Cowboy Poetry – The Northern Drive

The following poem, The Northern Drive, is written by Brad Curtis. If you’d like to read another of his poems here on the blog, how about The Last Ranch Revival and the story of Jonah, or Cowboy in Snakeskin Boots? You can find this and other poems in Brad’s book of Christian cowboy poems, He Holds the Reins.

The Northern Drive

When the rooster crowed

The bunkhouse came alive

Time to get ready

For the big northern drive


The drive was months away

Sometime in early spring

That would give us time

To work on a new string


Yep, they were green broke

Rough as a prickly pear

They’d be top notch

Before spring was here


The herd was winterin’ well

They had plenty of water and grass

Yep, we’d be pushin’ North

Just waitin’ on winter to pass


Building a mighty herd

Like no other in the land

To ride for the Flyin’ J

You had to be a top hand


We’d ride into the scrub brush

Gather up a stray

Slap ’em with a hot iron

Make ’em part of the Flyin’ J


Then one night at chow

The Boss said, I’m ridin’ on

I’m leavin’ you a helper

He’ll be here when I’m gone


Now boys no need to worry

I’m headed to the northern land

Gone to build a new ranch

For all those ridin’ for The Brand


See boys, my dad

Well, he owns a very large spread

One way up north

Away from Devil Red


Boys, you believed in my dad

When he brought you to the Flyin’ J

He was always fair with you

And let every ol’ cowboy stay


When he made me Ramrod

I’ve always shot straight

So I’ll be back for you

I just don’t know the date


Just be ready for the drive

Keep addin’ to my herd

Goin’ to build a new ranch

Boys, you have my word

Brad Curtis

The night before Christ’s crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples he was going away. He told them not to worry, though. They trusted God. They could also trust him. What he said was true.

Jesus was going to prepare a place for them — and for us. A place in heaven where there is no more tears, pain, sorrow, or death. A glorious place in the Father’s presence.

When everything is ready, Jesus will return for us. It’s a guarantee. All those who belong to him will live with him forever in the place he is preparing. No one but the Father knows when that time will be, so we need to be ready.

While we wait, we are to be about the Father’s business. Like the poem says, we need to keep adding to the herd.

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“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NLT)

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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