Christian Cowboy Poetry and more

Christian Cowboy Poetry and more
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Thursday, December 30, 2010


As we move into a new year, I wonder if we need to turn over a new leaf? Is it time to stop trying to be a better person and give in to the power of God? Time to stop trying to fight evil on your own and enlist God's army. Just let go and let God, as they say.


TV shows and magazines
are selling stuff with sexy scenes.
Movies where the bad guy wins
and never answers for his sins
are telling me that I could be
more happy than I am.
Come on, give in, don’t be a fool,
everybody cheats in school.
And only goody goodies frown
at drinking beer or sleeping ‘round.
It seems to me that I can be
more popular than I am.
I am confused. I feel abused
and cry out in frustration
“Help me today live life Your way,
lead me not into temptation.”
Cheat on my expense account,
no one’s gonna find me out.
Fudge a little on my taxes,
no one cares, besides the fact is
Plain to see I can be
much richer than I am.
Drugs and sex and alcohol,
why not give in and have a ball?
When everything is said and done,
material girls have all the fun.
Society is showing me,
who’s better than I am.
I am confused, socially abused
and cry out in frustration
“Help me today, live life your way,
lead me not into temptation.”
Temptation’s natural, not a sin,
unless, of course, I just give in.
So, I call on God’s unending power
to help me through my darkest hour
And then I see integrity
is part of who I am.
I’m not confused. I feel abused,
and wrestle with frustration.
But with the love from God above
I triumph o’er temptation.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brew Ha Ha

First, let me make it clear that I have my tongue firmly in my cheek. Second, please don't let my wife know that I posted this. She was less than enthusiastic when I first performed it at the Colorado Cowboy Gathering. Now that I think about it, none of the women in the audience seemed to grasp the subtle humor embedded in this bit of nonsense.


Disturbing news about the brews
from bottle, tap and can.
They say it’s clear that drinking beer
is harmful for a man.
Researchers found while looking round
results, which are alarming.
Too many suds affect us studs
in ways, which aren’t so charming.

Men talk a lot and don’t make sense.
Emotionally, they’re a mess.
They argue and they won’t give in.
So it seems, I must confess
that all those hops and barley malt
can cause you so much strife
you better switch to Jack and Coke
or you’ll become your wife.

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2004

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When Winter Hits the Brazos

I feel a little like I'm living in the hole of a powdered donut. All around me there is white but where I am, nothing! I hope Santa brought you a shiny new snow shovel this year. Just remember, it's not long until you have to replace the snow blower with a lawn mower.

When Winter Hits the Brazos

When winter hits the Brazos,
the bluster of the breeze
can turn a longhorn steer around
and send cowboys to their knees.
The words you say just hang there,
then fall to earth like lead.
You have to melt ‘em in the fire
to hear what someone said.
But, all the fire gives off is light.
It just won’t warm you up.
By the time you get your coffee
it’s near frozen in the cup.

When winter hits the Brazos
the best a hand can do
is find a place to sit it out
till spring comes bustin’ through.
Then just enjoy it while you can.
It won’t be mild for long.
And when summer hits the Brazos,
Cowboys sing a different song.
They cuss and moan the steamy heat
and long for that time when
the frosty chill of winter
hits the Brazos once again.

Jeff Hildebrandt Copyright 2001

Thursday, December 23, 2010


He told her this story
as they sat by the fire.
He swears it’s all true,
She thinks he’s a liar.
But he’s just an old cowboy
who’s memory’s not great
and he’s trying real hard
to get the facts straight.
So as they sat closer
in wine induced bliss
she smiled. And his story
went something like this:

You know Bridges and Brolin,
The Duke and Duvall,
Selleck and Eastwood;
Tommy Jones with that drawl.
But do you recall
the clumsiest cowboy of all?
Rudy, the red-nosed wrangler
used to drink so much it showed.
He didn’t need a flashlight
with a nose like his that glowed.
All of the other cow hands
used to laugh at him of course
cause Rudy, the red nosed wrangler
couldn’t even sit his horse.
Then one stormy summer’s morn
the ram-rod came to say,
“Rudy if you’re not too tight
won’t you ride with me tonight”.
Then all the other wranglers
smiled as it became quite clear
when it comes to summer showers,
Rudy the Red Knows Rain, dear.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heading Home

I wrote this as part of the salute to Cowboy Poetry Week. They post a picture and poets do their thing. You can see it here: or just picture it for yourself as you're getting ready to head home for Christmas.


Bent blades in short grass;
A trail to where they’ve been,
to where the sun is going.

Two riders heading home.

Their shadows point the way to
bunks, beef and beans
as cotton-ball clouds
dapple distant granite wind breaks.

Two riders heading home.

No need to talk as ponies walk.
Their cowboy cadence conducts
a symphony of solitude.

Folks look and say,
“They’re Heading Home.”
But, if home is where the heart is,
they’re already there.

Jeff Hildebrandt © April 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God Bless Ye Weary Sentinels

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was the inspiration for this years ago. I re-wrote the song while I was working in Cincinnati back in the 80s. One of the guys I worked with recorded an uptempo, comtemporary sounding instrumental track. Another friend arranged for the children's choir at a local church to sing it and we video taped it to send to Armed Forces Television. Since then, I've rewritten the lyrics to update it a bit. I hope you think it is still appropriate.

God Bless Ye Weary Sentinels

God bless the soldiers leaving us
and going on their way
for Christmas in some foreign land
where it’s no holiday.
They go to bring the gift of peace
to those who fight each day.
They bring tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

God bless ye weary sentinels
and keep you safe, we pray.
Though you must leave your families
and miss the holiday
the task is worth your sacrifice.
We’re with you all the way.
We send tiding of comfort and joy.
Comfort and joy.
We send tiding of comfort and joy.

The children all around the world
are why that Baby came
so long ago in Bethlehem
and it would be a shame
for us to turn our backs on them
while worshiping His name.
So, send tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy.
With our help they can have comfort and joy.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2008

Monday, December 20, 2010

Platitudes about Attitudes

When you go to a bookstore or Amazon and see all those self help books, do you wonder if the writers really know what they're talking about? I see all those how-to-be-successful-like-me books and think the only way that person is successful is by getting us to buy the book. So I boiled the advice down into a free seminar.

Platitudes about Attitudes

Follow your dreams.
Seize the day.
Make a difference
right away.
Expand your horizons.
Reach for a star.
Learn something different,
like playing guitar
or blowing the harp.
Try writing in rhyme.
Ignite inner fires
cause now is the time
to make it all happen.
You must reach to achieve.
You can do what you want
if you only believe.
Inspiration is lurking.
Breathe it in like fresh air.
Feel it tingle your senses
when you’re least aware.
Put your worries behind you
and soon you will find
when it comes to success,
it’s all in your mind.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2004

Friday, December 17, 2010

The First Valentine's Day

I know I should wait for February, but I'm running out of holiday poems so forgive me.

The First Valentine’s Day

The sky was clear, and the stars were bright
when they came into the town that night.
They'd traveled on the road for hours
without a thought of hearts and flowers.
Their meal was simple; bread and wine,
then she got the world's first Valentine.
No Hallmark card, her hands caressed,
though He cared enough to send the best.
And Russell Stover can't compete
with any Valentine this sweet.
But, it wasn't very many years
before her joy gave way to tears.
He said, "You must have been aware
a gift like this is meant to share".
So, with the pain of bitter wine,
the world got it's first Valentine.
No Hallmark card its hands caressed,
though He cared enough to send His best.
And Russell Stover can't compete,
with a gift so loving and so sweet.
This gift to that poor carpenter's wife
was Jesus Christ, the Gift of Life.
That Gift of God, hung on a tree
now offers life, eternally.
The final part of God's design,
was giving you His Valentine.
No, Russell Stover can't compete
with a gift so loving and so sweet.
No Hallmark card you could caress,
comes close to when God sent His best.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Dreams


I remember that Christmas
with fear and alarm
cause it seemed every wrangler
who worked on the farm
stopped to watch Martha Stewart;
an expert for certain
on how to make cookies
and hem up a curtain.
She showed them what’s needed
to prepare for the feast…
How the presents should look…
How to cook the Roast Beast.
While the ranch hands all watched her,
there was one who did not.
A scraggly old miser,
a miserable old sot,
who hates all the feasting
and won’t do a thing
except stand on his porch
and curse when folks sing.
And my, how they’d sing.
They would sing, sing, sing, sing.
He would cry and would groan
from night until noon
cause not one of those carolers
carried a tune.
And, this year he vowed
he would wreck the whole feast…
He would ruin our Christmas
and steal our Roast Beast.
Well, I bundled all up
in my flannels and cap,
climbed under the covers
to take me a nap.
There’s a ruckus outside
and it’s not even dawn
so I jumped out of bed
to see what’s going on.
And what to my glazed over eyes
should appear
but the source of the clamor
and clanking I hear.
Ebineezer S. Grinch;
that holiday louse
was destroying the “good things”
we’d done round the house.
He took down the tree,
stole the presents beneath
with their hand stenciled paper.
That terrible theif.
He drank our mulled cider,
ate each cookie and scone,
snatched wreaths made of pine boughs
and stole the dog’s bone.
In the midst of this nightmare,
Charlie’s Angels appeared
spreading news of great joy…
just what that Grinch feared.
Martha Claus and her elves
then went round the house
repairing the damage
done by that louse.
Then off to my right
I heard somebody cough
and I knew in a flash,
I had simply dozed off.
I’m still at the gathering
of singers and poets
Nothing has changed
and wouldn’t you know it
the best part of all
of this festivity
is the poems all rhyme
and the songs are on key.

