Memories and Fence Lines

BnW Fence line

Photo Credit: Judi De Jong

Thank you Judi for this wonderful photo that spurred a little poem.

Memories and Fence Lines
By David De Jong

Old memories like fence lines part the field
Tendin’ and mendin’, attemptin’ to yield
Some sort of order and an open view
But after all the fixin’ some slip through

Always checkin’ the strands to see they’re tight
Lest somethin’ wanders away in the night
The older the wire, the less it holds
Tattered webs that break, before they can fold

Old corner post still holdin’ its domain
Half buried in sediment flushed by rain
Overgrown by persistent brome and weeds
Hidin’ barbs, and splinters, forgotten seeds

Once trimmed and taught, posts in a stately row
Garnerin’ looks from last year’s ol’ scare crow
Perfectin’ his stare while feelin’ his oats
Dazed by a reflection of eight old goats

Not sure what was in mind while lookin’ back
Some of the strands are gone and won’t come back
Some stock broke free and wanders, aimlessly
While some tends to linger, auspiciously

Like a trusted horse on a narrow road
Let lose the reins and let him take the load
Instinct will carry you back when you need
Let you see across, give the fence a read

Count your blessin’s if your wire still holds
And keeps your memories between the folds



Winter Blocks

By David De Jong

Don’t get any ideas or get all riled
I’ve felt it in my bones for quite awhile
Been waitin’ for the time to let you know
This isn’t workin’, and you gotta go

I bid you; farewell, and gladly say so
It’s been some time now, I wished you would go
I’m tired of you tellin’ me what to do
Its high time things changed, for a better view

I welcomed you first, like everyone else
Like a breath of fresh air, good for my health
Things were crisp and clean, yet slowed down a bit
It felt great at first, we seemed a good fit

Somewhere between, the beginnin’ and end
I stopped seein’ you as my welcomed friend
Your cold-hearted attitude broke my stride
Time to let you go, run away and hide

We had some memories, good ones and bad
Some deeper than others, some best we had
Of gifts and lights and celebrations bright
New hopes and dreams, shared around candle light

You stranded us, branded us, kept us in
And never let us believe, we could win
You’d lose your temper and stir up a storm
Didn’t take you long, till it became the norm

Next time we meet, I’m sure I’ll have forgot
Your cold undertones and frozen earth plot
Time we broke it off, and just end this thing
I’ve found someone new and her name is Spring

Mystical Fog

Morning Fog

Mystical Fog
By David De Jong

Meanderin’ through mystical fog
An ol’ cowpoke and his trusty dog
Searchin’ for strays and doct’rin’ the sick
Coverin’ old wounds needin’ a scratch or pick

Surroundin’ fog with its somber charm
Somehow comfortin’, oddly warm
Like a blanket wrapped in tenderness
Settlin’ worries, erasin’ stress

Speakin’ softly in his calmin’ tone
The cowpoke assured, he’s not alone
He hears a whisperin’ in the trees
The brush of feathers, angelic breeze

Unable to speak yet still explain
Branches shed tears for the sorrowed pain
Solemn drops shatterin’ on the ground
Humble offerin’s, simply profound

Somehow peace, alleviates the soul
On this damp an’ dreary, mornin’ stroll
The Creator’s magic never fails
Inspirin’ hope along these trails

Step after step they all trod along
Listenin’ to angels sing their song
An ol’ cowpoke and his trusty dog
Meanderin’ through, mystical fog

Twelve Hundred


Twelve Hundred
By David De Jong

Saddle bags getting’ lean, ammo’s nearly spent
Pockets are empty, ‘cept memories and lint
Sheriff’s closin’ in and his posse’s takin’ turn
Piece of lead he gave me, sure startin’ to burn

We crossed the border and the ponies were fine
Our herd of three hundred, all ready and prime
Got caught up in a tussle, Black Canyon Bends
No-good sheriff with his no-good friends

They rustled the herd, left us all for dead
I can’t get that lyin’ cheat, outa my head
He knew we were comin’, had it all arranged
Thought I could trust him, until it all got changed

We’ve been busted up before but none the likes
Pinned hard to the ground like a rail and spikes
Surrounded and outnumbered, nowhere to go
They took the herd and turned for ol’ Mexico

