The Great Pasture Fire

It was the summer of nineteen hundred ninety-two

Living on dad’s farm we had plenty to do

Feedin’ three growin’ kids can be pretty tough

So dad decided to go set fire to that brush


Well it had been a dry year, I should make that clear

The wind was blowin’ strong enough to knock down a grown steer

Weeners on the menu, dad’s mind made up

Took the kerosene tank to down and got ‘er filled up


Step-mom and sisters got back from the craft show

The would have stayed gone if they had only known

Walkin’ past the goats, John-Boy let outta scream

He saw dad walkin’ out to pasture with that can of kerosene


We’d raised a pissed of steer, he was the king out here

And started smoldering at the horns when he has us get near

The pasture was his, unless you came with a stick

You can call him Lil’ Richard, but his name was Big Dick


That was a match strike that’ll go down in history

How that fire spread so fast is no mystery

It had been a dry year, I think I made that clear

Dad and I never claimed to be no pyro-engineers


Well dad’s got us 3 kids and step-mom as new hires

We’re all putting out his Great Pasture Fire

Lord, I’ve witnessed some messes….this can’t end good

Pigme goats have taken cover in the woods

I’ll never live to see London, I’ll never live to see France

God, don’t lemme die from charred underpants

It’s all a true story, ya can’t call me a liar

Aimee, stop, drop and roll…your Jordache Jeans are on FIRE!


It only took a few minutes for things to get outta hand

The pasture went from Green Acres to no-man’s land

Flames were a crackin’, dad needed recruits

Handed each of us a shovel then slipped on his boots


I may have only been about ten plus two

Calling the fire trucks woulda been smart to do

Be we Brashear’s got pride, so with a shovel in hand

We started spanking at the flames as a foolish reprimand


It had been a dry year, I think I made that clear

The chicken’s were screaming “get me the cluck outta here”

Pee-Wee and Scrap we’re sprinting down the lane

Barking chariots of fire, tails were waggin’ in shame


Well dad’s got us 3 kids and step-mom as new hires

We’re all putting out his Great Pasture Fire

Lord, I’ve witnessed some messes….this can’t end good

A dozen creatures lookin’ on from the woods

God knows I’ve seen fire….no where the hell is the rain?

Fighting flames with shovels, but it’s all in vain

Feelin’ like Frodo, wishing I was in the Shire

But we’re stuck in Mordor with this Ring of Fire


Well Dad hooked up the plow and covered fire with dirt

Not sure his line of reason, but what the hell could it hurt?

Just about then, one thing occurred to me

That old rusty tractor leaked a little gasoline


Well that was it for Big Dick, he hurdled the gate

He was meeting a heifer down the road for a hot date

Just about then the winds began to die down

And for the first time in an hour we started to gain ground


The heavens must’ve been smiling down on that farm

Because that fire died down before the first alarm

About three acres were scorched so dad ran inside

To grab the wieners before the rest of the fire died


All of our faces were covered in soot

We took off our shoes and examined each foot

Everyone couldn’t have been more pissed-off and tired

When dad came back with bologna because the weeners were expired



Dad’s got us three kids and step-mom up for hire

We just put out his Great Pasture Fire

You know I ain’t a picky eater and I don’t like to complain

When it comes to weener roasting I’m gonna abstain

Well I’ve witnessed some messes, this one takes the cake

If you fire up a grill, just cook me a steak

It’s all a true story you can’t call me a liar

That’s how we all survived The Great Pasture Fire!








The voice of the ocean is near as we’re  setting out here, half awake before dawn

Emptiness spinning in space, only persons and places to which time belongs

Drawn by the moon in a sky, here’s to hoping we find those bright stars in our hands

On this ride through the dark to some shore, oh to be nothing more than a wave crashing sand


Some say they have seen a bright flash of green at the set of the sun

Rays of joy and of pain that fall the same on everyone

May we open our hearts in larger part to whomever we can

On this ride through the dark toward some shore, aren’t we nothing more than waves crashing sand




Charlie the Blind Cow

Written by Ben Brashear

Proluge: Charlie was a real cow and he was blind and a gentle soul.  Dad lived on a farm for a while near where the Embarrass (sometimes pronounced Am-braw) River in Southern Illinois and gave Charlie a home there.  Around four acres of sprawled space with a pasture and a sturdy house on a hill overlooking the flood plains. Sometimes in the winter the water shelf would rise up into the fields running along both sides of long gravel lane so high that we’d have the best ice skating rink any kids could ever hope to have.  I know it must have been a risk for farmers to plant very much in those fields in front of dad’s place.  But things would grow just the same.  Waters rose and receded.  Things thrived and that place out away from the noise of town is rich with stories in the backwaters of my mind.


“Merry Christmas To All”, were nearly Charlie’s final words

The blind cow in the truck, taken far from his close herd

His family knew well that this Christmas time would have no cheer

Charlie would give his life, for roast beef washed down with beer

The sheep in the barn awaiting, bayed softly on that night

A tribute to their friend, softly lit by candle’s light

The deer in the field strayed close, now nearer to the road

A row of all to see Charlie as the farmer prepared the load

His family knew dairy cows of the herd rarely found this fate

The farmer in the back now, just closing up the truck’s gate

If Old Charlie could only see, with eyes, what friends he had in life

For his heart was stout and true, and he bore no fear this night

The chickens heard the roar of the engine’s lonely moan

The rooster let aloud a mournful “Crrrock-a-crrrock-a-croan”

Inside the house was brightly lit, a tree filled all in light

Outside, in the dark, a small Ford truck now driving out of sight

Charlie was a cow who cared for every single leaf and tree

He treasured life, despite no sight, for in his heart he could see

He remembered the soft blades of grass, the smell of fresh mown hay

A lifetime full of friends stood by, as Charlie went away

The deer ran quickly in front of the truck, tires squealing in the night

The farmer cursing loudly, many deer now in his sight

The chickens pecked out from their pens, soared bravely through the air

Two bulls stomped quickly through the fence, charged bravely as a pair

The farmer caught now by surprise, Charles’ friends gathering in a sphere

A lifetime full of close companions to witness the farmer’s fear

The lead bull drew close, about to speak, as animals can do this night

For it was Christmas Eve at 12 and Charlie was granted his sight

He saw the snow fall softly, watched his friends defend his life

He saw his father in the field, grown old and full of strife

He looked upon the barn, where many summers he had passed

He watched his mother’s hopeful tears, her eyes now turned to glass

But last of all he saw the farmer, sensed fear within his heart

He knew that this was the final chance, his freedom to depart

He could not help but see the cuts the farmer bore upon his hands

How many days the farmer walked the fields and tended to the land

“What strife the human bore in life to provide me with a home

We all should understand his sacrifice, his family all alone

The days have passed and in winters long in dark nights he would come

And fill our stalls with summer’s hay, humbly tending to all work is done”

“What days have we gone without food? I remember not a one

What times have I blindly stumbled, broken legs not solved with a gun

He cared for me and call old Doc Vaps, patched me up without a knife

Again through fields, though blindly stumbling like we all do in this life”

Charlie and the farmer understood, not a life would end tonight

An exchange of smiles for all who stood in such magical moonlight

We live with friends who really understand our perils and our pain

Even when we feel alone, with no life’s joy to gain

So let’s celebrate this Christmas with much more joy and lots of cheer

And hold our families close to our heart, let fall each happy tear

Let’s understand our place in this world, the part we all must play

To lead a life from start to end, as if our final day