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. 

The post parade complete at last

the bugle finally played

My heart pounded as hooves 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

might 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


© 2018 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 11 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


Hello Tate. Always good to read your work for a second time. Can't believe that it is three years since I last read these words. Well worth a revisit I might add. Hope all is well with you and yours. You honour your Father here with this fine piece of writing.


Posted 1 Year Ago

Tate Morgan

1 Year Ago

Hi Chris thank you. Life is an adventure and those adventures are meant to teach us things. I learne.. read more
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Amazing! Had a few tears in my eyes with this. Love the imagery and detail you put into this write.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

Thank you Ryanna It was a fun time being young
Hello Tate, that is a wise lesson in life that has been passed down from your Father. It's how you deal with the downs in life that show a person's character. Do you throw the towel in or get up and get on with it. You do this so well in this poem with its theme of horse racing driving the message on. Great composition here.


Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

5 Years Ago

Thank you Christine. Yes it matters how we take disappointment. I hope I never forget this lesson
"They get up each time they fall"
I dig that!

Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

5 Years Ago

Thank you Tony. I have a special affinity for this one as it was for my father
Cheez n Rice, dude! This was worthy of placement beside some of the battle odes of Romans, Greeks and, I dare not forget--Spartans! Written as a transcript/accurate recording of your battle/race for all posterity.

All your adjectives were spot on and reinforced the picture you weren't really having any trouble portraying and the sentence structure was seamless. I AM NOT AN ENGLISH MAJOR AND COULD NOT TELL YOU IF THEY WERE TECHNICALLY GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. However, none were "choppy" or incomplete and they were in a very cohesive order.

*ahem* Now that my "review" duties are done--I think that your Author's Note reveals a great deal about you and YOUR character. To coin some popular vernacular: You know you ain't never lied. I would be very interested in your take on a story that is very dear to me--Little Girl in a Big Storm. My only consistent voice is reflected in my journal style entries, otherwise I am an old Grocer in a small town, a sentient bridge, and a satirist with feminist leanings. I only say the latter as I'm usually addressing and making fun of topics specific to women (ie.: perfect b*****s who never have to safety pin their clothes).

Again, an excellent showpiece for your talent. *nods regally and strides away with purpose*

Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

5 Years Ago

Thank you I am humbled I will take a look at your little girl in a big storm
especially love the very last verse how the horse retired to drive an amish cart i really love this verse and can relate this to lifei and getting older.
thanks for entering this beautiful work into My other hobby competition, thankyou

Posted 5 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

5 Years Ago

Thank you Julie I’m honored that you like it
I could picture this perfectly, as if I was watching it on the silver screen, complete with roaring sounds. This is only possible with great writing.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

9 Years Ago

Thank you Brian so nice to hear that from someone
what an entertaining, yet deeply meaningful write.. It has a story within a story.. sometimes we have to accept defeat, but we get back up and try again... Life wasn't meant to be easy, but with courage, determination, humility, compassion, resilience, and drive--we will get there.. This FELT good. It leaves you thinking, and a good warm feeling in your heart.. I really enjoyed this..

Posted 9 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

9 Years Ago

Thank you April This one was a story from years back when i was in Illinois racing I like to add les.. read more

9 Years Ago

well, it sure seems to work and I really enjoy it.. adding life lessons is a nice touch indeed...
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an excellently penned poem

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

I can only imagine you were handful then
Tate Morgan

9 Years Ago

oh yeah I was hell on wheels !!lol My poor mother.

9 Years Ago

yes unfortunately we mothers suffer alot for our boys lmao
I was lost in this poem and for the moment I read it, I wished to never be found....this is very beautiful I must confess, thanks for sharing...

Posted 9 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

9 Years Ago

Thank you It was a joy to write

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102 Reviews
Shelved in 6 Libraries
Added on August 17, 2012
Last Updated on August 21, 2018
Tags: poetry, romance, love, Life, Sad, adventure, mystery, pain, poem, story, death, fantasy, fiction, heart, racing, winning, losing


Tate Morgan
Tate Morgan

Marion , OH

Available from Amazon XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I am a product of the Midwest. Raised on the plain states of North America. I was nurtured on a .. more..

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