So now, the sheriff and I, got a debt to settle
His badge, means nothing, just a piece of metal
We’ll be pickin’ buttons off each other’s shirt
Lead will be flyin’ till one of us eats dirt

If I go down spillin’ my blood on the ground
I’ll sure take him with me and bring him around
Just in time to see, what he’s about to taste
Twelve hundred hooves, givin’ the devil his chase

A Dog’s Life




Watercolor Credit: Lindsey Tonak


A Dog’s Life
By David De Jong

We’ll go meandering for morning walks
Just to have our silent, extensive talks
Learning, discerning for paths of whitetail
Searching and sniffing all along the trail
You follow their scent and I track their tread
Gaining your prized treats, winter antlers shed

We’ll sit on the ridge, watching a red tail
Attempt after attempt ending in fail
To catch his prey scurrying in the brush
A rooster pheasant unwilling to flush
Taking his chance under an old tree pile
Sneaking out the back in keen rooster style

We’ll share a watermelon slice of fun
A tempting, sweet treat to your gentle tongue
Both so content as we nibble each slice
Knowing one will never, ever suffice
Then there on the porch we’ll just sit and stare
While dragon flies dart and pass through the air

We’ll play in the snow, the deepest the best
Racing the frisbee, your favorite test
You’ll turn your side into a giant ski
And slide down the hill in jubilant glee
You’ll roll and tussle to pick up some stink
While I cuss, and wonder just what to think

We’ll find puddles and muddles none too small
So you can splash and crash and spill them all
You love water more than fish in the creek
Sunny or cold, any day of the week
Once soaking wet you take hours to dry
With towels and fans, whatever we try

We’ll crash on the couch and you’ll twitch your eyes
Hinting with pathetic, endearing sighs
The days not over and there’s things to do
More toys to fetch or hide, more bones to chew
Just one more time, get your boots and your coat
Quit pretending, you’re some tired old goat

A dog’s life it is, for you and for me
Darn good one I must, admit it to be



Our Beloved Kopper


Tall Pines


Watercolor Credit: Stephanie Irvin


Tall Pines
By David De Jong

Take me back to the tree line, over yonder river’s edge;
Where long pines grow for glory as their everlastin’ pledge.
Bristles rake the clouds, collectin’ their mornin’ draft of dew;
While sunrise pilots the horizon, upon its giv’n cue.

The air awakes and listens, for its piercin’ eagle’s cry;
Readin’ the river’s cipherin’, followin’ with hungry eye,
Defyin’ all laws of gravity, grinnin’ at the thrill,
Pickin a brown, or a rainbow, just cause he can at will.

A doe shyly emerges, saunterin’ to take a drink,
Then retreats to the shadows, disappearin’ in a blink.
Where her fawn lies hidden in the thatches, she’ll ne’er foretell,
While it sleeps in solace, under its watchful mother’s spell.

Heavens reflectin’ brilliance, in hues of amber and green,
Blues and silvers mingle, shimmerin’, boilin’ vats of steam.
Caught between a canvas and the stroke of a painter’s dream,
I feel an intrusion, upon this tranquil, sacred scene.

All the while the pines are sweepin’, callin’ with gentle swoon;
Should ever you choose to leave, it’d be, a moment too soon.

Paint the Way

Paint the Way

Photo Credit: Stephanie Irvin

Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings for the coming year!

Listen to: Paint the Way

Paint the Way

By David De Jong

Relax, sit back, close your eyes, and humor me,
Let these few words, come to life, and set you free.

Imagine, imagine with me if you will,
A pair of horses, walking up a hill.

An old cowpoke sitting in the saddle aslant,
His paint taking lead, just a slow steady gant.

His hat weathered felt, stained from sweat and torn,
The saddle he rides; polished leather, soft and worn.

His face strained from a lifetime outdoors, browned in the sun;
A hearty laugh from deep in his soul; he was loving it, having fun.

Trailing behind, is a young green-horn rider gent,
There just to earn a living; spending every cent.

Where the old man and the paint where leading, he didn’t know,
All that crossed his mind was – the clouds, sure looked like snow.

They took a trail the younger never seen or rode before,
They meandered down a draw, then along the river’s shore.

The air was cold and quiet; the wind – just dead still,
Quiet before the storm? It made the younger ill.

