Beautiful Dream

(1997)

I had a dream last night
As I slept in my easy chair.
It’s beauty filled with light
A scent of pine in the air.

I spoke with the Son of God,
In this dream, I had in sleep.
He schooled me in the way of sod,
And the promise He worked to keep.

He told me He loves the cowhand
Tho’ they ain’t mentioned by name,
With faces and necks all tanned,
He loves us all jus’ the same.

He show me how much He loves us
By spreading his arms fingertip wide.
I pushed back my hat to see Jesus,
On the cross, exactly as He died.

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Daddy, How was I Born

My son recently came to me and asked, “Daddy, how was I born?”

“Well, Kyle, I guess one day you’ll find out anyway,” I sighed.

“Your Mom and I first got together in a public online chat room. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your her and we met at a cyber-café,” I began.

“Then we sneaked into a private chat room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive,” I continued. “As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little pop-up appeared saying: “You got Mail.”

He didn’t believe me – or that I found him under a rock.

The Perfect Gem

(May 1982)

Every girl you meet
Ain’t like every girl in town
Once in a while your head gets turned around
By a perfect little gem.

The one that’ll light your life
Who’ll love you when she’s mad
And forgive you if you’re bad
That perfect little gem.

And never knowing the future
Trying to forget the past
So a cowboy lives life like it’s his last,
Loving that perfect little gem.

But one day he’ll see too late
That life ain’t jus’ for playing
And in his memory he’ll be paying
The price for losing a perfect little gem.

And that old cowboy —
How he’ll cry so loud
To see her proud
With him — his perfect little gem.

J.D. Urley

(February 1996)

J.D. Urley’s family is from Scotland
Of his ancestry he shows his pride
He knows not of the land itself
Be feels it callin’ far an’ wide.

Great grandpa Urley was coal miner
Somewhere in the foothills of Virginny
‘Go west,’ he bolted as ol’ Horace said
A young man without even a penny.

He had a s son an; he named him James
Tho’ exactly when an’ where are gone
In flats near the River Red they stopped
An’ it’s there James raised young John.

John grew up buckin’ a restless spirit
An’ left for the farthest western shore
Then at Lakes Crossin’ in the fall
He married the woman he did adore.

J.D. came nearly five-years later
He’s learnin’ to rodeer an’ the alphabet
‘Cause he dreams of one day livin’
The wranglin’ life of a buckaroo poet.

Magic in a Friendship

(November 1979)

Not sight, nor sound
Could ever equal the beauty
That my eyes and mind have found
In the slender of today.

We came from two different worlds
Yet together our hearts sang
And our lives became twirled
Like the symbol, Yin and Yang.

It does no good to pretend
That which you neither see nor hear
You do have a friend
To hold your hand in fear.

Live only day to day
And let all death rest
And your saddened past lay
This is your greatest test.

When your day is grey
Act not so sad
And blue all the day
Because it soon will pass.

Let the day go
It;s for fooling persons
Don’t you know
There’s no rhyme or reasons.

It’s great to have and to hold
But new things shall come
Like after the night that’s cold
The morning that whistles and hums.

I am alive and a part of the living
And so you are too
Only love and smiles worth giving
It’s the best that we can do.

Your Photograph

(March 1982)

As I lay here
With nothing to do
In a photo I saved
I look at you.

The warmth of your bed
I no longer share
Makes my heart ache
On my soul it does wear.

My life is so lonely
You’re my one and only glow
With each passing day missing you
More in love I do grow.

I love you so much
Being apart is a heavy lad
With time that does pass
The promise of a new road.

My verse is so simple
As my love grows strong
You have my life, my heart
Together we cannot go wrong.

Rule Number Three

“Can I go out and play with my new B-B gun?” I asked.

My Uncle looked over and replied, “It’s a gun and it ain’t for playing.” 

He went back to reading the Humboldt Beacon.

“I could use some help clearing off the table, Tommy,” my Aunts voice from the kitchen, then she added, “Then you can go out and shoot your gun.”

