eyes dart with red
black, white and sepia hue
the horse slows behind
selfish cotton hide
lust, under the pale moonlight
Hearts not meant to be
A mountain covered with dust
Orion's chap- stick
Temptations broken wall
Cowboy makes his mark
A man named Ben stood on a slope looking at the gates of hell,
He swore they’d never turn back, him and his best friend Del.
They knew the bandits came this way, they’d left a sloppy trail,
Sheriff and posse had given up but they, would never fail.
He reached into his saddle where he pulled some paper out,
Posters of the bandits, who had brought them on this route
There was Crooked Jake a killer who was merciless and drear,
He shot you if you looked at him, his colleges were full of fear.
Then came Baba Barber as hairy as a lamb,
But nothing gentle about this one, he head-butt’s like a ram.
The third was Festus Farlow a man with just one eye,
Yet the fastest gun in Texas causen many a widow to cry.
Ben turned to Del and with a sigh he mounted his beige mare,
Said, “guessen we’d better git started, Del ma frind tek care.”
The two had ridden hours with bandanas on their face,
Which only helped a little, for sand was all they could taste.
Both saw many carcasses and bones, bleached white from sun,
But also knew these badlands are not a place for fun.
All at once Del’s stallion, stood with hoofs boxing empty air,
Sent him flying to the ground, and in a rattlers face did stare.
Now when he fell he’d landed on a hard and rocky bed,
So he grabbed a stone and in a flash, crushed that rattlers head.
Ben had reached for his riffle ready to take a shot,
Knowing the sound of gunfire would give away their spot.
Six days later found cowboys, with cracked lips and weary bones,
Now huddled by the campfire listening to familiar tones.
High up on the rocky hill, a wolf sang to the skies,
His silhouette rare beauty, appeasing to their eyes.
Still sleeping at the crack of dawn, a voice woke them abrupt,
Crooked Jake stood before them, his hand his gun did cup.
He started laughing at the two still lying there in bed,
And Ben and Del were certain, that they would soon be dead.
Now Festus and old Baba, were going through their sacks
Finding pictures of two women, they had just shot in their backs,
Then they took their horses, saddles, hats and boots, sayen
‘’You’s ain’t gunna need these, when Festus Farlow shoots.”
Two good friends were shaking now as a dozen shots rang out,
And when loud echoes finally ceased, dead bandits lay about.
Ben and Del stood in a daze, and checked for bullet holes,
The sheriff and posse had come back, God, bless their souls.
For Isaiah Zerbst Contest:
Cowboys in the Badlands 2nd
On The Prairie
Congregated on the prairie western clear with beasts
Cowboy chews tobacco, swirls black liquid, spits
Projectile clean, target hit, lizard quick
Long tongued creature stunned
No time to snatch a timid bug
So much hungry love undone
Reptile rolls over rounded rock pin ball like
Looks both ways before crossing into dark
Cowpoke silhouetted, floated on campfire
Smiles Clint Eastwood style
Slips a small stogie through cracked dry lips
Moves it from left to right
Lights it, inhales harsh life
Jagged teeth, yellow, tinted by time
Clinched while he thinks about old wars
A warrior down to the core
Grins at the beans bubbling up
Old iron skillet and the western sky
Gazes at the long lost stars through smoke
Shakes sand off hat and boots when done
Speaks not a single word
But with a sigh he rises and rides off
A lone rider sits high in the saddle,
As the horizon's sunrise spreads across,
The open prairie.
Twin pearl handed pistols rest at his side,
As rusty spires clang against wooden planks,
At the deadwood saloon.
Legends cowboys whisper his name,
On the dry desert winds,
A giant of a man whom breathed
Life again into the legacy,
Of the old west.
His side swagger's walk trademark
On the larger than a life screen.
The duke truly represents the great
American hero on horse back.
Six shooters drawn at high noon's
John Wayne's the trail dusts equalizer,
He always remained on the right side,
Of tin stars law.
The tumble weeds rolls along a dirt path,
As tall cactus stand on an arried canvas,
Life here is harsh and mean,
Where only the strong survive.
Bold individuals with the inner
Strength against god's forbidden land.
Harden men whom lived by one simple,
Rule I will do what ever it takes
To stay alive.
He'll join the ghost riders,
Forever driving the lords herds
Across the grand divides vast
Prairie sky’s as the sunsets
In the old west.
Alone figure rides high in saddle,
Set against a legends back drop,
Hell bound for glory,
In a cloud of gun smokes fog,
Behold the duke emerges,
With his hat on straight
And gun at the ready.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Cowboys on a cattle drive
whiskey, sun and song.
Days are hard,
nights are cards,
the rivers run so strong.
dark horse fail,
they say dead men
tell no tales.
and hidden talent
does not count.
