An Aging Hobbit At The Ranch Pen

image of Hobbit house  via somewhere on the internet

image of Hobbit house via somewhere on the internet

April is poetry month, so to kick it off, I’ll post this one I’ve been thinking of lately. It’s from one of J R R Tolkien’s  Lord of the Ring books–I forget which one–and is supposed to be written by the character, Bilbo Baggins. Anyway, I think Bilbo as an aging Hobbit did a bang up job with his poem and I hope y’all enjoy it, too.

I Sit And Think

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been; Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.
For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.
~J R R Tolkien~

Thanks for reading, and until next time God bless all y’all and enjoy listening to this talented young lady, Adelle McAllister, who set the poem to music.


The Lord’s Prayer At The Ranch Pen


Sunrise at the ranch pen

As we wind up National Poetry Month here at the Ranch Pen, I’ll share what is, in my opinion, the loveliest prayer in poetry form ever. Also known as The Lord’s Prayer, these verses are from the Gospel of Matthew in the Holy Bible.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.


I hope you’ve enjoyed poetry at the Ranch Pen this month as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it, and until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy the guys of Veritas singing The Lord’s Prayer.

Hoping For Posthumous Fame During Poetry Month At The Ranch Pen

Red Mountain, Colorado

Red Mountain, Colorado

We’re still observing National Poetry Month here at the Ranch Pen. Last week, I went so far as to compose a fantastical poem about the Schwan man who visits our place every other week, but I realized later that it lacked that certain, well, shall we say…power to touch human emotion and remain in the common psyche forever. Which is a real shame, but…whatever. I doubt Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, had any idea while penning My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here two-hundred-plus years ago, that some middle-aged farm woman transplanted from the mountains of Colorado to the dry, flatlands of Oklahoma would read it with her heart squeezing from homesickness. Considering that, I feel there is posthumous hope for all my poetical works–Trumpet of the Schwan ManOde To a Little Goat (Deceased) and Ode To a Green Cowdog–at some point. However distant.

But seriously, this poem is for you, flatlanders, fellow displaced highlanders, and Robbie Burns lovers. Enjoy.


My Heart’s in the Highlands

by Robert Burns

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.


As always, thanks so much for reading. God bless all y’all and enjoy Ross Harris singing My Heart’s In The Highlands.

Trumpet Of The Schwan Man

by EK Johnson

by EK Johnson

Danni composing poetry

April is National Poetry Month, so in observance of that, I sat down and whacked out this poem for our Schwan’s delivery guy who keeps all us out here in the country from missing out on frozen delights. (And apologies to E.B. White for riffing off his excellent title, The Trumpet of the Schwan, I mean, Swan.)


Trumpet of the Schwan Man


You blow into my driveway my heart drops to my toes.

Is there money in the bank account?

The Good Lord only knows.

Your rural delivery brings us our ice cream,

Still, showing pictures of your six kids?

That’s really kinda mean.

Then you say, how you feelin’ bout those Signature Bars?

On sale just today…Buy ’em, try ’em,

You’ll thank your lucky stars.

I stand consid’ring your six kids, my dog sniffs your knees,

I sure don’t want your poor kids to starve,

Give me this and that, please.

Driving away, you seem sad! My guilt is pretty rough,

I only dropped eighty bucks this time,

Please…was that not enough?


~Danni McGriffith~


As always, thanks so much for reading, now go read some real poetry during April! God bless all y’all and enjoy Matt Redman doing his awesome 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).


Amazing Grace At The Ranch Pen




I didn’t want to let the last week of National Poetry Week go by without including one of the best known poems in the world, Amazing Grace. The poem was first published around 1779 by John Newton who said of himself in his epitaph “…once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, preserved, pardoned and appointed to preach the Faith he had long laboured to destroy.” The music we are familiar with was added to the poem in the 1800’s to complete the beloved hymn known and sung by millions of people.

