Friday, December 28, 2012

December: A Good Month to Cowboy

Stephen Bly (1944-2011)

Cowboy Poetry
Stephen Bly

December is a good month to cowboy,
   if you're fond of the wind, snow and cold.
It ain't that I don't like winter, boys,
   it's just tougher when a man grows old.

Snow whipped down off the Elkhorns,
   drifted the draws and the ridge.
I turned Sage's rump to the mountain
   and plodded our way to the bridge.

With my Carhartt yanked up to my ears,
   and my Resistol screwed down tight,
We pushed them two old stubborn cows
   into the afternoon's fadin' daylight.


Cowboy riding horse in snow
The pup was straddlin' my saddle horn,
   his little legs done tuckered out.
We crossed Rock Creek a crunchin' ice,
   the last trip of the season, no doubt.

My chaps as stiff as a rawhide tree,
   my toes I hadn't felt since noon.
A big rock fireplace waited up ahead
   and I knew we would be there soon.

I got a barn as big as a feed store
   and a log house I built by hand.
A wood pile to make Dan McGrew smile,
   a lovin' wife with style and with sand.

There's a star hangin' up on the Beaverslide,
   took ever' extension cord that I had.
You can see that sucker for sixteen miles,
   as a symbol it ain't all that bad.

Christmas star
It reminds me of the star at Bethlehem,
   a great many Decembers ago.
It signaled wise men to the savior's side,
   I doubt if they plodded in snow.

I reckon He leads every one of us,
   if we would just follow the light,
Surrender our stone cold stubborn hearts,
   and quit puttin' up such a fight.

You think about that in December,
   when there ain't no sound buttin' in.
And you're ridin' down off the mountain
   and tryin' to sort out your sin.

Ain't only a baby that we're celebratin',
   but a Savior who died in our stead.
He gives us a good life here on earth,
   and a forever we don't have to dread.

I don't think those thoughts in the summer,
   the ranch is too hectic, you know.
Just late in the evenin's come winter,
   and I'm trailin' along real slow.

My toes is a startin' to warm up,
   ponderin' the blessin's I've had,
and thankin' the Lord for His kindness,
   askin' forgiveness for makin' Him sad.

December is a good month to cowboy,
   takin' time to remember what is true.
Bringin' friends to the Lord as I ride home,
   askin' Him to take good care of you.

Author Stephen Bly's hat hanging at Winchester Community Church, ID
For more cowboy poetry by Stephen Bly, check the Bly Books website store:

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