Thanksgiving Day

rooseveltthanks

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”  …from President Theodore Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1901.

This 1903 photo is captioned, “Cowboys following the train and cheering President Roosevelt, Hugo, Colorado.” It’s from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Find more Thanksgiving poems in a feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

(This photo is in the public domain.)

THANKSGIVING, by Charles Badger Clark

badgerthanks

THANKSGIVING
by Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957)

Accept my thanks today, O Lord—
But not so much for bed and board—
Those stodgy items of good cheer
I share with chipmunks and with deer—
But rather gifts more fine and fair
That come upon me unaware.

Those priceless incidental things—
Flower fragrance and bird flutterings,
The sudden laughter often caught
From some fantastic kink of thought
A pine’s black fretwork lifted high
Against the tranquil sunset sky,
Kindness from strangers all unnamed
That makes me wholesomely ashamed,
A friend’s warm, understanding eyes,
A book’s communion with the wise,
The dreamful magic of a tune
And slim white birches in the moon—

I thank you, Lord, for daily bread
But I am so much more than fed,
For you, with nought deserved or won,
Indulge me like a favored son,
Flinging profuse along my ways
These jeweled things that deck the day
And make my living far more sweet
Than just to breathe or just to eat.

…by Charles Badger Clark

South Dakota native Charles Badger Clark worked as a ranch hand in Arizona ranch and became the first South Dakota Poet Laureate. His father was a minister; his poems often express gratitude. “A Cowboy’s Prayer” is the best known. This one is likewise full of grace. Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo is of Badger Clark and his friend and fellow poet, Bob Axtel (1887-1976). The photo, by Charles Axtel, is from Arizona historian Greg Scott’s Cowboy Poetry, Classic Poems & Prose by Badger Clark. The book includes all of Badger Clark’s short stories; poetry, including more than two dozen previously unpublished or long out-of-print poems; essays; letters; and photos. See our feature about the book,  and another about Axtel.

The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation holds Badger Clark’s papers and offers his books for sale.

Find Thanksgiving poems and more at CowboyPoetry.com.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post. The poem is in the public domain. Request permission for any other use of the photo.)

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT, by S. Omar Barker

barkerhorserifle.jpg

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985

About this here Thanksgiving there are two opposin’ views,
One helt by ol’ Pop McIntyre, one helt by Smoky Hughes;
And how them two ol’ cowpokes will debate the pros-and-cons
Produces in the bunkhouse many verbal marathons.
“I’ve always worked,” says Smoky, “For whatever I have had,
Since first I wrangled horses as a rusty-knuckled lad.
I’ve rode my share of broncos, and I’ve punched a heap of cow,
And earned my own danged ‘blessings’ by the sweat of my own brow!
Why should I be a-givin’ thanks for what I’ve duly earned
Is a lot of bosh and bunkum that I just ain’t never learned!”

Pop McIntyre, he sucks his pipe a thoughtful draw or two,
Then says: “Well, Smoky, I’ll admit that you’re a buckaroo
Who sets a steady saddle and ain’t stingy with his sweat,
But maybe there’s a thing or two you stubbornly forget.
You’re noted as a peeler that is seldom ever throwed—
To what good luck or blessin’ is your skill at ridin’ owed?”
“There ain’t no good luck to it, Pop,” says Smoky. “I’m a man
Who ain’t obliged for nothin’ when I do the best I can.
For when I earn my wages bustin’ out a bunch of colts,
It’s me, myself in person, that is takin’ all the jolts.
That’s why I claim Thanksgivin’ Day is mostly just a fake
To give some folks a good excuse for turkey stummick-ache!”

“My friend,” says Pop, sarcastic, “you have spoke your little piece,
And proved you’ve got a limber tongue that’s well supplied with grease.
You scoff at all thanksgivin’, but a fact you surely know
Is that some Power beyond your own learned blades of grass to grow.
You spoke of ridin’ broncos—I’ll admit you ride ’em good,
And set up in the saddle like a salty peeler should.
For this you take the credit, and you claim to owe no thanks
For the buckarooster blessin’ of the muscles in your shanks!
Instead you should feel thankful,” says Pop’s concludin’ drawl,
That the good lord made you forkéd—or you couldn’t ride at all!”

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker

S. Omar Barker wrote several Thanksgiving poems. This one appears in his 1954 book, Songs of the Saddlemen.

We were honored to have Waddie Mitchell’s recitation of “Thanksgiving Argument” recorded for MASTERS: Volume Two, the poetry of S. Omar Barker. This photo of S. Omar Barker appears inside the CD.

