A Poem by Tate Morgan

In honor of my father Eddie who taught me to get back up.


My favorite horse and I Scarlet Message. He passed into memory a few months ago

The post parade complete at last

the bugle finally played

My heart pounded as it sounded

just get us home safe I prayed

That night was like many others

as I sat behind the stud

 Skies overcast, let loose at last

 each horse seemed to swim in mud



We turned to face the starting gate

I chirped to set him alight

All could tell as we knew too well

this was a hell of a night

Fire stoked in each the beasts nostrils

I could feel each burning breath

I knew too well, the hounds of hell

could take us both to our death



We followed the gate to the stretch

the wings closed to let us fly

I tucked him in, hoping he'd win

 and nothing would go awry

On back my neck breathed the Demon

 front-ender that I most feared

The Devils Spell I knew too well

one the gamblers all revered



Death rode the back of my helmet

his hot breath searing my neck

I’d rather he, be behind me

than in front and cause a wreck

The quarter pole bunched up tightly

the front end had closed ground

Tighter it got, man he was hot

he wanted to run me down



The hooves pitched limestone in our eyes

we closed on the second turn

At my wheels, nipping on my heels

the Demon began to burn

He wanted out that was certain

but the field had closed us in

I couldn’t see, neither could he

how either of us might win



The Demon wasn’t used to this

he had never been held back

He would burn wheels, kick up his heels

as he ran off down the track

I could hear his labored breathing

as his driver choked him down

The last turn steered, then we all cleared

it was time to go to town



The field rolled out of the end turn

as the Red Sea opened wide

My stud snatched his bit, in a fit

we were off for a wild ride

Just in front of the Demon Seed

I felt we'd surely collide

I turned to see, he was on me

as he rolled up alongside



But the fire had gone out in him

he had spit the bit the beast

He'd choked upon humility

or so it had seemed, at least

We had cleared the rest of the pack

stared down the Demon of Sin

To slip and slide on life’s rough ride

and come out the end to win



The Demon never won again

retired of a broken heart

I think all knew, as I did too

he would draw an Amish cart

But that’s just how one grows in life

all made at times to feel small

The best aren't mean, though they are seen

to get up, each time they fall


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© 2017 Tate Morgan

Author's Note

Tate Morgan
What forms the character of a man? Pride in oneself and the ability to accept defeat. It is not as important that a man win as it is that he accept his performance and try his best. Of course anyone who lacks humility will be humbled by rocky shores of life. With or without his permission. This a poem to honor my fathers life. For he was one who always got back up when he fell. A fitting testament to the creed he learned from his own father and then passed down to me.

My Review

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Featured Review

Bravo Tate, you've taken that life experience and brought it to life for your readers. The rhythm you chose echoes the hooves of those horses as they thunder along the straight, bringing the race alive, and into the living rooms of everyone who reads this. The only thing this lacks is punctuation, and the lack of this gives halt to the reading in a number of places.
One typo - 'The Demon wasn’t use(d) to this'
Thanks for a great ride...

Posted 5 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


You have an amazing gift for writing. Every piece of yours I read teaches some sort of lesson or relates some truth about life. You're an amazing poet with something to say, and I admire you for that.
Thanks for this piece, and the video was amazing!

Posted 5 Years Ago

Very unique how the piece feels like a up then down peak. You feel it build to a crescendo and then roll back down hill. I enjoyed the smells, the sweat, and the grit.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate..you are folowing a master of this kind of writing..I have known david a long time and he is afbulous..I am so glad that you like his writing too..it has to be an inspiration to him..You were right..this goes into the favoriets as well..You just keep them coming my friend.Kathie

Posted 5 Years Ago

Good job in following the Paget Meter and by using it this develops as a narrative.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I took this ride with you. Amazing. Then I watched the video. A miracle in motion.

But the fire had gone out in him
he had spit the bit the beast
He'd choked upon humility
or so it had seemed, at least
We had cleared the rest of the pack
stared down the Demon of Sin
To slip and slide on life’s rough ride
and come out the end to win

That verse really hit my heart. It is so with life.

Great write and reat read.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I absolutely love reading your pieces. The words are so swift, and the imagery breezes right in, and it just meshes perfectly. You can't read this and not retain information. It's just knowledge, beautifully written.

Posted 5 Years Ago

A great story in poetic form. I agree with David on the punctuation. I had to go back and re-read to get the rhythm and flow, when punctuation would have done it for me! Then read it a third time just for the enjoyment of the story! great write!

Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate, this posting was an experience like no other I have seen posted. The poem was an exciting look at your experiences and I love the way you always use them to relate to some greater insight into life. The video was spellbinding! I had not known very much about this sport and was both horrified at the accidents, and amazed at the beauty of the relationships of horses to the drivers. Thanks you for a moving, inspirational, and educational post.

Posted 5 Years Ago

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97 Reviews
Shelved in 6 Libraries
Added on August 17, 2012
Last Updated on November 30, 2017
Tags: poetry, romance, love, Life, Sad, adventure, mystery, pain, poem, story, death, fantasy, fiction, heart, racing, winning, losing

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