A soft stomp, or clop of the hoof and an occasional leap,
Two horses continued; the climb, never too steep.

Nary a word was uttered by either rider,
Each alone; yet knowing, they rode together.

The younger – restless, and loosing all sense of patience,
Started festering – questioning the old man’s intelligence.

“Why – Why on earth are we taking this trail – this trail today?”
“Even I, green as I may be, can tell, snow is definitely on the way!”

The old cow-hand just kept riding, kept to himself but shed a smile,
He knew in his heart – this ride wasn’t easy but would last quite awhile.

They had long left the river bank far below,
The air turning crisp – each breath would show.

The horse’s mane and winter hair; thick and long,
Muscles flexing in their legs; lean but strong.

They were just as pleased to be in the cool mountain air,
Stride by stride, they made a most graceful pair.

Winter sure been visiting this side of the crest,
The days growing shorter, the sun slipping west.

Soon, they’d make camp, rest for the night,
The old man knew exactly where – just out of sight.

They held up just inside the timber line,
The air now frosty and turning fine.

They hobbled their horses, fed them some grain, built a small fire,
Both riders stepping awkward – they were stiff as wire.

Warmed by the glowing coals and a belly full of grub,
The older gent, still quiet – just aggravated the young chub.

He began to regret this time – this old-man’s trail,
He moaned and groaned and cursed to no avail.

The old timer just picked up his bedroll and found his spot,
Bedded down over buried rocks and coals – plenty warm – not too hot.

A quiet verse and a prayer of thanks, he soon fell asleep – content with the day,
Meanwhile, the younger still fretted and fussed – there was snow on the way!

As they slept, the earth was refreshed, pure and white,
First winter’s snow fell sleepily, all through the night.

The young lad awoke, with a temper already in his voice,
“Of all the trails I’ve rode – this is the worst by my choice.”

He kicked the snow, dusted his saddle, and cursed the old man,
He was certain he knew better and it was about to hit the fan.

The old rider – coffee – long spent,
Just ignored the ranting flint.

“Saddle up” – he said, at once to the lad,
He knew – this could be good or just go bad.

The old cowpoke and his gentle paint again took the lead,
Past the timberline now, nothing grew, not even a weed.

Just over the crest he reverently stepped down, reining the paint,
Turned his head sideways to listen – he could hear it – ever so faint.

Slowly the volume gathered as it came up the pass,
Strings and voices reverberating off the lake of glass.

Far, deep, down the valley below where the snow softly still fell,
Smoke lifted up from a scant white church, nestled in the high chaparral.

As the cinders climbed up through the air,
Voices, angelic, rose up the mountain stair.

It was early Sunday morn and the choir practice had begun,
Unknowing their message’s reach, they sang just for fun.

With ice covering the lake and snow blanketing the ground,
There was no end to the beautiful chorus – a stirring sound.

The young cowpoke, still in the saddle, just sat in disbelief,
His anger now regrets, he had let it take him, just like a thief.

Never could he have dreamed, never would he have known;
This blessing, this gift, indescribable, unless he was gently shown.

The trail had been long, winding, and trying a might,
What it brought him to, was pure – heavenly delight.

Just the view of the valley, the peace, the choir, the snow,
He could feel his heart, beat for beat relit, reclaimed with glow.

The old man finally broke his silence, these gentle words he spoke with love,
This day and each you awake to is a gift – a gift from God above.

No matter the trail, the ride, or the loss,
Take heart my son, keep your eye on that cross.

Never forsake the time you have been given, to live for yourself,
Share your heart with those you love, keep your Bible off the shelf.

Give to your neighbor, when he needs a hand,
Someday he’ll return the favor, and with you stand.

When the trail gets long, lonely and you feel in need,
Hold fast in faith to the Lord and follow His lead.

In His care, rest assured, you will stay,
Surrender to Him and He will Paint the Way.

The younger started to thank the old man for leading him on this ride,
When he turned to look, the old cowboy had left from his side.

He looked up and down the slope, left then right,
The old man and his paint completely vanished from his sight.

How? – Who? – Could this be?
The old man, had set him free.

He now understood the old man’s words, took off his hat and bowed to pray;
“Lord, thank you – for your blessings, your gifts today,”

“Now and forever, I will follow what you say,”
“Just take the lead and paint the way.”