Jeff Hildebrandt, copyright 2002

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Holidaze

I have a special tree-t for those who email me about this poem, I'll send it back to you in another form. (I can't figure out how to show it to you on Blogger, sorry)


Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls,
Christmas carols in the malls
are there to occupy our mind,
while waiting in the check out line.
This music’s played so when we hear it,
it will boost our giving spirit.
We see a gift, let down our guard
and charge it on our Mastercard
or Visa or some other credit.
So, even if we’re broke we get it.
On weekends, all those parents swarm
to malls to see their kids perform.
Of course store owners wouldn’t care
if they spent money while they’re there
on paper, ribbon, pre-made bows,
Christmas cards or winter clothes.
They deck their halls with Santa scenes
and hope we don’t know that it means
their bottom line is what explains
the tinsel, lights and candy canes..

But back at home shut out the noise
turn off the games, put down the toys.
Remember that we celebrate
because God conquered death and hate.
That baby born in Bethlehem
would be God’s sacrificial Lamb.
So Christmas morning say a prayer
of thanks because your Father cares.
God’s bottom line is your salvation
and that’s behind our celebration.


Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Haiku #4

Reminder: Japanese Haiku is a 3 line, non-rhyming poem. Cowboy Haiku is sort of the same thing.

Blond and barely dressed
Turning over on her back
Babies are so cute.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

For ninety nine cents
It keeps beer and lunches cold
My styrofoam friend.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Rip open the pack
Pour berry flavored crystals
Then just add water.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Those who are weary.
Those feeling unloved, rejoice.
HE will come your way.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feelin' Frisky

T’was great concern by folks around
when Thelma Thornton moved to town
and left her ma and pa out on the farm.
She’d been the apple of their eye
so you can understand that’s why
friends viewed this sudden change with great alarm.
In conversations they’d express
concern about that empty nest
and how poor Tom and Millie would get by.
Cause they were getting up in years
and folks all feared the gush of tears
would wash away their will to even try.

But Tom and Millie, it would seem
had come up with a little scheme
to make the most of all that empty space.
The furniture that Thelma had
was moved out by her dear old dad
who put a big screen TV in its place.
They’re hooked up to a satellite
for movie channels and the like
and there’s a hot tub sittin’ in the yard.
They’re makin plans to take a trip
to Vegas or the Sunset strip.
T’would seem adaptin’ ain’t so very hard.

They’re doing things they never did
since Thelma Lou was just a kid.
They’re staying out at night and acting strange.
Why, Friday nights they’ll both be found
just holding hands and walking round
the picture show or dancin’ at the grange.
The beauty parlor ladies say
that Millie smiles a lot these days.
Her hair has even lost its bluish hue.
She must be gainin’ weight they say.
Her jeans have never fit that way
and don’t’ you think her skirts are shorter too?

On Sunday’s Thelma Lou stops by
for dinner and some homemade pie
and just to make sure ma and pa are fine.
They hug and kiss and let her know
that both of them just love her so
and tell her she can visit any time.
Then add, please call ‘fore you come out,
just to make sure we’re about.
But really, its to make sure they get dressed.
They have a secret no one knows.
They love to play strip dominos
cause they get frisky in their empty nest.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Old Billy Ray’s the quiet kind
of cowboy all year long.
He just sits back and listens
to the stories and the songs
the J bar H boys tell about
their lives out on the range.
But when it comes December,
the fellas see a change.

Old Billy Ray starts showing off
some whittling that he’s done.
Like hand carved wooden ponies,
a cow dog and a gun
designed for shooting rubber bands
that fly across the room.
And several little wooden flutes
he’s worked on since last June.
He sets them on the table
as the cowboys gather near
adding gifts they’ve been collecting
all throughout the year.
Their awkward fingers fumble,
as they wrap each tiny toy.
And make dern sure there’s something there
for every girl and boy
who’s family’s fallen on hard times.
The cowboys look outside.
The snow has past, it’s time at last
to saddle up and ride.

They ride all night ‘neath bright moonlight;
blue shadows on the trail.
O’re crusted snow these wranglers go,
then home to tell their tale
of leaving presents at each door
and the warmth they felt inside.
And how there wasn’t anything
that would keep them from this ride.
On a ridge top, by some Evergreens,
the weary wranglers pause
and pledge to do the same next year.
‘Cause it’s their Santa cause.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Luck of the Draw

Western artist/actor Buck Taylor ( created a limited edition print called “Luck of the Draw.” It was used in a recent poster for the Pendleton rodeo. While enjoying his work, these words came to mind.

Luck of the Draw

Remember, when you draw a horse
that’s just too rank to ride
or face a hurdle that’s too high
or chasm that’s too wide
just cowboy up and do your best.
What counts most when it’s done
is that you tried yer darndest,
not, if you lost or won.

And when you face frustration;
When nothing goes your way
know that Satan tries to sabotage
your joy from God each day.
Just flex your faith in Jesus.
You’ll find that your reward
doesn’t come from winning
but from trusting in the Lord.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2009

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Angels aren’t the only ones playing harps

For those who don't know, (and I was one for a long time) "harp" is musician slang for harmonica. I guess, after a long night of doing whatever musicians do, its hard to use more than one syllable.

Angels aren’t the only ones playing harps

A flicker of light in the distance
A beacon amidst the bluster
A promise of warmth on a cold winter’s night

Loud talk and laughter echo in the dark
The cattle are lowing
as the night guard circles

Harmonica melodies buoyed by the north wind
bring memories of fresh cut pines,
penny candy and mom

A mouth harp blowing Silent Night,
the smoky glow of campfire light;
both compass and comfort
for cowboys at Christmas

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

(send your thanks and Christmas wishes to: A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Haiku #3

Once again, we have a trio of Cowboy Haiku poems. To refresh your memory; the Haiku form consists of 3 non-rhyming lines with precise syllable structure. I think the best thing about writing (and reading) Haiku poetry is that it is very short.

Tic, Toc, Grandma’s clock
Anticipation building
Will the bird return?

(This is for those of you who love cats or who consider them the other white meat.)
Koo, the obstinate,
protesting the litter box
leaves unwanted gifts.

Long, tapered striker
Pulled back, it pauses, then thrusts
Balls run for cover.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reason for the Season

Is Christmas still about a birth,
Angels, shepherds, peace on earth?
Or is it now about a wreath,
a tree with lights and what’s beneath?
Is Christmas still a manger stall
or is it now a crowded mall?
Parents scurry and children pause
to pin their hopes on Santa Claus.

While we complain of corporate greed
there is a thought that we should heed.
The fault is not what’s on the shelves.
The problem is within ourselves.
If Jesus Christ lives in our heart
then Christmas comes with each day’s start.
And every day, not once a year
we get to share our Christmas cheer.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knock, Knock (no joke)

This is written as a conversation between two people. I'd like to think it could be used as a tool for witness or evangelism. Maybe an ice breaker or conversation starter. Maybe it's none of the above and is just meant for you and that's enough.

Who's there?
I AM !
I am, who?

Who's there?
The son of who?

Who's there?
Betty, who?

Who's there?
Andy who?

Knock, Knock!
Can He change my wicked soul?
Knock, Knock!
Will he take me as I am?

Who's there?
Come in.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Opportunities Knocking

Opportunity’s Knocking

I used to think that I was poor,
but I don’t think that way no more.
See, I’m an opportunity.
You help yourself, by helping me.
I’m unencumbered by prosperity
and all the popularity
that comes from people I don’t know
because I have some extra dough.
So the morale of this little verse
is that my life would be much worse
if I just focused on the bad,
not seeing good and being glad
that I improve your mental health
by helping you to share your wealth.
So remember, when you’re feeling down,
just take some time and look around
at your golden opportunity
to help out someone just like me.
And it’s not hard if you just look.
For example, you could buy my book.
Why, it would give you such a lift
to use it as a Christmas gift.
“How thoughtful”, folks would say of you
because you gave them something new.
Now, don’t you think that would be better
than another necktie or a sweater?
See how much better you would feel.
That’s why this offer’s such a deal.
I’ll share my work, you share your wealth.
We’ll both improve our mental health.

Jeff Hildebrandt, copyright 2002

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Elko Rodeo

This story was told to me as being true, but a U.S. Senator. I was in Washington videotaping a number of Senators lending their support to the National Day of the Cowboy. After we finished, one Senator from a Western state told me the story. That night, I wrote the poem. It supposedly took place in Elko, Nevada, which is home to the Western Folklife Center, and may be Mecca to Cowboy Poets everywhere.


Folks say that 10 hell’s angels
pulled up and parked their rides
in front of an Elko cowboy bar;
got off and went inside.
About that time, 3 cowboys
came out from that same bar
intending just to head on home
but didn’t get too far.
They walked around the Harley’s
and stumbled in the dark,
each trying to remember
just where the pick-up’s parked.
The next thing anybody knows
the truck took off real slow,
rolling over all those Harleys;
cowboys laughing as they go.
Those biker boys heard all that noise
and poured into the street.
Crumpled chrome and handlebars
were lying at their feet.
They pulled the cowboys from the truck.
The dance was underway.
And 3 cowboys beat 10 bikers
to a bloody pulp that day.
Newspapers told the details.
The report was short and sweet,
How some cowboys held a rodeo
on a downtown Elko street.
Some say it’s just an urban myth.
Some swear that it’s all true.
I don’t know for certain,
but this might be a clue.
Hell’s Angels are more cautious
since this warning got around.
“Be careful where you park your bikes
when the cowboys are in town.”

