Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Monday, June 21, 2010

RIDING DRAG / FOR DADDY by Debra Coppinger Hill

This is my second Father's Day without my Dad here on this earth. Yet every day I feel his presence and see him in many places I go and things I do. He was a great storyteller and shared our family history, legends and lore. He left a strong and proud legacy for us to uphold. I pray for all children today to have fathers like mine. 'Wado Udoda!'


My Father wears a coat of many colors
for all the world to see,
that deep inside his soul
beats the heart of a Cherokee.

What have I learned from his spirit,
his laughing, loving ways?
I learned the past belongs to the present,
not to waste my younger days.

The stories of my ancestors
are his legacy to me;
That honoring them and who they were
determines who I shall be.

I am my Father's daughter
and I can only hope,
that one day I will be worthy
to wear my father's coat.

*U-do-da = the Cherokee word for Father

When Daddy was diagnosed with bone cancer we talked a lot about what he wanted from the final chapter of his life. We made notes and plans and over and over he told us "I will still be here. I'll just be in two places at once." It's true. He left such love with us that we feel his presence every day. I used some of his lines from those talks for this poem that we read at his service.


Though I may go, I am not gone;
I stand on The Rock in the Great Beyond.
I follow in my Savior's tracks,
From time to time, I look back;
For your love keeps me forever near,
Though I may go, my spirit is still here.

So look for me in clear blue skies,
And deep within my loved one's eyes.
In the embers of a deer camp fire,
Among the stars as the moon climbs higher.
In joyful moments and laughter strong,
in your hearts I will always belong.

Though I may go, I am not gone;
I stand on The Rock in the Great Beyond.

©Debra Coppinger Hill & Sham Coppinger

Contact Debra Coppinger Hill at ridingdrag@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Testing 1-2-3

This is a test of the email option of my blog Riding Drag. If you can read this, you can ignore it. If you choose not to ignore it please feel free to be bored by it. 'Ride Hard, Laugh Often, Live Free!"  Debra Coppinger Hill



"Where is this place they call The West?,"
  a stranger asked of me;
"Where does it begin, where does it end,
  where are the boundaries?"

I gave this question lots of thought,
  I considered it quite carefully;
For everything from the Atlantic coast is West,
  all the way to the Pacific sea.

Cowboy is a often a mis-used term,
  open to interpretation,
And so it is, with The West,
  it becomes a generalization.

The answer seemed too simple,
  though it gave me cause to ponder;
The ways and life of the Cowboy
  and how he is bound to wander.

I smiled as I gave my answer,
  and please don't think it odd,
But the words I spoke, I truly believe,
  were given to me by God.

"Everyone has a different definition,
  and no single one is right;
It's like trying to define the Universe,
  or freedom or faith or sunlight.

The West is like the sky above,
  endless and wrapped around us all;
It's anywhere there's the soul of man,
  or the sound of this Earth's call.

It's the place where we're going,
  all the places we have been,
The past, the present and the future;
  where-ever you find a friend.

Where is The West?
  You're standing there;
It's no one location,
  it's everywhere.

It's no place in particular,
  it's anywhere living is an art;
It's any place a Cowboy is,
  it's A Place in the Heart."

©Debra Coppinger Hill
Dedicated in love and laughter to Jen Hilts, a Cowgirl to the bone.

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Once in awhile I run away. I grab a bag, I get in the truck and I come to Colorado with my husband where he is currently working. I like hiding up here. The scenery is distinctly different from the flat-lands of Oklahoma. Even the hills of the Osage or the tree-filled areas around Tahlequah cannot compare to real mountains. I hold nothing against my home state it is simply at times I crave tall peaks to which snow still clings even in June; the temperature of 78 much preferred over the muggy 97 I hear they are having back home today.

There are things I do not see often when I am home. Here I will venture out to the farmer’s market, to the Navajo square and the Pow-Wow going on at the fairgrounds. I don’t do that at home. A myriad of chores call to me, errands demand my attention and I cannot make myself simply sit back and waste time.

Wasting time is rejuvenating. We all need it, but so few of us take the time to give ourselves those moments involve nothing. Long ago I recall my Dad coming home from his week’s work on Friday enening. He would rush through the chores that absolutely had to be done over the weekend, mowing, household chores, etc., and then he would say ‘Ah, time for nothing!” He laughed, we laughed and we spent the weekend days doing exactly that, nothing.

Sometimes he would throw fishing poles, sleeping bags and food in the car and we would take off on a ‘they went that-a-way’ adventure. He would let my brother and me taking turns deciding which way to go at certain intersections. We ended up in a lot of interesting places and we always had fun. We did nothing and we loved it.

So in that very spirit I did this very same thing this last week. I make no excuses. I needed that time. I needed to do nothing and did. We took off and drove, made a lot of turns for no reason other than we wondered where the road went. My spirit is renewed and I am ready to face the days ahead!

Oh, one more thing I did not do…I did not write a column. Not until this minute anyway. The only thought I put into it has been the thought I used in remembering the fun of doing nothing with my Dad and Mom when we were kids and the fun of the last few days; the fun of doing nothing.

As responsible adults we often feel that to have fun is to not get our work done. If we are doing nothing we could not possibly be accomplishing what the world and the powers-that-be think we should. For the most part we feel that we must be given permission to go do nothing and further permission to not feel bad about it. Let me help you with this.

(Fill in the blank)__________ has my permission to spend the next few days doing nothing. That means absolutely, positively nothing what so ever. And in addition to doing nothing, they are totally absolved of any feelings of guilt for doing such. Signed, Debra Coppinger Hill.

There, isn’t that better? Now, go! Nothing is waiting.

Contact Debra Coppinger Hill at ridingdrag@gmail.com