Below is a nice cowboy poem from one of our readers. It makes me sad and wistful, because I learned of the death of pro surfer Andy Irons today. He was just 32 with a beautiful wife, who’s pregnant with his son. (He died alone in a Texas hotel room of complications from dengue fever—and possibly pain killers and sleeping pills).

I guess I’ve always secretly dreamed of being a surfer, and Andy’s meteoric career was an inspiration. This poem about a cowboy that never was makes me think of Andy and the father he’ll never be. God bless.

Take me out to the edge of creation

Where the land and the rivers are wild

Let me see forever and…then some

To the place where God rested and smiled.

Show peaks that reach to the top of the world

Turning pink as they greet the new day

Help me feel the way that it certainly was

When the West was “The West” as they say.

Place me inside of the dust clouds

At the head of the great long horn herd

Astride a mustang just one step ahead

When “stampede” was the echoing word.

Hand me the letters all written in love

As I ride from St. Joe to the West

Delivered come hell, or high water

The Pony Rider who never knew rest.

Let me throw in my lot with the miners

where manhood was tested ten fold

bacon and beans was the meal of the day

just one in a thousand found gold.

I was born when the glory was over

with history all written and won

just thinking aloud how it all must have been

in the West when creation begun.

May my ghost haunt the shadows at twilight

When my days in the West are all done.

Let my soul rest not far from the Western Star

Then I’ll always and ever be young.

By Marvin Hass

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