Jeff Hildebrandt © May 19, 2006

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dust 'N Tails

Several years ago, there was a picture on the Bar D Ranch cowboy poetry website's Art Spur project. The website,,
publishes a painting as a way to get the poetic juices flowing. If you go to this link,, and scroll down you'll see the picture right before you come to the section on books I've written. Sorry, but I can't remember who did the art work. There’s a lot written about the glory days of the cattle drives. Movies like Red River and TV shows such as Rawhide glorified the trail driving cowboy. But award winning cowboy singer, Bill Barwick often says, "Unless you’re the lead cow, the view never changes." That is what I was thinking as I wrote the following poem based on the art work. If you don't want to go to the trouble of linking to the other web sites, just imagine a cattle drive.

Dust 'N Tails

“There’s beauty in the rangeland
where the grassy prairies roll
and the glistening dew of morning
sends a smile right through your soul.
There’s beauty in the azure sky
when the sun begins to rise
and the scope of God’s great glory
brings a tear to cowboy’s eyes.
It’s wonderful they tell me
while trying not to brag
cause all I see are Dust ‘n Tails
from back here riding drag.”

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2004

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cowboys on Concrete

I hope you won't mind, but I'm re-posting this poem. (I'm getting a head start on the re-gifting season) Locally, the news is reporting on a sheriff's deputy who died in a gun battle after a car chase. That, and the fact that thousands of underpaid men and women are putting their lives on the line for us everyday led me to resurrect this. Please, feel free to share it with everyone you know, especially those standing tall in the face of danger.

Cowboys on Concrete

There are TV shows and movies
about the cowboy way.
And I’ve heard people question
if it’s relevant today.
Does the cowboy code of ethics
really still apply?
Do cowboys help the needy
or like others, pass them by?
Do they stand up for the helpless
and when asked, they volunteer?
Are they brave? Is there compassion?
Do they act despite the fear?
Have you seen a cowboy lately?
Have you really looked around
to see who rides to help you out
when all the chips are down?
Do you recognize the cowboy?
Not the swagger or the hat
but the cowboy way of helping out
when we’re in need of that.
They’re the ones who face down danger
when others run away;
the ones whose life is on the line
protecting us each day.

But, do you know the courage
that it takes to heed the call
and run into a burning building
that could kill them all?
Or the fear they have to swallow
as they make a traffic stop
cause the world is full of crazies
who’d just love to kill a cop.
Have you ever felt as though
a target’s painted on your chest?
Are you haunted by the nagging
thought you didn’t do your best?
Are there memories you just can’t shake
of choices that you had to make
and chances that you had to take
to risk for someone else’s sake?
Do you know the code of silence
they maintain when they go home?
To protect their loved ones from the truth,
they carry it alone.
One wife described it like a dance;
they circle round the fears
and hold each other tightly
to keep away the tears.
And yet, each time the call goes out
that someone is in danger
these heroes saddle up and ride
like modern day Lone Rangers.
Cause there’s another feeling
that they all get to share:
That right now, someone is alive,
a child in danger did survive,
a family won’t be wracked with grief,
the city’s safe from one less thief.
Inside, they all share this belief;
The world is better ‘cause they’re there.

They’re cowboys on the concrete.
When you see one, pray God’s grace
will surround and will protect them
from dangers that they face.
Then thank those first responders.
They do what must be done
and they deserve our gratitude.
So we salute you, everyone.

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 9/11/2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Haikus

I was messing around with the Haiku format (3 line, non-rhyming with 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables) while thinking about Thanksgiving and the various opportunities to serve others during the holidays. The first 3 are about families, past and present. The last 3 are about what you might call an extended family; those the Spirit nudges us to show compassion toward in hopes of opening their eyes to what God has done on their behalf.

A family gathers
Aromas from the kitchen
Blessings to be shared

As families gather
Hugs and thoughts of parents passed
Memories with a meal

A family gathers
A baby’s first Thanksgiving
Parents eat in peace

As families gather
Turkeys tenderly prepared
To feed the needy

As families gather
Traditional family meals
Dished up for others

A family gathers
Gives thanks for many blessings
While blessing others

Monday, November 22, 2010

Spaghetti Western

Several years ago I was asked to come up with a poem that would be appropriate for a fund raising dinner at the pre school my wife worked at.
They have used it ever since.


The trail cook said, ”Now, listen up,
our menu’s gonna vary.
Instead of eating beef and beans,
you’ll get pasta on the prairie.”
He said, “Enough of barbecue,
it’s time to make a change.
There’ll be meatballs on the mesa,
ravioli on the range.”

He added that his mind’s made up,
there’s nothin’ we could do
‘cept get used to thing’s Al Dente,
we shrugged and said, “Al who?”
Our cook has gone around the bend,
we tried to tell the boss
But all he said was
“Have you tried his prima Vera sauce?”

The cook had seen Clint Eastwood
as the man without a name
and there-in lies the reason
that our meals won’t be the same.
He saw a triple feature,
by that Sergio Leone
and it brought about his sudden urge
to feed us macaroni.

He’s broken with tradition,
it’s not the cowboy way.
And he sits there on his wagon,
ignorin’ what we say
as he stirs his marinara
and grates his Parmesan
and boils up spagatini
for us to put it on.

Then he cut up lots of onion
and chopped green peppers too
and added several spices
to sparkle up the stew.
So, that night we all ate it and,
you know, I’m really glad.
I’ve changed my mind, and come to find,
Spaghetti Western’s not half bad.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

T'Giving Cinquain

Here is another type of poetry exercise. I suppose real poets take it seriously. I don't think it is as much fun to read as it challenging for the writer to create. It is called Cinquain.(Sin Cain) It is more non-rhyming Poetry with five lines. Line 1 has one word (the title). Line 2 has two words that describe the title. Line 3 has three words that tell the action. Line 4 has four words that express the feeling, and line 5 has one word which recalls the title.

Families gather
Feed less fortunate
Blessed by blessing others

jeff hildebrandt copyright 2010

About last night

There are seminars where you hear something that actually applies to how you make your living. And then there are seminars where the topics sound good on paper but the presenter has no eartly idea how to relate their expertise to your need. If you look it up, you'll find that daydreaming was actually invented in one of those sessions. This comes from such a wasted weekend.

About Last Night

Last night
I watched a sunset.
Today I'm watching an "expert" tell me how to do my job.
Last night
The sun hesitated
then all of a sudden, was gone
leaving only a glow behind the Rockies.
Today, the minute hand hesitates
stands still
as the speaker drones on.
I wish she had a sunset in her bag of tricks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In a World of Hurt

I watch the news and see all the pain and suffering around the world; the natural disasters, the wars and rumors of wars, the starvation and hard-heartedness. Then, all of a sudden that takes a back seat to news that Prince William is engaged. While food banks have empty shelves, we're force fed news about the odds makers betting on what color hat the Queen will wear to the wedding. Enough of my ranting. This is about the world of hurt believers are enduring everyday as they try to show God's Love.

In a World of Hurt

“You’re gonna be in a world of hurt,”
the burly bouncer swore
as he basket-balled the little squirt
right out the swinging door.

You’re gonna be in a world of hurt
God’s Holy Word foretells
and cautions us to be alert
for lies that Satan sells.
And now we’re in a world of hurt;
attacked on every side
by non-believers who assert
the Bible writers lied.
They put us in a world of hurt;
and everywhere we look
side-steppers find a way to skirt
commandments in God’s Book.
We’re living in a world of hurt
cause we’ve been led astray
by half-truth tellers who pervert
what God says is The Way.

Although we’re in a world of hurt
we have the hope of grace.
Accept The Christ and be alert
for soon we’ll leave this place
to live where there will be no hurt,
no bitterness or strife;
a world where Satan can’t pervert
God’s gift; Eternal Life.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2009

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Words of Western Wisdom

There are words of western wisdom,
Cowpoke philosophy,
which guide us down the trail of life
as far as we can see.
Like, never squat while wearin’ spurs.
Drink up-stream from the herd.
In hot weather don’t kick cow chips,
is another that I’ve heard.
Always keep your powder dry.
Close gates that you go through.
And make dern sure that you can spit
before you take a chew.
Those words of Western wisdom
from experience were born
so kindly pay attention
and take bulls by the horn.
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
Sit tall up in the saddle.
When trouble’s heading down your way
it’s best if you skedaddle.
Pistols are for shooting.
Hats are made to wear.
And words of western wisdom
are meant for us to share.
We all start out with nothing
and we’ll leave here just the same.
Building treasure up in heaven
should be each cow pokes aim.
Those words of western wisdom;
Cowpoke philosophy
will guide you down the trail of life
toward eternity.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snow Day

I'm sitting in my Denver office watching the snow begin to coat the fields around me. I made it into work just as the snow started whisping around and now it is coming down the way snow is supposed to. So, I thought I'd share these thoughts on a snow day from a few years back.

Snow Day

If I knew how to paint
I think I’d know how a painter feels
in front of an empty canvass
fluffing the bristles and imagining.

My empty canvass is a field,
freshly blanketed with 11 inches of spring snow
so wet you could wring it like a wash cloth.

I know its 11 inches. I measured
I know it’s soggy. I shoveled.
I can only imagine how the artist must feel.

A sculptor uncovers what’s hidden in stone.
A painter transforms empty space into cobalt blue
and burnt-umber reflections of reality.
The kids and I will turn this blank canvass
into a snow fort, a snowman family
and a half dozen snow angels.

