Starlight

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Those of my closest friends and family know I ride a lot alone at night in the back pastures and woodlots near the home place…..for me there is something deeply spiritual about being alone with the darkness and my favorite horse. For those who care about me there is concern that I may get hurt….but I have always maintained that it is worth every risk. And if someday I don’t return it will have been a happy ending….. I am reminded of a favorite verse by  Erin Hansen….

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

-Erin Hansen

I’m sitting in the quiet breeze tonight and looking at a photo I took and remembering a favorite night ride from a few weeks back. I wrote this short one that captures its essence….hope you like it. PT

 

Starlight
The moment my feet found the stirrups
I knew that I’d found my way home
To chase fireflies in lush meadows
To touch where the angels still roam
For equus had captured my spirit
To dance in this wind with the trees
And soar with my own kindred spirits
Awake in the warmth of God’s breeze
For I and my tribe live these moments
With bridle and saddle and sweat
To chase down our dreams in the darkness
In places no feet have touched yet
And though we will journey in silence
To dance with our angels in tow
It’s only the horses and starlight
That witness these places we go
                          PT Muldoon
                           © 2016, PT Muldoon

Meadow Guard

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Been a while since I wrote a new one…..this is one of those that lives in your head for a long time….until you just have to pick up your pen and write it down….Hope you guys like it. PT

Meadow Guard

Wind blown lines in saw grass

Two hawks just circling through

My gelding loves the north pass

Where cross winds whistle thru

 

It’s summer on these ranges

Draped in the gold and green

As sun and rain bring changes

Rich places few have seen

 

Some will dwell in cities tall

And love the bustles speed

Others hear the hoof beats fall

Where life runs at slow speed

 

A heart can’t live two places

And dance to different drum

My heart seeks hidden places

At end when nightfall comes

 

When this life’s dance is over

Please spread my ashes wide

And leave me with the clover

On God’s sweet countryside

 

For I will dance in ranges

With lightning bugs in flight

To watch as season changes

I’ll guard the herds at night

 

To fly with hawks inside the sky

I’ll race a deer in meadows green

And be the wind in horses mane

To guard these places never seen

 

PTMuldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon

Rejected

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I love writing about things that are real for me personally….it doesn’t get any more real than a good old fashioned rejection letter. Figured I’d share mine with you and write a little verse to capture the moment. Hope you like it. PT

Rejected

 

I wrote a couple poems down

I thought my verse was tight

Until by US Mail, word sent

My work was not quite right

 

They wrote it nice and simple

Said a bunch of folks applied

I sat and read their reject note

Until all my tears were dried

 

I’m nearly 54 years old

I’m running outta time

I’ve tried to write em better

Make all my stanzas rhyme

 

I guess I’ll saddle up old Tiggs

And bring along my book

To write a couple in the seat

From where I like to look

 

Someday when I am older

They’ll look back in despair

For passing on my best ones

But by then I just wont care

 

I still have hope for Elko

If someday they’d invite

I guess I’ll work on next year

Hey pard please pass that light

 

PT Muldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon

Baxter The Cowdog

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A couple weeks back we had the big race out here at the track at MIS (it usually brings a lot of traffic and not everyone is always polite in their driving behavior). Got a call from Mike at the Farm and someone had hit our old farm dog with a minivan going about 55 it ripped a chunk of facia off the van and they didn’t even stop to see if he was ok!!! Baxter can be a bit difficult but he usually steers clear of the road!!! A good samaritan who saw it happen stopped and quickly got Mike and they carried the old codger to the horse barn.

