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Cowboy People Poems | Cowboy Poems About People

These Cowboy People poems are examples of Cowboy poems about People. These are the best examples of Cowboy People poems written by international PoetrySoup poets

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Details | Cowboy | |

One of Texas's Best

“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


Details | Cowboy | |

Chance Encounter

   A thousand times I have heard, 
“There but for the Grace of God...” 
but until today that phrase, 
struck me as somewhat odd. 
 
   The old Cowboy who staggered by, 
was three sheets to the wind. 
but he swept off his hat before me, 
and at the waist did bend. 
 
   “Fair Lady, how goes your day?”, 
he asked as he deeply bowed, 
his face was flush, but his manner gentile, 
and he spoke clearly, though not loud. 
 
   The politeness of his question, 
had completely caught me off guard. 
I looked into his wind-burned face, 
and saw a look that was not hard. 
 
   “My day goes well, and thank you sir.” 
was my own courteous reply. 
As I gave a small curtsy and a smile, 
I saw a twinkle in his eye. 
 
   “Oh surely, Lovely Lady, 
you have truly made my day.” 
He put on his hat, caught his bearings, 
and sauntered on his way. 
 
   No one else along the street, 
looked directly at him or spoke. 
Some looked away, while others laughed, 
and and made him the point of their joke. 

   I alone had been blessed, 
only I knew what lay inside, 
for it had been revealed to me, 
what rumpled clothes and liquor hide. 
 
   I had seen a gentleman, 
a Cowboy tried and true, 
with manners most becoming, 
a Real Man, through and through. 
 
   I was allowed to look past the fact, 
that he was poorly dressed and shod, 
I had seen the inside of a Heart, 
and the Grace placed there by God.


Details | Cowboy | |

My Roots Run Deep

My roots run deep & strong here in this place you curse & scorn
I couldn’t think of a better place than here to have been born

you say this is a dead end town, where dreams whither & die
I know this town has nurtured my dreams, seen them soar & fly

You say the cowboy has left & gone, run off by urban sprawl
Yet every morning, I still hear the young calves bawl

you talk of crime run amok & people no one can trust
I choose my friends carefully & fight for the right & the just

You say this is no place to raise a child, that they’ll not learn respect
but its our job to raise them up, their course in life direct

You say that no one gives a damn about another’s plight
but I have seen this town come together to turn a wrong to right

You say this town holds you back & you will never gain success
I can feel her sing my praises as I aim to do my best

I will stay here in this valley & no matter where I roam
I know my roots run deep here & I will always come back home

Pack your bags & go on down the road in search of better grazing
One day you will come full circle & return here to your raising

For your roots run deep here too, though you may curse & shout
and roots, home & belonging are what life is all about


© October 2003


Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboys and Indians

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
   
     




Details | Lyric | |

Nashville, A Dog Gone Hit,

I left my hometown and didn't much look back,
headed southward bound in my Cowboy Cadillac,
arrived at this store to grab me some snacks,
Yea, they're right about this town, of how it really attracks,

Yea, here in the town called Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry's on TV,
They say it's the real deal, where upcoming singers need to be,
but I don't do much singing, 'cause the hound dogs howl at me,
though I sure hope it's worth bringing, my songs, for some to see,

I've got them on the internet, downloading them is free,
I haven't had any right connections yet, but I'm hoping patiently,
gonna find me country singer, try to pitch them a dog gone hit, 
like pitching a horseshoe ringer, you know you just can't quit,

Yea, here in the town of Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry's on TV,
they say it's the real deal, where even writers need to be,
no, I don't do much singing, 'cause the hound dogs howl at me,
but I sure hope it's well worth bringing, my songs, for some to see,

Yea, here in the town of Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry's on TV,
they say it's the real deal, where upcoming singers hope patiently,
Got some songs to pitch the singers, like me, they just can't quit,
like making a horseshoe ringer, knowing one of them could hit,

I've got them at Poetry Soup, where printing them is free,
log on in, enjoy the view, it's finger friendly as can be,
become a welcomed member, without any sort of fee,
no matter what's your gender, or your nationality,

Yea, here in the town of Nashville, where the Grand Ole Opry's on TV,
they say it's the real deal, where upcoming singers need to be,
Gonna find me a country singer, try to pitch them a dog gone hit,
like throwing a horseshoe ringer, knowing you just can't quit,

Yea, I left my hometown and didn't much look back,
headed southward bound in my Cowboy Cadillac,
arrived at this store to grab me some snacks,
Yea, they're right about this town, of how it really attracks.


Details | Cowboy | |

Borrowed time


 
God shows us tht our life we live is 
borrowed 
To live ur life cuz ur not gauranteed 
tomorrow
he recently made a mistake tht 
forever changed our life   
He took away my cousin after only 
12 yrs of life  
well never get chance to   to see wht 
he could b
y take away good people tht this 
world really  needs       
So many people choose to live the 
wrong way
They take life they were givin for 
granted every day         
I dont kno if I can ever move on and  
forgive 
that cuz his mistake my cousins life 
wa short lived 
I been thru so much tht my heart 
has gone numb
my aunt has to suffer thru life w out 
her son      
Id give anything for the chance 2 hv 
another day 
2 tell him how much hes truly 
missed day after  day
To kno tht hes touched our hearts in 
a special way
its not fair tht his life was dealt w 
unlucky fate
 He will never b forgotten hes 
changed our lives forever
Im thankful for the time we got to 
spend together
well always remember his 
unforgetable legacy
 tht he truly is an angel tht we were 
blessed to get to meet   
 Losin him makes me realize tht life 
is to short 
To c the good in me I never saw 
before      
Tht I should  b happy w the life god 
gave me
To finally show.people tht person I 
can b
 to remember life isnt gauranteed 
tomorrow      
To do sumthin good w the time he 
let u borrow 
I want to let him know tht he didnt 
die in vain
Tht his life here made the world a 
good place        well never forget the 
day  god took him to c
that special place tht only angels like 
him get to b


Details | Couplet | |

Fastest Gun In The West

<                                      Now hold on there Tex !
                                        Let me get     dressed  !


                                        Let me saddle up my horse
                                        To trollop around this Halloween course


                                        Got on my chaps
                                        My spurs and cowboy hat


                                       Replica's of forty five's
                                       Riding on my hips very high


                                       With lasso in my hand
                                       This little cowboy has a plan
                                       

                                  
                                      So all you ghost and goblins
                                      It's candies bounty I'll be coming an robbing

                              
                                      And I'll be taking  loot for mummy
                                      And for my daddy who has a bigger tummy










                                                  Happy Halloween To All
                                   Especially little tikes who are so cute and small





Entry For 
Skat's 
Halloween Costume Contest
G.L. All
                                      

 
                                      
                                       


                                     

                                     
                                       


Details | Cowboy | |

' As Old As East Of Eden ... (A Cowboy Song) Cowboy Poem # 15


          Tears - Are As Old
         … As East Of Eden

           Pain - Is As Old
         … As East Of Eden

          Woes - Are As Old
         … As East Of Eden …

That’s Why The Cowboy … Rides West
And Disappears, Into The Flaming Sunsets …     ( Gen. 3: 23, 24 )


Details | Cowboy | |

In the Long Ago & Used to Be

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


Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboy Legacy

There’s a legacy inside him,
As he sits upon his steed;
His heart is filled with honesty,
Not perjury or greed;

He rides the same old range,
That his father rode before;
And it’s been that way for forever,
A hundred years or more;

Pushin’ cattle, brandin’ calves,
That is a cowboy’s life;
Someday he may settle down,
And make some girl his wife;

He’s spent so many lonely nights,
Sleeping under the stars,
He hasn’t got a tattoo,
What he has are battle scars;

There’s a rip across his stomach,
From a rangy longhorn steer;
And even though it hurt like hell,
He never shed a tear;

He always outs on a brave face,
Emotions locked inside;
And for his cowboy heritage,
He feels only pride.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Urban Outlaw

Being the urban outlaw has its own rewards, especially when this vingilante-like person is helping the Marshall oficers capture the bad guys. It's just like a modern-day version of the Wild Wild West, except that the buildings (including the saloons) have closed down or whatever. When one of the urban outlaws are riding their horses into town, they're either greeted by the townsfolks or feared by them. What's so great about the urban outlaws in the Wild Wild West is that the cowboys are playing a lot of poker and drinking, but minus the alcoholic beverages, let alone whiskey. Everybody knows that the urban outlaws have their backs, especially when corruption rises in their towns. The urban outlaw has to abide the rules that society has handed to him, especially the townspeople. God only knows that cowboys and outlaws are either against each other or working together and stuff. All urban outlaws also love sleeping by campfires and riding their horses through the heated desert and by the riverbanks. Not only does the urban outlaw has a lot of adventures, even in the Wild Wild West, he also has the freedom to ride his horse anywhere, even in town. Those cowboys and outlaws should be very proud of themselves. But what is so great about being an urban outlaw most of all is when he's on the run from the bad guys who he had jailed, even better. Well, I guess that's how these people roll in the Wild Wild West. Right now, I find the cowboys, the urban outlaws, and the Wild Wild West very interesting, especially when he and/or she's outside of the city. It's also as if we're back in the year 1867. And if there are going to be modern-day urban outlaws and modern-day cowboys everywhere these people go, even in rual places like outside of Dallas and/or Albuquerque, that would be awesome for everybody, even me.


Details | Cowboy | |

Buckaroo Days

Hey there Buckaroo
what’s your hurry?
Momma hollered after
her pride ‘n joy

she smiled swiftly
as little boots clomped
with spurs jingle janglin’
across the kitchen floor

“Aw Momma, don’t worry!
I’ll be home before dinner
but I drew the rank bronc
It’s a sure winner!”

