Jolly St. Nick

A Merry Old Soul

by Scott B. Laughlin / n7net
2009

I heard a faint Signal
Late one Christmas Eve
Copy was not easy
And harder to believe.

I pressed one phone
Against my ear
And held my breath ‘til
The signal came clear.

It was jolly St. Nick
With an old straight key,
A K1, and dipole
Doing QRP.

We QSOed for a time
While elves loaded his sleigh
He did most of the talking ‘cuz
A cat had my fist, you might say.

At last we signed with a CUL
Me and this jolly old soul
His toy bags were loaded
And he was ready to roll

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Ghost Train

by Scott B. Laughlin
Copyright 2013

They say there was a lawyer who
Called himself a railroad man
After sweet-takin’ investors
He grabbed the money and ran

But a US Marshall was on his trail
Chasin’ him hither and there
Caught him at a Kansas depot
Buyin’ a one-way fare

The lawyer is gone now
And the money as well
There’re tales of what happened
That dead men don’t tell

Ghost Train Ghost Train
She’s comin’ my way
Making sounds that never was
Some old timers say

I was there, fire flies winkin’
One quiet summer night
When I hear the train a-comin’
I even saw the light

On the grade stood a cow
Framed in the headlights dim hue
I watched the train hit her
There was nothin’ I could do

The next mornin’ we walked the grade
Me and Jim, my ‘cuz
We found only dirt, no rails
For that train that never was

Ghost Train Ghost Train
She’s comin’ my way
Making sounds that never was
So the old times say

And when we found that cow
I’d seen in the dark
She was dead as a horseshoe
But nary a mark

I can’t say just what I saw
The Ghost Train on that grade
There’re folks who don’t believe me
They claim it’s a tale I made

Just ‘cuz I ain’t seen her in a while
Don’t mean she ain’t there
Sometime I hear her chuggin’
She’s there somewhere

One Sunday Morn

I hear the distant rattle

Of an impact wrench

One quiet Sunday morn

 

As the noise continues

For a minute, perhaps more

I wonder what is so stuck

 

So gabbing my cane I hurry

Along my quarter-mile path

To see about this difficult chore

 

But upon my arrival

I find no one about

And the sound from yon

 

Returning along my lengthy path

I find the noise is not a wrench at all

But a woodpecker in my tree. Continue reading

Ghost Train

Image-1 (1)

They say there was an attorney who

Called himself a railroad man

After he sweet talked investors

He grabbed the money and ran.

.

A US Marshal got on his trail

Chased him hither and there

Caught him at a Kansas depot

Buying a one-way fare.

.

That old lawyer is gone now

The money’s gone as well

As are tales of what happened

‘Cuz dead men don’t tell.

.

Ghost Train, Ghost Train

She’s coming my way

Making sounds that never was

Some old timers say.

.

I saw the fireflies winking

One quiet summer’s night

When I heard that train a-coming

I even seen the light.

.

On that grade stood a cow

Framed in the headlamps glow

I seen the train hit her

With a deadly blow.

.

Next morning we walked that grade

Me and Jim, my cuz

We couldn’t find no rails

For the train that never was.

.

Ghost Train, Ghost Train

She’s coming my way

Making sounds that never was

So the old timers say.

.

And when we seen that cow

The one hit in the dark

Dead as a horseshoe

But seen nary a mark.

.

I only  tell what I saw

That Ghost Train on that grade

Some folks don’t believe me

They say it’s a tale I made.

.

Just ‘cuz I ain’t seen her late

Don’t mean she ain’t there

‘Cuz when I hear her chugging

I know she’s there somewhere.

.

Ghost Train, Ghost Train

She’s coming my way

Making sounds that never was

Some old timers say.

Shadows From the Rim

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While hiking the Canyon

By the Colorado

I spotted a cliff house

A home for someone.

It took hard climbing

To reach that gaping door

Which I found so small

I‘d be on all four.

I ducked low to enter

Through the small way

Where I could rest ‘til

The following day.

Between these steep walls

Sunshine so seldom cast

I had to eat quickly

Cuz night’s coming fast.

I hunched in the doorway

To watch the Colorado

As they might have too

In evening afterglow

In the gloom of after light

I lay on the floor

And through the window

Heard the Colorado roar.

In the caves darkness

I felt I weren’t alone

As the wind freshened

There came a ghostly moan.

Gentle sounds, they were

Reflections so dim

I knew them to be

Shadows from the rim.

The Furlough

Most young men seem willing to go
Right to the line howbiet they know

‘Twas no different for Marv and me
Adventure was for both I and he

It began the spring of fifty-eight
That we both took leave the same date

And set out we for a Missouri farm
Each practicing courtesy and charm

Our furlough sped by in one great flash
As did most of our borrowed cash

A week later we met in Rich Hill
Between us we had a five dollar bill

We wiped the tears from our maids’ dread
Then toward Carolina we both sped

If late returning to we were
Big trouble would surly occur

We made it back in the nick of time
With a penny and one thin dime.

Henry’s Chewing Tobacco

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Where’s those hay hooks?
Grandpa asked of me
I’ve searched high and low
Can’t think where they’d be.

There’re at Henry’s Place
Hung in a horse stall
Henry’ll tell you so
If you give him a call.

Grandma spun the crank
On the old wood phone
‘Cuz Grandpa was deaf
But he wasn’t alone.

You got our hay hooks?
Those from Tanglewood?
She yelled into the phone
Loud as she could.

Sure ‘nough, they’re here
Hangin’ in a foulin’ stall
In the old horse barn
Six of’em as I recall.

Grandpa sent me to fetch them
‘Cuz he had clover down
If it rained tonight
It’d ruin on the groun’

Henry led me to the stall
And set the latch free
There in his tobacco
Laid his hounds, all three.

I thought of the fleas
And dog lice too
Henry stood silent
Like it were untrue.

OUT ALL OF YOU
JES, BART, AND JET
Then he turned and said
They’ll ruin my ‘baccy yet.