Mike told me Baxter wasn’t looking too good and I should come right away….. I thought to myself well 14 is a good run for a Corgi!!! When I got there he was laying down on his side so I hollered his name….one eye opened…then the other!! Didn’t appear to have anything sticking out or broken. So we checked him out good and gave him a bowl of fresh food and water, a nice bed of hay and left him to rest. I figured by morning he’d either be ok or on his way to the happy hunting grounds in the sky!! Baxter, who we now describe as tougher than a minivan made a full recovery….I played with the old crab for a solid half hour this morning and you’d of thought he was 5 or 6!!! I wrote this poem about him a while back….now that I know he’s ok I figured I’d share it on here. PT

Baxter The Cow dog

Old cow dogs are special
They stand at farm guard
On places with livestock
Where life can be hard

On our place it’s Baxter
He’s been there a spell
A small cow dog ninja
On this thick muddy hell

He gathers up cattle
And chases down feed
He doesn’t like salesman
He’ll seldom take heed

He lays on the concrete
Gets in everyones way
Hogs all the dog food
And messes up hay

Always quite grumpy
In summer he’s fat
And if he could talk
He’d claim he’s all that

I’ve had him so long
Don’t remember his age
He’s mean as a rattler
Farm cats fear his rage

But when I do chores
He stays right by my side
He’ll jump in my pick up
And join me for the ride

He doesn’t like brushes
And vets keep their space
He steals groceries at times
And he moves his own pace

But I still like his company
And treasure his guard
He’s a part of our family
And the king of this yard

And someday he’ll leave
Like the ones left before
But his son’s even tougher
So we’ll still have one more
PT Muldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon

St. Peter’s Riders

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This is one I wrote a while back. A friend shared the picture and I felt like it needed some words to go with it. A lot has happened recently in my life that has challenged me to accept the world and things that happen that are beyond my control. But I still like to believe there are angels out there and that the ones who have my back are well mounted. Hope you like my words.PT

St Peters Riders

When I was but a button i’d stare down the summer sky
And wonder where the good go when it’s their time to die
Perhaps there is a cavalry of angels who ride true
And help God on the heaven spread when there is work to do

For I believe in heaven I’ve seen its open door
The rolling waves of prairie grass invite me to it’s shore
And angels moving quickly well mounted in the sky
As we send off ancestors with teardrops in our eyes

For I believe the maker of creation got it right
Plunging us to darkness then he fills the sky with light
And all the ones before us who carry in their heart
The knowledge of the ages and each our own bit part

For I believe that even still the good in man will win
And we’ll mount up together and guide God’s herd again
And when the evil challenges our heart and soul and try
Then we’ll enlist those angels so well mounted in the sky
PT Muldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon

The Ride

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Life got busy kicking my butt this week…..thought I’d share one I wrote a while back about life, challenges and this ride we call life…..we all live with the cards we get dealt….just comes down to how we play them….Hope you like it. PT

The Ride
When the darkness comes to calling
And the trail is hard to find
Cuz your back trails covered over
And you’ve slowly lost your mind

And you look to God for answers
But just silence fills the air
In the mirror your reflection
Gives you pause no blame to share

In that quiet contemplation
Where the blame rests just on you
And you feel life’s hard frustration
Now your choice is down to two

It’d be over in a moment
If you take that rocky fall
Or on up there through the darkness
So damn steep it’s like a wall

There are roads that lay before us
And they’re marked with trials and pain
From the ones who forged on forward
Or who plunged to earth like rain

Friend there are no easy answers
Every man must ride his trail
But the strongest on the outside
Are the creatures God made frail

So I think about and ponder
What we learn from life’s dark wedge
And I try to forge on higher
Ever closer to that edge

And if on the break of morning
I don’t make it through this ride
It was not for lack of trying
Meet me on the other side
PT Muldoon

 

 © 2016, PT Muldoon

 

A Horse A Man Can Trust

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Sometimes a picture just begs me to write one….That’s my good friend The late Tim Double and his nephew Jasper aboard StrawTown Cookie a heel horse Tim owned, started, and rodeo’d on….I had Cookie for years here at the home farm…… we roped, trail rode and gamed on her. You see Tim had entrusted me with her after he was paralyzed in an automobile accident and could no longer ride….he loved that horse and we had a deal that I would watch over her for him, a promise I took very seriously. We lost Tim a while back to complications from the accident that took his legs from him. And Cookie, after teaching so many kids here to ride and countless county fairs and rodeos went to live with a very special girl who had been badly injured in a horseback accident some years back and now requires a very special horse. She still sends me selfies of her and Cookie regularly and I know the good karma has come back full circle. I believe some animal’s just know…and they take very special care of the people in their lives…..I like this poem a lot…it reminds me of everything that I treasure about my horses and the people I count as my friends. I figured this one needed to be on my page.Hope you like it. PT

