The Ol' Cowboy's Poem: "The Very Heart Of Me"
The Old Cowboy looked at me awhile... He did not answer...just shook his head with a toothless smile. I had asked him, "What is it that makes you so wise...Old Friend?" He thought on it a great while...then turned to tell me...with a grin. He said, "I have ridden down steep trails of ice that a billy goat wouldn't go down...in the hot August Sun... I have rode some Rodeo broncs in my time...that no one wanted to ride...and won! I have had to stop a stampede in a valley once ...that was being chased directly by a Tornado... I have gone out to save one little calf...where my horse and I were up to our necks in snow. I have herded cattle in the middle of blinding and freezing rain... Even gone out to gather 'em all back up during the remnants of a Hurricane ! I have been thrown onto rocks, concrete, bricks, cactus, rattlesnakes...even on to a bed of wild thorn... I once rode straight up a rock cliff...hanging from my horse with just two fingers...from my saddle horn. There is many things I have seen out in the woods and prairies of this land... I've been struck by lightning, kicked by a mule, chased by a bull,and almost buried in quick sand. There isn't a danger that I don't think...I haven't experienced out on a trail... Yet...I stand before you...a wise ol' man as you say...somehow...through all I prevail ! It ain't about me...It never has been... If you knew me better...you'd know I was as fickle as the wind... I should have let trouble be...in many a bar fight... I should'a spent more time at home...instead of running around all night. I was only lucky to have tangled with nature...and still be standing... I should have given my horse more free reign...instead of being so demanding. You look to me as a wise ol' coot...that might have survived some years... You look at this crazy ol' boy smilin'...but you can't see the times I had filled of tears. A Cowboy learns from the forces with which he must contend all his days... That's why there is a certain truth to knowing some of a Cowboy's ways ! But...I tell ya'...as sure as I am still standing here... It ain't from being the toughest one around...raisin' H_ll...and drinkin' beer! I didn't make it this far a long... By only following my gut...I've been known to be wrong. The humble wisdom I have gained... Is found from a mental attitude I have trained. There is something out there...much bigger than the biggest thunder cloud... And there is many a time...This ol' cowboy has had to call on help from above...and scream for it out loud! The greatest thing that I have learned... Is to mend the many bridges I have burned. People have come at me with a hickory 2" by 4"... But...I have found that forgiving them...helps keep my own life pure. The anger that can build...from years filled with hate...and those you resent... Can be used in a better capacity...there's better ways to have your energy spent. I didn't make it this far along in life...for this long...from running on piss and vinegar... I have sought Peace with my Maker...and learned to listen to others more...about who they are ! Simple things in life have become so clear to me... I have learned to know more from what I hear...and less from what I see. I have learned to let a sleeping dog lay...and to not disturb it... I have learned that...I don't even listen to myself...when I throw a fit. I have grown to love the colors of out in the country...each earth tone...and every brownish hue. I have swelled with pride over each color of my country...The Red, The White, and...The Blue! I have learned to count...each and every blessing... I have learned to shut my mouth...when I don't know an answer...and I'd juz' be guessin'! I have learned not to reach out...and grab for that shiny rock layin' in the sun... Lest I found out too late...It might be the rooftop for a scorpion. Yes...there is a lot of wisdom one gains from being on this land...and living here for awhile... One learns you can turn lemons into lemonade...with only a sincere smile. But...the greatest thing...that can make one wise...in my own eyes... Is the one who follows their heart first...instead of thinkin' they are "so wise". An act from the heart is the definition of the wisest thing...that can ever be... That is why...anything that you think is wise 'bout this ol' fool...is from the very heart of me!"
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