Then whistling Lil Joe
and roping the cat
her boy mounted up
on his trusty hobby horse

“Don’t slam the door”
She said with a laugh
has the hinges rattled
& the old screen door crashed

He was already gone
riding silver screen dreams
that old grey black hat
setting low on his ears

Hey there Lil Buckaroo
Don’t be in such a hurry
Time passes quick enough
You still have stick ponies to curry

Too soon you’ll grow tall
& become a young man
chasing girls & fast cars
enjoy your childhood while you can

In a blink of an eye
or faster than that
you’ll no longer wear  boots
toss a rope or wear that old hat

You’ll follow your own path
but where ever it leads
I hope you remember
Your Lil Buckaroo deeds

Hey Lil Buckaroo
slow down, what’s your hurry?
Don’t gallop too quickly
through these Buckaroo Days

© February 2003


Details | Cowboy | |

Lessons I Have Learned

A handshake speaks volumes, keep it firm & strong
Learn from your mistakes & admit when you're wrong
Stand your ground when you know you're right
Never drop your guard or waver in a fight

Never give up & put your best in all you do
Follow your heart & to yourself stay true
May every word match every deed
Always lend a hand to those in need

Things turn out better when you take time to pray
A light heart & hard work keep the storm clouds at bay
Hold your friends close for each is a treasure
In your family, look always for solace & pleasure

A light touch on the reins is only half the battle
Make sure you set deep & tall in the saddle
Treat horse & man with equal respect
When asked for advice, be kind but direct

There's a bright side to even the darkest day
You'll gain more from life if a smile leads the way
A true friend is one who cannot be bought
These are a few of the lessons I've been taught

By those who have guided me throughout my life
My  wellspring of wisdom to rely on in times of strife

© December 2003



Details | Cowboy | |

Things Change

Now, I find it kind of funny how quickly things change
Once was a time when everyone wanted a home on the range
A place where they had room to stretch & grow
Out where the cattle bawl & the west winds  blow

The city folk have all gone country or so they’d like to think
Why, there are new houses going up faster than you can blink
You remember that prime grazing lease? Take another look
Its looking more & more like an architect’s pop-up book

They come out here to escape all the big city worries & trouble
They said they weren’t concerned if their commute doubled
Now they are talking of bringing a super market in
And an increase in crime spreads our deputies thin

They thought that grazing cattle made a picture quite quaint
Now those same cows holding up traffic is an oft heard complaint
They throw out words like eco-friendly & enviromental plan
then scrape the land as clean as momma’s griddle pan

Yes, everybody wants a home out on the range
And I am just a cowboy trying to reconcile the change
I watch the valley whittled down into an urban scene
 and wish that I was back again in childhood fields of green

(c) Februaury 2004


Details | Rhyme | |

Kate's Place

"Well......Howdy, Cowboy!......So, where're ya' from?
A whiskey thirst?? I'll bring you one!
Dust off your hat, take off your spurs,
put down your gun, we'll share a word.
Or, perhaps you'd like a little more?
A little romp is a dollar more..., 
just up those stairs, and I'll be yours !!"

    (Don't hesitate to call her Kate
    She bets against the cowboy's fate
    and sings a song to make a dime
    to a tinny sound that haunts the mind
    She owns the joint, "ROTGUT SALOON"
    She totes a gun, she wears a smile
    She doesn't play by any rules!
    She smells of booze, and strong perfume
    Was burned by love, and kisses spurned, 
    Is cured of dudes, will turn a cheek
    Ya think she's sweet? Don't cross that street!
    Red satin dress, her bosom spills,
    a smoking gun, three strangers killed
    A painted face, a song to croon
    A sulky grit, can make them swoon... )

So who are these strangers, that circle the room?
They are drenched in their whiskey in the dust of the gloom,
drinking it straight, in the RotGut Saloon
where she holds all the power, counting new silver dollars
has a petticoat pistol, in the gambling squalor 
Don't hesitate, her name is Kate
But better wait....she's a lot to take
She bets against a cowpoke's stake, 
She'll make a bet against your fate !!



_________________________________
For Contest sponsored by Jerry T Curtis
"Town of Rotgut"  7/26/14


Details | Cowboy | |

WILD WOMAN OF THE WEST

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


Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboy Preservation

I cowboy on this acre here
To preserve the legacy I hold dear
This is the life I’ve chose to lead
In my children, I’ll plant a seed

They may one day choose city life
with its equal parts of glitz & strife
But deep in their hearts they’ll heed the truth
And hold fast to the teachings of their youth

Along with their ties & suits
I’ll bet you they’ll wear cowboy boots
Though far & wide, I know they’ll roam
This ranch will always pull them home

For on this acre that you see
Was instilled in them a cowboy legacy
I’ll cowboy on this acre here
for it’s the bond that keeps them near


© August 2003






Details | Cowboy | |

Where The Buffalo Roam

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 


Details | Cowboy | |

The Lone Ranger, Tad & Me

Riding the quarter slot pony
at Woolworth’s five & dime
Would send this half pint cowgirl
back to another time

I was Calamity Jane riding hell bent
to bring the US mail,
Annie Oakley, with dead eye aim,
shooting lint specks off a nail,

In my games of Cowboy & Indian
everyone would win
The Lone Ranger & Tonto
were my two bestest friends

Out in the back yard,
on my old swing set
I created memories
that I will never forget

I would swing & sing for hours
loud enough for the world to hear
I rode the meanest broncs
never showed a bit of fear

I dreamed of Being like Tad or Fox
Weren’t nobody putting me in a china box
while momma dreamed of frills & lace
In my dreams, I always rode ahead of the race

I always wore a white hat
& never lost a fight
Evil wore a black hat
& a heart as black as night

I find myself wishing
more often here of late
That I could return again
to that childhood age of eight

When everything made more sense
& innocence wasn’t lost
I wonder, if I turned back time,
what would be the cost?


© April 2005


Details | Cowboy | |

Rodeo's Renegade Roses

Gather ‘round younguns, there is a story to be told
About some renegade cowgirls & their ride for the gold
They made it look so easy, feathers, flowers & a smile.
Guts & grace, they had plenty, quitting wasn't their style

They snugged up their riggin' & grabbed for air
Winning Champion titles with style & flair
If Lucas, Krieg & Greenough hadn't led the way
Would any of us be here in the arena today?

Henderson, Riley, Hastings & Creed
To the "Men Only" rule they all paid no heed
They broke records & bones, faced derision & fear
Riding Broncs, Raising families, they juggled home & career

Nasty wrecks were a given but they seemed to bounce back
In one unforgettable event, Tad's girl picked up the slack
From Calgary & Cheyenne to OKC & San Antone
Though there are many others, these ladies stand alone

Hat's off to the Rodeo's Renegade Roses
At tradition they turned up their noses
Bronc busting, trick riding, a rough riding ballet
They showed us how to win & made it look like play

They were never reckless, just a bit wild & bold
Now its up to you & me to see their stories told
They left mighty big boots to fill, bless them one & all
We know that they ride with us, as we heed the siren's call

Lift a glass high in honor for those who paved the way
Three cheers for the Renegade Roses still bucking out today


Details | Cowboy | |

Cherokee Summer

Paint ponies by the lodge
White manes

Turned silver in the moon’s glow
Taste of Mother Earth

Burden baskets hang at the door
They hold many seasons

Of worries & fears
The night owl comes

He sings the death song
Your time here has ended

The West door beckons you
Night Owl grows silent

© March 1984



In Memory of Jacob Michael MacCallister
March 18, 1957 ~ January 26, 1983


Details | Cowboy | |

First True Friends

You see that man over there
sitting stern faced in his chair?
Look closer, see that twinkle in his eye?
That's a glimpse of softness that you spy 

You see that woman laughing there
dancing eyes & witty air?
Look closer, see the iron & grit?
That's a glimpse of strength, wrapped like a gift
 
They made me who I am today
tightened the reins when I went astray
The calming center in a teenage storm
The home fires that still keep me warm 

He gave me the gift of discipline & control
She is the sunshine that fills my soul
He taught me young of the cowboy ways
She set my passion for words ablaze 

He taught me to be fair & just
She showed me kindness was a must
He showed me how to draw respect
She taught me to rely on humor & intellect 

A parent must first be your teacher
sometimes judge, jury & preacher
Their wisdom guided me in my youth
They guide me still, to tell the truth 

(c) August 2003


Details | Cowboy | |

Life Worn Heart

“A Cowboy is born with a broken heart”
I once heard someone say
But it’s life’s travails
that make it seem that way
Just settle back & lend an ear 
I will see if I can explain

Its every “good bye” left unspoken
every tear that’s never shed
It’s the pride you just can’t swallow
every apology left unsaid
It’s the emptiness & sorrow
you carry with you on life’s trails

It was in the way back years
must have been six or seven
I watched a strong man crumble
When I saw my Daddy cry
He’d just come from burying Grandpa
Never got to say Good Bye

We lost the ranch when I was eight
and though his dream had failed
I watched my Daddy shoulder on
Never buckling under the weight
He altered course & tried again
Heart worn & weary but he prevailed

When I was but a woman child
True love found, my forever friend
We’d talked of “Through Forever”
He rides in Heaven’s arena now
True love’s bonds the veil can’t sever
All to soon I lost him to a Brahma wild

A Cowboy’s heart isn’t broken at the very start
It’s the unspoken words and unshed tears
Its all those lonely midnight memories
that creates a Life Worn Heart

(c) January 2004


Details | Cowboy | |

THANKS

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


Details | Cowboy | |

Ancient Echoes

As I stand here at the rim, father sun comes peeking
all around me I can hear the old ones speaking

Journey Deeper

The trail draws me down into the womb of Mother Earth
and from the canyon walls the sounds of childish mirth

Journey Deeper

standing, bone drenched, under a waterfall so tall it seems to wash the sky
I hear the ancient courting flute, as ancient lovers sigh

Journey Deeper

slowly I work my way to the rushing waters at her heart
I hear the anguished cries of the men who’ll never depart

Journey Deeper

I sit beside the river’s edge, & search the canyons of my mind
and lose myself in the ancient voices, echoes of mankind

Journey Deeper


© June 2003


Details | Cowboy | |

Tucson to Texas

She says she feels the safest standing in the pouring rain
But it could rain for forty years and never wash away the pain
The bitter taste of grief will always be hers to swallow
Since she lost her heart's desire to that blessed curse called Rodeo

"Just one more ride & I'll be on my way, never more to roam"
now she wanders through an empty house that'll never be a home
how she longs to hear him whistling as he comes through the door
instead the silence is deafening & it tears her to the core

She wishes she could turn back time & stop the hand of fate
now he sleeps up on the hill & she will have to wait
to whisper soft "I love you" or one last "good bye"
she wonders if he hears her, as she silently asks "Why?"

That Brahma wasn't lined out for that chute that day
The rigging that he'd used was new, a present on Christmas Day
It wasn't anything down & dirty, just an exhibition ride
one quick show for the kids & he'd be back with his new bride

Now she sleeps in his old work shirt and dreams of his embrace
she fingers his battered Stetson & pictures his smiling face
No matter where she turns "He's gone" is all she hears
and stretching from Tucson to Texas, you'll find a trail of tears 

(c)August 2002









Details | Cowboy | |

Rodeo

Silhouettes and cowboy hats...stake their claim in time..
with cowboy boots and western suits...we also find...
those leather chaps, western tools, and those rodeos...
where cowboys ride those crazy bulls that go bucking to and fro...

Where wild bull heads are dropped and swaying...
as spurs rake bounding hides...
While the fans in the stands are saying...
"Ride'em cowboy ride!"...

Where cowboys are the shining stars in country western design...
as wild bulls and broncos full of spirit are the bucking ones of time...
Where spurs are often used on wild natures kind...
Yea, those wild rodeos are like a TV in the mind....