Then as this winter white
forms puddles on the floor
we sip cocoa with marshmallows,
like tiny snowballs, melting too soon.

It’s a snow day and oh, the possibilities.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Friday, November 12, 2010

Words to the Wise

A word from God lead to creation.
A word from you can cause elation
or crush a tender, eager spirit
that’s devastated when they hear it.

So, as you ride your trail through life
avoid the words that lead to strife.
Sweet, loving words are so much greater
in case you have to eat them later.

We’re better off if we remember
words of love, so soft and tender
uplift and edify a soul
and as a Christian, that’s our goal.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

True Grit

Thought for Veteran's Day.


From the Alamo to the Argonne;
From Midway to D-Day;
Inchon to Khe Sanh
America fought for freedom.

Now, in Basra, Baghdad and beyond
Desert Cowboys
stand between you
and those who wish you were dead.

We salute them.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Haiku #2

Here are 3 more of my westernized Haiku experiments: Yippi-Yi-Haiku.
You can read yesterday's post if you need to catch up.

Wranglers at sunrise
head to chores with jokes and joy.
Cowboys are like that.

This is for all of us who deserve a raise,
not a pat on the back.

You did a great job.
All of us are proud of you.
That should be enough.

Limp hat, rumpled coat,
unshaven, aromatic,
talks of good old days.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Any questions?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Japanese Haiku is a non-rhyming, 3 line poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables. I have westernized that art form to create a hybrid called: Yippi-Yi-Haiku. Here are 3 examples. I will post more as demand dictates.

“Haiku – L – Water”
Keep a lookin’ Dan
There is water in this land
And you need a bath.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

“Haiku-poo #2”
He was not aware
Cows once stood where he now walks
And the chips are down.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2009

Beefsteak and biscuits
boiled beans and no antacid;
A trail cook’s revenge.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Monday, November 8, 2010


Where do you put the emphasis on Thanksgiving? I think most of us, at least those who are reading this, will give thanks to God for His continued grace in our lives. I also think you will be thinking of others; the less fortunate and doing what you can to help them. That's what this is about.


Remember how it used to be?
Thanksgiving with the family.
Turkey, dressing, maybe ham,
vegetables and candied yams.
Waldorf salad, homemade rye,
mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie.
You'd drink a toast and say a prayer
of thanks for all who'd gathered there.
Remember how it used to be?
Now look around at what's to see;
the dark and stark reality.
Can you improve their memories?
For what you have and how you're living,
you can show your thanks, by giving.

I think it might be inspirational to others if you share some of the ways you and your family show your thanks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

And So It Goes

Bsck in the 90s, I first heard a song from Billy Joel called, “And So It Goes.” If you don’t remember it, you can find it on You Tube. Several months ago it began bouncing around the hollow spaces in my head and latched on to a memory from my youth. I grew up going to church but didn’t come to a “personal” relationship with Christ until I was in my 20s. That’s when a situation arose that brought back all the religious teaching I had been given as a teenager. The instruction wasn’t wasted; it just took time for the seeds to flower. So, I guess, I’d have to say anytime is the right time to train up a child.

And So It Goes

In every life
there is a time
to speak of faith or hold your tongue.
And lessons of
God’s purest love
are never wasted on the young.

In younger days
I went to church,
I read the words and heard the prayers.
I passed the test
to be confirmed
but never felt God truly cares.
And every time
someone would ask
I told them yes, I do believe.
And so it comes
and so it goes
until God touched me, I suppose.
A circumstance;
another chance
the lessons learned came flooding back.
With open eyes;
I realized the love I lacked.

The time is now
to speak God’s grace.
Don’t be afraid, don’t hold your tongue.
And as it comes,
so should it go;
Your lessons just might save the young.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 11/3/2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All American

At a stoplight, right in front of me
was a patriot, it’s plain to see.
This pick up driver must-a been
one dyed in the wool American.
He had Flag decals on window glass
and bumper stickers; cute and crass.
He’s a guy you wouldn’t want displeased
cause he runs over cowboy wanna bes
He’s for country music radio,
the N. R. A. and rodeo.
But, in one of life’s small ironies,
his pickup truck was Japanese.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saddle Trees

Well I was new at this cowboy stuff
and one day it happened sure enough,
they sent me into town to buy some tack.
So I headed to the hardware store
cause that’s where I’d bought tacks before.
Boy, did I get a laugh when I got back.
So they sent me into town once more
and specified the livery store,
and asked another guy to go along.
When we got there, he said, “if you please,
just wait for me by the saddle trees
and I’ll get what we need and won’t be long.”
Well I looked high and I looked wide
but there weren’t no saddle trees inside
so I walked out the door to look around.
And, not too far from their back door
I found what I was looking for
so I grabbed a hunk of dirt and set on down.
I sure thought I had it made
just setting there in all that shade
till my pardner came outside all in a huff.
That feller stood there, shook his head
“Tenderfoot” was all he said
and I knew I was in trouble, sure enough.
I said “Hold on mister, not so fast,
I only did just what you asked”.
And he said “You’re the dumbest plug around.”
And said that I did “take the cake”.
But I said, “there’s been some mistake,
cause these here are the only trees I found”
Well, I thought sure I’d get the boot,
be told to pack my stuff and scoot,
but the foreman laughed so hard he nearly cried.
Then he told me if I was to last
I’d have to do just one more task
and he knew that I could do it if I tried.
Seems there’s a big horse apple crop
but an early frost caused them to drop
and I should gather all I can in sacks.
He said, “the dry ones leave alone
but bring the nice and ripe ones home”.
And he’ll store them away when he gets back.
I tell you, those horse apples stink,
but I’ve worked hard and now I think
that there must be, oh, twenty bags or more.
He’ll be back some time next week
and I can’t wait for his first peak
at all those bags stacked on his bedroom floor.

Jeff Hildebrandt Copyright 1999

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We call him Cowboy

I saw a painting of a lone cowboy riding into a storm and tried to recreate it with words.

We call him Cowboy

What makes a man
ride into a wind whipped, gray-green storm cloud,
forsaking the comfort of coffee
to search for a stray?

Who, in their right mind,
takes on lightening streaked uncertainty
to help some ungrateful critter?

We call him “Cowboy”.

Jesus called him a “Good Shepherd”.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005

Monday, November 1, 2010

500 Channels

For those much younger than I am, I make reference to "party line" in this poem. Well that is not what distinguishes donkeys from elephants in our election process. It was a cheap form of telephone service where several different houses were all on the same telephone line. I guess its sort of like facebook today. You'd never say anything you didn't want the world to know.


My uncle, Thomas Ellingsworth
had a small Nebraska farm
and I would work there summer’s as a kid.
We plowed the fields with horses
and milked the cows by hand
and did the chores the way they always did.
He didn’t have a TV set
but had a radio
we’d listen to each morning, rain or shine.
At dinner his dear wife would tell
the latest ‘bout the neighbors.
Cause, their phone was on a party line.
After Uncle Tom retired
he still lived on the farm
but he made lots of changes,
don’t you know.
In a corner of the living room
was a wide screen TV set
where once there stood
that big old radio.
He hooked up to a satellite
but where they put the dish
really left him feelin’ quite unhappy.
They put it where the outhouse stood
and Uncle Tom was certain
that’s why the programs were so "gal darn crappy."

Jeff Hildebrandt, copyright 2007

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Timely Trick or Treat

This is actually meant to be read on Sunday as you wait patiently for the goblins to come knocking at your door.

A Timely Trick or Treat (Halloween Irony)

The time of year has come again
when children change their looks;
Pretending to be someone else
like heroes, ghosts or crooks.
They walk in bunches down the street
and go from door to door.
They say politely, “Trick or Treat”
in costumes we adore.
Sweet smiles shine behind their masks
as they go on their way.
They’re candidates in training;
Polls close in just two days.

Jeff Hildebrandt © Halloween, 2010

Just Desserts

I admit from the start that some of you will just shake your head in disbelief, others will groan and some will even share this as part of the "trick" in trick or treat. All I can say is that I had too much haloween candy and was out of my mind.

Just Desserts

Down in San Antonio,
there’s a battle that’s intense.
But for those who aren’t from Texas
it may not make much sense.

The standoff all got started
with two cowboys eating lunch.
At first they started bickering
then one guy threw a punch.

When the reason for their dust up
was reported in the news,
the community was split apart;
each side with different views.

I’m sure you won’t believe this
but it’s true, I wouldn’t lie.
The war of words is all about
the way to eat fruit pie;
Hot with cold ice cream on top
or simply serve it plain.
The not so civil war of words
has sparked an old refrain.

Newspaper editorials
in bold face type, I’m told
support ice cream, by saying
"Remember the Ala Mode."

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blessed are those....

(Psalm 1)

There are those who think only
of how to get more.
They rob and they cheat
and they take from the poor.
They abuse all their power,
they beg for a fight
and they laugh at the ones
who stand up for what’s right.

But, then there are others
who plot and who plan
how to make living better
for their fellow man.
They give what they have
and don’t worry or fret
cause their God’s always faithful
and hasn’t failed yet
to reward them with riches,
glad hearts, peace of mind
and when the end comes,
they know that they’ll find
The Lord will be waiting
with arms open wide
and He’ll say, “well done servant,
now please come inside”

But when those, who’s ambition
was just to get more
stand before God Almighty,
He’ll just slam the door.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Handlebar Mustache

Before you read this, you might want to go to You Tube/Jimmy Buffet/ Pencil Thin Mustache That way, you'll have a sense of the musicality in this poem. The inspiration for this came while I was at Denver's Buckhorn Exchange listening to Bill Barwick and Roz Brown. They sang Pencil Thin Mustache and I got a mental image of Sam Elliott. Don't ask me, it's just how my mind works.

