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 7 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


Great write, I held my breath.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Wow another amazing poem, I really felt you there on that horse riding the race, though also can see the race of life and the need to win at all cost but the price that pays.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Each line is an image, each paragraph a story! Images and stories make-up the world of any writer...and as far as that world goes, I was sucked right in to yours. I was interested from the second line and I was gone by 'We turned to face the starting gate'. This was simply full of life...I'm not entirely sure about all the techniques that you're experimenting with (the Paget meter) but I can appreciate you grappling with something that will enrich and make your work interesting. As a reader though, I found your technique was seemless, in the background and the story shone. Bloody good stuff, sir!

Posted 7 Years Ago

there is always a horse that can run down another...humility is a key in life...if we don't have it, we will always be looking over our shoulder when heading to the finish line of anything we do in life.

i like the bible references colliding with the race references...coming from behind, being strong at the end is important.

while reading this i couldn't help but think of the great race horse, Zenyatta...what a gal!

so determined, always strong at the end. as we would hope to be in our lives.

very thoughtful write, Tate.


Posted 7 Years Ago

An interesting story beautifully penned with perfect word use! Great write Tate!!

Posted 7 Years Ago

Always love what you create with your pen my friend, big fan :) It's evident the amount of love and devotion you put in your work. Love it.

Posted 7 Years Ago

its all in the heart Tate.

Posted 7 Years Ago

I love these stories about horses...beautiful job...and such a honor to your friend, David Lewis Paget...

Posted 7 Years Ago

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101 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



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