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Here's yet another contribution from my good friend Ben McKenzie. I believe you will enjoy, Ridin' drag with Ben.


Ben McKenzie was one of the first, if not the first, that actually put one of my poems on the internet. Along with that, he encouraged me greatly to keep writing, and made me feel good about what talent might lie within. When there was criticism due, his gentle guiding hand was ever ready. We’ve become fast pards on this thing called the internet. How we’ll do in person some day who knows; I rather think we’ll get along fine, and look forward to a combined meeting with my good buddy Mr. Bob Lewis. Ben is an excellent writer as well, and I urge you to enjoy the following poem, which to me captures the essence of the spirit of the cattle drive. I give you:

DRAG RIDER

by Ben McKenzie * All Rights Reserved

Out past the sage brush, grease wood and the prickly pear.
Rode an old Cowboy on his horse a pie bald mare.
His manner was attentive his eyes was on the ground.
He was looking for the happiness in life he'd never found.
He spurred his old hoss gentle as he clumb a distant hill.
He had no prime direction he was travlin’ most by feel.
His weary bones had told him that his time had come to die.
He was riding out to sign on with that round up in the sky.

The clouds began to rolling the rain began to fall.
He rode on through the lightning fed sky oblivious to it all.
His slicker rode the cantle he didn't seem to mind.
He was travlin’ the switchbacks, of a different place and time.
As the storm swirled around him he sang a mournful song.
As though to calm a spooky beast or move the herd along.
He thought of all the times he'd swore he had her in the bag.
Just to wind up punching dust again on someone else's drag.

Come on you little dogies now don't you move so slow.
We're pushing to the rail head and we've got a ways to go.
The trail boss is a rounder the hands are always green.
And I've got a gal who waits for me way back in Abilene.
‘Twas then he heard another voice cutting through the rain.
He strained to see the cowboy who was singing the refrain.
The grub is beans and hard tack my bones is always sore.
I push until I can't go on, then push a little more.

Come on you little dogies now don't you move so slow.
We're pushing to the rail head and we've got a ways to go.
Then out of the swirling storm he heard another voice.
Singing move along there dogies, you aint got any choice.
My brother's on the drag and my Pard's a riding flank.
When we get to old Dodge City you'll be money in the bank.
Come on you little dogies now don't you move so slow.
We're pushing to the rail head and we've got a ways to go.

One by one in the darkness cowboys joined the mournful tune.
While thunder crashed and lightening, lashed out at the moon.
My rigging all needs mending the pay is always late
I think I see Saint Peter out standing by the gate.
So let the wild winds rag me and chill me to the bone.
I hear the lord a calling me and I'm a headed home.
So come on you little dogies and let your wild hooves fly.
Cause all brands run together in that roundup in the sky.

Sometimes late of an evening when a storm is rolling in,
You hear the bawling of the beefs in the howling of the wind.
As if some spectral Cowboys were hurrying them along.
And if you listen close enough you'll hear them sing this song.
Come on you little dogies now don't you move so slow.
We're pushing to the railhead and we have a ways to go.
The trail boss is a rounder, the hands are always green
And I have a gal that waits for me way back in Abilene.