Handlebar Mustache

I’ve been watchin’ movies about the old west
…seems every hero survives every test.
Now I find I’m dreamin and I just wanna be
a white hatted hero like those on TV.
I wish I had a handlebar mustache,
the Sam Elliott kind.
Quick draw pistols and big leather chaps,
I could have a sidekick, like Andy Devine.
I remember being a fan as a kid
and savin’ the homestead the way Hoppy did.
Now, if I had a handlebar mustache
I could be a hero too.
It was backyard, ridin hard, livin the dream,
bein’ Gene Autry all day.
It was cap guns, lots a fun in those early years.
Why, I remember leadin’ the three mesquiteers
Yeah, I wish I had a handlebar mustache
So I could be a hero too.

But it’s my fate, I’m too late, those times are gone
And I find I just wanna be
Not a five-and-dimer, but a real range rhymer;
a Cowboy entertainer, who does po-e-try.
Yeah, that’s why each evening, to God I do pray
make me sorta famous like Wally McCrae
so folks will come to see me and leave with a smile.
That’s the way it ought to be.
That’s why I wish I had a handlebar mustache,
the “Waddie Mitchell” kind.
A two toned Stetson I’d wear everywhere
If I could make a livin’ well, that would be fine.
Oh I’d be respected, not be just a hack
and make lots of money like ole’ Baxter Black.
That’s why I wish I had a handlebar mustache.
Then, I could be a poet too.

Jeff Hildebrandt, copyright 2002

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More or Less Bein'

Those of you in the western entertainment industry...I don't know if it can be called "industry" or not. Western entertainment is mostly independent contractors scratching and scrambling to make ends meet. It seems to me that western entertainers spend their time trying to get hired at events that don't pay them enough to cover expenses, let alone turn a profit. My friend, Bill Barwick, told me when I first started going to these events that promised no money but a lot of exposure, "You can get all the exposure you can afford." But I digress. Anyway, there was a joke circulating a few years ago that I decided to turn into this poem.

More or Less Bein’

An old cowhand sat at the bar
the way old cowhands do.
His mind is off to somewheres else,
his hand’s wrapped round a brew.
When a lady sat beside him
and looked him up and down
from spurs to chaps to cowboy hat
with a feather in the crown.
“Are you a real cowboy”? she asked.
He said, “I s’pose so mam.
I worked on ranches all my life.
So, yes, I guess I am”.
“How ‘bout you?” he says to her
and drains his bottle dry.
“I’m a lesbian” she tells him
and proceeds to ex-plain why.
“I think of women all the time
from dawn to days last light
and then, as if that’s not enough,
I dream of them at night.”
He’s lost in thought as she moves on.
He asks for one more round
when a couple see the way he’s dressed
and both just set on down.
“Are you a real Cowboy”? they asked.
He sighed and then he said,
“I though I was but now I find
I’m a lesbian instead.”

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2002

Monday, October 25, 2010

We Are Writers

Imagine sitting around a table with a group of writers. All listening to each other and adding their constructive criticism. I stress "constructive." They all have a story to tell and are open to verbal editing. I have always been in awe of those who can write something that goes on for more than a page; storytellers who can keep you from getting a good night's sleep because you can't put it down. After my first encounter I felt the need to describe it.

We are Writers

Like pioneers round a camp fire
we circle up, settle in and smile.
Only, there is no campfire,
just a round table with Styrofoam cups
and notebooks that runneth over.
The fire comes from within.
The warmth of each one’s passion
radiates as they read aloud
this week’s insights and inspiration.

Like pioneers,
we explore the unknown
or the once known and long forgotten
trails, trials and triumphs that converge
into who we are.

Like pioneers,
we pause and ponder each new awakening.
What does it mean?
Where will it lead?
I need to know and so,
I keep going.

We are pioneers;
exploring unbroken trails,
discovering meaning amidst memories,
uncovering paths from what was to what is,
finding scenic routes linking you with me.

We are pioneers.
We are Writers.

Jeff Hildebrandt © Feb. 4, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

White Line Fever

In my business, we're told to think outside the box. It makes me wonder who created the box in the first place...and why? The problem I've found with those who want us to think outside the box, is that they really want us to think inside their box. If you understand, fine. If you don't, well, that's fine too. That really has very little to do with what's coming next. Unless you see a parallel between outside the box and off the beaten path.


4 lane blacktop.
Drive fast, don’t stop
don’t think, don’t blink, don’t turn;
White lines separate
what I love and what I hate.
Feel the stress, deadlines,
I’m oppressed inside the lines.

Off the road I unload,
take a minute, glory in it
Choya cactus, yellow flowers,
a pony perch in floral bowers
It takes some time but I unwind

when I play outside the lines.

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2003

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Lone Ranger

This developed from a true story about a guy in New Mexico. I was told it was a true story but you know how that goes.

A lone Ranger

I saw him at the diner
sippin’ coffee all alone;
a far off gaze to yesterday
and memories all his own.
“It must be 50 years”, he said,
“Since Buck and Ralph and me
formed a little white hat gang
like our heroes on TV.
Buck passed on in ’96.
We buried Ralph today
I’m the last of the white-hat gang;
my posse’s gone away.

Seems we’re losin’ all the heroes;
who taught us wrong from right
I feel like a lone ranger
but I’m just too old to fight

He stood up slow and waited
for his muscles to un-kink
put on that silver Stetson,
cocked his head and gave a wink.
In baggy jeans and Ropers
he shuffled toward the door.
Then paused a moment, turned around
and thought out loud once more

We’re losin’ all the heroes;
who taught us wrong from right
I feel like a lone ranger
but I’m just too old to fight

As we headed to his pick-up,
3 young men strutted by.
When they got beside us,
he looked each in the eye
and said “Y’all need silver Stetsons.
Look me up when you get back.”
See, these 3 desert cowboys
were headed to Iraq.

We may lose all those heroes
who taught us right from wrong.
But when one old posse leaves us
another comes along
that has our same respect for God,
the Flag and liberty,
full of courage and compassion
just like we used to be.
Then that old cowboy showed a smile
as tears began to fall
and said “I’m just an older ranger,
not a lone one after all.”

Jeff Hildebrandt ©2006

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Passion on the Plains

He would ride to the top of the mountain
convinced he was loving the view.
But the sunset was never so perfect
as when he could share it with you.

She would look out over the desert
and the wind would carry her dreams.
Then one day, her wishes were granted
as he smiled and said, “Darlin’, it seems

We are meant to go riding together.
It’s just what the Good Lord has planned.
And I promise I’ll love you forever
as we ride through this life hand in hand.”

And as one they will raise up a family
with a promise in all that they do
They will cherish the love God sent from above.
And she smiled and said, “Darlin’ it’s true

We are meant to go riding together.
It’s just what the Good Lord has planned
And I promise I’ll love you forever
As we ride through this life…
As husband and wife
We will ride through this life hand in hand.”

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Singing Cowboy Salute

I wrote this for the 3rd Dean Smith Celebrity rodeo in Abeline, TX. The theme of the event, which raised money for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, was Salute to the Singing Cowboys. Part of the entertainment feautred modern day singing cowboys singing songs made famous by earlier singing cowboys.


When westerns were a dyin’ breed
Hollywood said there’s a need
for something new that we can do
to freshen up the look and feel
and give our cowboys sex appeal.

That’s when we saw the cowboy star
who fought and shot and played guitar
like the one from 1933;
Monogram’s “Riders of Destiny”.
Back then they thought John Wayne was dandy
as cowboy-crooner “Singin’ Sandy”.

Well, that concept was mighty thin
so movie makers tried again.
This time they found success of course
using singers who could ride a horse
like Rex and Tex, Roy and Gene,
Monte Hale and Eddie Dean.

No one thought that it would last
but more than 50 years have passed
and we still find we sing along;
familiar words from days long gone.

Back in the Saddle,
that song from High Noon,
Ghost Riders, Cool Water
and that Tumbleweed tune.

Those musical memories are bound to live on
when we gather together and all sing along
like Gene Autry taught us.
Take a deep breath and grin
cause it’s time to get
Back in the Saddle again.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Answered Prayer

I went to a wedding over the weekend and thought I'd post this for all those who seek but haven't found their soul-mate or those who have given up the search all together.

An Answered Prayer

Two Trails; winding and well worn

Two Travelers; wary and withdrawn
Broken Dreams
Broken Promises
Broken Spirits
Cautious and Cocooned,
with no thought of a butterfly
Single minded

Two Trails intersect
Two Travelers interact
A polite “hello”
A “thank you, no”
Then, “maybe so”

Two Trails converge
Two Travelers emerge
as one
Hope Restored
Dreams Reborn
Love Resurrected
Thank God

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

Friday, October 15, 2010


“Why are you a cowboy,” I asked the buckaroo.
“Cause my daddy was a cowboy
so it seemed the thing to do.”

“But the work seems awful boring. Does it pay well?” I inquired.
“Don’t do it for the money,
if I did, I’d soon be fired.
There’s no such thing as overtime
when calving comes around.
Snow days only mean more work
and all on frozen ground.
In summer it can be so hot
there’s sweat stains where you sat
and the only shade you come across
is right beneath your hat.”