The song Amazing Grace is so commonplace I fear it may have lost its meaning to many, but I think it’s beautiful, and it is still one of my favorites.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Until next time, thank you for reading some of my favorite poetry through Poetry Month and God bless all y’all. Enjoy Il Divo doing a goose-bump worthy rendition of Amazing Grace.


*Il Divo doesn’t necessarily endorse the blog but I love these guys and Amazing Grace with the bagpipes is best.




Cowboy Poetry At The Ranch Pen

I’m away from the Ranch Pen, but in observation of National Poetry Month, I’ll share this poem from Joe Kreger, one of my favorite Okie cowboy poets.
(The poem Bucklin’ Up by Joe Kreger was posted on the High Plains Journal’s website.)

Bucklin’ Up

By Joe Kreger

It’s always a reminder
’bout the weight you need to lose
when you bend over in the mornin’
to buckle your overshoes.

This feat is usually accomplished
‘midst groans and grunts and sighs.
You get kinda short of oxygen.
Spots flash before your eyes.

I enjoy cakin’ cattle.
I don’t mind feedin’ hay.
But, bucklin up my overshoes
is the worst job of the day.

I didn’t used to mind it,
back when I was fit as a fiddle.
But, now I don’t bend quite as good,
especially around the middle.

‘Cause it seems that when my belly
gets shoved up about three rungs,
I run short of capacity
to operate my lungs.

Once in a while, I can get it done,
but it’s becomin’ kinda rare
that I get a boot plumb buckled up
without comin’ up for air.

I got to do something about it.
Can’t put up with it any more.
Guess I’ll trade my five buckle boots
for some that’s just got four.

Editor’s note: Joe Kreger writes from his home in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. His CDs are available from the Journal by calling 1-800-954-5263.

Cowgirl Poetry At The Ranch Pen

I am away from the Ranch Pen this week, but in observation of National Poetry Month, and life out on the Lone Prairie, I’ll share these two cowgirl poets, Yvonne Hollenbeck and Kristyn Harris. The first poem, Yvonne Hollenbeck Goes To Town is familiar to all us gals out here in the sparsely populated country where we sometimes end up in town in our working outfits and the newspapers are desperately searching for any kind of news.


And until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy this talented young lady, Kristyn Harris, singing Carry Me Back To The Lone Prairie.


Shakespeare And An Irritating Problem At The Ranch Pen


Break of day at the Ranch Pen

In observation of National Poetry Month, I was looking around the internet to put together this post on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, and a thought struck me like a bag of bricks on the head as things sometimes do (almost literally if I’m not wearing my glasses) and–actually that reminds me. Since the frame of my glasses split over my left eye, my eyebrow tends to get caught in the crack and pulled. So unfortunate. Now I need new frames and who wants to waste a bunch of time trying on new ones only to buy a pair they will surely hate every time they startle themselves in the mirror? Not me. Excuse me one second while I jot down a note to myself on my kleenex…


Okay, I’m back. Where were we…Ah, yes.

I have always thought Sonnet 29 particularly apt to the farmers and ranchers who make their livings off the land and are totally at the mercy of the heavens (weather). In reading different commentaries on the internet, however, I realized Shakespeare’s words mean something different to everybody but most people can find something with which to identify in Sonnet 29. I hope you can too.

Sonnet 29

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on Thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For Thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

~William Shakespeare~


Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy David Wesley singing this amazing Amazing Grace medley.


*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love his singing and the songs.


Celebrating National Poetry Month At The Ranch Pen

Painting by Harvey Dunn

Painting by Harvey Dunn

April is National Poetry Month and since spring has finally sprung down here at the Ranch Pen and everything outside needs done at once, I’ll just share some favorite poetry. This poem by William Wordsworth is entitled Written In March and speaks of a time long past for most people. And sadly so, I think.

Until next time, enjoy, and God bless all y’all.



Written in March

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;

The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping- anon-anon:

There’s joy in the mountains;
There’s life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

~William Wordsworth~