|Western Poetry posted March 27, 2009|
A poet enters cowboy heaven and finds a new role
A Poet in Cowboy Heaven
A Poet in Cowboy Heaven
A cowboy has a special place in heaven when he dies;
It's set aside for just those men who've had the hardest rides.
It's filled with cattle, heat, and rain and nights spent on the ground
And music sung to calm the herd at night when bedding down.
No other angels enter there; it's toughness that they lack.
They often wander out that way, but then they're herded back.
Just one exception was ever made, and that one God ordained
To put in words a cowboy's life through sun, and wind, and rain.
A poet wandered by one day, lured by the cattle's call;
He'd had little time upon a horse and droving none at all.
When St. Peter saw him standing there, he had to smile and said,
"The road you need is to the left, where lie the softest beds."
"I like this place," the poet said. "It's rowdy and full of strife.
Those clouds back there were much too calm, devoid of any life.
Could I stay here and learn the ropes? I'd work hard for my pay.
I could write songs about the boys to sing at end of day."
St. Peter took his Stetson off and spoke in doubtful tone,
"Well, I don't know," he finally said, "if such a thing is done.
I'll ask the Boss. As Foreman here, He might need more good men.
If you'll work for chuck, with some luck, He'll welcome you on in."
St. Peter left the gate unmanned and signed out "Gone to lunch."
It wasn't long til he returned and looked as pleased as punch.
"A man of words," St. Peter said, "God feels is needed here
To soothe the cowboys' pains at night and calm the restless steers."
"So welcome in, poet of the range, once minstrel of the earth;
A cowboy now you have become; here is no greater worth.
I'll get your tackle for those drives that last forever here
And find a horse that fits your needs along with other gear."
And thus it was a place was filled within the cowboy realm;
A poet was hired to do a job not normally found in Heaven.
Long he thought about his task and what needed to be told,
And ere too long the stories came and started to unfold.
He wrote of long cattle drives from Cheyenne to Santa Fe;
He told of hardships without end and trials along the way.
Heat and drought, winds and floods, and flies that pierced the hide;
Balky steers and hardtack meals and broncs no man could ride.
He wrote of nights beneath the stars with prairies stretching out
And rivers crossed and cattle lost and rustlers all about;
And then he penned about those men whose solitary lives
Left little room at end of day for hearth and home and wives.
And when he read those stories round the campfire every night,
He knew that he belonged right there for it suited him just right;
No eye was dry within that crowd of toughened old trail hands,
For what was said had all been lived and all could understand.
So when you get to Heaven's gate, come see this cowboy clan;
We're all the same the poet says, just wearing different brands.
There's one bunkhouse holds all of us beyond the setting sun;
God's roundup brings us all back home when our last trail is done.
It's a bit long but story poems are that way. A poet would have a wonderful place in cowboy heaven.Pays one point and 2 member cents.
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