“So, why are you a cowboy?” I asked him once again.
He said, “Just take a look around
and breathe in deep, my friend.
That’s the scent of freedom
and the look of liberty.
No hydrocarbons clouding up
the air so you can’t see
the West the way God made it;
clear streams and rolling plains,
snow capped peaks in summer,
the fresh smell when it rains.
There’s no clock watching worker bees
in multi-story mazes
who never look you in the eye
except for fit-full gazes.
The people serving breakfast
at the restaurant down in town
can talk to you in English
and they’re glad you came around.”

“So, that’s why you’re a cowboy. I finally understand.
It’s more than just a job to you, it’s really something grand.”
“Naw, it’s just a job,” he said.
“I work to keep my family fed.
That other stuff may sound real good
but it’s just hot air from Hollywood.”
That one really threw me so I turned and walked away
while he just stood there laughing. It really made his day
to tenderize a tenderfoot. It’s what some cowboy’s do
so folks who visit there won’t stay and clutter up their view.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 12/3/09

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Time Coffee Shop

This one comes from the days of performing anywhere and everywhere in order to get used to an audience and refine my skills. It's one thing to write poetry, alone with just the "muse." It is quite different to put your self in a position to have your work rejected or ignored. I heard about a coffee shop on East Colfax in Denver that had a western themed open-mic night for poets once a month. So I went a few times and that was the inspiration for this little verse.

Good Time Coffee Shop

There’s a place I know where cowboys go
to swap a yarn or three
of things they did whilst jest a kid
and at their mama’s knee.
They tell their tales of hoistin’ bales
or how they birthed a colt.
And after each, these cowhands reach
for a fresh brewed Java jolt.
Oh, the stories told of exploits bold
and dangers that they face
each buckaroo’ll swear are true
cause to lie is a disgrace.
Cow stampedes and tumbleweeds,
Hackamores and hobbles,
Pick up trucks and lady luck,
Jinglebobs and baubles
provide the inspiration
for each evening’s conversation.
There’s them who play the Western way
and sing a cowboy song
‘bout being at home where the buffalo roam.
and the whole crowd sings along.
Now, Friday night, when the mood is right
it’s somethin’ you should see.
A whole room full of wranglers
spoutin’ cowboy poetry
‘bout cattle queens in Abilene
and the tough life on the trail.
‘bout callused hands that work the land
and folks who’s word won’t fail
Oh, the stories told of exploits bold
are what them cowhands swap
as long as there’s hot java
at the Good-time Coffee Shop.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


When I first switched my rhyming style from the more traditional to the more Western influenced poetry, I started reading established cowboy poets. One in particular spent an entire poem complaining about wannabe poets muddying up the waters of Western wisdom. So, I felt I had to let folks know from the very beginning that I am Not A Cowboy.


I am not a cowboy,
though I wear a cowboy hat
and the boots I wear have pointed toes
and heels that ain’t near flat.
I want to be a cowboy,
but I’m stopped by one condition
I just can’t get a handle
on those cowboy definitions.

When you say Ranch,
I think salad dressing
and that’s not all, there’s more
a Quarter Horse is what kids ride
outside the K-Mart store
A Bull is the just first part
of an expletive deleted
and Pony’s just a little keg of beer,
too soon depleted.
I’m not sure what a Cayuse is,
but, it’s my recollection
that the Spurs play basketball
and Red Eye’s an infection.

No, I am not a cowboy
and I guess that’s clear to you
but, I read books by Cowboy Poets
to find out what to do.
How I should walk, how I should talk,
and even how to spit.
When to drink and when to eat
and when to take a
sit-down with some pardners,
play some cards and chew the fat
about the Dallas Cowboys
and topics such as that.

A fella told me “get a horse”,
that’s the thing that I should do.
So, I got a little pinto,
but the body rusted through.
I used to have Colt 45’s.
I’d drink some every day
now, the Saddlebags it gave me
just won’t go away.

But I want to be a cowboy
wearin’ jeans and denim shirts
and dance that Texas Two Step
till my old doggies hurt.
I’ll eat my Texas Chili hot,
washed down with Lone Star Beer.
I’ll vacation at a Dude Ranch
and maybe milk myself a steer.
No, I am not a cowboy
but I think that I could be
once I get a handle
on their terminology.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Monday, October 11, 2010

Textured by Time

This poem was somewhat of a surprise to me. I know that sounds strange, but I was headed in one direction and all of a sudden I found myself taking another path. (sort of like life, I guess) Now this is free verse poetry and I hope you see the picture it paints.

Textured by Time

Paint peels; reveals silver splinters
amidst the gray grain of winter-warped wood.

Once a showplace, now a showcase of hard times.
Rusty tears, from too many years of neglect,
weep from 10-penny punctures.

Once a haven for Herefords;
twice a day hay,
3 legged stools and galvanized pails.
Now, musty and dusty;
a home for birds and barn kitties.

Once sturdy and straight;
now stoop shouldered and
textured by time.
But, still beautiful, some say, in a natural way.
Barns are like that.

Once brown and bushy
now silver streaked and scarce,
covered by a tractor hat in need of an oil change.
Penny candy pockets,
all tickles and teasing.
A soft touch at bedtime.

Once lean and feisty now leaning and forgetful;
Once raising cane now held upright by one.
Textured by time
but beautiful, some say, in God’s way.
Grandpas are like that.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2006

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'd like to give my boss the bird!

I’d like to give my boss “The Bird”.
I mean that from my heart.
But so many folks deserve it
I don’t know where to start.
Our Congressmen and Senators
should get it on the hill
along with special interest groups
who ask for cash refills.
While thinking of some sermons
and preaching that I’ve heard;
It strikes me that some ministers
should also get “The Bird”.

By now, you must be wondering
how I can be so rude.
So, let me tell you what’s behind
my bird-brained attitude.
On the day that Christ was baptized,
from the heavens up above,
The Holy Ghost descended
and appeared just like a Dove.

So, when I wish someone “The Bird”
I’m hoping that they find
The Spirit of Almighty God
will change their heart and mind.
Without God’s Holy Spirit
we are deaf to truths we’ve heard.
We cannot truly know the Lord
until we get “The Bird”.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2009

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Devil's Mission

Our pastor is dealing with various "isms" that confront us everyday. The first in the series is Atheism. Wednesday nights there is a follow up with different insights into the topic. Last night a former athiest who came to realize the falicy of faithlessness described his journey away from and then back to the family of God. His mission now is to use the internet to spread the Good News. Please check it out:
Then, this morning I heard about the tornadoes in Arizona and thought this poem might be appropriate.

The Devil’s Mission

If I were the devil, you know what I’d do?
I’d do all I could to sabotage you.
I wouldn’t stick strictly to doing what’s wrong.
I’d win over souls by way of a song
or some other ploy, using things you enjoy.
At first, I’d use movies, magazines and TV
to show you how great greed and lusting can be.
And while your attention is focused on smut
I’d find somewhere else where I’d undercut
all your claims of good works and helping the poor
or feeding the hungry. And then what is more
I’d organize better; be first on the scene
with disaster relief. Do you see what I mean?
If I were the devil I’d protest and plead
that an end to abortion is what we all need.
I’d protest pollution, I’d say save the whales,
I’d show starving children, cause that never fails
to focus attention on somebody’s plight
so all the do-gooders can do what is right.

But, if I were the devil, the one thing I’d hate
is filling a soul, while filling the plate
of some down-and-outer who came off the street.
Don’t feed him on Jesus; just give him some meat.
Don’t think of your mission as means to an end
be content with the fact that you’re being a friend.
But, if I were the devil, my fears would be solved.
I’d just have you give money and not get involved.

Athiests are deluded by the devil into believing they don't need God. Athiesm amounts to "self-soverenty." might be able to help believers answer their doubts. Thus endeth today's message....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Please Put Off Procrastination

Please, put off procrastination.
There’s no peace when you delay
and you put off till tomorrow
things you should decide today.
Oh, we think our time is endless;
there’s no hurry to decide.
I’ll have time to find salvation
but for now, I’m satisfied.

I believe there is a heaven.
I believe there is a hell.
I believe the devil tricks us
to believe there’s time as well.
Fight against procrastination.
You cannot afford delay.
You may find there’s no tomorrow.
So, accept God’s Gift today.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Cowboy's Bread

Now, the story I’m a tellin’ you
was told to me as bein’ true
by a hand who heard it from his pa,
who’d cowboy’d out-a Wichita
with a fella who cooked
for the outfit in question.
At least I think
that’s his recollection.
They were drivin’ a herd
through wind and rain
to a railhead in Kansas,
cross that flat open plain,
when they came to a spot
that seemed to be right,
so they halted the herd
and camped for the night.
Round the campfire that evenin’
as cowboys will do,
they began swappin stories
and a tall tale or two
‘bout things they had done,
the wild oats they’d sown,
the horses they’d broke
and the trail cooks they’d known.
Then, the talk turned to vittles,
what they’d eat if they could
and just why they thought
their selection was good.
Well, as you might guess,
they all did attest
to lovin slabs of meat.
But, it’s what they’d put beside it,
that made each meal their treat.
One said baked potatoes,
another likes ‘em fried
with onions and green peppers
and ta-maters on the side.
Corn on the cob got several votes
and so did salad greens.
And, I guess it was unanimous
that no one wanted beans.
Then someone asked the cook himself,
when he’s not on the range
just what his favorite food would be.
And they thought he acted strange,
‘cause he just stood there, silent like,
then, to each of them he said,
pay attention and I’ll tell ya
why what I love is bread.
“Rye that's either dark or light,
Pumpernickel, black or white,
Sourdough or cinnamon sweet,
bread is what I love to eat.
Said, “Nothin's better, coast to coast
than anything with Garlic Toast.
For breakfast, what I think is grand,
are biscuits fried up in a pan”,
and added, “What’s good after supper,
is a big old hunk a sopper-upper,
He loves Bread !
Said he met the woman he loves most
one summer at a weenie roast.
They shared a hot dog on a roll
and Spoon Bread in a little bowl.
She's now his wife and children's mother
and once a year, they "Toast" each other.
They love Bread!
But he said the best they’d ever had
was none of the above.
It was made with pure self-rising flour
and kneaded well with love
by a baker who’s goal is to feed the soul
in good times and in strife.
To get it you just have to ask
for Jesus Christ, The Bread of Life.
Then, to a man, those cowhands said
“Amen to that, thank God for Bread.”
Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Milk of Human Kindness has gone Sour

I need to tell you a little story about this next little story. I wrote the first couple of versus back in the summer of 2007, as a way to channel various frustrations. It was not something I wanted to share until I went to a Bible study that focused on God’s mercy toward us and how He expects us to show mercy to everyone else. That’s what finished the poem.