I rushed to stack the plates atop each other and quickly get them to the kitchen sink. I did the same with the silverware and glasses. I even cleared the table of the left over breakfast of scrambled eggs and fried potatoes.

There wasn’t very much left in any of the bowls and I knew that what was left would be fed to the hogs later on. I knew it because it was my chore to slop them.

I stayed in the kitchen waiting for my aunt to excuse me. I had made the mistake of going outside when there were still chores left undone and my rear end still stung the next morning from the lesson learned.

“Go play,” my Aunt smiled.

As fast as a lightening bolt I was out of the house. I stopped long enough at his Uncles gun cabinet to carefully remove his brand new lever action B-B gun.

For weeks I had looked forward to the day that my Uncle and I would drive down to the hardware store and I would leave the place the proud owner of my very own B-B gun.

“Soon, I’ll be able to go hunting jus’ like the other boys do,” I told myself, referring to my three older cousins.

My Uncle made certain that I was properly schooled in the importance of gun safety.

“Never put you finger on the trigger unless you’re aiming to shoot something” he warned.

Then he went on to tell me how a boy had accidentally shot a friend in the eye because he had his finger on the trigger. That led my Uncle to rule number two.

He said,” Watch where you point the barrel.”

My Uncle made sure I remembered that I must keep the gun’s barrel pointed towards the sky.

“If it accidentally goes off while it is pointed at the ground the bullet could bounce back and hit you!” he warned.

Then there was the day that I decided to rest his arms across the opening of the barrel. My uncle grabbed the gun away from me and locked it in his cabinet. I thought I had lost his B-B gun for good.

The next day I got it back, but my Uncle sternly commented, “Don’t ever let me catch ya leaning on it again,” then he added, “You ain’t Daniel Boone.”

He smiled at me because he knew that’s where I had seen that done.

My Uncles’ third and final rule: “Never aim your gun at anything you don’t intend to eat.”

I shuttered at the thought of having to eat a barnyard dog if I ever shot one.

For days I hurried to finish up my chores. I wanted to be outside and begin shooting at the paper plates I had designed with black rings for bull eyes. Even my older cousins joined in the fun of the target shooting

Every evening it would be a slight struggle for me to come in after the sun had made the targets disappear into the dimming nighttime. And all through my nighttime dreams I would be shooting my B-B gun.

Even my Uncle would quietly slip out of the house and down to the barn to secretly watch me and his three sons shoot for the sheer pleasure that was in it. Daily, I would gather up the B-B’s that had fallen to the ground after having been shot and daily my Uncle would return home from the sawmill with a fresh canister of B-B’s for us to use.

Summer vacation was slowly coming to an end and soon I would have to head home and back to school. I had enjoyed my stay with my cousins and Aunt and Uncle.

One late afternoon after all the chores were done and supper had not yet been served. We four boys headed down to the barn with my B-B gun. It would be the last time we would get to shoot together as school would start in two day.

Stevie and I set up the paper plates while Danny and Gary squabbled over who would get to load the gun and who would get to shoot it first. The paper plates were pinned against a bail of hay stacked on another bail of hay at the perfect height to shooting.

Once we were safely behind the older boys the target shooting began. Each took two shots and passed the gun to the next and since I was the youngest I always shot last.

I fired once and started to sight in for a second shot jus’ as a red-breasted robin landed on the bail of hay right above the target. With out lifting my head or moving my finger from the trigger I squeezed off a shot.

Suddenly the robin jumped in the air and jus’ as suddenly fell to earth, thrashing wildly. Then it lay still.

Great cheers and hollers went up from all of us. But the revelry was cut short by the stern presents of their father and uncle.

He had been standing in the shadows of the barns interior and had seen it all.

And now there was going to be a price for all four boys to pay as he reached down and took the B-B gun away from me. He picked up the now dead, red-breasted Robin and walked briskly towards the house.

It was later at supper that Uncle made us four boys live up to Rule Number Three.