Harvest Days at the Tip-Top-Club

Utah JayStarred Page By Utah Jay, 24th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/4r-8mssf/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

In my early teens, until I joined the United States Marine Corps, I worked on a cattle ranch in southern Utah. In the nearest town there was one bar, they called it the Tip-Top-Club and at the end of each season all the cowboys gathered there to drink and play cards, just like in the movies.

Harvest Days at the Tip-Top-Club


Harvest Days at the Tip-Top-Club

Tonight,
at the edge of town
a heavy moon hangs low
flooding this western horizon
with pale yellow light
that falls, like a knife,
slicing through the stubble-corn,
chopping it
into ghostly shadows
that stir in the imaginations
of immigrant children
and passersby.

Glowing Like Drunken Jack-O-Lanterns


Inside the club
ranch hands and their bosses
wring their scraggily hearts
as they become comfortable
in their favorite chairs,
hiding their leathery faces
behind their cards,
their gristly hands always in full view
as each man’s eyes circle the table
in search of that lucky card,
their face’s glowing,
like drunken jack-o-lanterns
in the smoky light.

Playing Keeper Games



In the far room, behind the whisky and beer,
just a little east of ear shot,
daintier voices take the stage
consoling one another with laughter
while their husbands and lovers
cuddle their cards playing keeper games
now that the last cut of hey
is put up and in the feeder yard
knowing the season’s yearlings are gathered
up in the Twelve-Mile coral,
waiting for the slaughterhouse trucks;
as each glowing face
bets everything
on an early spring.


poetry and photos by uTAH jAY

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Tags

Bars, Cards, Drinking, Drinking Alcohol, Gambler, Gambling, Gambling And Betting, Playing Cards, Playing Games, Playing Music, Ranch Life, Ranchers Hand, Rancherscutting Hay, Ranches, Ranching

Meet the author

author avatar Utah Jay
I have been writing since the beginning of time it seems, not because I want to write, but because I have too. My favorite form of writing is poetry, all kinds and types of poetry.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
24th Oct 2014 (#)

I have a huge respect for Marines and cattle ranchers as they are the ones who protected our liberties with their service and grow the animals that serve as our food. So, what's a little self indulgence after such service to the rest of us? go for it, Partner!

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
24th Oct 2014 (#)

very interestingand thanks for sharing it with us

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author avatar Utah Jay
24th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks LeRain, I remember these days very fondly, I still think of them as the best days of my life.

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author avatar Utah Jay
24th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Ajay, have I told I like your name?

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Utah Jay, you have a way with putting your memories into words that have special meaning. That my friend is a true writer. Blessings to you!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Awesome poem Utah!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Awesome poem Utah!

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author avatar Utah Jay
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Nancy, that makes me feel better, being called a writer by another writer, it doesn't get better than that.

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author avatar Utah Jay
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern, for all that you do.

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author avatar Retired
25th Oct 2014 (#)

Reminded me of how ranchers would go to the saloons in the Black Hills in days of yore - where Wild Bill Hickok met his demise. Trust all stayed safe while gambling at the Tip-Top-Club :)

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Oct 2014 (#)

Yes indeed they did R.C. but I was much too young in those days to go in, but I listened closely to the tales that came out. It was the kind of town where everyone knew everyone. I don't think there has ever been a murder there.

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