TO THE OLD TIMES, by Chris Isaacs



by Chris Isaacs

Me and my pards, Bud and Beaver
Were havin’ a cold one down at the Pines.
We’d been to the show and watched the short go
We were just catchin’ up on old times

When this kid walked in with a swagger
That told the whole bar he was there.
Hat cocked to one side, he was plum full of pride;
Just let all of the gunsels beware.

His thumbs slid back behind his new buckle
As he hollered, “The drinks are on me.
I rode a bad one tonight, removed all of his fight
And I’m startin’ right now on a spree.”

We just looked at each other and grinned
As we remembered those days gone by
When we were the ones who were having the fun;
“Let er’ buck” was our standard war cry.

But I think that the grins were a cover.
A mask that could hide something more;
So no one could see that these old devotees
Were wishin’ time hadn’t shuttered the door.

‘Cuz it’s a door that cannot be left gaping.
Once it’s closed it won’t open again.
It’s forever shut tight tho’ you try with your might
The trying could just drive you insane.

But there’s one saving grace; a solution!
It’s a way to help ease the despair.
It’s those old “memories” that help us to see
The good times that are no longer there.

And I looked at Bud and ol’ Beaver
And they were both smiling thru tears
Thinkin’ back when we did the same as that kid,
As we remembered back thru the years.

So pards, let’s raise a glass to old memories,
To the good times and all the old friends.
And though those days are gone, the memories live on;
In our dreams those days never end.

© 2016, Chris Isaacs
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

As we approach the new year thoughts often go to “auld lang syne” (times gone by), cowboy, packer, and popular poet and humorist Chris Isaacs has a fitting poem. He also shares this photo of himself with “Ol’ Cowboy,” which he says was “taken somewhere between Yarnell and Skull Valley, Arizona in March 1977.”

Chris returns as a headliner to the 33rd annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, February 22-23, 2019.

The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering lineup includes Apache Adams, Gary Allegretto, Amy Hale Auker, Eli Barsi, Floyd Beard, “Straw” Berry, Mike Blakely, Dale Burson, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Craig Carter, Zack Casey, Allan Chapman & Rodeo Kate, Justin Cole, High Country Cowboys, Doris Daley, Mikki Daniel, John Davis, Kevin Davis, Doug Figgs, Ray Fitzgerald, Rolf Flake, Ryan & Hoss Fritz, Belinda Gail, Pipp Gillette, Jeff Gore, Kristyn Harris, Andy Hedges, High Country Cowboys, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Randy & Hanna Huston, Chris Isaacs, Jill Jones & Three Hands High, Jim Jones, Linda Kirkpatrick, Ross Knox, Daron Little, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Pat Meade, Glenn Moreland, Terry Nash, Joel Nelson, Sam Noble, Kay Nowell, Jean Prescott, Gary Prescott, Mike Querner, Luke Reed, Randy Rieman, Gary Robertson, Trinity Seely, R.P. Smith, Jay Snider, Gail Steiger, Michael Stevens, Caitlyn Taussig, Rod Taylor, Doug Tolleson, Keith Ward, and Jim Wilson.

Chris Isaacs has a recent book, Scattered Memories: Cowboy Wit and Wisdom. In her foreword to the book, Shannon Keller Rollins (of the Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon along with Kent Rollins) calls it, “your feel-good pocket guide to life.” Find more about Chris Isaacs in a feature at, and find all of his books and recordings at his site,

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for any other use, please request permission.)