Barker’s prolific writing was described by his friend Fred Gipson, “…It’s as western as sagebrush, authentic as an brush-scuffed old boot, and full of the warm-hearted humor that seems always to be a part of ‘the men who ride where the range is wide’…”

Barker was one of the founders of the  Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by  Western Horseman. Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo of S. Omar Barker is courtesy of the S.Omar Barker estate.

Find poems and more in a Thanksgiving feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

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

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

thankspc

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

About this here Thanksgiving there are two opposin’ views,
One helt by ol’ Pop McIntyre, one helt by Smoky Hughes;
And how them two ol’ cowpokes will debate the pros-and-cons
Produces in the bunkhouse many verbal marathons.
“I’ve always worked,” says Smoky, “For whatever I have had,
Since first I wrangled horses as a rusty-knuckled lad.
I’ve rode my share of broncos, and I’ve punched a heap of cow,
And earned my own danged ‘blessings’ by the sweat of my own brow!
Why should I be a-givin’ thanks for what I’ve duly earned
Is a lot of bosh and bunkum that I just ain’t never learned!”

Pop McIntyre, he sucks his pipe a thoughtful draw or two,
Then says: “Well, Smoky, I’ll admit that you’re a buckaroo
Who sets a steady saddle and ain’t stingy with his sweat,
But maybe there’s a thing or two you stubbornly forget.
You’re noted as a peeler that is seldom ever throwed—
To what good luck or blessin’ is your skill at ridin’ owed?”
“There ain’t no good luck to it, Pop,” says Smoky. “I’m a man
Who ain’t obliged for nothin’ when I do the best I can.
For when I earn my wages bustin’ out a bunch of colts,
It’s me, myself in person, that is takin’ all the jolts.
That’s why I claim Thanksgivin’ Day is mostly just a fake
To give some folks a good excuse for turkey stummick-ache!”

“My friend,” says Pop, sarcastic, “you have spoke your little piece,
And proved you’ve got a limber tongue that’s well supplied with grease.
You scoff at all thanksgivin’, but a fact you surely know
Is that some Power beyond your own learned blades of grass to grow.
You spoke of ridin’ broncos—I’ll admit you ride ’em good,
And set up in the saddle like a salty peeler should.
For this you take the credit, and you claim to owe no thanks
For the buckarooster blessin’ of the muscles in your shanks!
Instead you should feel thankful,” says Pop’s concludin’ drawl,
That the good lord made you forkéd—or you couldn’t ride at all!”

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker

 

S. Omar Barker wrote several Thanksgiving poems. This one appears in his 1954 book, Songs of the Saddlemen.

Look for more info on a special forthcoming MASTERS CD from CowboyPoetry.com that includes Waddie Mitchell’s recitation of “Thanksgiving Argument,” recorded for the project.

Barker’s prolific writing was described by his friend Fred Gipson, “…It’s as western as sagebrush, authentic as an brush-scuffed old boot, and full of the warm-hearted humor that seems always to be a part of ‘the men who ride where the range is wide’…”

Barker was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman.

Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

This postcard, from the early 1900s, is from our BAR-D collection.

Find poems and more in a Thanksgiving feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

THANKSGIVING, by Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957)

badgaxtel

THANKSGIVING
by Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957)

Accept my thanks today, O Lord?
But not so much for bed and board?
Those stodgy items of good cheer
I share with chipmunks and with deer?
But rather gifts more fine and fair
That come upon me unaware.

Those priceless incidental things?
Flower fragrance and bird flutterings,
The sudden laughter often caught
From some fantastic kink of tught
A pine’s black fretwork lifted high
Against the tranquil sunset sky,
Kindness from strangers all unnamed
That makes me wholesomely ashamed,
A friend’s warm, understanding eyes,
A book’s communion with the wise,
The dreamful magic of a tune
And slim white birches in the moon?

I thank you, Lord, for daily bread
But I am so much more than fed,
For you, with nought deserved or won,
Indulge me like a favored son,
Flinging profuse along my ways
These jeweled things that deck the day
And make my living far more sweet
Than just to breathe or just to eat.

…by Charles Badger Clark

South Dakota native Charles Badger Clark worked as a cowboy on an Arizona ranch and became a South Dakota Poet Laureate. His father was a minister; his poems often express gratitude. “A Cowboy’s Prayer” is the best known. This one is likewise full of grace. Find more about Badger Clark and more of his poety at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo is of Badger Clark and his friend and fellow poet, Bob Axtel (1887-1976). The photo, by Charles Axtel, is from Arizona historian Greg Scott’s “Cowboy Poetry, Classic Poems & Prose by Badger Clark.” The book includes all of Badger Clark’s short stories; poetry, including more than two dozen previously unpublished or long out-of-print poems; essays; letters; and photos. See our feature about the book,  and another about Axtel.

