By No. 232, Poet Non-Laureate

A real cowboy can ride his hoss all day
Through mud an’ dust an’ grit an’ stuff
But when he’s in too fancy a place
Can feel he’s cut a mite too rough

There was them feelings for jest a spell
When we rode out t’wards Ojai way
On a ranch with green things all in a row
Purty fields an’ a purtier day

Rancho Matalija is jest so perfect
They probl’y woulda never let us in
C’ept our pard Marshall knows the owner
And it seems Jurgen thinks of him as kin

Jurgen owns some big business thing
That grows roll-out grass for city folks
Old Marshall keeps things working right
So Southland Sod fills up Jurgen’s pokes

And that ‘lowed us to set in long green grass
Under big old oaks next to a lake
Sippin’ cowboy coffee an’ orange juice
An’ eatin’ some of that store-bought cake

Soon Lee and Laurie drove on in
With horses for those who chose to rent
It costs a few bucks to rent them steeds
But nothin’ like what the others spent

Nine sharp was time to get on movin’
So was President Brian’s decree
But tangled reins and busted straps
An’ sebenteen folks who had to pee

Meant nine had passed for ‘most an hour
‘Afor we lit out on the trail
But led by Bob aged eighty-four
We soon were ridin’ nose to tail

Past purple cabbage and broccoli
Into fields of knee-high grain
We eased our horses up to speed
So’s they worked out any aches an’ pain

We passed some mansions on the way
“Rich city folks, no doubt,” we said
Just glad they left that open trail
That let us reach the riverbed

An’ soon we entered a “Conservatory”
Filled with trees and dappled sun
On our horses with our pards
We couldn’t imagin’ havin’ more fun

Old Bob led us for a couple more hours
Up a canyon and ‘cross some cricks
And back around to where we started
Using some cowboy direkshun tricks

We all climbed down and set a spell
And ate our fill o’ lots of good grub
We wet our throats with fancy beer
Had everythin’ ‘cept a big hot tub

We thanked our Bosses an’ Jurgen an’ Bob
An’ we told old Marshall he wasn’t lyin’
Matalija was just the kind of place
You’d head to if you was close to dyin’

What a way to start the year
The twentieth of this cowboy crew
It really couldn’t be any better
‘Cept for what’ll be ride number two