Where bronco heads are dropped and swaying...
as spurs rake bounding hides...
While the fans in the stands are saying...
"Ride'em cowboy ride!"...

Silhouettes and cowboy hats...stake their claim in time...
Cowboy boots and western roots...everywhere we find...
that cowboys are the shining stars in country western design...
and those great wild rodeos are like a TV in the mind...

Where wild bull heads are dropped and swaying...
as spurs rake bounding hides...
Where the fans in the stands are saying...
"Ride'em cowboy ride!"...

Where bronco heads are dropped and swaying...
as spurs rake bounding hides...
Where the fans in the stands are saying....
"Ride'em cowboy ride!"....

Yea, cowboys are the shining stars riding wild natures kind...
And those great wild rodeos are like a TV in the mind.


Details | Cowboy | |

Burlap & Barb Wire

That's why you have boot straps, she's heard the old vaqueros say
But she'd throw away all her tomorrows for one single yesterday 
She wishes deep down for a better day somewhere down the road
But for now the grief, loneliness & tears make a heavy load
She's much too young to carry the burden she's been thrown
But there is no other choice, she will push through on her own
She'll ride to hell & back again trying to outrun the pain
But no matter how far she rides, he'll not come home again
Her very own Cowboy Charming, a fairytale come true
Until a cruel twist of fate painted her world faded denim blue
How long will she replay that single moment in time?
A day & forever, she'll still find no reason or rhyme
She has tasted love's passion & felt its cruel sting
Felt both the elation & misery that only true love can bring
She once carried her heart like a balloon, bright & airy
Now she locks it away deep inside & is wary
She's sworn never again to give in to desire
Now, its covered with burlap 
& wrapped in barb wire 

(c) October 2003


Details | Cowboy | |

Time Flies

You’ve just been born.
You’re a brand new kid.

When you first learned to walk
you stumbled a bit.
When you didn’t get your way
you threw your 2 year old fit.

Now you’ve started kindergarten
And you’re learning how to add 2+2.
You’re so excited about your first field trip
to the zoo.

Now you have just started 8th grade
and your trying to find yourself.
But remember that your destiny isn’t found on 
any bookshelf.

You are now 18 and your
at your graduation.
Your not sure which college you should go to,
maybe somewhere across the nation.

You’re now 32 years old 
and you are married and have 2 kids.
You watch them walk
 and stumble. You watch them
throw a fit.
You watch them as they tell you all about their
first field trip.

You watch them find themselves
and you watch them
 at their graduation.
You watch as they get older
and have their own kids to watch
in anticipation.


Details | Cowboy | |

'The Cowboy On The Battlefield ... ' (Cowboy Poem # 12)

Young Cowboy On The Battlefield
Remembered His Mama’s Words
‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
Her Voice Echoed, As He Heard …

Rapid-Fire and Revolution
Missiles, Right and Left
Bomb-Blasts and Confusion
… and Silent Tears, He’s Wept

… Every Day, A Minefield
Every Night, A Raid
Every Moment, A Terror
Trying to Make Him Afraid …

Any Second, A Horror
Of A Buddy, Laid To Rest
Every New Tomorrow
Wondering, What’s Next ?

The Cowboy On The Battlefield
Vigilant and Brave
Stood Ramrod Tall and Terse …
Looking At Her Grave …

‘Just Make It Home, Son … ‘
… Echoed Thru His Brain
‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
… Echoed Thru The Rain

And Just Before She Was Laid To Rest
She Said, ‘Just Make It Home, Son …’
And With Those Last Words, She Blessed,
And Said, ‘I’ll Be Waiting, When You Come …’

                    * * * *

… Old Cowboy, On The Battlefield
Remembers His Mama’s Words
‘Just Make It Home, Son … 
… and We’ll Celebrate Our Return …


Of  Note:  In The Words Of A Lady Rocker,
Pat Benatar:   ‘Love Is A Battlefield’
(but I Say, 'Life Is A Battlefield'


Details | Cowboy | |

Yansa Sea

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**


Details | Cowboy | |

Once Upon a Time in the West

Now, I find it kind of funny how quickly things change
Once was a time when everyone wanted a home on the range
A place where they had room to stretch & grow
Out where the cattle bawl & the west winds blow

The city folk have all gone country or so they’d like to think
Why, there are new houses going up faster than you can blink
You remember that prime grazing lease? Take another look
It’s looking more & more like an architect’s pop-up book

They come out here to escape all the big city worries & trouble
They said they weren’t concerned if their commute doubled
Now they are talking of bringing a super market in
And an increase in crime spreads our deputies thin

They thought that grazing cattle made a picture quite quaint
Now those same cows holding up traffic is an oft heard complaint
They throw out words like eco-friendly & environmental plan
Then scrape the land as clean as momma’s griddle pan

Yes, everybody wants a home out on the range
And I am just a cowboy trying to reconcile the change
I watch the valley whittled down into an urban scene
And wish that I was back again in childhood fields of green


Details | Cowboy | |

T-Bone

T-Bone was our camp cook
when we went on the trail,
whiskered an' b-grizzled
with a wit that never failed.

He took no guff from anyone,
not even the boss man,
'cause he controlled his eaten too
when he rattled those tin pans.

He made bakin' powder biscuits
'n beans most ever' day,
an' swore the meal was hardy
an' kept hunger pains away.

He always brewed black coffee,
you could cut it with a knife,
an' had a squaw he took along,
he claimed she was his wife.

We'd cross wide open prairie
an' ford the ragin' stream,
while T-Bone would maneuver
that bedraggled two-mule team.
                         
Chuck wagon, he kept well supplied,
not only with our grub,
but also with some medicines,
liniments, an' rub.

He allowed we tie our horses
to the wagon wheels to eat,
if we was still on duty,
an' not long upon our feet.

That cook was most obligin'
in the middle of a storm,
he'd break out extra blankets
just to try an' keep us warm.

Sometimes we'd get to teasin'
an' call him Mother Hen,
'cause he always was a fussin'
an' keepin' track a men.

They say ol' T-Bone's mother 
was a barroom girl from town,
an' he never had no daddy,
at least, none come around.

But he musta had some learnin'
'bout the good Lord up above
'cause our cooky was a Godly man
that filled his heart with love.

We laid the man to rest today
an' many tears was shed,
'cause ever'one loved T-Bone,
an' hate the fact he's dead.


Details | Cowboy | |

STILL ALIVE ‘N KICK'N

Cowboys are a rough lot
Full of grit & fight
Hard to keep a hold of
Slip off into the night
Ride hell bent for leather
Freezing rain or blazing sun
Texas drought or blinding snow
Will find them riding
week in & week out
When they give their word
there's no doubt 
They ain't worried about Wall street
Or the latest gossip spoke in town
They've got cattle to doctor
and miles of fence to pull
Cowboys are a dying breed
So I've heard it said
But we're still alive & kick'ng
Please don't bury us ‘til we're dead 


Details | Narrative | |

A Blessing In The Heat (Part I)

It was 105 degrees that Texas day, and in the asphalt parking lot where we were performing it seemed like 150. But I was glad to be there. I had been invited to perform at a Cowboy Gathering in Weatherford, Texas and I had come there for one reason only...because Larry McWhorter was supposed to be there performing too. I had his tape at home and I was a huge fan of his work. After my set, I was approached by a lady who introduced herself as Andrea. She told me how much she liked my work and that she wanted me to come sit with her in the audience because her husband wanted to meet me and that he had a surprise for me.

We sat down in front of the stage and they introduced Larry McWhorter. I was thrilled that I was going to get to see him in person. His works stands high among the true greats of Cowboy Poetry and I identify with him because he is the "Real Deal," just like the men I grew up among. As I sat there Larry spoke to the audience. He told them that he had enjoyed my poem "Mustangs." I was thrilled! Larry McWhorter was talking about my work! He went on to say how he had worked in the part of Oklahoma I am from and that he had a particular poem about that area, that he was going to do it now and that he was dedicating it to me, the only Oklahoman performing there. He then recited Johnny Clare.

Of all the poems in the world, this is my number one favorite. I have stood at the grave of Johnny Clare. I have heard the stories about him since I was a teenager and a friend's uncle told us about him. While Larry recited, nothing else existed in this world. There was no background noise from the festival, the temperature didn't matter...all there was in the world were the words he spoke of an Oklahoma Cowboy.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Revelation

"I saw heaven standing open 
and there before me was a white horse…" 

Revelation 19:11 

I’ve talked to many a good man 
facing his own end 
And pretty much they all wonder 
about the same thing 
Will passing thru that final gate 
put an end to things we love 
Will we all hang up our cowboy rigging 
when we see the dove. 

And, well I’ve begun to wonder 
when I’m called before the throne 
And stand and face my deeds on earth 
and do my best to atone 
As I stand there in Stetson hat 
and rusty, bent spurs 
Will I be bunched with the righteous 
or will I be corralled with the curs. 

But, then I’m a wondering, 
what about my way of life? 
Will I still be a cowboy, 
will my way be filled with strife? 
Will I have to sell my saddle?   
Will I give up my puncher ways? 
If I can’t cowboy, 
how will I fill up my heavenly days? 

But, then I remember reading in Revelation, 
chapter 19, eleventh verse 
And my heart is filled with happiness, 
ain’t no reason now to curse. 
Cuz the good book tell us all, 
we’ll be cowboying up in paradise 
Riding herd for the real King Ranch, 
punching cows and doing right. 

Cus it’s written in the Bible, 
you all can now stay the course 
“I saw heaven standing open 
and there before me was a white horse” 
So, I’ll grab my old saddle 
and swing it up on that critter's back 
And ride that heavenly range forever, 
me, that white horse and my old kack. 

G.Casey Allen 
© July 25, ‘03


Details | Cowboy | |

Church Going Folk

I'm a religous man, but I don't go to church
I tried a few times,
They said I wasn't welcome in the clothes I wore,
I smelled of horse, my boots tracked mud.
The Good Lord, apparently, likes His church folk clean

I Smiled as sweet as can be, 
And told those folks that was just fine with me.
I rode everyday in the Lords house, 
The wide open range. 
I was welcome there, 
Wether I had showered that day or not.
And everyday, I felt the Lord whisper in my ear, 
Through a soft breeze.
I heard Him answer my prayers,
I saw what they had never seen,
Witnessed the Lord start life, 
Bring it forth,
And usher it back out again. 
I saw the wisdom in living the Lord gives,
and I saw beauty beyond compare.
I rode beside those who judged not,
And judged them not myself.
I told them clean church folk,
I respect the Lords house, 
But I doubted it was He who refused me for want of good clothes,
I saw Him everyday, 
and everyday He welcomed me,
beneath warm sun and endless sky.
But I would ask Him, 
when my time came, 
if His house was as clean as all that.
Perhaps I'd put in a good word for those who'd refused me,
in their ignorance.
The Lords house is everywhere,
I may not be indoors when I pray, 
But that just cuts the confusion, 
With no ceiling to muffle my prayers.

I'm a religous man, 
But no church do I call mine, 
But the Lords wide open spaces,
The beauty he created,
No man made structure cases my prayers, 
and to no man do I bow,
But everyday the Good Lord finds me in awe of his creation,
An appreciation many folks fail to find indoors.


Details | Cowboy | |

Cowboy Attitude

I’ve seen a lot of tee-shirts lately, 
That say “Get a Cowboy Attitude”, 
But the fellows who were wearing them, 
Appeared to be plain rude. 
 
They think that being a Cowboy, 
Is a swagger in your walk, 
And a dip in your lip, 
And a drawl when you talk. 
 
They think it means a high dollar horse, 
And a trailer with a tack, 
And a forty thousand dollar pick-up, 
With vanity plates on the back. 
 
They think a seventy-five dollar shirt, 
And a Stetson with a fancy band, 
Are all that it takes to make, 
The measure of a man. 
 
But being a Cowboy, 
Ain’t necessarily what you ride, 
It’s what you believe, 
It’s who you are inside. 
 
It’s looking past the problems, 
To further down the road, 
It’s standing up for others, 
And living by The Code. 
 
It’s giving more than your share, 
It’s doing what is right, 
It’s knowing how to appreciate things, 
By taste, or feel, or sight. 

It’s knowing that it’s not necessary,  
To be Politically Correct, 
That either you do, or you don’t, 
Deserve your ounce of respect. 
 
It’s knowing the definition of Freedom, 
The Responsibility that it brings, 
It’s Heart and Soul and Strength and Grit, 
And even more than just those things... 
 
It’s wearing what is practical, 
And even if you’re money poor, 
If you really are a Cowboy, 
You’re rich in Something More. 
 
Because being a Cowboy, 
Isn’t something that you learn, 
It’s putting your shoulder to it, 
It’s the one thing that you EARN. 
 
So, when you see a fella’, 
Wearing his “cowboy attitude”, 
You can know that he’s a “wanna’ be”, 
Or maybe just a dude. 
 
As for the Real Cowboy? 
Well, you’ll know him by the look in his eyes, 
And he’ll be the one wearing plain clothes, 
‘Cause he don’t have to advertise.


Details | Cowboy | |

Concrete Cowboy

   He was born too late to be, 
What he knows he is in his soul, 
And though he’s quite accomplished, 
Sometimes he doesn’t feel quite whole. 
 
   He’s a lawman of sorts, 
Born out of his time, 
Trying to uphold basic beliefs, 
As an example for others to toe the line. 
 
   And he rides an iron horse, 
And though it’s not a muscled steed, 
It gets him where he’s going, 
Whenever there’s a need. 
 
   They say, sometimes he’s crazy, 
Plumb out of his mind, 
Searching, for something, 
They say he’ll never find. 
 
   He rides the asphalt prairie, 
Through the heat and through the cold, 
Just a Concrete Cowboy, 
In search of Days of Old. 
 
   He believes in rescuing maidens, 
Stuck beside the road, 
And he wouldn’t have it any other way, 
Than to live by a Code... 
 
   “Do what’s right by every man, 
And never compromise, 
Be good to little children, 
“Cause life is a surprise.” 
 
     Stuck between buildings, 
Of metal, brick and glass, 
The only time he sees green pastures, 
Is when he cuts the grass. 
 
   Looking for a way out, 
To a place that’s in his dreams, 
Only other Cowboys, 
Would ever know what he means. 
 
   When he says he’s headed someplace, 
Where he’ll race the open sky, 
Only other Cowboys, 
Understand the reason why... 
 
   Why he rides an Iron Horse,  
For all the world to see, 
It’s his one last chance to go back, 
To a time when he was free. 
 
   Loyal in his heart, 
To those who have gone before, 
He scans the horizon, 
Looking for that open door. 
 
   In the company of Ghost Riders, 
In the roaring of the engine and the wind, 
He searches for his destiny, 
Old lovers and old friends. 
 
   Galloping across the miles,  
One day he’ll reach the open sky, 
Many, will see him pass, 
But only other Cowboys will sigh, 
 
   Because he rides an Iron Horse, 
Through time reflected in the glass, 
Riding towards the future, 
In an effort to reach the past.                                   


Details | Cowboy | |

' The Cowboy And Clouds ... ' (Cowboy Poem # 13)

The Cowboy In The Storm-Cloud
Thunder, Is His Horse
Rearing-Up and Neighing Loud
Aimed Lightning Crack, With Force

Cowboy In A Sun-Cloud
Chase Bad-Guys Away
Pearl-Handled, 6-Shooter, Pow, Pow, Powed !
 and Light Posse, Saved The Day

A Cowboy On A Star-Cloud
The Marshal Of A Moon
Galaxy-Badge-Vowed, to Cosmic-Crowd
 Uphold Law, Light-Years-Away at High Noon !


Details | Cowboy | |

Sage & Thorn

From a Cowboy heart is born
Poets of the sage & thorn
We speak so all the world might see
The cowboy life, our legacy
Whether in the city raised
Or with the cattle as they grazed
You're transported swiftly back in time
When gathered to hear a cowboy rhyme
To wild & western days now past
Slowing a world which moves so fast
We offer our memories as a gift
hoping that your spirits lift
We are all Cowboy bred & born
Poets of the sage & thorn 


Details | Cowboy | |

' Outlaw Ballad ... ' (Part 2 of 2) (Cowboy Poem # 9)

Nuthin’, But Trouble and Texas-Tuff
But for You – Stuff’s About To Get Rough
By Now, You Should Have Had Enough
Now, Make Your Choice, Hang ‘Em High, or Cuffs ? …
          … Come Out With Your Hands Us ! …

            Outlaw !
Are You That Hot-Bloodied, Heart Killer ? …
            Outlaw !
Well, You Look A Lot Like Him, Mister …
            Outlaw !
… by the way, that You Kissed Her …
        You’re An Outlaw !

Beneath Stars or by Light Of The Moon
I’m Riding Fast … Will Catch Up Soon
Midnight … Will Be Our Stroke Of High Noon
I Stand-Steady … I Will Not Swoon …
          … This Is Your Once In A Blue Moon ! …

Chorus: 

… and Outlaw ! … I’m Calling You Out !
Outlaw ! … Come Out, Of Your Hide-Out !
      Outlaw ! … There Is No Doubt …
            … You’re My Outlaw …

       Outlaw ! … I’m Bringing You In !
  … You’ll Never Ride The Range Again
        Outlaw ! … ‘Cause Only Then …
       … You’ll Be My Outlaw … Outlaw !


Details | Cowboy | |

' Outlaw Ballad ... ' (Part 1 of 2) (Cowboy Poem # 9)

You Rode Into My Town
Gunned all The Lonely Deputies Down
Blew-Up The Bank Of Trust, In Our Face …
Where, There Was Hope … Is Now Empty Space …
               … Now, I Gotta Chase You ! …

        Outlaw !
Armed and Dangerous
        Outlaw !
Jesse James, Would Be Jealous
  … of You – Outlaw !
You’re Outrageous …
… and You’re An Outlaw ! …

Stealing Hearts, Like They Was Gold
… Silver Bullets, Are The Lies, You Told
Just A Masked-Man, Running Away …
No Longing-Arms, Can Make You Stay
                 … This Is Where You Pay (Now) ! …

        Outlaw !
# 1 On Our Wanted List …
        Outlaw !
They Told Me You Never Miss ! …
        Outlaw !
… In A Duel, or A Quick Kiss …
… You’re An Outlaw !

Rustlin’ Cows and Cheating at Cards
Done Knocked Down, Many A Weak and Off-Guard
I Will Chase You Long and Hard
To Show You, How It Feels To Be Scarred …
                  … My Personal Reward ! …

        Outlaw !
$ 10,000.00 Reward
        Outlaw !
A Dollar, For Each Broken Heart
        Outlaw !
… Better Get A Head-Start …
        Outlaw !

Chorus:

Oh, I didn’t do Anything / That’s What All Outlaws Sing!
Oh, I didn’t do Anything / Then, This is Just A Real Bad Dream!
Oh, I didn’t do Anything / Stop! … Then, Where’s Her Dadgum Ring? …
                                Outlaw …

You Avoid Honor, Like A Hangman’s Noose
Out There, Wild and Still Running Loose
Wanted Posters, Up On Every Wall
When They Look At It … Tears Just Fall …
                   … You’re A Real Quick-Draw ! …

        Outlaw !
Look At That Brim …
        Outlaw !
Cocked-Low, Like A Trigger-Rim …
        Outlaw !
… Yeah, That’s Him ! …
 … It’s The Outlaw ! …

This is Showdown For Nerves-On-Edge
No More Hide-Outs; Not Another Hedge
No More Ladies, Lying On A Ledge
No More Lies, Or A Broken Pledge …
                   … See This Badge !!! …

        Outlaw !
I Shoot Straight From A Curve-Hip …
        Outlaw !
You Won’t Get To Give Me The Slip …
        Outlaw !
You’re Gonna Get Wild-Whipped …
        Outlaw !

Chorus:

Girl, I Know You’re Hurtin’ / But He Was Only Flirtin’
Luv, Stop Your Crying / Break Free From His Lying
Hon, I’m Doing You A Favor / He Ain’t Never Gonna Put No Ring On Your Finger …
                           He’s An Outlaw ! 

                           (Part One of Two)


Details | Cowboy | |

' It Was A Cowboy Knight ... ' (Cowboy Poem # 6)

… Year 2009’ In North America
Knights of Old, Still Ride in Shining Armor
Still Living Life, by Honor and A Test
Ain’t You Heard of:  ‘ The Code of The West ’ ?

Ain’t Talking ‘bout some Hidden Outlaw-Band
… Just, The Open, Honest, Whole-Hearted Brand
The Ones, That Do Right afore Might
… They, Are The True, Cowboy Knights …

Always Saving Some Damsel in Distress
In a Trail of Dust … They Leave The Rest
They’re Keeping Chivalry, Polished Bright
… May The Lord Love … Cowboy Knights

A Noble Breed and Ladies Delight
Stand Tall ‘nuff, to Keep Love-In-Sight
Taking Care of Business and Disputes
Ain’t You Ever Heard of John Wayne, ‘The Duke’ ?

Yep, They Got Valor Enough, to Deal With Danger
Just Like A Legendary Texas Ranger
And if it’s The Last Man Standing, In A Fight …
… You Know … It Was A Cowboy Knight …

… Riding On A Quest, Thru The Wind
Some Woman, They gon’ Claim and Defend
Wearing A Hat and A Cocky-Grin
… ‘Cause, They Know They’re Gonna’ Win

… Riding Off Into A Blazing Sunset
Just Like That, You Ain’t Never Gon’ Forget
You Think of Them On Some Lonely Night …
… Yes Mam’ … It Was A Cowboy Knight !

So, ‘fore You Put On ‘The Coat-of-Arms, Clothes
There’s One Oath, Every Man Should Know
‘Fore You Take The Hat and Boots On To Begin
… Make Sure You Live Up To The Legend …

And May Your Humble Heart, Strive for the Height
if Kneeling, to be Dubbed … A Cowboy Knight …

For You Tim Ryerson... Cause Like A Cowboy
Your Mind Rides The Range Everywhere and
Roundsup Words For Our Enjoyment - 
Sometimes Quirky, sometimes Colorful, 
or Substantial and Uniquely Your Spin on It ...

Your Poet-Pal, MoonBee


Details | Cowboy | |

Bronc Buster Boogie

The Bronc Buster’s Boogie is danced every day
From Calgary & Cheyenne to way down Arizona Way

You size up your bucking partner & set your rigging right
Then settle in for a wild dance, make sure you hold on tight

That boogie begins with a 3/4 beat, as you & that bronc start to spin
Him with a mind to send you soaring & you with a mind to win

Three bone jarring leaps & a hoof tap tango, as that bronc heads for the sky
That bronc has a lot of fire & heart & that Cowboy, a lot of try

Your eyes are focused between his ears, every muscle tensed & strained
If you have to ask why its done, there ain’t no need to explain

You pitch & sway to a rhythm & a song only heard by the bronc & you
When that buzzer sounds, with a leap of faith, you soar in to the deep wide blue

So plays out the Bronc Buster Boogie in arenas big & small
The roar of the crowd after a winning ride is the sweetest music of all


Details | Cowboy | |

WILD STICKHORSE REMUDA

   Ponytails and blue jeans 
Sat at Papaw's knee, 
Watching as he whittled 
On old branches from a tree. 
    And while he talked of cowboys 
And big old Texas ranches, 
He trimmed away the rough spots, 
While I dreamed of pony dances. 

     A wild stick horse remuda 
Began to run and play,
With every loving stroke,  
As he peeled the bark away.
     Using his "Old Timer"  
And carving in my brand, 
The best that he could find
And cut and shape with his own hand. 

     Now, each one of them was special,
And I felt I was too, 
As they kicked up dust behind 
This cowgirl buckaroo. 
     With reins of pink hair ribbon, 
Shoe strings and baling twine, 
There was "Buckin' Birch" and "Oakie," 
And "Ole Sticky" made of pine, 

     "Sassafras," and "Blackjack," 
"Willow," "Blaze," and "Scat," 
I never did corral 'em -- 
I just left 'em where they sat. 
     But next mornin', on the front porch, 
'stead of roamin' wild and free, 
They'd found their hitchin' rail, 
‘cause Papaw lined 'em up for me. 
  
     Along our trails together 
There were many lessons learned, 
Like bein' a cowboy through and through 
Is something that you earn 
     We'd partner up together, 
And team up in cahoots,
Once he defied my Mama,
Bought me red cowboy boots. 

     And often, when I wondered 
What to do on down the road, 
He'd always tell me, "little girl, 
When you get there you will know," 
     Sometimes you have to let things go, 
Sometimes you stand and fight, 
And anything worth doin', 
Is still worth doin' right. 

     With my wild stick horse remuda, 
We rode the range for miles, 
I knew I'd won my Papaw's heart 
By the way he'd laugh and smile, 
     I still have his sweat-stained Stetson, 
His boots, and his old knife, 
Sometimes I take them out 
Just to measure up my life. 
      
     And hold him closer to my heart, 
And know I have to try, 
To live up to the honor 
Of the wonder-days gone by. 
     On my stick horse remuda,
I learned the cowboy way, 
I’d give up everything I own 
To ride with him today. 

    My wild stick horse remuda 
Was quite the varied band, 
Born and bred with me in mind 
And trained by his own hand. 
     I’m longing for the legends, 
And the way we used to roam, 
With my wild stick horse remuda, 
And the man that we called "Home." 



Details | Cowboy | |

' It Was A Cowboy Knight ... ' (Cowboy Poem # 5)

I Saw The Tall, Lone-Star
Walk in the Café-Bar
With Silver, Jingling Spurs
… I Knew, What They Were …

… with Boots, Bluejeans and The Chaps
and Big-Belt-Buckle, Above His Lap
and The Hung-Low-Brim, Cowboy Hat
(just a new type of Visored-Helmet)

Heard that Gentlemanly Courtesy
‘Mam’ … That’s Just Chivalry 
And Lasso … instead of a Lance
… but same Skill … Same Bold Stance

His Armor’s, that Shiny Truck
(yeah, They Do Love Their Pick-Ups!)
But, Can Still Ride A Steed
Whenever, They Feel The Need

So, I Know, That’s Not Just A ‘Mister’
‘ That ’ … Is A Dad-Gum’ ‘ Sir ’
Maybe Even A Champion For Right
After All … It Was A Cowboy – Knight …


Details | Narrative | |

A Blessing In The Heat (Part 2)

Johnny Clare is an example of many a young man who Cowboy'd in the truest sense of the word. He did a job. He did it well. Though he met an untimely end, his life did not go unnoticed. Continental Oil Company put up a monument to a young man who worked for them, but Larry McWhorter's words made him real. The essence of who he was is immortalized in that poem. It is more than a poem about one Cowboy...it is a poem about every Cowboy who ever rode for the Brand. It is a poem about the heart and soul of men who built our country through hard work and sacrifice. It is a poem about one man's basic belief that time may march on, but those everyday Cowboys like Johnny Clare will not be forgotten. The monument stands as a reminder of "where," but Larry McWhorter's words stand as a reminder of "why." His words, a tribute to the spirit of man and a lesson on how to live what you love.

I cried that day. Tears of joy for having shared this moment with Larry and Andrea; for having one of my heroes of Cowboy Poetry recognize me and for his gift of words to me. We have been friends since. I love and respect him and Andrea; because they are good, kind, strong people of the land with deep conviction in their faith and strong relationship with the Savior. They live each day with grace, they give that grace to others and they make all strangers friends. Proud am I that I know them. Lucky am I that I got to go to Weatherford, Texas that day.

I have learned that it's not the trail we ride, but the tracks we leave behind for others to follow that matters. Time may march on, but word and deed live on forever; as does the spirit of any person dedicated to living life to the fullest while serving their fellow man. The impression we leave is our memorial to this earthly life. Building a monument with words and telling the stories about others so they are never forgotten is our memorial
to those we love and admire. Johnny Clare, Larry McWhorter, all those men I grew up with and those I am privileged to call my friends; all living life their way by the Grace of God, all fighting the good fight and marching forward no matter the obstacles, all inspiring us to live life to its fullest. When it comes to great men of heart and spirit the memory never fades and the words of praise are endless. And that, my friends, is the greatest monument of all.


Details | Cowboy | |

COWBOY MELANCHOLY

   I’m calling the Suicide Hotline, 
This sad Cowboy poetry is getting me down, 
I’m looking for a happy thought, 
But one just can’t be found. 

   I’ve got a case of Cowboy Melancholy, 
Depression of the deepest kind, 
A malady that causes Cowboy Poets, 
To think only in disparaging rhyme. 

   Perhaps you’ve not heard of it, 
It’s a little talked about affliction, 
That sneaks up rather slowly, 
And attacks a Cowboy’s diction. 

   It starts with Cowboys talking, 
About having to shoot their horse, 
Or the death of the very last Longhorn, 
And  Cowboy life having run it’s course. 

   They tell about being stomped by a bronc, 
About how women will break your heart, 
Don’t say there won’t be no more Cowboys, 
Please, just leave out that part. 

   Death, dismemberment, getting gored, 
It makes me sorrowful and morose, 
I tell you these gloomy Cowboy poems, 
Boarder upon the verbose. 

   Is there nothing to say that’s amusing? 
Or perhaps a bit light-hearted?  
Is Cowboy life, nothing but strife, 
And all about the dearly departed? 
   Does any one remember, 
When Cowboy poetry was fun? 
I tell you we got us a Crisis ! 
Quick ! Someone call COW-1-1 !!! 

   We need some recitation resuscitation, 
If Cowboy poetry we are to save, 
Go easy on that couplet verse, 
About Cowboys in unmarked graves. 

   Hook those paddles to our pencils, 
And everyone stand clear, 
Shock the daylights out of us, 
Till we write Cowboy poetry delightful to hear. 

   I vote we form a support group, 
With a name somewhat synonymous, 
A two-step Western program of sorts, 
And call it Cowboy Poets Anonymous. 

   I suppose I could surrender to the urge, 
Recite just one poem of despondent refrain, 
But I took the oath, and from this day on, 
From this Cowboy Curse I’ll try to abstain. 
   
   " Hi, my name is ________, (fill in the blank!)
and I’m a  Cowboy Poet... "

  
Copyright © 1999 Debra Coppinger Hill


Details | Cowboy | |

Old As Dirt

You know that you’re old as dirt
When your whole body does hurt—
You grab a cane ‘stead of quirt
And you’re just too old to flirt.

It’s when you have to trim hairs
From your nose and your big ears—
You’re sure that those creepin’ years
Has justified all your fears!

It ain’t that you’re gittin’ old
Or Father Time is too bold
Or the last crow has done crowed—
It’s sittin’ ‘round till ya mold!

But if time comes a knockin’,
Don’t let it be too shockin’—
Don’t take your tack for hockin’,
You’re jest rollin’, not rockin’!

So when you’re payin’ for sins
And seems your life never ends—
You’ll know just who’s your true friends
When they has to change your Depends!   


Details | I do not know? | |

Big Ed

Riding, riding, high tail cowboy!
Dry mouth, sunken orbits squint in the sunshine
Rearview mirror, grinning silver toothed

Gently rocking,  singing in the trunk

Laugh, laugh! stainless eyes,  steel sharpened grin
Splitting for the hills, knuckles white on the wheel

A killer on the run, Big Ed


Details | Cowboy | |

if

ribbit

is what frogs say,



what

do you say

to a frog?



and at what cost?



Details | Cowboy | |

Frank and the Circuit Preacher

The Circuit Preacher came to town, 
and the word of God he preached, 
At the end of his sermon, 
our souls he did beseech. 
 
	We all stood shuffling around, 
	like calves stuck in the mire, 
	We’d only come to see the foreman’s sisters, 
	who were singing in the choir.  
 
What happened next surprised us, 
it was the derndest thing we ever saw, 
There was Frank, on his knees, 
his hands clasped beneath his jaw. 
 
	Now Frank, he was a sinner, 
	of a magnitude most high, 
	It was not beneath his dignity, 
	to cheat or steal or lie. 
 
But there he was, on his knees, 
praying with all his might, 
Begging for forgiveness, 
for he had seen the light. 
 
	I’d like to say Frank truly changed, 
	becoming perfect through and through, 
	But there’s no use in saying so, 
	I’d just be lying to you. 
 
But he was a bit more tolerant, 
and every once in awhile, 
He treated the hands respectful, 
sometimes, he would even smile. 

	Sure, he had his slip-ups, 
	but most of his time was well spent, 
	And when he was bad, he was sorry, 
	the very definition of the word repent. 
 
On the day he passed from this world, 
he went grinning without a sound. 
And no one here has ever forgotten, 
the day the Circuit Preacher came to town.


Details | Cowboy | |

Dear Charlie

I have thought of you often, found some paper tucked away,
I’m feeling sentimental and have some time today,
So with pen in hand I thought I would write a line or two,
Though I don’t know where your at or if this letter will get through.

Well the wire is now strung and the cowboys are fenced in,
The Indians that rode beside you will never be again. 
The long horns their now mulies a horn not a one,
I guess the wild west days have come and gone.

But Charlie I think you know there is a die hard breed.
There are still some out there that live the cowboy creed.
I know it’s not exactly the same as when you rode so bold,
But Charlie I wanted you to know that not all the saddles are sold.
For they wake each morning to the rising sun,
And know at the end of each day their work is still not done.
And they will gather around a fire to hear a yearn or two,
To see who tells the better tale of the things that they do.
And some paint a might good picture too, I have seen them at their best.
I guess there’s still a little wild out here in the west.

We think of you often and dream of a time 
When the range was open and the land was in its prime. 
When long horns ran high ridges and tested cowboy wit,
And even the best of the ponies would still challenge the bit.
So I thought I would write to let you know 
that you are thought of out here in what we do and where we go. 
And there still is hardcore buckaroos who still challenge change,
And they fight for the freedom to ride the range.

Well the fire has burned to embers and the crew is coming in
The quiet moment that I had, is now brought to an end,
So I will stoke the fire, put the coffee on and say goodbye for now,
Hoping you might get this letter some how.
Just remember your not for gotten Charlie and you will live on
And the cowboys and buckaroos are not completely gone.
And when I have more quiet time and paper that I might find,
I promise to write again, rest in peace my dear old friend.


Details | Cowboy | |

Simple Prayer

A Cowboy one day
rode high on a hill
To ask the Lord,
if it be his will,
To send him 
a helpmate
strong & gentle
pretty as wildflowers
that bloom every spring
yet strong as the hawk
with the wind ‘neath its wing

Now the Lord heard his prayer
and gave it plenty of thought
then searched throughout heaven
‘til he found the angel he sought
Of denim & lace
her wings were made
‘round her all creatures gathered
He called her to the throne
and laid out his plan
that Cowboy would not be alone

Now together they ride 
side by side day & night
Cowboy & his Angel
what a beautiful sight

(c) 2002


Details | Cowboy | |

Grass and Water

His name was John Paul Slavens, an old time buckaroo 
when he was young, he’d made a hand, knew just what to do. 
He had a soft hand with horses, he knew the ways of cow 
He treated women like a lady, not like men do now. 

He was good with "youngins" and when the work was done 
he’d tell a story , spin a yarn, have a little fun. 
He was never mean or surly, because he’d come to know 
The good book’s always right, we’ll reap just what we sow. 

JP worked with us kids, he’d smile the times we’d fail 
He’d keep us working and learning, riding the cowboy trail. 
And sometimes during the lessons, one of us kids would slip 
into a place a cow had been and left her little... "chip". 

JP’d laugh when we made a "face" slap his knee a time or two 
He’d say, "It’s only grass and water!" as we tried to wipe off that "goo". 
Well time moved on, his winter came, I watched Old J.P. die 
I know he’s gone to Heaven, riding for the "Boss" in the sky. 

Up there the water’s always good, the grass is stirrup high 
He’s a happy cowhand, riding in the sweet by and by. 
As I’ve traveled down life’s trail, I’ve "slipped" a time or two 
And more than once I’ve found myself, "stepping’ in brown goo". 

I think back to my childhood with Old J.P. showing me the way 
of thinking and working like a cowboy, I can still hear him say; 
"It’s only grass and water!" I realize all ain’t lost, 
I pick up the pieces, try again, disregard the cost. 

The worst probably won’t kill you, tomorrow’s another day, 
just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, try different way. 
I’ve begun to realize what I wish would go to another 
Is just my little trail to ride... It’s all just Grass and Water!


Details | Cowboy | |

They Came

They came to us slowly 
          in ones and twos at first. 
They were men with good hearts 
and lived with earth as one; 
Lived as we live, one with the four legged, 
two legged – all the spirits of our world 

They brought many things to trade; 
knives of iron, that our women treasure, 
Thunder sticks that kill from 
further that an arrow can fly. 

They brought cloth of bright colors 
that our women sew into clothes for us. 
They brought sugar and tea to change 
our diet of buffalo and berries 

Then more came.   
They came with bad hearts. 

They brought firewater. 
Our minds were as dizzy as our steps 
and the earth danced before our eyes. 

The black robes came and gave us their religion. 
Strange since they do not practice his teachings. 

They brought the spotted sickness 
that kills our people. 
They came and killed the buffalo 
and left the bodies to rot on the earth. 

They came like a swarm of insects, 
devouring everything in their path. 
They came and took our land 
and gave us heartbreak. 

The sacred hoop is broken 
And I cannot go home… 


Copyright 2002


Details | Cowboy | |

In the Hills of South Dakota

In the cold and rolling hills of a barren South Dakota,
On bleak and uncaring reservations of the Lakota,
Live both the ancient and the young of a once proud native race—
Living with America, whiskey and a fall from His grace.

We now bring contributions of food and clothes on Christmas Eve—
Given by those who know their plight as we smile and slowly leave.
Over a hundred years now and their progress still seems too slow—
A once noble people clinging to a past they’ll never know.

And what is the price of progress when we conquered the Old West
And took the proud Indian down a trail that we thought was best?
And what of free range, a way of life – the country we stood for?
We hid it on reservations so it would haunt us no more.

So we ride past reservations – think that we have done our best,
As time erases memories of a people and the West—
Once a year we sooth our egos and add money to the pot,
Hoping time heals miseries and we can keep what we have got. 

In the cold and rolling hills of a barren South Dakota,
On bleak and uncaring reservations of the Lakota,
Live both the ancient and the young of a once proud native race—
Living with America, whiskey and a fall from His grace.  


Details | Cowboy | |

Rodeo Blues

Riding against the wind, merciless memories nipping at her heels
wearing a Pollyanna mask & a ready laugh to hide the hurt she feels
The stinging words she heard that day hammer her heart like driving rain
she sips thunder & lightning from a bottle  but she can’t escape the pain

Rodeo has held her in its spell for all of her nineteen years
Its taught her to make friends with danger & never shrink from fear
Gave her a healthy respect for a life well lived & showed her its rewards
She’s better off for the lessons learned in the back chutes & stockyards

She thought she was well prepared for any hand that Rodeo dealt
Until that fateful phone call, a worse pain she’s never felt
She’d given her heart to a wild Bullrider, a good man through & through
Family, friend or stranger, he gave the best to all he knew

Around midnight the night before, he’d left for an exhibition ride
one last promise to fulfill before starting a new life with his bride
she’d spoke to him early that morning, a quick “I love you” & “Good Luck”
By quarter past ten he was in the chute, shouting “throw the gate & let ‘em buck”

Three jumps & a crazy eight twist, the rigging split with a sickening snap
In seconds his life ended, silence roared through the arena like a thunderclap
The phone was ringing back in Tucson as she pulled up to the house
The caller spoke in monotone igniting a fire never to be doused

She still love’s the Rodeo, still answer its bittersweet call
and she keeps his rigging bag in the closet down the hall
She grew up quick in an eight second flash & paid her Rodeo dues
Now she’s riding hard against the wind & singing the Rodeo Blues

(c) August 2003



Details | Cowboy | |

season is over.

after playing ball the contestants make there way to the draw wall.
Felling sore from the ride before. no one knows whats in store.
Justin took quite the fall, carson gets his horse out of her stall.
they check in with the doc. and he suggests they stretch and go for a walk.

as kevin rolls in, no one knows where hes been
Gene is having a really great year, as he celeabrates with yet another beer
wes made the top five, hes starting to feel the vibe.
coch kelly, always clean and proper, was once quite the show stopper

the team sits around the table for lunch, as the pep tlak goes out to the bunch
tonight is the last of the season, as kevin pops a choclate reisen.
some will move on, some will stay, its not the ride its livin for the day
Rodeo is not about being the best, its about your lifes quest

two hours before the show and just going with the flow
wes and carson play with there ropes, as kevin looks for the saddle soap
gene checks his cinch, as justin pulls some snuff and takes a pinch.
kelly is busy shaking hands, as people start to fill the stands.

grand entry rolls in and the energy is felt throughout the pen
the anthem is played and the prayer is sent, who will make the rent
the hosres are loaded and ready to go, with the intry of funny man joe
grand entry has left and the cowboy is set, with the swing from the gate there off 
like a jet.

Dreams are made and dreams will fade with every entry fee paid.
gene gets set his eyes are cold and hes destined to have a buckle full of gold
carson wrestles his steer and blows a knee, the crowd rises to see
justin slides up on his rope and feels just right, for hell make the ride of his life 
tonight....

The show is over and the stock is fed we are thankfull noone is dead
reality is set and buckles are handed out, for some this is what their life is about
for some college rodeo has come to an end, but there is an open rodeo around 
the bend.
sad but true this season is over, but not to worry, its just another beginning for 
mr.Slover.


Details | Cowboy | |

Boot Hill Easter

The day did not mean much to him,
That’s why he did not know—
Just how he came there Easter morn
With Tombstone down below.

There’s a tumbleweed a blowin’,
Pushed by the breath of God—
That moves across the distant range
And marks where He has trod.

The golden sun rises again
And bathes each tattered cross—
And like that day so long ago,
There is a sense of loss.

So for a time that ol’ graveyard
Has been again reborn—
As sins and sinners do repent
And they outgrow the thorn.

There’s a tumbleweed a blowin’,
Pushed by the breath of God—
That moves across the distant range
And marks where He has trod.

And so a man walks down Boot Hill,
Touched by the robe He wore—
With Easter and the truth in him—
A doubter now no more.
 


Details | Cowboy | |

Ghost Dance

While the Ancestors worshipped 
   they shot them one and all. 
They thought they had stopped the dance 
   as they watched the Old Ones fall. 
 
But what they did not know 
   is that we do not die... 
Their bullets set us free 
   and sent our souls to fly.   
 
High above this shadow plain 
   where the spirit beasts do roam; 
We roost upon their sacred backs, 
    and the Buffalo carry us home. 
 
We dance for our lives 
   for the secrets of the Earth. 
We dance while they kill us 
   and through death find rebirth. 
 
We dance night and day, 
   to the drums thundering low. 
Singing medicine songs 
   to honor the Buffalo. 
 
Though we may not rise today 
   The People will not die; 
As long as we keep dancing, 
   the Ghosts...You...and I. 

We dance for the things for which we yearn; 
Grass covered plains, the Buffalo’s return. 
The fever of freedom forever will burn,  
While we’re dancing with the ghosts. 
 
For there is no time frame on prophesy, 
This is the Vision Great One gave to me, 
The Heart of The People will always be, 
Dancing with the Ghosts...


(Wado Waya Streeby for understanding.)


Details | Cowboy | |

Ghost Dance

While the Ancestors worshipped 
   they shot them one and all. 
They thought they had stopped the dance 
   as they watched the Old Ones fall. 
 
But what they did not know 
   is that we do not die... 
Their bullets set us free 
   and sent our souls to fly.   
 
High above this shadow plain 
   where the spirit beasts do roam; 
We roost upon their sacred backs, 
    and the Buffalo carry us home. 
 
We dance for our lives 
   for the secrets of the Earth. 
We dance while they kill us 
   and through death find rebirth. 
 
We dance night and day, 
   to the drums thundering low. 
Singing medicine songs 
   to honor the Buffalo. 
 
Though we may not rise today 
   The People will not die; 
As long as we keep dancing, 
   the Ghosts...You...and I. 

We dance for the things for which we yearn; 
Grass covered plains, the Buffalo’s return. 
The fever of freedom forever will burn,  
While we’re dancing with the ghosts. 
 
For there is no time frame on prophesy, 
This is the Vision Great One gave to me, 
The Heart of The People will always be, 
Dancing with the Ghosts...


(Wado Waya Streeby for understanding.)


Details | Cowboy | |

Mustang Band

Up in the pinion covered highlands,
I came upon a wild horse band. 
I counted six rangy horses, grazing there,
including the Stallion and the lead mare.

It was truly a range cowboy's delight.
there were four bays, a roan and one mostly white.
The  muscled stallion stood watchful up on a rise,
and followed my every move with his eyes.

Then the stallion somehow signaled the lead mare,
in a language only wild horses can share.
She led her charges up a winding trail,
and her movement broke my hypnotic spell.

I admired their surefootedness and their survival skills,
as they quickly ascended the rocky hills.
The Stallion was last, bringing up the rear,
It was self preservation, not nervous fear.

it was awe inspiring as I watched them flee,
but a melancholy wistfulness came over me.
The Mustang, like the cowboy,symbol of the west,
drifted into the sunset, and went over the crest.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Mighty Longhorn Chair

Clayton King was a cattle baron
With ranges like far flowin’ seas,
And thousands of Texas longhorns
Roilin’ around like swarms of bees.

He built a huge cedar ranch house
With everything he needed there,
And oversaw his vast empire
Right from his mighty longhorn chair.

He had huge sets of longhorns,
Some more that eight feet of course,
On walls and over fireplaces
And he even stuffed his first horse.

He was the greatest of the great,
His fame was everywhere—
It seemed he ruled the entire world
Right from that mighty longhorn chair.

Still the money stampeded in
And that King Ranch just beat all—
They said it was the world’s biggest
As it quickly did grow and sprawl.

Some say he just wasted money
On things that mattered so little—
That he always had the finest
But like Nero he just fiddled.

“I am the noble Clayton King
And my wealth is everywhere!”
So read the engraved inscription
On his still mighty longhorn chair.

In those long years the dollars flowed
And it seemed like it would not end—
Till a first then second wife left
Without leavin’ an heir or friend.

Then the cattle business changed
And money dried up like the creeks,
This went on for years and years,
Not just a few months or weeks.

The vast King Ranch then did dwindle
Till the day ol’ Clayton King died—
What was left went up for auction—
It seemed no one now cared or cried.

They tore down the house and buildings
And built a shopping center there—
And after that final auction,
I own that mighty longhorn chair.


Details | Cowboy | |

Scattered Some

“I loved my fellow man the best
 When he was scattered some.”
                        --Badger Clark (from The Old Cow Hand)

There are those that have been herded too long
And no longer realize from where they come—
There are those that hear no music or song,
While there are those that must be scattered some.

We weren’t meant to live one on the other,
On a little patch of mossy ground—
We need not hear what each one does utter—
Sometimes it’s best when no one is around.

We all need to be free to ride our way,
That is perhaps each man’s rule of thumb—
We all might love each other more they say
If we were all free and scattered some.


Details | Cowboy | |

Calamity Jane

 
She makes the whip go poppin’, 
Her pistol shots are heart stoppin’, 
Woman of romance, grit and fame, 
Wild Lady of Heart, Calamity Jane. 
 
She’s history, wrapped up in mystery, 
And she lives the life she loves, 
Taking with innocent gratefulness, 
The gifts from God above. 
 
Listen to her stories, 
And you can live them too, 
Then realize, the greatest gift, 
Has also been given to you. 
 
When she gives her stories, 
And all her very best, 
You become a vital part, 
Of the Legend of the American West. 
 
Oh, she makes that whip go poppin’, 
Her pistol shots are heart stoppin’, 
Woman of romance, grit and fame, 
Wild Lady of Heart...Calamity Jane. 
 
 
*Dedicated to Norma Cathey, Great Grand Niece of Calamity Jane.
Thanks for the laughter.


Details | Cowboy | |

REGRET

     I’ve seen their spirits ride at night, 
In total darkness and clear moonlight, 
Souls that search for what is right, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     With open heart, determined face, 
Eyes that see a far away place, 
No eternal rest, 'til they run the race, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    They search across history, 
To return our civil gentility, 
And the way  things ought to be, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Nothing gets in their way, 
Honor bound by what they say, 
They pledge to bring it back one day, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Promise made, I over-hear, 
From their mission, they’ll not veer, 
It’s their duty to find, the Lost Frontier, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I know their voices from my dreams, 
Calling me to come upstream, 
Perhaps, my life, to redeem, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I must make haste and decide, 
If on this quest, I will ride, 
With them, I know, I can’t backslide, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I pause...consider...hesitate... 
They ride on. It is too late. 
They leave me with my own mistake, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     Waking, as if, from a trance, 
I cry out for one more chance, 
But they have gone without a glance, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

     I realize they have come before, 
Blazing trails, opening doors, 
To Freedom, Salvation even more, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    I know these men, I owe a debt, 
I should have gone.  It’s my regret. 
To this day I seek them yet, 
These men that they call Cowboys. 

    So I search for their spirits, late at night, 
In total darkness and clear moonlight, 
And pray for the chance to set things right, 
With these men that they call Cowboys.                                    
                                                                         



Details | Cowboy | |

Breathing Magic

She sees him still 
  at the river, 
kneeling to drink 
  and get cool. 
She hears his voice 
  in the murmur 
as it empties into the stillness  
  of the pool. 
 
She remembers the smell 
 of cedar, 
of sweetgrass, 
  and sage smoke. 
And always she hears  
  the medicine 
in the truth-words 
  that he spoke. 
 
On lonely days 
  she holds him close; 
wonders silently 
  where he’s been. 
His love is hers 
  as long as she sits, 
forever breathing  
  his magic in. 


Details | Cowboy | |

Old Rance Buckley's Trophy Buckle

He always wore that rodeo buckle made of silver and gold,
Every day of his life from when he was young till he grew old.
It said he was bucking horse champion of nineteen fifty-three,
And he told all the cowboys he had been the best that could be.

But then one day a stranger comes to town ‘bout as old as old Rance,
Who listened to his stories in silence and then eyed him askance.
He asked old Rance some questions ‘bout his times in rodeo—
Like horses he rode; cowpokes he knew and things he should know.

Then old Rance got defensive and asked just who was this cowboy gent
That asked him all these funny questions ‘bout days so long ago spent.
“Why,” drawled the old cowpoke, “I spent time here in fifty-three or two,
Ridin’ in rodeos you mentioned, but I don’t remember you.”

“And I don’t seem ta recollect you,” old Rance said and eyed the poke.
“Name’s McCall,” the stranger said, “and I ran that rodeo, no joke.”
Well, old Rance’s face fell and he knew his jig was up at long last—
Trying to pass that buckle off as his own, in one long last gasp.

He’d won that trophy buckle at cards from a cowboy on his last legs—
Why he started calling it his own, I reckon the question begs.
Now the other cowpokes gathered ‘round with wonder in their clear eyes
At why old Rance had shot the bull for years and told them all those lies.

Then a strange thing happened, as McCall realized just what he had done,
“Wait a minute, fella,” he said, “weren’t you the kid nicknamed ‘Young Gun?’”
And though he never had such a name, old Rance just nodded and grinned.
“I remember you now, you were the best – you rode just like the wind!”

Old Rance and McCall became pards, though Rance toned his bragging down,
But when new rodeos started, all the young cowboys gathered ‘round.
Then right before old Rance passed on, he gave that buckle to McCall
And told him he weren’t good at cards, that buckle was his after all.   


Details | Cowboy | |

Waiting

Sweat-stained Stetson, 
On the wall, 
Muddy boots, 
In the hall, 
Stand and wait, 
Sometimes they call, 
Saddle-up and ride. 

Spurs left hanging, 
On a chair, 
Saddle, oiled, 
Over there, 
Sit and wait, 
With patient care, 
Saddle-up and ride. 

Slow and quiet, 
Horses walk, 
Softly nicker, 
Hear them talk, 
Endure and wait, 
But never mock, 
Saddle-up and ride. 

Cowboy spirits, 
In the night, 
A haunting dance, 
A lonesome sight, 
Sway and wait, 
For day’s first light, 
Saddle-up and ride. 

Saddle up and ride under stars and moonlight,
its the only thing that's left that's right,
Saddle up and ride.



Details | Narrative | |

Teach By Example

He looked so sweet, 
as he stared through the window,
a pair of cowboy boots had caught his eye.
watching, as he looked down at his little feet,
I knew what he was thinking,
Cowboy boots, wow, I wish I had these,
was the expression on his face.
(Sometimes we get so caught up in our own self wants,
we don't take the time, to see the needs of others.
It was cold, and his tennis shoes looked as thought they
had seen too many winters.)
I ask, is Santa going to bring you a pair of cowboy boots 
for Christmas?
He did not answer just looked down at his old worn out shoes,
and I knew he had little hope of this happening.
Inside the store a woman was watching; as she walked
over to the window,  and gently knocked on the glass.
 She Pointing to the boots, his eyes lit up in disbelief, as she took
the boots to the counter.
The clerk come out, and ask the boy to come inside for a 
minute.
I knew in my heart, that this kind lady was about to give this
little boy, one of the most valuable lessons in life.
There are still people left in this world, that see the needs of others,
and I know this will stay with him for the rest of his life.


Details | Cowboy | |

What the Grumpy Old Cowboy Sez

Don’t worry ‘bout nightly news,
The shootin’, stealin’ and fuss—
Just sweat them big thangs in life—
The news they never tell us!

Don’t worry global warmin’—
Tip yer hats to the ladies—
This twelve below Wyomin’
Feels just like you’s in Hades!

Don’t sweat the world’s agoin’
To heck in a hand baskit—
‘Cause there won’t be no TV
Less it’s right in yer casket


Details | Cowboy | |

The Last of the Last of the Cowboys

It wasn’t all that long ago that the last sunset took John Wayne—
Not the first to go of a dying breed that rode the scarlet plain.

Yet, we still cling to a clench-jawed and tough, craggy old Clint Eastwood—
As he grits his teeth and don’t say a word – but we all know he could.

They’re last of the last, it’s true – you can almost count them on one hand.
They grow fewer with each passing year all across our once great land.

But there’s still Sam Elliot and James Arness and Robert Duvall—
Kevin Costner, Val Kilmer, Tom Selleck – and some I can’t recall.

They are the very last of the last of our western stars it seems—
When wide open space and tumbleweeds were still the gold dust of dreams


Details | Cowboy | |

Smiley

He was a sidekick even before they thought of such things,
Put there to add humor after the singing cowboy sings.
But he could sing, too, and often sang a funny ditty,
Yet his was one fine voice and he sure sang those songs pretty.

He had him a deep, full voice that could range both high or low,
And the way that he could whistle would move and stir your soul.
Sometimes he was Frog Millhouse – to us just Smiley Burnette—
There ain’t been no one that’s come along that’s been like him yet.

He’d been the friend of Gene, of Roy and the Durango Kid—
He always was the best at just what it was that he did.
It seems in his life, humor and joy were his main function;
Making movies and ending up on Petticoat Junction.

In life’s short trip we hold tight and try not to have regret—
Do what we love and do our best like that Smiley Burnette.
We touch the world with sadness, then bring it back to laughter;
Thanks Smiley, for showing the way – that’s all we’re really after. 


Details | Cowboy | |

Waiting for the Light

     It's quiet as he rises,
Makes his way to the kitchen,
Builds a pot of coffee,
In the dark before the morn.
Stands on the back porch,
Looks upon his Cowboy Kingdom,
And savors the perfect Stillness
As a brand new day is born.

     He moves out to the corral,
To his throne upon the top rail,
Seats himself to where
He can look off towards the east.
He contemplates the North Star,
Circled by the big dipper,
Cowboy clock, keeping track
While all the world's asleep

     He can see the shapes of cattle,
In the tallgrass of the pasture,
A sliver of a moon
Casting shadows on the ground.
Hears the nightbird call,
As the wind begins to stir,
And the soft talking of horses
As they begin to move around.

     He'll watch the stars awhile,
Pick out the constellations,
Wonders what it's like
To ride the Milky Way.
And bear a silent witness,
To this solitary moment,
Say a thankful prayer
As the East begins to gray.

     Streaks of light are moving,
Dancing bright across the sky,
He feels a little sadness
At the dimming of the stars.
There's Something holy in the darkness,
That reveals a sacred promise,
That binds us to the earth,
And reminds us who we are.

     His cup of coffee finished,
He slides down from the top rail,
Feels fortunate and privileged
To be part of the dawn.
He smiles into the fading night
And walks back to the cabin,
Without a doubt he knows
This is just where he belongs.

     It's the best part of the day,
Sitting in the darkness,
Knowing in your heart
That all is right.
The best part of the day,
Sitting in the darkness,
Waiting for the morning
And the light.

Copyright © Debra Coppinger Hill and  G. Casey Allen 


Details | Cowboy | |

When You're Pushin' Fifty

When you know you’re startin’ to get old—
Set in your ways and more thrifty—
Your poor ol’ joints just keep on achin’
As your mind starts gettin’ “drifty.”
When you gain weight and wrinkle all up,
Then you know you’re pushin’ fifty!

You’re smokin’ more and likin’ it less—
Eatin’ too many them French fries—
Then some poke says your pushin’ SIXTY—
But ol’ cowboys don’t tell no lies!
You’re not a talkin’ ‘bout your old age,
Just explainin’ ‘bout your waist size! 


Details | Cowboy | |

The Music of Memories

A gray and black life sketch – small man in overalls—
Somber as his guitar, lifted high all those times—
Playing Ozark tunes with those wild figure-eight squalls—
Glasses glint raw reason as that happiness chimes.

Oh, play to us softly those songs of our fathers—
The tales of the Old West and those last cattle drives—
Oh, play for us gently, the sons and the daughters—
The music of memories that molded our lives.

Music rests in remembrance and lingers on winds—
It wasn’t merely one – it was many guitars—
Whispering that bright music like long scattered friends—
Quilting its melodies in our lives and the stars.  

Oh, play to us softly those songs of our fathers—
The tales of the Old West and those last cattle drives—
Oh, play for us gently, the sons and the daughters—
The music of memories that molded our lives.

Reunions bring photographs with smudges and frays:
Dad and his first cousin in that photo still clear—
They strummed and they fiddled all those songs of past days—
As we cherished our friends and held family near. 

Oh, play to us softly those songs of our fathers—
The tales of the Old West and those last cattle drives—
Oh, play for us gently, the sons and the daughters—
The music of memories that molded our lives.


Details | Cowboy | |

Ma James

All them folks ‘round here keep tellin’ me my boys ain’t no good.
They might be a tad bit wild, but they is jest misunderstood.
Ya see their paw died afore they got ta even know him—
Me raisin’ ‘em as a single mother made their chances slim.

But I did best I could; made ‘em live by the golden rule.
I knows they was doin’ more wrong than right, I ain’t no fool.
Then them Pinkertons sneaked ‘round here ta do ‘em some harm—
Killed their simple half-brother and done clear blew off my arm!

It’s not that I is bitter, but I wished down the wrath of God
When Bob Ford killed my Jesse and I laid ‘em in this sod.
They weren’t ‘bout ta steal my baby and put ‘em on display
Like they did them other gun men that had lived past their day.

So me and Frank tend ta Jesse who at last is at his rest,
I’m growin’ old and feeble and will soon past like the West.
So we’ll move Jess ta a proper place, let him sleep in peace—
Jesse always was the wild one, jest like the southward geese.


Details | Cowboy | |

Heck, I Ain't No Cowboy

I’ve been known to buck a bale or two in my day
And I’ve loved a gal or a few and rode away.

I’ve dug up taters for just a dollar a day—
I’ve clerked in stores and let the boss man have his say.

There’s few ‘round here that ain’t had me in their employ—
But like I’ve always said: “Heck, I ain’t no cowboy!”

They say soldiers is heroes – I gave it a try—
I lost use of an arm and saw too many die.

But I ain’t no whiner and I never did quit—
I’m big and raw-boned and I don’t care one darned bit

What others may think on the range or back in town—
I’m just a simple ol’ soul that ain’t too profound.

I’ve busted some chops and broke me some wild broncs—
Bruised butts and cracked heads in some crazy honkytonks—

I’ve wrote me poems about the West and its joy—
But like I’ve always said: “Heck, I ain’t no cowboy.”

And though I’m downtrodden and may live in two worlds—
I savor a coon dog and still love all the girls.

I’ll leave with my ol’ hat and a pair of good boots—
A twelve-gauge shotgun and an ol’ Colt that still shoots.

You can bury me in town or out on the range—
‘Cause both of them is just fine and neither is strange—

Don’t belly-up to my pine box or act too coy—
Just tell the blamed ol’ truth: “Heck, he weren’t no cowboy.” 


Details | Cowboy | |

The Way It Was In the West

He’d read all the dime novels ‘bout each famous old outlaw,
Their fancy shots and darin’ deeds in the West that was raw.
But now they’d shot a cowpoke robbin’ the bank that fine morn,
And he lay dead and stinkin’, face down in the dust all forlorn.

Some said he was a nobody, a tramp that needed cash,
Some said his folks lived ‘round these parts and were white trash.
Others said he once rode with the Youngers and Jesse James—
While some said he robbed with the Daltons and made other claims.

But there he was plum dead – all still and just a drawin’ flies,
As someone called the tintype man to photograph their prize.
And as they rearranged him, leanin’ stiff upon that board,
They took one final picture as he smiled and met the Lord. 


Details | Cowboy | |

Blame It All On Willie

Willie Nelson broke our hearts
When he sang ‘bout them broke backs—
He should of stuck to cowboy
Heroes and that’s the derned facts.

Hoppy and Roy are turnin’
In their earthly deposits—
‘Cause of all them gay cowboys
Comin’ out of their closets.

If cowboys start prancin’ strange
And act like they is insane—
We’ll blame it all on Willie
If they don’t walk like John Wayne! 

 


Details | Cowboy | |

Tumbleweeds For Brains

That Woody wanted to see me ASAP,
So we done met near downtown at the KFC.
He says he wants to tell me something FYI,
About some new TFB sorta cowboy guy.

“TFB?” I asks, “You talkin’ ‘bout an IOU
Or that BYOB barn dance the boss done threw?”
“Naw,” says Wood, “TFB means tumbleweeds for brains—
I guess you fills the bill if I has to explains!”

“Cowboy,” says I, “does you sees my FIST?
Well, I’m here to tell you its for a smart SOB
That thinks talkin’ in letters is on the QT,
When all it will get is a stone carved RIP!”

Wood took out runnin’ without my RSVP,
Hopped in his SUV like a rock star on MTV.
He headed back to the ranch through BLM land
With me right behind ‘em – was more than he could stand!

I trailed ‘em to Tombstone and that OK Corral
And when I caught ‘em, I was gonna show ‘em how
My ol’ tumbleweeds for brains done brung me so far
And just why he was gonna soon need CPR!

But his mouth was movin’ a hundred RPM—
Afraid I was gonna then and there do ‘em in!
“Now, Stoney,” he says, “on one point we do agree,
I was just speakin’ plain and not bein’ PC!”

Then ‘fore I hauls back my fist and he has a BM,
I gets to thinkin’ how he had always been a friend.
Well, we had done been the best pards before this mess—
So we just shook hands and called it male PMS!