My Milk of Human Kindness has gone Sour

I have a hard time caring
when fanatics claim foul play
about how we reacted when
twin towers were blown away.
I cannot find compassion
for those hell-bent to die
and don’t care for the mothers
or the children standing by.
They claim that we’re all satan
and we take it on the chin.
God forbid that we upset them
or stop them coming in
to undermine our government.
Oops, sorry we’re too late.
Our country crumbles ‘round us
‘cause we can’t discriminate.

The bleeding hearted news doves
no longer can be trusted.
So, let me quote that country song;
“My give-a-damn is busted”
I know that I should love them
and turn the other cheek.
But, I’ll need God to help with that,
‘cause frankly all I seek
is a swift end to this holy war
that sends them to their heaven
with a taste of their own medicine.
Remember 9-11

Then God says, “Where’s your mercy,
where’s compassion, understanding?
Love, don’t hate your enemy
as the scripture is demanding.”
The fate I prayed befalls them
could have been my destiny
had God not shown his mercy
and sent Christ to die for me.
And judgment without mercy
is the judgment that awaits
those whose hearts are hardened.
But the Bible also states
if we love those who mistreat us,
God’s mercy will all be great.
So, help me Lord to love them
and take away my hate.
Jeff Hildebrandt © November 18, 2008

Here are the versus:
“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:35-37
“Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:13

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Can't Play Guuitar

I really enjoy being part of any Western Music gathering or concert. I love watching Bill Barwick, Johnny Neill, Jon Chandler and the like stand on stage and wrap a crowd around their little fingers. But, I must admit that I have guitar-envy. Now that I think about it, I also envy writers like Mike Blakely who can weave history into a novel. But, that's fodder for another poem. This time, I'm sharing my thoughts on the fact that I am musically challenged.

I can’t play Guitar

I can’t play the guitar;
my fingers just won’t let me.
I’ve taken lessons lots of times
and all it ever gets me
are blisters on my finger tips
and soreness in my wrist.
The thrill of making music
is one thing that I’ve missed
cause I can’t seem to play guitar
or banjo or the fiddle.
The “how” of making melody
remains an unsolved riddle.

I can’t play bass fiddle;
I’m just not tall enough
to even tune the gal-darn thing.
And drums are really tough
because you must have rhythm.
And I feel really dumb
when I stumble walking down the street
while also chewing gum,
which means I can’t play tambourine.
I squeak on saxophone.
And my arms are not quite long enough
to play the slide trombone.
I’m terrible at trumpet
cause I have no pucker power
and my wife tells me I sing off key
even when I’m in the shower.

I can’t play harmonica;
my lips get in the way
and I can’t see just where to blow.
But, I guess that’s okay
cause I’m more of a poet
and I use my hot air
to paint word pictures in your mind.
So, really, I don’t care
to learn to pick the mandolin
or thump a washtub bass.
I’m just an old word-slinger
and while there is a trace
of envy for musicians who can play
and also sing,
I don’t have to tote an instrument.
My words are all I bring.

But, they’re words of Western wisdom,
cowpoke philosophy
that help me down the trail of life
as far as I can see.
Like, “Never squat while wearing spurs.
Close gates that I go through”
and “Make dern sure that I can spit
before I take a chew.”
There are other words of wisdom
just meant for us to share
like, “Don’t point fingers, lend a hand”
and “Show someone you care.”
“We all start out with nothing
and we’ll leave here just the same,
so only thinking of ourselves
will prove to be a shame.”

Now, those are words of wisdom,
not just philosophy,
to guide us down the trail of life
to life eternally.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 11/16/09

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Everytime I perform or speak at a gathering, I'm asked if I have a CD of my poetry. That's especially true at Cowboy Churches. I do, but I'm also in the process of editing an audio version of "Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand." It's not the entire book, but I think it makes the point and is broken into fairly short segments that are ideal for listening to while you're on the way to the grocery store or waiting in a parking lot. I mention that because this is one of the poems included in both the book and the CD.


We all see things in a different way.
What’s right or wrong, well, who’s to say?
What’s right for me may not fit you.
There’s really nothing else to do,
but compromise.
I don’t approve of Washington
wasting cash, so what I’ve done
is use a taxing trick or two
to pay far less that what is due.
That’s compromise.
If you don’t like your pay amount
just pad the old expense account.
No one bats an eye because
it’s something everybody does.
They compromise
The Bible says, “Don’t be conformed,
renew your mind and be transformed."
But, Romans twelve seems out of date,
we’re better off if we relate,
by compromise.
Some churches fill up all their pews
with folks who share the same world views.
Their preacher also understands
they’re just suggestions, not commands.
They’ve compromised
And when they see God, face to face,
they’ll just appeal to Holy Grace.
They’ll ask him to ignore their lies
and plead with him through tearful eyes
to compromise.
But, from His Holy Throne He’ll look
and say, “The Way is in the Book,
the key to Heaven is the Christ,
you should have made the sacrifice,
not compromise."

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2008

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Ole Days

I don’t know, but it seems to me
that all the popularity
of Western songs and Cowboy rhymes
is ‘cause we long for simpler times,
when folks were free to make their way
without restrictions, like today.
A time when you could ride for days
and never see a city’s haze.
When air was clean and streams were pure
and the strongest smell was cow manure.
A time when every day was spent
not thinkin’ ‘bout the government.
Remember how it used to be?
Folks used to be more neighborly,
when wrong was wrong and right was right
and streets were safe to walk at night.
But now, we lock our doors and pray
we’ll just survive another day.
But there’s one truth that helps us cope.
Despite our troubles, there is hope.
The God who made the earth and sky
is there to help us all get by.
So, we can sing of better times
in Western songs and Cowboy rhymes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Maze 'N Grace

This is one of those poems that simmered for a long time. I had the title and the concept, but it just wouldn't come together. Maybe its done, maybe not. You'll have to let me know. Maybe you'll think about your choices the next time you see a Halloween maze that kids go thru.

A Maze ‘n Grace

My mind’s a haze. My life’s a maze.
All I see in front of me
are choices.
Turn left, turn right but hid from sight
is where I’ll be, ‘cause all I see
are choices.
Free reign, free will were good until
I found one day I’d lost my way
thru choices.
No matter how much time I’d spend
I wound up facing a dead end.
No way forward, one way out
forcing me to turn about.
Heading back to where I was.
Starting over just because
of my choices.
Free will, free reign just led to pain.
But, up above, God waits with love
No matter what
my choice is
God knew I’d find that peace of mind
I’m looking for if I’d ignore
the choices
If you, like me are lost, can’t see
the forest for that great big tree
called choices.
The path is clear, the map is here.
Kneel down and pray, you’ll find The Way
to clear the haze, escape the maze
and find what you were meant to do.
Stop looking down, don’t look around,
look up instead and you’ll be led
in your choices.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 8/25/2010

Monday, September 27, 2010



A western’s got a hero,
who’s got a special horse.
There’s lots of fights and shoot-em-ups
and the good guys win of course
But, when the bad guy’s got the drop,
and the good guy was in trouble.
Who’s the one who went for help,
and brought it on the double?

Why it’s the trusty sidekick
and it’s a gal dern shame
that no one’s ever opened up
a sidekick hall of fame
to honor guys like Gabby Hayes
and good old Andy Clyde.
Cause a hero’s just a sandwich
if there’s no one by his side.

There’s Nugget Clark and Soapy Jones.
Lullaby and Lasses,
Fuzzy, Frog and Cannonball,
ah-headin’ em off at the passes.
And there were those we’d recognize
before we’d even see ‘em
cause their voice was so distinctive,
we just knew it had to be ‘em.
Smiley Burnett and Chill Wills
come to mind along with
Slim Pickens and Andy Devine.

