The bells in town are ringing,
'Tis Christmas time, we know;
But not a sound of the bells we hear
Out across the shifting snow.
Across the wind-swept prairie,
Where the wild chinook winds blow.
'Tis Christmas night, and we're far away
From all we love and know,
But faces are bright, and hearts are light;
Outside is the drifting snow.
And we talk, and laugh, and sing with joy,
Out where the chinooks blow.
It's Christmas night, and they drink a toast
To the loved one, far away;
One to the boys from the sunny South,
And one for the old range ways;
But the one we all love best of all
When they call out "Happy Days."
'Tis Christmas night on the old wild range,
And the Northern Lights aglow,
Dance o'er the grim grey cut-banks,
And down on the drifting snow.
And the coyote sneaks by the frozen creeks,
And the wolf calls long and low,
But the toast on the range is "Happy Days,"
Far out where the riders go.
by Rhoda Sivell
Read more poetry by Rhoda Sivell here.
Christmas Way Out West
Christmas is a comin, an' all across the West,
Lists are bein' written to put Santa to the test.
Country kids are wond'rin if he'll really fill the bill;
Soon it'll be Christmas mornin' . . . won't that be a thrill?
Tommy wants a King rope; and Sally wants some reins,
Braided out of rawhide, the kind with jinglin' chains.
A saddle is the hearts desire of Joe on Willow Crick,
While Peg, up on the mountain, wants a harness for her pig,
Callie wants a pony -- all spotted black and white --
She's waited months to see him, arrivin' Christmas night.
Sam is into tractors, in miniature of Dad's,
John Deere is the only thing to suit this little lad!
His brother wants some wrenches, so he can fix the truck
While Cody wants a riggin', for "bare's" that really buck.
Andy wants a shearing comb to tidy up his sheep
Cindy wants a heating lamp for tiny chicks that peep.
Kay wants an incubator to hatch the little things
While Bobby wants a bow, to make his arrows sing.
Mary wants some books to read, the cowgirl romance kind;
And Gary wants some puzzles to sharpen up his mind.
Jason wants a bull rope, with bright and shiny bell,
Candice needs a recorder, for stories that she tells.
Quentin ordered bronc spurs, with rowels that are sharp,
Tammy wants a puppy, with bright and laughing bark.
Nygil wants a pager, computer, an' such things,
While Kathleen is dreamin' of a diamond (in a ring)!
Tabbie wants some rubber barrels, so bumpin' them won't hurt;
Jack needs a cultivator, for stirrin' up the dirt.
Angie wants a broomstick skirt, for wearin' to the ball,
An' Bridget want's a Breyer horse -- 'cause she's not into dolls.
Roger needs a Stetson hat, the kind his grandpa wore;
Leroy asked for a Hampshire pig, a smooth an' sturdy boar.
The elves have scurried wide an' far, to fill these special needs,
The sleigh is laden to "overflow" -- big load for reindeer steeds!
All the harness is repaired, Rudolph polished up his nose,
Santa's catchin' extra zzzz's -- in a state of deep repose.
Seems like some things never change, ol' Santa sure is one -
You can always count on him, like the risin' of the sun!
So, come December twenty-fifth, the West, you'll find, is glowin' -
With rays of joy from all the grins those cowboy kids are showin'!
© 2002 Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
Rhonda and her cowboy, Will
Read more of Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns' poetry here and her Howdy from the Double Spear column here.
A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer
The worn and wrinkled cowboy
slowly shaved and combed his hair.
He picked the finest clothes he had
and then he dressed with care.
He stomped into his new bought boots
and shrugged into his coat.
The others would have questioned him,
but his thoughts seemed quite remote.
He stepped out of the bunkhouse,
and pulled his hat down tight,
Then climbed aboard his private horse
and rode into the night.
The single footin' gelding
ate the miles without a pause
And seemed to know the rider
had a most important cause.
Twenty miles on through the night,
with the rider deep in thought,
The stars came out to guide his way
to the goal the ride had bought.
His horse stopped on a gentle rise,
tho' the rider pulled no rein,
And the cowboy raised his head to stare
'Cross the quiet and lonely plain
He crawled down off the weary horse,
loosed the cinch so it could blow,
Then walked a yard or two away
and knelt down in the snow.
He crushed his hat against his chest,
raised his face up to the sky,
And then he started talking
like a friend was standing by.
"Lord, you see I rode a piece tonight
'Cause I knowed that you'd be here.
Course you wuz at the bunkhouse too,
but on this hill ya' seems near.
As I look acrost this prairie
and see the things youčve made,
Why, comparin' things us men has done
really puts 'em in the shade."
"I thank you for the love you show
in everything you do,
And I'm proud to be a top-hand
with a loyal happy crew.
I've still got all my fingers,
my legs are bowed, but tough,
Rheumatiz' ain't touched my bones,
and my mind is sharp enough."
"Your spirit gives me comfort,
and I know that when I die,
You'll let me rest forever
at that bunkhouse in the sky.
Forgive me when I wander off,
like a wild jug-headed hoss,
And I pray You'll not give up on me
'fore I learn that you're the boss."
"I've rode out here to tell you
I'm thankful for a Savior's birth,
And to send you MERRY CHRISTMAS
from your folks down here on earth."
Then he mounted up and rode away
with a casual good-bye nod.
A cowboy with his heart at peace
in the palm of the hand of God.
© Gail T. Burton
Read more of Gail T. Burton's poems here.
If There's No Need
If there's no need for Christmas trees or snow upon the ground
No need for ribbons on a package that you woke up and found
Or sounds of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" playing in your head
and if you can't see old Santa riding high inside his sled
If there's no need to gather family round a table full of food
nor reason to give that neighbor a helping hand cause he was rude
Why bother sending folks cards that speak of Christmas cheer?
Why drive yourself insane getting through this time of year?
If you'd rather treat December twenty five like any day
Cause it's too cold or it's too hot or there's just one bale of hay
Or the other folks are making too much fuss about it all
And you're worn out in November by the sounds of "Deck the Hall"
Maybe there's a reason why that day has lost its fun
Cause in the whirl of tidings you forgot about someone
It's time to stop and put your rope back on the saddle horn
take out the family Bible and read about the button born
because His message was the same for everyone in this race
slow your horses to a walk, smell the coffee and set a place
sit a spell and talk about the gifts you have. not from a box
your family, friends and neighbors. not the hole that's in your socks
© 2003, Steve Dirksen
Read more of Steve Dirksen's poetry here.
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