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