Christian Cowboy Poetry and more

Christian Cowboy Poetry and more
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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

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