Prairie sunset by Ley Bouchard

-By Orv Alveshere-

He parked his horse-drawn wooden grain drill by his rusty antique machines.
His draft teams enjoyed the pasture. The horse’s retired life seemed serene.
A Farmall tractor was hitched to a plow, packer and narrow grain drill,
Called a ‘pony drill’, half as wide as a four-horse drill. With a flax seed fill,
Smiling he sowed his field, plowing, packing and seeding in one pass,
Until he needed a flax refill in the drill, or he ran out of gas.
At mid-cent’ry he released his trusty horse teams, they were tired swaybacks.
He drove a tractor that didn’t need a scheduled rest while seeding blue flax.

He had stopped for lunch and gas. Off to the west the big orange sun had set.
Knowing he’d return at dawn, he filled the grain drill…or did he forget?
He drove his pickup load of blue flax seed home and back again at dawn;
Starting his red tractor with one eye open and stifling a yawn.
He opened and checked the drill. OH! OH! He forgot to fill the pony drill!
He called himself a “space case” and gave it a second ‘Armstrong’ fill.
Late Tuesday evening he refilled the drill, while a neighbor distracts,
By waving. ‘Certain as taxes’ he stood there knowing he’d shoveled blue flax.


On Wednesday another empty drill! He paused to call it regret.
He checked his pickup box, questioned his sanity and his mindset.
Holy Clueless Plowboys, Batmen! He realized grain drill by the road attracts.
That drill tempted some sneaky snitch to drive up and steal his blue flax!
He drove to town, to the grain elevator. An even trade was made.
Being ‘one color’ and ‘one step’ ahead of the thief, was his planned charade.
Using white flax seed, not blue flax seed, he parked by the road, a scheme so lax.
A thief in the night helped himself to some free colorful white flax.

On Thursday the drill’s empty. He shoveled more white flax seed to sow.
Whistling as up and down the rows, featuring a clever ‘dog and pony show’
Kernels of white flax seed he burrowed in furrows. Half his field would be blue;
One half would be white. The thief’s reputation was on the line, but who?
Waiting for blooms as a visual aid, he saw himself as a super sleuth.
Would the suspect suspect? The flax grower searched for a kernel of truth.
We use ‘flowery’ language to tell you of the colorful facts;
Of a crooked neighbor who audaciously stole blue and white flax.

Both flax fields had similarities in June in the decades past.
We can assure you, the bandit was a blooming idiot. That theft was his last.
That was fifty years ago and the thief’s name my memory lacks;
But not the anguish from that telltale white strip of flowering flax!

© 1993 Orv Alveshere

Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.

Orv’s Cowboy Poetry tells of the days of life on the ranch in Midwest America when horses were used for transportation, field work, Sunday-go-to-meetings, and more. Read cowboy poetry from our beloved Orv Alveshere who recalls the days and memories from his past growing up farming on the prairies of North Dakota. Revel in the glory days of the true cowboy. Take steps back into the history of rural farm life, when horses were the centerpiece of the ranch and instrumental in the survival of the families that built America.

More of Orv’s Cowboy Poetry may be found at: