“Back in my day” his stories all would start
I’d lean in close to listen though I knew ‘em all by heart
He was a living legend, one of Texas’ best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest
He fought along “RIP” Ford & John Coffee Hayes
When Texas was wooly & wild, back in the good old days
“One Riot, One Ranger” I’ve heard it said many times before
from fighting off Commanches to turning the tide of a range war
A Ranger never faltered, never imagined he could lose a fight
He’d go hell bent for leather just to turn a wrong to right.
From Nueces to Salado Creek he patrolled the border land
Dealing out swift justice with a smoking Colt sitting easy in hand
Hardin, Iron Jacket & Sam Bass thought they could get away
The Rangers ran them down to ground, the stories still are told today
Great Granddad was a hero, one of Texas’s best
Not just another lawman with a tin star on his chest
He passed on the legacy & the stories I’ll now tell
as I hear his voice echo when I start off, “ I remember well”
So tip your hat & raise your glass to the Rangers out there on patrol
and to all the Shadow Rangers, Rest in Peace, God rest your soul
He pulls his hat down low against the chill of the storm,
The numb fingers that hold the reins forgot what it was like to be warm;
On a grassy knoll silhouetted against the rising sun,
Astride his pinto pony sits a Native American son;
The blowing snow and freezing rain steal his breath away,
But he knows that being a cowboy, it’s worth the price that you pay;
A majestic, bronzed brave, feathers wafting in the breeze,
With arms uplifted in obeisance, the Great Spirit to appease!
A worn out calf is stretched across his lap on either side,
Her head resting on his thigh just going along for the ride;
He offers thanks to Him for the grandeur of creation,
And for the sun and moon from which he gathers inspiration;
Her momma just like him had been caught out in the gale,
It’s just another story to add to the cowboy’s tale;
He asks the Great Spirit to bless his arrow and bow,
That with true aim he can fell life-sustaining buffalo;
His face is hard and beaten from too many days in the sun,
From early mornings and late nights workin’ til a job is done;
A tear rolls down his cheek thinking of his ravaged, sacred land,
The broken treaties and those who dealt with deceitful hand;
But being a working cowboy surely has its rewards,
Riding forgotten country that has never been explored.
With a sad heart he lowers his arms and slowly turns away,
Determined that from the paths of his fathers he will not stray.
By Tirzah Conway and Bob Hinshaw
The cowboy portion was written by Tirzah Conway and the Indian portion was written by Bob Hinshaw
Billy the Kid was living an honest life as a ranch hand.
He was employed by John Tunstall, an immigrant Englishman.
Mr Tunstall gave Billy his own horse, rifle and full saddle gear.
When he presented them to the Kid, Billy held back his tears.
"What's wrong son?" Mr Tunstall asked Billy outright.
The Kid responded, "No one has ever given me anything ever in my life."
It appeared that Billy was finally going to live a good life for sure,
until the competition murdered Mr Tunstall, which sparked The Lincoln County War.
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
Oh lord hear the lonesome cowboys lullaby, singing beneath
The vast prairie open sky.
Hush, do they not lull the restless cattle to sleep, by a soft
Undertones sweet melody.
Drifting plains men, singing of the sorrows broken hearted,
And dreaming visions of their beloved, they've left behind.
Guitar strumming minstrels, of the fire hearth, accented
By the lone harmonica, playing off in the distance
Amongst a sea of cows, and horses.
In harmonic rhythm is this grassroots orchestra, as the fiddler
Strikes up his bow to join in, and playing ever so gently along,
To harmony's rhythm.
On the rocky cliffs mixed in the sandy dunes, the heckling
Coyotes, give an eerie ambiance, to this old western chorus.
Do these desert whyly creatures, howl in perfections tune,
To the wrangler's musical beat, of these wide grassy expanses,
That they all call home.
The rattler shakes it's tail in defiance, against the munching
Prairie dog, whom got away at the last moment.
Listen closely to the sounds of the meadow-lands, does not the crickets,
And locusts, add a natural flavor by their clicking and chirping.
Near the rivers stream, as the winds do blow, along the waters edge,
Another elements assent, is bestowed by the forcing of the reeds, to
Bend hitting them against the hollow log, causing a thumping's,
Drumming, to this uniquest of bands.
As twilight's distant starlight, flickering in the vast
Blackness above, these rambling souls whom wander so.
Down these dusty trails long journey, yearn for nothing
More than to know the quite serenity, of their home
That seems so far away.
Let your music fill your emptiness, for one nights
Beautiful dream, and remember the memory as if it
Were real, a vivid vision of illusion, and rest
In complete bliss, good night my young
Cowboy of the open sky.
BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN
Well, Finn and Mc Gee
Were riding along
Headed back home
When something looked wrong
So, Finn off his horse
Now looked all around
He said, "We are lost
But, there's something we've found"
"Look at this massive
Whole in this plain
We'll never get home
This is insane"
"A canyon like this
What an unlucky find
We can't ride around it
We haven't the time"
"And we can't ride down through it
There isn't a way
If even there was
We'd be dead in a day"
So Mc Gee very calmly
with shovel in hand
Said "Well, we'd better get crackin'
And fill it with sand"
Jesse Evans and The Boys earned much notoriety
during the old west's most untamed and wild history.
Raiding resturants and salloons they would drink and eat for free.
"Chalk it up!" they'd say to all of the merchants before they'd leave,
and riding along with them was one William H Bonney,
known as William Antrim formerly
and speaking Spanish fluently.
Three months earlier he was but a young boy of fifteen,
orphaned, scared, alone and in desperate need.
Now he was holding his own among outlaw killers and theives.
Such a feat for a small young boy of his stature wasn't easily achieved.
He was a prime target for this dangerous gang of thug bullies
who would often abuse him, make fun of and tease.
The kid was forced to face a very hard reality.
He could just take it and be miserable, or he could leave,
or show them all that he was a force to be respected and taken seriously.
He began practicing his shooting skills regularly,
hitting his target everytime and with lightening speed.
On his horse he would shoot at anything and everything,
whether he was stationary or whether he was moving
from every single possible concievable position
and always hit his target with such accurate precision.
Once for fun one outlaw shot the kid's hat off of his head.
The kid returned fire shooting the hat off of the outlaw's head.
Holding his pistol trained on his intended, the kid coldly said,
"I could kill you right now. I could kill you dead,
but I'm hungry and I would rather eat instead."
The kid returned to his meal and nothing more was done or said.
His message was crystal clear; Respect Me Or You're Dead
and from that moment on, respect him they all did.
Jesse Evans and The Boys now all took very seriously this Billy, this kid.
The Darkness at Noon
Tombstone never looked so good
With doomsday coming down
On the dusty Arizona town
The OK Corral near by
The Clanton-McLaury gang on hand
With no one else about
The Earp boys in the wings
Thinking things out
Doc Holliday also in tow for the show
The darkness at noon began
Guns rang out
30 seconds flew by and 30 shots fired
2 cowpokes fell to the ground expired
Justice prevailed that afternoon
Though darkness shadowed the mood
A legend began that cold dark day
When noon turned into night
In old Tombstone
(Darkness at noon contest en
The legacy of a Cowboy,
Can be written in a song;
About the misty mountain passes,
Where the Cowboy’s life belongs;
About the days spent in the saddle,
Punching cattle and mending fence;
At home with mother nature,
Living life in his defense;
All the nights spent under stars,
With the campfire burning low;
Riding range on shifty heifers,
In the rain and blowing snow;
Icicles hang from his mustache,
As he pulls his coat in tight;
Steam rolls off his horse’s flanks,
Disappearing into the night;
He works until the job is done,
And is up long before dawn;
See the legacy of a Cowboy,
Lives on long after he‘s gone.
The loudmouth cowboy was challenged by an inebriated Doc Holiday.
"Draw your weapon sir," slurred the doc, "I'm your huckleberry."
"You're drunk as a skunk," said the cowboy, "probably seeing double too."
Mr Holiday responded, "Yes sir, that is very true,
but I have two guns,.. one for each of you."
He was young,
Had his guns on his hip.
Walkin the streets,
With a cigar on his lip.
The town folk were scared,
They knew what he could do.
They have seen what he done,
To a chosen few.
The leather he wore,
Was stained from the powder of his gun.
A sign of the battles,
That the slinger had won.
A family moved in,
That no one knew.
A white man,
And a wife that was sious.
The young man decided,
The lady would not survive.
Because of her color,
She would die.
In the street,
In the middle of town,
This is where the slinger,
Where he gunned her down.
The white man,
Anger in his eyes,
Decided to give the slinger,
Leave this town,
Be gone by noon at best,
Or feel a bullet from my gun,
Deep in you'r chest.
The slinger smiled,
I am too fast,
You are an ole man,
You'r time has past.
You'r time has come ole man,
Take you'r stand,
But I tell you now,
Better have a fast hand.
When the smoke cleared,
The slinger lay on the ground,
With the white man,
The slinger had just one last request,
How did you learn to shoot that way?
The white man answered,
I'm the son of Doc Holiday.
When you compare the facts with the tales of his legend,
you'll find that most stories of his life are pure fabrication.
He is known worldwide for his killer marksmanship with a gun,
but few know his reputation for helping the elderly, the poor and the young.
It's been said that he killed a man for every year of his life.
That would bring his total to about twenty one,
but nine would be a more accurate number according to historical documentation.
Although he killed, he was not at all a wanton killer outlaw.
If given a choice not to kill, that would have been his choice for sure.
He killed in self defense, he killed in an act of war,
he killed in the line of duty and then he killed once more.
He killed to escape his execution.
In all honesty,
I would have killed just like he
had I been placed in the same situations.
Billy Bonney was not at all your classic killer outlaw.
A poor victim of circumstance would accuratly describe his life more.
He experienced more violence in his short lifetime than today's war veterans.
He suffered personal loss that any one of us would find most horrifying,
yet he never lost his friendly, helpful and charming disposition.
In short, if you weren't his enemy, you couldn't help but love him.
His tragic, short and violent life had come to an end
when he was killed by the hand of a Judas who was once his friend.
He was shot in the dark without warning, he was unarmed.
An all night long candle lit vigil followed as everyone mourned.
He was already a legend back when the old west was still untamed and wild,
but legend doesn't portray the brutal harshness of the true life he had lived.
His was the tragedy of a promising young boy,
forced to become a man while still a child
and all would one day know him as Billy, the Kid.
Duerme Bien Querido Guillermo
I do not know?
WINCHESTER MODEL 73 - The Gun that Won the West
Deputy why don't you leave that cowboy alone?
He ain't doin nothin, he's a long way from home.
Can't you see that Winchester by his saddle horn?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.
Deputy why don't you let that cowboy ride on?
Do you think he carved them notches out just for fun?
Can't you see that Winchester by his saddle horn?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.
You think that Winchester looks good to you.
But one more notch is all you'll be I'm warnin you.
Deputy why don't you let that cowboy ride on.
He won't even slow down unless you draw your gun.
Don't you know that Winchester's not there just for fun?
If you know what's good for you, you'll leave him alone.
© ron wilson aka Vee Bdosa the Doylestown Poet
What do you see when you look at his face
Weather beaten & etched by hard work’s steady pace?
You see a broken down drunken old fool
I see a vaquero, a cowboy old school
These cattle, those horses, this land are his life
They helped him provide for his children & wife
The Vail brothers, Escalantes, Leons, Acosta, Andrada
From the X-9 to Del Lago, Rincon Creek to La Posta Quemada
Lopez, Etheridge, De La Ossa & Daly, all hard working men
Holding strong to the traditions of a life from way back when
From the base of the Rincons, their cattle once freely roamed
These Cowboys are the lifeblood of this valley we call home
I looked up to these men & others like them when I was a youth
They taught me to work hard, stand tall & always speak the truth
They rail at the developers who never seem to keep their word
Praying that they’ll still have enough ground to run their herds
They watch as suburbia comes flooding into a valley once pristine
As ticky tacky houses turn good grazing lands into an urban scene
The word out on the city streets is that the cowboy way is gone
But as long as there are horses then the Cowboy will ride on
Somewhere up in New River, a cowboy still rides out tonight
To gaze out over a moonlit range, far from the city’s blight
In Cascabel, an Old Vaquero & his grandchild working the pen
Are doing their part to see that the cowboy way never ends
What do you see when you look in his face?
Weather beaten & etched by hard work’s steady pace?
You see a tattered old man, shaky hands & blurry gaze
I see the heroes of my youth, hear the tales of the glory days
When cattle outnumbered people & Cowboys still roamed free
Back when the West was Wild, back in the long ago & used to be
heres how i see it
and heres how it is
living in this world where half of it is advanced
with indoor plumbing
and a huge chunk of the globe is not
part of the world still has a hole in the floor for a toilet
and we say ignorance is bliss
oh funny funny man on the moon
the joke you really meant in the Hollywood basement
of one giant step for man
and one leap for mankind
Have we not clued in yet?
Do we not live blind leading the blind?
Am i the only enlightened who realizes
that we were in space probably 70 years before we made it public to the world
and Nasa is full of it
oh funny funny funny man on the moon
why is society so gullible to think
that the governments technology hits the mainstream market
before they use it for years and perfect it and work out all the bugs
and then hands us something that just looks faulty
and we fall for it hook line and sinker
give me a moment
funny funny funny us
half the world buries their waste
and we flush it away
half the world has technology and half of it is in the stone age
and yet we seem to think
that whoever invents these things has no ties
or affiliation to putting us under their thumb
i mean come on do the math
they landed on the moon
how they tell you they send sattelites into space is a truth within alie
they made up 50 years ago
and were falling for it today
let me play
i get it
society is dumb
I'll write something yesterday
say i wrote it today
no one will know what to believe
I'll even put a cowboy hat on
I'm sure those cowboy western movies
they had just as many cameras and cellphones
but didn't release them in the market
consider yourself a fool
if you don't think they don't have something in their pocket full of tricks they are
working on right now
they're going to sell to the future
and no one gets the famous joke
the man on the moon told to the mensa geniuses
but a hush fell over the crowd
and I'm sure there was consequences for laughing
and chances are even they were blinded by the bling
life and blind leading the blind
such an easy concept to grasp
and man on the moon
your a funny funny funny man!
Born in 1880
to a single mom
back in Maine.
in the army
He did many
bank's and trains.
He stayed in Oklahoma
but broke the law
in other states too.
His gang of jolly
men changed many times.
came from train
he went to rob.
and a watch
is all he got.
Asleep in a loft
the city marshall
and deputies came along.
Minutes pass by
but still alive.
Stinger Fenton got
the shot that count
that silenced his gun.
his body was a side show
for all to see.
In California one day
in the show
being a mannequin
his arm tore
as all were in shock
to see the bone.
McCurdy in a hearse
with gun riders beside
taken to boot hill in Guthrie
where he lay
our skills..talents..gifts,that we have..
these are our tools..weapons..instruments
and we just want to live..
put into a situation in wich we did not choose our roles..
some of us are the fans and the royalty
they watch people like me do what needs to be done...
people like me..we just want to live
so we use our weapons and do what we have to..
we didnt choose for it to be like this..
we watch the fortunate crowd the seats of this coliseum called life..
and they watch us jump back and forth through shades of color..
they judge us...
but we just want to live
Waking to a new day
pioneers go about their day
doing chores right away.
Buggy harnessed and ready
children all a play.
Up on yonder hill
not so far away
they see braves
in their bright array.
They sit and watch the family
day by day
waiting for the day.
Mother hanging laundry
out to dry
to her dismay
sees fifteen braves
start riding their way.
Yelling for her young ones
to come inside
as she runs to the meadow
to find her love.
Running as fast as the wind
they here their cries of war.
Closer they ride
faster on their mighty steeds .
guns in hand
as they defend
as they descend
upon the land.
Riffle firing loud
as he aims in dismay.
but they fight
as fierce braves
Bullets flying across air
sending splinters into the air.
Children crying aloud
his wife shaking and crying aloud
as the braves scream out loud .
Then the air is silenced
as they disappear
off to the horizon
they ride away.
There once was a time
During the long forgotten era
The frontier so majestic
In the age of the arrow
All the tools needed
The Earth would provide
Nothing went to waste
Considered creed to the tribe
A land vastly open
Natives once called it home
A place where the buffalo
Majestically once roamed
Free from democracy
Yet peace was achieved
Answering not to dictatorship
Acknowledging only self beliefs
Men were not kept in cages
They were not hung for display
The equality was unimaginable
Freedoms not experienced in the present day
The ignorance of our species
Is second to none
People actually follow rules
Placed in force by only one
Our industrial evolution
Has destroyed the land
Our lust for prosperity
Has tarnished this sand
The buffalo once roamed the planes
Standing oh so bold and tall
The natives had foreseen
The inevitable rise to fall
Prosperity brought damnation
Of an entire generation
Now we are the ones
Who try slowing immigration
The hypocrisy in our laws
Exposes the true foundation
Who are we to deny
Anyone into this nation
It has yet been noticed
By the ignorant youth
The basis of history
Rarely holds truth
In a place so very near
The buffalo once roamed
The land filled with life
Now stripped to the bones
With the right kind of ears
You might catch the tone
Heard only by the damned
The sound of nature's wrathful moan
The Naked Gun
Sound asleep at the jail
A young lad lifts both guns
From the unsuspecting law man
Who is already undressed in his dreams
With abandoned holsters
The lad takes off down the street
Yelling at passersby to sell the fire arms
To anyone for 2 bits
Someone comes up from behind
Taps the lad on the shoulder
Snake eyes to snake eyes the old man pierces the day
Holds the youth in his sights as he says
“Is 25 cents worth losing your life over boy?”
He drops the law mans naked guns
Runs forever for what he’s done
I dress the way I do on stage
To transport you to another age
Where wild women of the west
Proved they stood among the best
They rode boot to boot along side the men
Riding broncs to hell & back again
They wore skirts, jodhpurs, flowers & frills
Had more than their share of thrills & spills
When you see me here, I hope you recall
Those women who rode proud & tall
Tad Lucas on Midnight, crow hopping & smiling
Fox Hastings, in feathers & flowers, beguiling
Mitzi Lucas Riley, her death defying grace
On galloping horse, a suicide drag, & mesmerizing face
Marge Greenough on Boxer, that gal could really fly
Nancy Sheppard with her spinning ropes, gravity defied
On the day to day, I wear a different look
Still different from those Cowboys you see in picture books
Dusty boots, faded jeans & a cowboy hat, of course
If I dressed the way I do on stage it would amuse my horse
I grew up in the Wild West, or what there is of it now
I learned to ride at an early age & know my way around a cow
I don’t have a need for wooly chaps, my shotguns work just dandy
If I wore woolies, the cactus would soon look like cotton candy
My childhood heroes included those dazzling rodeo gals
I spent many a Saturday morning as Roy & Dale’s Saddle Pal
But the role models that I still look up to today
Have quietly gone about their lives, living the Cowboy way
There’s Georgie Sicking, still going strong in Kaycee
As tough as they come, she always demands the best from me
Sister Bourne, her laughing eyes & ready wit
For forty years taught in one room schools, in her there was no quit
There are many others who have helped me along the way
Their stories are for another time, another place & day
Today I’ll weave for you a tapestry of Western Rhyme
Of rodeo’n, romanc’n & remember’n & a simpler time
There is magic in the West, I find it every where
It is that magic & my memories, that with you I will share
So settle in & enjoy the ride, for I know I have brought my best
As I stand here on this stage, a Wild Woman of the West
Unlike the newspeak of today the media rodeo plays the bull clowns chasing a scripted delay boxed up and ready to go fast food for the loll the upper end following the lower end Yet political satire's even keel will transcend while the real bull gores the clowns He can be ornery when being contained coming like a federal expess roaring down newsmail bringing the letter restrained the same package to every town the same package of the willing consripts freight in the End a older railing bull holds his own wieght
The true story of the American west
Is one of killing field slaughters and
The bison killers worked day and night
They were all busier than a kennel full
of dogs in heat
The bison had never seen anything
And therefore knew nothing of how to
Their bodies piled up on prairies by the
While human beings continued their
Humans had no thought about an animal's
Mention of such would have laughed them
into a slop bowl
This all points out a basic flaw in the nature
The evidence was there since man's time on
Animals to Man are just mechanized bodies
of meat and fur
Causing no lapse of conscience for killings
But human beings think to improve Mother
What they forget is this mother suffers no fools
When Man becomes comfortable in his unnatural
Then mother will send earthquakes and floods to
level Man flat
Unlikely the explorers of the Wild West,
I'm bound for sheer adventure, not amazing discovery;
finding gold is far from any quest
while this clanking, slow-moving stream locomotive
will take me to places so primitive...
even a small ghost town has tales that conjure mystery!
Whistle along train as your steam puffs...
reaching clouds and turning them into raindrops,
California is still a seeker's dream for the unhappy folks living
in bustling cities enduring noise and pollution;
soundless are the canyons drifting
by without any fearless cowboy riding,
but the watchful coyotes will resent this intrusion...
whenever your whistle startles them when they are napping!
Whistle along train as your steam puffs,
I didn't bring along a single book to read not to be distracted by reality,
only a huge map showing me historic towns...
where daily shootings were as common as drinking whiskey!
Imagine seeing the ghosts of Billy the Kid and Jesse James
roam the dusty streets ready to start a gunfight;
see crowds gather and wait for the winner to shout...
it's like watching a Clint Eastwood's western movie drawing his guns!
WE WERE JUST KIDS WHEN WE STARTED OUR DESTINY,IN A WORLD GOING TO HELL.
WE BECAME WHAT WE WERE MEANT TO BE,WE NEVER COULD GO BACK TO WHAT WE WERE
BEFORE IT ALL BEGAN,WE HAD FRIENDS FOR COWARDS,KEPT TRYING TO TURN US IN FOR
MONEY,CAN'T YOU SEE THEY WERE NO GOOD AT ALL,WE WERE MEN IN A WORLD THAT
NEEDED OUTLAWS SO WE BECAME OUTLAWS ON THE RUN,I TOLD YOU WE WOULD BE
FAMOUS,JESSE CAN'T YOU SEE,WE SHARE THE NAME AND THE CAUSE,JESSE CAN'T YOU SEE
WE ARE FAMILY,OUR NAMES WILL LIVE ON THROUGH THE AGES,WE'LL NEVER BE
FORGOTTEN,CAUSE WE ARE OUTLAWS ON THE RUN
The Spade Ranch had the beef issue
For the Indians at Pine Ridge
And each time that he's take the herd
Mollie'd go along with Sid.
The Spade had been good to them
By now they numbered four,
The time had come for them to find
A ranch that was their own.
They took a homestead east of Gordon,
At last they had their chance.
And when Sid's brother joined them it became
The Irwin Brothers Ranch.
They later leased the Ross Ranch
And here was born child three,
A sickly little daughter
So delicate, so wee.
To complete their preemption
A homestead they did seek.
Southeast of Gordon near Lavaca,
Down by the Ol' Pole Creek.
Here a daughter and a son
Were added to their life,
Then fire struck and they were left
With hearts full of Strife.
For years they wandered here and there
Seeking out each lead
A hope or promise was all they asked
For their ailing daughters need.
Though the years were fruitless
And no cure was found
Their last child was born to them
A daugher in health abound.
Time took it's toil a short seventeen
Their daughter would laugh no more,
So many years they searched in vain,
And now their hearts were sore.
The long years over, at last they came home
To the hills so sandy and green
On a ranch south of Cody, down by the Niobrara,
So sparkling fresh and clean.
Sid first lost a son,
Then two weeks later his own Mollie too,
With two such blows he hung up his spurs
His cowboy days were through.