 

A Horse a Man Can Trust

There’s ponies that are handy
The ones that take the prize
They hold a special sparkle
You can see it in their eyes

The ones that just possess it
They’ll guard that kid or bust
The really good broke horses
These kind a Man can trust

Sometimes it is important
To start that kid out right
To build in them a feeling
That keeps away all fright

But when you see a grown man
With child wedged at the horn
You know he’s on a good one
There’s few like that just born

Young kids are mighty lucky
When right there at the start
They find a hand that’s willing
And a horse of good kind heart
PT Muldoon
© 2016, PT Muldoon

 

Vaquero Surfista

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When I was a kid I remember hearing a story about an old surfer who lived far out on a remote beach in Hawaii.The story went that he was so good locals would try and sneak out just to marvel at his amazing ability to become one with the sea. The old master never entered a single competition and when asked, his response was that he sought connection with the waves and to compete would have cheapened what he regarded as spiritual. I wrote this one for those amazing horseman I have met over the years for whom horses are truly a spiritual connection and who seek something special that few ever attain….a glimpse into the very soul of a horse and the chance to dance with the ancestors. Vaquero Surfisto translated means Cowboy Surfer…. I think that both share more than they realize…. Hope you like it. PT

 

Vaquero Surfista (The Old Master)

Vaquero Surfista they called the old master
Out on the edge where the plains met the sky
He rode a big buckskin with eyes of the devil
Legend said on him that cowboy could fly

Sun leaving eyes weathered and shattered
Calloused skin worn from the work of a hand
Sitting up straight a proud king on his throne
Surveying the treasure, this bold rugged land

Out on the breaks as the trail ends abruptly
He and the horse and no boundaries to feel
Only this man a good horse and the prairie
Riding for something just God would reveal

Chaps worn and stained from long riding
The old hand built wade carved with pride
Sitting a horse among angels in heaven
Awaiting the day when the angels will ride

Here in the world where some men ride for glory
Save for those few who chase one special prize
And out on the edge of the sweet sacred prairie
Vaquero Surfista rides waves through the skies

Ocean calls some men to ride with its spirit
Seek out and saddle what most cannot feel
And only the men who can harness the wild
Touch on the moments fine horses make real

All the young cowboys would gather at distance
To watch the old master ride waves in the sun
And only the horse and the angels from heaven
Knew the true story of what had been done

Life can be special and sacred to measure
Never to touch what their skills might unfold
Out on a horse feeling only one heartbeat
Painting like masters, sweet visions untold

Some spend their life in pursuit of a moment
Others are here for one sweet sacred chance
To witness perfection and ride with the angels
And share as the master invites us to dance
PT Muldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon

Estrogen Ink

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Thought I’d write one a little different for Fathers Day….a while back I was shopping in town and I got behind a young woman barely grown herself……she had two small kids and on her wrist was a tattoo that simply said “Believe In Yourself”……This one goes out to all those single moms out there who have had to cover both ends of the deal and they get up everyday and fight the good fight giving their kids everything they possibly can until they collapse at days end only to rise up and do it again the next day….Happy Fathers Day….Believe In Yourself!!! PT

Estrogen Ink

Her bodies her canvas
Her soul deep and true
She holds on with both hands
As this world makes her blue

She’s a young twenty two
With two kids at her side
Holding tight to the edges
Short money long pride

There’s drama and trauma
No room for much more
She cries softly at night
When the jeans hit the floor

She don’t give one damn
What some people might think
She just marks down her journey
In estrogen ink

She’s working two jobs
Playing Mommy and Dad
Facing struggles in silence
Sometimes life makes her sad

All her hopes and her dreams
Caught out there on the brink
Spelled it out in her tattoos
In estrogen ink

Encouraging words
Written deep in her skin
Written down to remind her
This life struggle she’ll win

And someday she’ll triumph
Despite what folks think
And she’ll mark the occasion
In Estrogen ink

PT Muldoon
© 2016, PT Muldoon

Keeper

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Recently I was reminded of a conversation I had with my friend Roy Rodriguez a while back…..Roy told me if a man is truly blessed, he gets one good horse, and maybe one good dog!!! I’ve thought long and hard about our conversation and Roy’s absolutely right…you get one, if you’re really lucky there are others that stand out across your lifetime…. but in reality you just get that one!!! Anyone who knows me knows I got mine many years ago and his name is Tigger….he’s been with me going on 18 years now….he’s a 1992 model so he turned 24 this year.

 

I’ve written a few poems about him over the years…. but this one is really about all those special horses that we lucky few are entrusted with….Tiggs just happens to be mine! I don’t claim to be some talented buckaroo capable of sitting the broncy ones….I’m pretty much screws and titanium these days and a heck of a lot more careful than I used to be….but Tiggs always makes sure I look good…..he watches over me….and I watch over him!!! That’s our deal and somehow we’ve always been a bit better when we are teamed up together….When I had my knee replaced I was frightened to get back on… so when I climbed on him for the first time with fear in my eyes he packed me around for a lap or two then bucked just a little…. as if to say you’re alright…I got you!!!! Gradually in time my confidence came back largely due to my trust in the horse….maybe in truth that’s really how it ought to be…it’s a trust that’s been built up over a lot of years and yes a few bad choices and yes some good wrecks…..a lot of people have sat on him over the years and they always step off and then look at me kind of funny like really you think that horse is all that?….but for me he’s as close to a perfect horse as I think I will ever get to ride!!! As the saying goes there’s a butt for every chair and he’s mine!!!

 

Last night we rode out ahead of a little storm…just a little summer shower…a short ride…. (an hour or so), not too far from the home place…..it was one of those magical nights where the air was crisp and cool, the bugs tolerable and it was quiet as we just enjoyed the ride out together in complete silence… as the wind danced through the leaves of the trees and made that cool summer sound….the kind of ride that makes you feel alive and recharges you down deep in your soul…..I stopped along the edge of a field (just before it got too dark), took my I phone out and wrote down the words of this poem….. I know we’re both getting a lot older these days…he’s 24 and I’ll be 54 in August. I know neither one of us looks anything like we did back when he was 6 and I was still in my  30’s….but from my seat the world looks exactly the same as it always has in between those ears….so sitting in my saddle everything is still right with the world!!!! I hope you guys like the poem…..it’s straight out of the saddle and direct from the heart. PT

Keeper

Those in the knowledge will state it quite plain

Don’t sell your saddle son, don’t price the horse

Hardships are normal, like wind, snow and rain

Stick to the good ones, hold true to your course

 

If you’re lucky the maker will grant you just one

Some of his spirit breathes deep in your soul

Most never know until the chance is all gone

Once in your pasture, your spirit’s made whole

 

Back in my youth so much younger and spry

Handed a check, all the numbers still blank

Someone who saw just how special he was

Offered to buy him….cold cash in the bank

 

Tore up that check right in half as I grinned

Deep down I knew what I had in that horse

Partners together through long span of time

Money can’t purchase the joy of our course

 

Don’t price what you cannot ever replace

Money and wealth are ink, paper, and dust

All the good things that this life can provide

You can’t put a price on a partner you trust

 

We are but here for one moment then gone

Sharing this good trail of life with a friend

When this rides over and journey is done

All of those memories stand true to the end

 

So many hours well spent were transforming

Thousands of miles as we two rode alone

He’s been my friend, my compadre, my brother

Up on that Dunn horse, slick saddle, my home

 

If you are happy then money will add to it

If you are not, it won’t mean one damn thing

And all of the riches that this life can offer us

Can’t even measure what one great horse brings

 

Partnerships grow, living on in our memory

My pony and I, all these rides fill our hearts

And when we crossover he’ll be at my side

Up in the heavens, on a new trail we’ll start

 

PT Muldoon

© 2016, PT Muldoon