Lona’s Prayer and other poems

Lona and Bob

“Everyday is Thanksgiving day
So many blessings come my way.
All my burdens on the Lord I lay.
When each day I kneel to pray
Peace comes into my heart to stay.”

Lona didn’t always go to the arena to watch her sons, Jim and Bob, ride in the rodeo. She was too afraid
to see them get hurt. Instead, she listened to the announcer from her kitchen window. The poems Archer
City, To an Unknown Feller who Asked me a Question, The World in the Eyes of a Country
Child and Cowboys Near and Far were written by her son, Bob, before he died in 2001. They were
published in 1996 in his book of poems he called Cattle Trails and Cowboy Tales. He dedicated the book
to his mother “for all the Thursday nights that you sewed past midnight so my brother and I would have
new western shirts to wear to the rodeo on Friday night.”

ARCHER CITY

This little ole town I know so well,
It’s a story I’ll attempt to tell.
No more the hotel’s there for you,
The blacksmith’s shop has passed on too.

At one time, a railroad track
Ran thru just east of town.
There were grain bins and cotton gins,
But all have been torn down.

Progress seems to have passed it by,
Although I know some reasons why.
The cotton farms are all gone now
They’ve been replaced by oil and cow.

The stores then had lights a burning
Until way after ten.
Now they lock their doors and close,
As the day begins to end.

This town’s been known over the years
By many different names.
From Anarene to Texasville,
When the movie people came.

To me this recorded history Is there for all to see.
It brings back many memories,
That mean a lot to me.

I see old friends that walk and talk
Just like I used to see.
But some of them have been called home.
With their maker they now be.

But there’s one thing there that time and fame
Will never take away,
When the people meet you on the street,
It’s still – “Howdy! How are you today?”

TO AN UNKNOWN FELLER WHO ASKED ME A QUESTION

The day that I saw you in the Blue Pig Book Store,
In that ole home town of mine,
You asked if I wrote “Cowboy Poetry?”
And I said, “Never a line.”

On my way home I was thinking
Of all the many things I have done,
From drilling rigs, trucks and airplanes,
To cowboying all day in the sun.

The ones that I remember best
Are the ones sitting stride a good hose,
Just chasing and penning wild cattle,
Branding, cutting and pleasing the boss.

But now in my 60s my memories do change.
From the time when I in my prime,
Was riding rank broncs on the ranches,
For some of the old friends of mine.

I would sit up there, no trouble at all,
Just using my spurs and quirt.
But probably the truth of the matter is,
I was getting up out of the dirt.

I remember riding them until they would stop
Drooped head and a dripping with sweat.
In reality it was me, I know,
Who was tired out and soaking wet.
I guess the good Lord will forgive me
For stretching the truth a bit,
But I know if I told it like it really was,
I’d just probably give up and quit.

I know back then when I hit the ground
Again and again and again,
I just kept getting sorer
And losing much more of my skin.

I’d keep right on a trying
Till I rode them in the end.
I guess they finally just got real tired
Of looking at me with no skin.

I still keep an old cow horse,
And ride him around on my place,
As I ride slowly thru them old Longhorn cows,
That I raise here on this small place.

I only have eighty acres here,
Which is very small I know,
But there’s plenty room for my family and me
To watch those Longhorn calves grow.

Since you gave me the idea of writing this,
You’ll have to help me end.
The best way I know for this to be
Is to have you call me your Friend.

THE WORLD IN THE EYES OF A COUNTRY CHILD

The world that’s seen from a young child’s eyes, who’s raised up on the land,
Is one with a completely different view from what other folks understand.
When they’re sitting upon a big old rock on some high hill, they see
Their world and all that’s in it, a lot different from you and me.

They see the baby animals as they run and jump and play, and they don’t
Seem to worry about what might happen another day.
They see the land for miles and miles till it fades to a hazy blue,
They’re not worried about what’s on the other side, as the older folks all do.

They don’t think about those big old cities that are over the hills somewhere,
Their life is here before them, about the rest they just don’t care. They lay and watch the clouds as they paint pictures in the sky,
They watch the eagles as they soar and the other birds that fly.

They don’t worry about the smog and smoke like city folks all do,
They just wonder about mother nature and about the great things she can do.
Like the dew that’s on the grass some mornings and other days the frost,
When thinking of the things like these, from all world problems they are lost.

It would be a great blessing to all grownups, if sometimes we’d take a minute or two,
To look at the world in a different light like the country kids all do.

COWBOYS NEAR AND FAR

We guys down here in Texas,
We like to brag a lot.
We think that we’re all cowboys,
But some of us are not.

There’s cowboys everywhere you go,
North, South, and East or West.
There’s some that’s good, some that’s bad,
And some of them, the best.

We all don’t dress or look alike,
Our gear is different too.
We all work cattle differently,
As our daily chores we do.

There’s cowboys up in Canada,
Some of the best you’ll ever see.
And the Aussies working down below,
They sure have impressed me.

The Gauchos down in Argentina,
They’re good as what I’ve heard.
The natives go barefoot in Africa,
As they graze and water their herd.

There’s one thing that I’ve learned so far,
I’m going to tell you now.
No matter where in the world you go,
A cow is still a COW

One thought on “Lona’s Prayer and other poems

  1. It’s wonderful that my Aunt Lona is such a favorite among the workshop’s writers. She is, without a doubt, one of a kind. My Uncle Bob (we’re actually cousins but I always called him Uncle because he was older) was a talented poet who deserved a wider audience and more accolades that he received. I’m so proud Center and Main has chosen to share some of his works. More can be viewed at http://www.cowboypoetry.com/bel.htm

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