Find more Thanksgiving poems in a feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

THANKSGIVING, by Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957)

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
…from President Theodore Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1901.

thanksgrosevelt

This 1903 photo is captioned, “Cowboys following the train and cheering President Roosevelt, Hugo, Colorado.” It’s from The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Find more about it here.

South Dakota native Charles Badger Clark (1883-1957), who spent some time in Arizona working on an Arizona ranch, became South Dakota’s first Poet Laureate. His best known poem, “A Cowboy’s Prayer,” is filled with gratitude. This one is, too:

THANKSGIVING

Accept my thanks today, O Lord?
But not so much for bed and board?
Those stodgy items of good cheer
I share with chipmunks and with deer?
But rather gifts more fine and fair
That come upon me unaware.

Those priceless incidental things?
Flower fragrance and bird flutterings,
The sudden laughter often caught
From some fantastic kink of tught
A pine’s black fretwork lifted high
Against the tranquil sunset sky,
Kindness from strangers all unnamed
That makes me wholesomely ashamed,
A friend’s warm, understanding eyes,
A book’s communion with the wise,
The dreamful magic of a tune
And slim white birches in the moon?

I thank you, Lord, for daily bread
But I am so much more than fed,
For you, with nought deserved or won,
Indulge me like a favored son,
Flinging profuse along my ways
These jeweled things that deck the day
And make my living far more sweet
Than just to breathe or just to eat.

…by Charles Badger Clark, from Skylines and Wood Smoke (1935), used with the permission of the Badger Clark Memorial Society, http://www.badgerclark.org.

Find more about Badger Clark and more of his poety at CowboyPoetry.com.

And find more Thanksgiving poems in a feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

thanks1

THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

About this here Thanksgiving there are two opposin’ views,
One helt by ol’ Pop McIntyre, one helt by Smoky Hughes;
And how them two ol’ cowpokes will debate the pros-and-cons
Produces in the bunkhouse many verbal marathons.
“I’ve always worked,” says Smoky, “For whatever I have had,
Since first I wrangled horses as a rusty-knuckled lad.
I’ve rode my share of broncos, and I’ve punched a heap of cow,
And earned my own danged ‘blessings’ by the sweat of my own brow!
Why should I be a-givin’ thanks for what I’ve duly earned
Is a lot of bosh and bunkum that I just ain’t never learned!”

Pop McIntyre, he sucks his pipe a thoughtful draw or two,
Then says: “Well, Smoky, I’ll admit that you’re a buckaroo
Who sets a steady saddle and ain’t stingy with his sweat,
But maybe there’s a thing or two you stubbornly forget.
You’re noted as a peeler that is seldom ever throwed—
To what good luck or blessin’ is your skill at ridin’ owed?”
“There ain’t no good luck to it, Pop,” says Smoky. “I’m a man
Who ain’t obliged for nothin’ when I do the best I can.
For when I earn my wages bustin’ out a bunch of colts,
It’s me, myself in person, that is takin’ all the jolts.
That’s why I claim Thanksgivin’ Day is mostly just a fake
To give some folks a good excuse for turkey stummick-ache!”

“My friend,” says Pop, sarcastic, “you have spoke your little piece,
And proved you’ve got a limber tongue that’s well supplied with grease.
You scoff at all thanksgivin’, but a fact you surely know
Is that some Power beyond your own learned blades of grass to grow.
You spoke of ridin’ broncos—I’ll admit you ride ’em good,
And set up in the saddle like a salty peeler should.
For this you take the credit, and you claim to owe no thanks
For the buckarooster blessin’ of the muscles in your shanks!
Instead you should feel thankful,” says Pop’s concludin’ drawl,
That the good lord made you forkéd—or you couldn’t ride at all!”

© S. Omar Barker, reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker

 

S. Omar Barker wrote several Thanksgiving poems. This one appears in his 1954 book, Songs of the Saddlemen.

Barker’s prolific writing was described by his friend Fred Gipson, “…It’s as western as sagebrush, authentic as an brush-scuffed old boot, and full of the warm-hearted humor that seems always to be a part of ‘the men who ride where the range is wide’…”

Barker was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman.

Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

This postcard is from our BAR-D collection. The message on the back is dated November 24, 1920.

Find poems and more in a Thanksgiving feature at CowboyPoetry.com.