or Worse
Fancy Fencin'

Available for $18 postpaid from:

Jarle Kvale
Box 488
Dunseith, ND 58329



 About Jarle Kvale:
provided 2013

Jarle is the program director at KEYA Public Radio located in Belcourt, North Dakota.

He's been writing cowboy poetry for many years, but made his first public performance at the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora, North Dakota in 2007.

An avid horseman, his experiences with horses provide the inspiration for much of his poetry. He is also host and producer of Back at the Ranch, a weekly half-hour radio program featuring western music and cowboy poetry. 

Jarle is a member of the Western Music Association (WMA), the Western Wordsmiths chapter of the WMA, the Mon-Daks chapter of the WMA, and the Dunseith Rodeo Club.

He and his wife live north of Dunseith, North Dakota.

Jarle Kvale's Back at the Ranch radio program features western music and cowboy poetry, Saturdays at 9:00 am on KEYA Public Radio, in Belcourt, North Dakota.

Past shows are available on demand in podcasts, here.

Find more in our feature here.



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