I tell you those sidekicks were somethin’
and you know, it’s my belief
that somehow we should pay tribute
to those masters of comic relief.
So, doff yer hat and raise yer glass
to the sidekicks of yesterday.
And look to that heavenly round up,
cause, they went that a way.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cause and Effect

On the bunkhouse porch I watched these two;
as old Ben Dollar told Pete Purdue
about the troubles he’d had lately
and it appeared to vex him greatly.
Seems an axle broke on the old chuck wagon
and while the rear end was a draggin’
it caused one horse to pull up lame
and then the problems really came.
The wagon tipped, the chuck fell out,
flour and beans were strewn about.
Then the water barrel strap broke loose.
It hit the ground and spilled its juice.
And when it crashed, the noise it made
spooked the horse with the gimpy leg
who started off and then fell down
and lay there kickin’ on the ground.
The boss’s horse slipped in the mud
and sent him tumbling with a thud.
He ripped a hole in his favorite jeans
as he went splat in the flour and beans.
His horse ran off and the air turned blue
as the boss let out a curse or two.
While he stomped in all that waller
he blamed the mess on old Ben Dollar.

Then I heard old Ben ask Pete Purdue
if he’d explain a thing or two.
Said, “I believe in the Father, The Son and The Spirit.
I believe judgement’s coming and don’t really fear it.
I know I’ve been saved by the Blood of The Lamb,
so, why am I having the troubles I am”?
Pete pondered, then held up a book in his hand,
Said believin’ is easy when all goes as planned.
The question’s not why bad luck you’re attractin’
The issue is centered on how you’re reactin’
Faith’s easy to have when you’re well fed and rested
But faith isn’t FAITH until it’s been tested.
Let those with ears hear. Let those with eyes see.
Understanding is found in James One, Two and Three.
You should count it all joy when your life’s black and blue
cause that’s when the Father shows what He can do.
Pete said, “When yer troubled, think this here refrain:
My faith’s like a muscle, no pain and no gain”.
So now when I’m down and don’t know what to do
I think of the lesson from old Pete Purdue
“Let those with ears hear, let those with eyes see,
and follow the truth in James one, two and three”.

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 2002

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Restoration Hardware

So, I'm walking thru the mall and stop to have a Starbucks. Actually, I stop while Luanne has a skinny vanilla latte. We're sitting across from Restoration Hardware. I get a mental tweak about the words and then....nothing. I wrote down the thought and kept coming back to it wondering what I could do with it. I don't think the rhyme is as important as the fact that now, when you walk past the store, you may be able to use the name as a trigger for witness. "Hey, look at that...I know a guy who...."


Why wonder why the world’s a mess;
Why Jews and Christians are oppressed;
Why everywhere prayer is repressed;
There’s no need to second guess
cause all of that has been addressed.
It’s in the Book.
I find there is a real connection
with those who sought the Lord’s protection
when suffering the world’s rejection.
Just following Divine direction
led to attitude correction.
It’s in the Book.
Reading unlocks revelation
about God’s plan for our salvation
that started prior to creation.
And with the Spirit’s inspiration
you will find there’s restoration.
It’s in the book.
So when you find life hard to bear
go to God in quiet prayer.
Search the scriptures; that is where
the Lord has comfort He will share.
This Restoration…Hardware.
Is The Book.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

He's a Cowboy

He’s a Cowboy,
with a hundred years of history
that’s no where near the mystery
and romance on the range the movies show.
He’s like those who rode the Goodnight trail
pushin’ cows from Texas to the rail
when a Cowboy’s Code
was all you had to know.

It’s Courage, Strength and Loyalty,
Good Humor, Trust and Decency.
And when he gave his word,
he wouldn’t fail.
A man who’d face stampedin’ beeves,
wild Indians and cattle thieves,
then swear there weren’t much trouble
on the trail.

He’s a Cowboy

Vaquero blood pumps through his veins
and he is all that now remains
of a breed-a men whose handshake
sealed a deal.
His Stetson’s stained with honest sweat,
his boots are scuffed and you can bet
he ain’t no Urban Cowboy;
he’s for real.

He’s not afraid of workin’ hard
out in the field or his own back yard
and he gives thanks to God
for all His grace
The Cowboy Code says lend a hand
and he does that every time he can
and thanks to him,
this world’s a better place.

He’s a Cowboy.

Jeff Hildebrandt Copyright 1999

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Heed the Call (NRA version)

Several years ago, Western artist, Katie West, asked me to do a poem that would go with one of her paintings titled, "Heed the Call." I did. Since then, I've been able to adapt it to particular circumstances using different Western heroes. This is the latest version. I created it for a National Rifle Association banquet/charity auction on Sept. 11th. I used Charlton Heston as our hero, since he was the long time president of the NRA. The picture in my mind comes from his character in The Big Country.
I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Heston and spend some time with him at his home in L.A. I was impressed with his hospitality and gentleness.


I saw Chuck Heston horseback
in a dream the other night,
wearing six guns and that big brimmed hat.
He was heading for a fight.
It’s not a fight he wanted.
That’s not the case at all.
But when someone was in trouble,
he’d step up to heed the call.

Then I heard the trumpets blowing
midst the sound of shot and shell,
and saw patriots go marching
right up to the gates of hell,
cause when they saw Old Glory,
it inspired them, one and all
to grasp the torch of freedom;
to step up and heed the call.

When I woke up and looked around,
as far as I could see
were people who were ready
to defend our liberty.
Our heroes are not gone, I thought.
That’s not the case at all.
They’re the ones who fight for freedom,
who step up and heed the call.

Jeff Hildebrandt copyright 9/11/2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

By Faith?

Is your church immersed in Stewardship? We've had a number of sermons lately on giving to the cause of Christ. Our pastor makes the point that it is not about giving to this church or that church, but rather, giving so the work of "The Church" can continue around the world. Unfortunately, most of the folks who fill the seats on Sunday just tune out that message. I made the point in my book, "Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand," that our weekly offering should be our response to God's Love, Grace and Generosity toward us. (Not to mention the fact that God clearly expects a tithe).


The church should run on faith, I say.
The church should let God pay it’s way.
Let God inspire each person’s heart
and only then should they take part.

You ask for pledges, but instead
I’ll give each week, as I am lead.
If all I bring’s a buck or two
I guess then, that will have to do.

Cause, the church should run on faith, you see.
Let God support His ministry.
No money, then without a doubt,
God’s saying, cut some programs out.

You want committment, but instead
I have to keep my family fed,
and, the church should run on faith, you see.
What do you mean, the church is me?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ghost Writers in Disguise

I have heard a number of parody's of famous songs. I've written a few myself, by myself, for myself. If you know the Stan Jones' song, Ghost Riders..then you may be able to hum along as you read the words. If you don't know it, see if you can find it on line, possibly YouTube. You have the rest of the weekend, so no pressure. I picture this taking place in a Beverly Hills Deli where I've seen Larry King and others congregate over breakfast.


A group of writers met one day,
the way they’d met before.
They talked about the books they’d done
and who they’d written for.
One had penned a kiss and tell for
a movie actor’s wife
who told him every detail of
her rather steamy life.
Another one had written for
a former football star,
and several politicians but
he won’t say who they are.
He wrote of things they overcame
as if the words were theirs.
He’s a master of rose coloring
the stories each one shares.
Yippee-yi-ya, Yippee-yi-yo
They’re rolling in ..the dough
Those writers walked on past me
and I heard one make this claim;
If you want to be successful but
avoid the crush of fame
you must not seek the limelight,
write in partial truths and lies
then you can join the group that’s called
Ghost Writers in Disguise.
Yippee-yi-ya, boy does it pay
Ghost Writers in Disguise

Jeff Hildebrandt, copyright 2002

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your Hat's Not Welcome Here

There is a story making its way around the email trail. And me, not being one to leave well enough alone, turned that parable into a poem. Now that I think about it, this is just how the whole concept of cowboy poetry got started. Think for a moment about a cowboy telling how he was hired to break a really rank Roan. How many times do you think you could listen to that before it got old? Now, think about how many times you’ve sung along to “The Strawberry Roan.” Anyway, I hope you get the point of the story.

Your Hat’s Not Welcome Here

It was a sunny Sunday morning
when a cowboy went to town.
He headed for the nearest church
and quietly sat down.
There was polish on his well worn boots,
his shirt was starched and clean,
he’d brushed the ranch off his hat
and wore his best pressed jeans.
The church was mighty fancy
and the folks dressed fancy, too.
And they all looked him over
as they headed to their pews.
The organ sounded beautiful,
the choir all sang in tune,
the preacher didn’t talk too long
and he was out by noon.
And as he left, the preacher said,
“You’re new here, aren’t you friend?
I thought so by the way you’re dressed.
I hope you’ll come again
but do a little praying first.
Ask God what you should wear.”
Next Sunday, he was back in church
and felt the preacher’s glare
cause he was dressed just like last week.
Not a single soul said “hi”
but the preacher pulled him to one side
and asked the cowboy why
he came back dressed that way.
The cowboy shook his head.
The preacher pressed the issue
until the cowboy said,
“Preacher, I did like you asked
and prayed He’d make it clear.
But God don’t know your dress code
since he never has been in here.”

Jeff Hildebrandt ©2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paula's Puzzeling Perdicament

“I’m telling you”, grinned Pete Purdue,
“My Paula’s so dern cute.
Blue eyes, blond hair, with charm to spare
and humorous, to boot.”
Well, there must be more than what I’ve seen
to this waitress at the Dairy Queen
so I proceed to ask him to explain
precisely what this Paula did
to make him act like such a kid.
And the reason for his rapture soon was plain.
He said she called him late last night
to say she’s in an awful plight
Her brand new jigsaw puzzle is a mess.
He thought that she was gonna cry
so he got dressed and drove on by.
What happened next I‘m sure you probably guessed

She’s just as charming as can be.
Tousled femininity
in cowgirl t-shirt and her argyle socks.
He saw the problem right away
and told her he’d be glad to stay
and help her put the corn flakes in the box
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005