His life wasn't easy thought it was long
He died at age ninety-three
In the same sandy hills that a lad of fourteen
Once said, "You'll be home to me."
This poem first appeared in the Centennial Edition of the
Nebraska Cattleman Magazine.
It was at the National Finals Rodeo
The year was 1967, the place OKC
I had just turned three &
was excited as could be
to be behind the chutes watching
a ride that could make history
Freckles Brown was the cowboy
loaded up in chute two
Tornado was the bull he'd drawn
a meaner ride he'd never face
and when they threw the gate
a tremendous roar filled the place
when that blessed buzzer sounded
and they announced his score
Freckles stood as World Champion
out on that arena floor
Every little buckaroo who watched
Freckle's & Tornado fight
went home and rode the legs
off momma's kitchen chairs
that sweet December night
Me, I swaggered round
the back chutes & told
everyone who'd listen
That one day I'd ride like
the great Freckles Brown
In momma's eye, was that
a tear that glistened?
For I'd said before
that I'd ride one day
Did she think that I was fool'n?
Heck I might not be four yet
but I knew it was
something worth doing
So I tip my hat to Freckles Brown
and the rest of
The old timers, too
for they laid the path
that I ride now
and taught us all
a thing or two
Sidney Irwin, was his name,
From Texas he did come.
A lad of only fourteen years,
He's just begun to roam.
He joined his brother's cattle drive,
Along the Chisholm Trail
Pushing cattle to the North
To meet the shining rail.
Gently blew the knee deep grasses,
The waters crystal clear,
Though he was just a drover now,
He knew his heart was here.
His Mother back in Texas
Depended on her son.
The youngest of eleven
He's make this land her home.
He brought her to the Sandhills
Where a homestead she did claim
Around the region where the Spade Ranch
Later won it's fame.
The Spade needed a foreman,
Sid tried and got the job.
Though he was young he knew his stuff
And showed them he was boss.
For seven years he bossed these men
A hard and steady job.
He kept an average of sixty-five
Busy all year long.
As years went by Sid met a girl
Mollie was her name.
With sparkling eyes and lilting laugh,
This cowboy's heart she claimed.
He took her home back to the Spade.
This day it was so grand
She became the first white woman
To set foot upon Spade land.
The chickens scattered at the sight
Of skirts blown by the wind
Only the gentleness of her voice
Proved she was their friend.
She knew her work and did the job
Expected of Sid's wife,
And found the time to entertain
The countless dudes that arrived.
Part 2 follows
Tall Grass bends beneath
undulating waves of gray brown
Mystic energy pulses through
the crisp dawning sky
Smell of sweat & acrid fear
The sound of the hunt Cry
mixed with the thunderous crashing
of Buffalo waves on prairie sod shores
Pony & warrior riding the crest
Arrow loosed finds its mark
deep within Yansa chest
Hunter’s cry of triumph
In harmony with the last bellow of death
as the waves of the Yansa sea
ebb & flow across the Tall Grass plains
© June 2003
** Yansa is the Cherokee word for buffalo**
Try and Stop Em
Harold Roy Miller
The longhorns were getting hard to hold
as the thunderstorm came in fast and cold.
The dark black clouds were starting to hover
as the fretful steers made a sweep for cover.
The herd had started to drift asunder,
courtesy of the loud, clapping thunder.
The wailing wind sent up a deafening cry
as lightning streaked across the darkening sky.
The daring cowhand out riding lead
was trying to prevent a potential stampede.
The clashing horns validated his fears
as he tried to mill the leader steers.
Each pointer worked to keep the herd on course
with the expert help of his trusty horse.
And the panicked drovers who were riding swing
sent gunshots skyward with a ping.
But the struggling crew worked in vain
as the beeves took flight across the plain.
The lightning cracked, the thunder boomed;
any fallen horse or rider was doomed.
The buckaroos rode at breakneck speed
to escape the explosive, bawling stampede.
To the four winds the herd was scattered.
But life preservation was all that mattered.
It was a vivid, graphic scene
as I stared at the television screen.
Not wanting to see how many ended up dead,
I turned off the TV and went to bed.