Ponderosa Pining (by freyakendra)


Poems written in tribute to and framed around our boys, addressing the things that make them so special to us.

Rated: K  (2,200 words) 

  • Ponderosa Pine” — An homage to the majestic guardian of Cartwright dreams.
  • Ben’s Advice” — Cherish what you have, for blessings often carry a price
  • The Cartwright Brothers, Three” — A sad yet endearing tale of Adam, old and tired, returning to what isn’t quite the empty home he’d expected.
  • From Sea to Saddle” — A sonnet for Adam to honor Pernell’s birthday in response to a challenge posted by Cheaux at the forums.
  • To Joe” — When letters don’t suffice, Adam drafts a poem to help Joe understand why he left.

Reviews from old library are on page 2


 Ponderosa Pine



The proud, old ponderosa pine
masthead over mountain seas
stands as sentry throughout time
guarding dreams and memories:

stalwart men who stole my heart
from the moment it first came to beat
cowboy knights who plied the art
of chivalry with courageous feats

fighting outlaws, holding hope
teaching truth along the way
helping me to grow and cope
when the world itself seemed to betray

all that was and what should be
and what I knew could be again
if I but tried to look, to see
the path to love, to faith, to friends.

When words like polished leather shine
I’ll rest my pen, my hand, my screen
And wait for that majestic pine
To ferry me to kindred dreams.




Ben’s Advice

*Cherish what you have, for blessings often carry a price 


It was a dream, a silly thing,
the kind that makes you shake your head
and think about the things you ate
or drank before you went to bed.

I found myself conversing with
a character from long ago,
another time, another place –
a Technicolor TV show.

His name was Ben, a gentle man
with sons who made him beam with pride.
Alas, he also felt alone;
A widower, he’d lost his bride.

In fact not one, but three he’d loved.
Three women, three disparate lives,
had turned his head and found his heart;
three headstrong, independent wives,

had graced his life, helped build his dreams
and given him his three, fine boys,
each son unique, a special breed.
They filled his broken heart with joy.

Adam, so like Lancelot,
Ben’s first-born was a gallant man.
Honor and nobility
were always under his command.

Eric next, the one called Hoss,
would wrestle bears to save his kin.
He cherished every scrap of life,
and never had a thought for sin.

And then along came Little Joe,
a vibrant lad, so quick of heart,
his temperament was fierce and strong,
and love, for him, a special art.

Yes, Ben was blessed, despite his loss;
his room, his bed, were his alone,
and yet his heart and hearth were full
with loving sons, with sense of home.

I gave this gentle Ben a smile,
and he gave me some wise advice.
He told me cherish what I have,
though blessings sometimes have a price,

they also help to fill the voids
that hardships often leave behind;
we must not let the voids fill us—
be brave, be bold, be true, be kind.

I woke refreshed and strong of heart,
the Ponderosa in my grasp,
for Ben had shown me how to see
the light beyond a darkened path.





The Cartwright Brothers, Three

***A sad yet endearing tale of Adam, old and tired, returning to what isn’t quite the empty home he’d expected.


At three a.m. I came awake; my eye had spilled a tear.
A captured image from a dream had surely placed it there.
A tired, old man had made it home to find himself alone.
He stood upon a quiet hill and studied three headstones:

His brother, Hoss; his father, Ben; and even Little Joe.
Too young, too soon, too far away–yet he’d had to let them go.
He bore a weight of might-have-been’s, and what-had-been, and more,
Because he’d felt a need to stray, to wander, to explore.

He’d left behind one family, and then he’d found another —
A wife, a son, a distant dream had replaced his pa and brothers.

“No,” he cried into the wind; they’d never been replaced.
They still resided in his heart, as did this special place.

The Ponderosa was his home, no matter where he’d slept.
He saw that truth. He closed his eyes. He dropped his head — and wept….
Until his youngest brother’s bride crooked his arm in hers
And led him gently down the hill. There was no need for words.

They sat together for a while, beside a warming fire.
She studied him and caught his eye; asked, could she please inquire,

What it felt like to be there, in that place he’d once called home?
He gazed at her with gleaming eyes, and said it felt “alone.”
She shook her head; she smiled wide, and told him, “Not for long!”
At sundown, when the work was done, he’d sing a different song.

They spent an hour catching up. They spoke of Hoss and Joe,
And other names — the younger ones he had never come to know.

Then the sky began to darken; and the room began to fill
With familiar smiles and familiar eyes. His brothers were there still,
In the children and the grandchildren they’d brought into this world.
He found himself surrounded by Cartwright boys and girls.

When Adam finally caught his breath, the youngest Cartwright there,
A girl with Joe’s uncanny gaze and his curly, auburn hair,
Placed her tiny hand in his and bade him, “Come and see.”
She had to introduce him to her older brothers, three.

The tallest one was Joseph. Eric followed next.
The youngest one, with golden hair, studied him, perplexed,
And said, “We’re not a bit alike.” Why should we be the same?
“Because,” the boy said, “obviously, we share the Adam name.”

When the dream first came upon me, I, with Adam stood,
Upon the hill, beside the graves. I shared his somber mood.
But as the vision conjured more, I felt his sorrow ease.
The story’s sure to carry on for those Cartwright brothers, three.





From Sea to Saddle

A sonnet for Adam, Shakespearean style,
to honor Pernell’s birthday in response to a
challenge posted by Cheaux at the forums.


From sea to saddle, thus did it begin,
This cowboy tale: a Lancelot in chaps.
He rode the trails while Boston beckoned him.
The creak of leather plying waves of grass,

Awoke the tempest churning in his blood,
Beneath his calm demeanor, hidden deep.
So like a dam to hold a raging flood,
A sense of duty held him to his keep.

But no prison bars were those stalwart pines
That stood so tall upon his father’s land
With roots as deep as Heaven’s deepest mines.
He left the chaps behind to start again.

This man in black stood loyal to the end;
No better brother, nor no truer friend.





***When letters don’t suffice, Adam drafts a poem to help Joe understand why he left.

Story Note: This resulted from something I call “blank page writing.” I start without a plan, never quite knowing what–if anything–will emerge. This day, what emerged was a poem. And that poem just so happened to be about Bonanza, and from Adam’s POV. 😉


To Joe


My letters never hit the mark.
Not a one could state it true
enough to help you understand;
I suppose I need that, too.

The words, they lacked the depth of heart;
the stirrings in my soul;
the drive; the call; the wanderlust
that kept me less than whole.

I left, perhaps, because I could.
You’d shown what you could do.
I like to think I had a part
in nurturing you through;

but the time had come to set you free
and to free myself, in turn.
And so I left; but not for good,
only long enough to learn;

for you to find your greatest strengths,
without me holding rein;
for me to see this grand, old world
before I set down roots again.

 I rode away, but never left;
I’ll stand by you ’til the end,
because I’m proud to call you brother,
and even more to call you friend.


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