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Lyr Add: Empty Saddles at Christmas (S Omar Barker

montanahorseshoer 04 Oct 05 - 01:04 AM
Helen 04 Oct 05 - 06:23 AM
CapriUni 04 Oct 05 - 11:38 AM
montanahorseshoer 04 Oct 05 - 04:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM
Peace 04 Oct 05 - 06:57 PM
Sorcha 04 Oct 05 - 07:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM
Sorcha 04 Oct 05 - 08:13 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Feb 11 - 02:15 PM
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Subject: Who knows this poem?
From: montanahorseshoer
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 01:04 AM

The junipers whiten with snow softly falling,
Somewhere down the draw there's an old cow a-bawling.
There ain't nothing ails her; we’re plumb sure of that,
For the grass has been good and the stock is all fat.

And yet drifting in on the snow-feathered breeze,
The sound brings a feeling of wishful unease,
To us old 'uns a-sitting here this Christmas eve night,
Thinking of cowboys that’s gone off to fight.

Thinking it's Christmas and wondering when,
Those three empty saddles will be rode again.
There's three pair of spurs, three hats on their pegs,
And three pair of chaps meant for young cowboys' legs.

They’re hanging unused on the old bunkhouse wall,
But the boys they belong to aren’t hearing cows bawl.
They’re hearing machine guns, the whine of a shell,
And all the strange sounds of a battlefield's hell.

The sea slapping soft 'gainst the side of a boat,
The four motored roar of a big bomber's throat.
While deep in their hearts what they're longing to hear,
Is the wind in the cedar and the bawl of a steer.

This poem was published in "The Western Livestock Journal", "Ranch Romance", "Western Story Magazine" or similar publication in the early to mid 1940s. I remember it being called "Bunkhouse Christmas" but that may not be the correct title. I would sure like to hear from anyone who knows this poem.

Horseshoer


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem?
From: Helen
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:23 AM

This site says By S. Omar Barker--

Then if you go to google.com and put in the following search term (with double quotes) yoou'll get some more info, including books of his poetry:

"S. Omar Barker"

Helen


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem?
From: CapriUni
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 11:38 AM

hmmm... the poem on that site, Helen, is ever so slightly different than Horseshoer's version, here. There are some lines that don't seem to scan the same way, either.

I'm wondering if there were two published versions, or if this is just the result of the "folk process" at work. I can't seem to find a third example of the poem online, which would help to resolve the question.

But in any case, the other poems I did find from S.O.B. (Could that be a nom de plume?) were wonderful. Thanks for introducing him to me, Horeshoer!


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: montanahorseshoer
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 04:06 PM

The verses that I put on the forum I know are not complete. I just wanted to get enough out there so someone who knew the poem would recognise it. I have the copy that Helen refers to but my memory tells me it's not complete. Also it seems some of the lines are in the wrong order.

Thank you Helen for your input, I have been looking for this for sometime. For some reason I remember the title being,
"Bunkhopuse Christmas" but SOB has another poem in one of his books with that title. So maby he isn't the author.

horseshoer


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM

"Bunkhouse Christmas," S. Omar Barker, was posted in thread 41887.
Bunkhouse Christmas

He also wrote "Bunkhouse Thanksgiving."


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Peace
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 06:57 PM

Little somethin' on it here.


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 07:22 PM

He also wrote the Cowboy's Prayer..

Oh Lord, I've never lived where churches grow....


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 07:58 PM

"A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer" by Barker.
"A Cowboy's Prayer" was written by Badger Clark- Oh Lord, I've never lived... There are others with the same title- by Barefoot, and several by Anon.

Other holiday poems by Barker, in addition to those listed above, are:
Drifter's Thanksgivin'
Thanksgiving Argument
Line-camp Christmas Letter
Vaquero's Valentine
Draggin' in the Tree
Drylander's Christmas
Three Wise Men
A Cowboy's New Year's Resolutions


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 08:13 PM

Oh. Sorry. My bad. Again.


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Subject: RE: Who knows this poem? - Bunkhouse Christmas?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 02:15 PM

The poem in the other thread that Q linked to above—although it is called there BUNKHOUSE CHRISTMAS and attributed to S. Omar Barker—is not the same poem that is quoted by montanahorseshoer above.

The CowboyPoetry.com says the title is EMPTY SADDLES AT CHRISTMAS, and it is indeed by S. Omar Barker, and it was originally published in "Western Horseman" in 1966. Furthermore, it won a Spur Award from the Western Writers of America in 1967. So its origin is fairly well documented.

The entire text is given there, and it is somewhat different from montanahorseshoer's, but since they have gone to such pains as to obtain official permission from the estate of the writer, and have posted the customary warnings about unauthorized copying, I'd rather not copy it here.


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