Sunday, February 12, 2006



by Richard E. Noble

I’m a stubborn old mule,
As stubborn as they come.
A rail between the eyes is the only thing
that’ll make me run.

He doesn’t pat me gently on the brow,
or say, “Come now friend, a little further now.”
No, No! It’s a beam between the eyes,
and a roaring scream and cry,
as he pushes and shoves with venom for an eye,
and brutality frothing in his unpatient sigh.

He has no memory of the burden I bore,
when I carried him, his gold, and a mountain of store.

He forgets how on the side of cliffs I trod,
as he cowered and crazed and cursed his God.

He has no memory of the thirst I craved,
carrying his drink to an early grave.
He’s a brave man who went down in books,
A crusty determined miner.
And I, who braved his dirty looks,
hefted the load of gold for my forty-niner.

Ah yes, a brave man was he,
but he wouldn’t have a nickel if it weren’t for me.

But I’m a stubborn old mule,
and as dumb as can be.
But the old bastard wouldn’t have a nickel,
if it weren’t for the likes of me.

Carried him where his pretty horses wouldn’t go,
through mountains, and deserts, and fields of snow.
But, in his fancies, he dreams of a saddle and a golden mane,
his pretty little horses, dining on sacks of expensive grain.

But for his trusty, dusty steed, forever at his side,
it’s a drunken mumble, an untempered lash,
and another scar in my hide.

Many a day, when I’d had enough,
I sat in the middle of the road,
and laughed as he stammered and huffed and puffed.
Oh, how he wished to shoot me ...
but who would carry the load?

Yes, many a time I wouldn’t go on.
But does he remember how I danced on the edge of a cliff,
as he trembled and gasped, and for his life hung on.
A man of might, and right and power and gain,
and as he drunk his whiskey and barked to the stars,
I stood by quietly in the snow and the rain.

I’m as stubborn as a mule,
as stubborn as they come.
A rail between the eyes is the only thing
that’ll make me run.

I carry his load, sure footed I go,
but when I’ve had enough of his rum drenched batter,
I pull up, take a seat, and listen to his chatter.

The other day, in a fit of rage,
he pulled his riffle from my side.
“Move along, you stubborn old bastard,
or I’ll shoot you right here,
and then tan your damn hide.”

I yawned, then lifted my head and brayed.
I curled my lips, then bared my broken teeth.
And when he shouldered his gun, I stared into the breech.
I felt the powder as it burnt my eye,
and a dull thud as a jolt from hell pierced my skull,
and I fell there onto my side.

But I’m a stubborn old mule,
as stubborn as they come.
I laid there with his pack and store,
and stared up at his eye.
And I’m proud to say, I hung there waitin’ to die,
long enough to see the dumb bastard put down his riffle and cry.

Yes, I’m a stubborn old mule,
As stubborn as they come.
It takes a rail between the eyes
to get me up to run.
But when you have a load too tough to hold,
it’s a call for the likes of me.
And I bear it well, sure footed and determined,
right to the rim of hell.
But what he can’t stand,
is that I’m a bit of a man.
And, as the man, I have my pride,
and how I tried, and tried, and tried.
But, oh how glad I am that when I came to die
I was beast enough to make the bastard cry ...
Yes, beast enough ...
to make that bastard


1 comment:

Musawwir said...

Hi Richard, I was just flipping through blogs randomly and found yours.