Reincarnation

 

Upon the news that Washington state passed a bill to allow the composting of human remains this poem came to mind:

Reincarnation, by Wally McRae

“What does Reincarnation mean?”
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, “It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life’s travails.”

“The box and you goes in a hole,
That’s been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted ‘neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin’ on
Yer transformation ride.”

“In a while, the grass’ll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer moldered grave
A lonely flower is found.
And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now’s become
Yer vegetative bower.”

“The posy that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed,
But some is left that he can’t use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
This thing, that once wuz you.”

“Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin’: Slim,
You ain’t changed, all that much.”

McRae lives in Rosebud, Montana. After Baxter Black, he is probably America’s best-known cowboy poet.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 21 comments.

  1. Stad Thatcher

    Love it!

    • #1
    • June 15, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Arahant Member

    • #2
    • June 15, 2019, at 6:18 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    Good one.

    • #3
    • June 15, 2019, at 6:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Vectorman Thatcher

    “All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” Ecclesiastes 3:20


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have only 3 days left on the June Signup SheetWe even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #4
    • June 15, 2019, at 6:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. The Great Adventure! Member

    Soylent Green anyone?

     

    • #5
    • June 15, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. KentForrester Coolidge

    Mr. Hageman, that’s a really good, and really funny, poem. Thanks for calling it to our minds. 

    • #6
    • June 15, 2019, at 7:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Jim McConnell Member

     Delightful!

    • #7
    • June 15, 2019, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. EJHill Podcaster

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    • #8
    • June 15, 2019, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    I thought that was reincanation.

    • #9
    • June 15, 2019, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. The Great Adventure! Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    I thought that was reincanation.

    Reincondensation.

    • #10
    • June 15, 2019, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. KentForrester Coolidge

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    Ha ha. 

    • #11
    • June 15, 2019, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    Ha ha.

    • #12
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. EJHill Podcaster

    Oh, Lord. Does that joke really have to be explained?

    • #13
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Oh, Lord. Does that joke really have to be explained?

    Moooving on.

    • #14
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Oh, Lord. Does that joke really have to be explained?

    No.

    • #15
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. The Great Adventure! Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Oh, Lord. Does that joke really have to be explained?

    No.

    But perhaps the follow ups to it do?

    • #16
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Arahant Member

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):
    But perhaps the follow ups to it do?

    • #17
    • June 15, 2019, at 1:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. She Thatcher
    She

    Well. The only thing I can come up with that is remotely relevant is the English Folk Song, On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At. In which a Yorkshire man (think James Herriot country) who’s been walking on Ilkley Moor, courting his girlfriend (Mary Jane) without a hat, in the cold wind, is told that doing so will lead to a likely death and burial, and then to his corpse being eaten by worms, which will then be eaten by ducks, which ducks will then be eaten by people, at which point, “then we shall all have eaten thee.” 

    It’s a very well known pub song in the UK (the anthem of Yorkshire, some say), and it just might be that I’ve never been prouder of my granddaughter than when, at the age of about six, at an appropriate moment in some conversation or other, she launched into it, Yorkshire dialect and all.

    Granny did her job, is what I think.

    • #18
    • June 16, 2019, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Stad Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Reincarnation is when you die and come back as a can of condensed milk from contented cows.

    I thought that was reincanation.

    Rein-Carnation . . .

    • #19
    • June 16, 2019, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Randy Webster Member

    Is Wally McRae one of the cowboy poets Harry Reid saved?

    • #20
    • June 18, 2019, at 2:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. James Hageman Member
    James Hageman Post author

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Is Wally McRae one of the cowboy poets Harry Reid saved?

    He participates in the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, so I’m sure he has been the beneficiary of Harry’s and our largesse.

    • #21
    • June 18, 2019, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • Like