Line-Camp Christmas Letter
Inside an Old West line-camp,
settin' on his lonely bed,
A cowboy wrote a letter home,
and this is what it said:
"Dear Folks: It looks like Christmas time
is comin' on again,
And I ain't wrote no letter
since the devil don't know when.
So now I thought I'd drop a line
just like I done last year,
To let you know I'm safe and well
and full of Christmas cheer.
Seems like the news ain't much to tell.
A blizzard blowin' now.
There'll be some cattle driftin',
Merry Christmas, anyhow!
I've been out ridin' most all day.
The horse I rode went lame.
The cattle sure are scattered.
Merry Christmas just the same!
Last night my waterholes froze up.
Snow sure is slow to thaw.
Some cattle lookin' porely.
Merry Christmas, Pa and Ma!
This line-camp shack has got some cracks
that let the snow sift through.
Well Merry Christmas to you, folks,
and Happy New Year, too!
Excuse this crooked writin'.
Got my hands frostbite I guess.
The cattle sure are driftin'
Merry Christmas, Frank and Bes!
Ax handle busted. Woodpile low.
Ain't got much fire tonight.
The drifts have knocked some fence line down.
I trust you're all all right.
My post of beans boiled dry
and scorched while I was out today.
Them cows are driftin' awful.
Merry Christmas anyway!
Well folks, I've got to cut this short
and mend my busted rope.
Just thought I'd drop a little line.
You all keep well, I hope.
The cowboy life is wonderful.
Sure glad I came out West.
Give my regards to Adelaide
and Jack and all the rest.
I'm glad I ain't a cow tonight
Outside I hear 'em bawl.
Pore critters sure are driftin'.
Merry Christmas to you all!
S. Omar Barker; reprinted with permission from Cowboy Miner Productions
Our S. Omar Barker poems are 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 S. Omar Barker
Christmas time has rolled around, here come the Christmas lights
I brace myself, 'cause Jane and I, begin our Christmas fights
She wants to decorate the barn, coral, and loading chute
and hang lights on the tractor, "Gosh, won't that be cute?"
"Yer nuts." I kindly murmer (my voice amplified by fear)
"You electrocuted seven hogs, with them damn lights last year."
"You're a grouchy, cussed, dang ol' fool, you're just like your Dad
He spoiled every Christmas that your mother ever had."
"You worry what the neighbors think---" on and on she drones
I tell her, "Hang yer #$%$#in' lights! Just leave me alone!"
So once again it's bright as day, out in our coral
I patrol, with trepid soul, and gettin' mad as hell.
The pretty widow Jenkins stops, sez, "Yer a special man."
I say, "It wasn't nothin' much, I just do what I can."
"I like to brighten things a bit, an' bring some Christmas Cheer."
She hugs me and I drool a bit, I'm grinnin' ear to ear.
I head back towards the house again, I'm feelin' pretty good
But Jane has heard, and seen it all (I shoulda known she would)
But like a wise old man once said (I can't recall his name)
"If you can't prove your innocence, then divvy up the blame."
So I feign a surge of anger, I kick Rudolph and an elf
and wish aloud them gals'd keep their dang hands too theirself.
But once again the women win, just like they always do
I spent an extra hundred bucks on Jane, than I intended to
But at least things have settled down, Jane's grinnin' ear to ear
she's measurin' the outhouse, for some Christmas lights next year
© 2003, Pat Richardson
Jane likes to hang lights on anything that will stand still a few
minutes every Christmas, whereas I'd just as soon act like it's no big deal. she always wins, but I put up a gallant fight, If I'm nothing else, I'm no quitter.
Read more of Honored Guest Pat Richardson's poetry here.
A frosty note from Old Quaint Nick decries the frozen north:
"I've always been the teamster flying reindeer back and forth,
It's been my job forever -- cruising down from outer space;
I'm shucking these red undies, scraping whiskers off my face...
"What broke the straw? Why Rudolph, he's courting reindeer queens,
Smitten by a moon-eyed doe who's not yet reached her teens...
He heard the bull elk bugle ...... shrill, tantalizing strains,
Watched herds of love struck heifers respond to vocal swains...
"Now 'Red Nose' pleads for sev'rance and full retirement pay,
Retreating from the grey wolf who, Fed's insist, must stay...
They think of well fed reindeer as proper Christmas prey,
And lurk at ev'ry corner, of course they cause dismay!
"Laws hint at diapered reindeer... What flips me for a loss?
Bedding them on sterile snow and certifying moss!
When tired of fern and seaweed, let reindeer sniff a cheese ...
They'll quarantine the species, lest they spread Mad Cow Disease...
"Now, worms in my computer ...... a hassle I declare;
I'm torn by chills and fever from doubt of what to wear..
They've loyalty eternal -- those eager smiling elves,
'Til, primed by E-Mail courses, they're out to 'Find themselves'...
"Thought I'd run for Governor out in a western state ...
My loss? One fatal error -- I filed a week too late!
Though, pausing for reflection, my rep... was saved a fall --
In the year of '51, I filched a popcorn ball!"
But have a Merry Christmas this year!
© 2003, Bob Schild
Read more of Honored Guest Bob Schild's poetry here.
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