Life’s a game,
you raise or fold -
some get gravel,
some get gold…
Copyright © 2013
Subdue my senses like serenities face
a heartfelt happy embellished
his canter skilled with heavens grace
a companionship barley unblemished
except that she rides alone
Into the storm gathering speed
she squeezes her knees tipping her heels
gunning for the feeling she longs to be sealed
unleashed like the fury of a thunders peal
Her saddle steals with shift of weight
her balance for the run
like symmetry never expecting to yield
adrenalin hiking the fearful unknowns
There she rides alone
Her life is cinched an aimless roam
her hunger for the feeling of home
with subtle sounds like flexing leather
is the tearing of her heart like the storms she weathers
carried on waves of an emerald trail
turned wheat in Autumns image
Buckskins beat secures her seat
and gives her thoughts to visage
Though there's nowhere in this world she'd rather be
she can't shake the feeling of the missing
destined to wings that fly alone
no companion for her soul in the cheering
This is why she calls him Tuff
Hedeman in a lady she cowgirl's up...
looks her pony in the eyes
reminding her that the tough don't cry
Just take Bodacious by the horns
knowing "impossible" will not hold the throne
always through pain our courage is born
though every eight seconds she rides alone
She'll keep her head up high
never giving in to the pain
lessons she learned from her hero's
Cowboys Tuff and Lane
My sister said, "Let's go dancing.""Not a chance."
"I don't know how. I don't know how to dance."
"They give beginner's lessons at The Yellow Rose.”
"They'll have a live band to keep you on your toes."
I gave in to her begging and gathered up my spunk.
Those at the Rose were probably already drunk.
So I said, "What the heck; how hard's it gonna be?
Those guys are too busy to watch the likes of me."
In most of my endeavors, it's always been my fate,
there's some hidden truth that I didn't anticipate.
Every song had a different dance, no two were the same.
I stood with eyes popping, thinking this was insane.
"What kind of style is this?" I muttered, watching the dancing.
They were clapping and yelling,, twirling and prancing;
with thumbs hooked in pockets and fancy boots on their feet,
they shuffled, hitched and swayed to a crazy country beat.
Not dancing with one another, they formed a perfect line,
turning and bumping hips and stomping in double time.
They even did a Cha Cha,, a Charleston step or two,
Cheater's Waltz and Black Velvet, twining through.
Sister said, "Come on, let's go!" Well, it's do or die,
maybe I'll flop, maybe not. I'll never know, unless I try.
I wound up teaching beginners at West Side Senior Center,
and at local "Silver Games," became a gold medal winner!
I performed with the gang at nearby nursing homes,
in matching western costumes and sequins in our combs.
Where has the American cowboy gone,
Did he ride off into the dust trails of history,
A faded figure, melting into the last horizons sunset.
Nay, unbridled the mustangs run free now,
No riders lasso, snaps against the winds of destiny,
A legacy's true American hero, has finished the
Last round up.
Hey, you'd better halt there, just one dang gone
Minute, you city slicker, them be fighting words,
That you all have just written.
Hush your mouth now, the American cowboy lives on,
Not on horse back, but behind the steel of the
Eighteen wheeler, copy that you'd better, breaker dude.
Show some respectful pride, to the man whom
Has helped to build, this great nation, we all call home.
Driving down the back bone, of America, in the name
Of glory's flag, believe you me brother, a hard
Road does he roam alone, just to keep house,
And home alive.
For all of the feminine persuasion, yes’s em, mam
He still whisper’s, that same old lonesome tune.
Tilting his ten gallon hat, to all you young misses.
After all the convoy man, is still a gentleman
Beneath his rough hued exterior.
Four horse power to the floor, no more, he's
A hell bound creature, in need, for sixty-fives
Speed limit sign, it keeps the old cowboy inside
Alive, down the highway of life.
Thriving on the adrian rush, of the open
Road to freedom, lying ahead of him, no
Boundaries can hold this man, yielding to
The desire for liberation's winds, blowing
Against the trails of progress.
Steel belted radials, burning rubber across
The asphalt turn pike, get far out of his way,
This true road master, swiftness control at his
Command, excelling beyond the boundaries
Damn, don't you all try to fence this free spirit in,
Or he'll run you down, times dead line, haunts
Him, the devil boss's hounds are biting at his heels,
And burden's heavy load, rests upon those broad shoulders.
The Lord God himself does sit, in the passenger seat,
Beside him, heaven's copilot, for this steel driving man,
Bringing him home safely, to those whom love him,
This the convoy man.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Willful ignorance is not bliss, but a coward’s way of surrendering control.
Up before dawn, his feet hit the floor
He can't pretend to sleep anymore
His clothes displayed neatly, beside his bed
He places his hat atop his head
Today is the day he will pay off his debts
He won't return home with any regrets
The first to arrive, empty stands
Soon to be filled with clapping hands
In the blink of an eye, the parking overflows
With tickets in hand they fill in the rows
A couple of clowns to fill in the gap
An impatient bunch, he can hear their feet tap
Alone in a stable with his hat on his chest
He prays to The Lord, that he will do his best
Peaks around the corner for a glimpse of his opponent
An unstable beast and he has to tone it
Brushes off the doubt and dusts his boots
Exposes himself, "Yeehaw", he hoots
Ready to go, signed the waiver
Cards seem to be playing in his favor
While riding him bare
A split second scare
He regains control
At the delight of his soul
Held steady till the crowd cried
Landed on two feet. It was an 8 second ride