Tag Archives: Christmas
Laden with stone pack,
Mr. Sandman waits for the call
From Santa. He’ll fly!
with apologies to Clement Clark Moore
not a creature was stirring ‘neath sage nor on branch.
The feed pile was heaped, all ready for morn.
when sheep could devour their sweet breakfast corn.
The ewe lambs were nestled all snug in the brush
while ‘round them ewes lay still in the hush,
near bucks red with paint, their bright metal bells,
reflected the moonlight’s wintery spells.
Then out in the desert there arose such a clatter,
the guard dogs leaped up to see what was the matter.
Away to the bedground they flew in a flash
barking and growling, on alert for a clash.
The moon on the sage flat showed new-fallen snow,
giving lustre of midday to sheep bedded below,
when, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
but Santa’s own feed wagon, pulled by Mule deer.
The feed sled it brimmed with alfalfa and hay—
this wagon he pulled instead of a sleigh.
More rapid than pronghorns, his coursers they came.
He whistled and shouted and called them by name.
“On Bucky, on Bambi, on Fawna and Devin,
on Woody, on Forest, on Jumper and Kevin,
to the top of the rim, we’ll fly with good cheer,
With a nose glowing green, our leader, John Deere!”
As ice flakes that before the wild blizzard they fly,
through snowstorms and wind, they mount to the sky,
and up to the sheep wagon, on to the feed ground,
came Santa’s sled, where goodies abound.
With Santa attired in Scotch cap and wool,
in fleece-lined gloves—his white beard so full—
he wore arctic Sorels, a snug Carhartt coat
a red and green glad rag covered his throat!
His eyes how they twinkled, his nose how it froze!
He blessed his wool socks, which made comfy his toes!
Above that warm beard, his cheeks were all rosy.
He was glad for his woolens, which kept him all cozy.
The wagon’s pipe glowed, from the fire beneath,
while woodsmoke encircled the camp like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a round little tummy—
all those cookies and milk—those goodies were yummy.
He was chubby and plump, like a ewe eating corn.
He went right to work, for soon would come morn.
He winked and he whistled, the dogs soon drew near,
Border collies and guard dogs looked up at his deer.
For herders he brought new winter attire,
and coal for their stockings to add to the fire.
The dogs all got bones, still covered with meat,
new coats for the horses, from heads to their feet.
For the sheep, Christmas magic, with a nod of his head,
their fleece grew an inch to warm their chill bed.
He gave ewes a blessing: they’d all carry twins,
for this winter season is when it begins.
He mounted the wagon, called, “Gee” to his team
and off they all soared like a sheepherder’s dream.
Then I heard him exclaim as he flew with his deer,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good year!
The sun swings southward
rising now just past the slope
of Flattop Mountain.
Solstice bringing short
days and long nights, at long last
finding its nadir,
And now, blessedly,
it will not seek a further
dark’ning nor shrinking
Of sunshine, daylit
hours. Now begins a dawning–
first gleams further north.
As light grows longer
morning shine extending time
and dusk now later
And later each day,
the world breathing in, and out
since Fall equinox
Led the moon and stars,
turning day into darkness,
stealing time each turn
Of the earth around
the sun, then leaning away
The pole star blazing
earlier as each nighttime
stole hours of sunshine.
Now we begin the
pendulum swinging northward,
toward the springtime,
It seeks a turning
Away from the magnet pull
That drew it southward.
Now the poles reverse
Morning’s rays creeping northward
Toward Sheep Mountain,
when the heaven’s days and nights
will become equals.
But for now, solstice
in the winter, in the cold times
end times, renewal
We don’t sacrifice
animals. We don’t light fires
and burn Yuletide logs
Though we string shining
ropes that glitter and sparkle,
that glisten and glow
Yet we count the hours
for we know the sun returns
and the nighttime shrinks.
replaced by certain science
daylight will rebound
Instead we sing songs
of praise, and adulation–
the birth of our Lord
Heralding the time
when the rising of the sun
fulfills the promise
Of the infant child
whose birth, foretold by shepherds,
attended by beasts
By cows, by donkeys,
by sheep bleating in the night
calling to the Babe
And we know by faith
and by our experience
that daylight returns.
So in the meantime
we sing and we celebrate,
this blessed season.
Pat’s Mom, Marie O’Toole, will turn 100 years old in May 2016. She still lives in her own home in Florida. Pat and I spent Christmas with her, conveniently missing some minus 20 degree temperatures at home. We are trying to talk her into moving West, but for some reason, she thinks Wyoming is too cold!
The holidays are here,
the year is almost gone.
Sunset’s coming sooner.
Long nights, they linger on.
Christmas on the Ladder Ranch
Brings us gifts galore.
Family gathers ‘round us
While Yuletide fires roar.
Deep within the meadows—
Summer’s rush to green has passed.
Round bales stacked like coins,
Winter’s wealth, its shadows cast.
Fair weather birds have fled,
but winter sounds abound,
brave trills of chirping chorus
echo bird-song all around.
Coyotes add their yips and howls
and wail their eerie cries
which echo through the hills
making hackles rise
on man and beast alike.
Battle Creek glows with icy sheen.
The stream murmurs, cracks, groans—
add to winter’s subtle keen.
But here beside the fire,
with its crackle and its roar,
we’re warm and well and happy,
with all we need and more.
There’s children’s cheery laughter–
they cry and yell and shout,
like to scare the coyotes
as they run and tear about.
There’s cows and sheep and horses.
There’s canines large and small
dreaming Border collie dreams
and guard dogs watching all.
The cows must fill their bellies
with grass hay long since cut,
and raked and baled and scattered
‘long the tractor’s snowy rut.
They’ve calves to grow within them—
Throughout the winter’s cold
and await the season’s turning.
Winter Solstice comes and goes.
And ewes upon the desert
munching daily corn,
awaiting warmth in springtime
when their babies will be born.
In Battle Mountain’s folds
deer and elk have bedded down
in hollows under oak brush
there’s shelter that they’ve found.
We thank the Lord for blessings
for His creatures great and small
for all of those we care for–
Please Lord, bless us all!
We are grateful for our friends
and kin, found both far and near,
from Ladder Ranch to you and yours–
Merry Christmas! Yuletide Cheer!