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Cowboy Sad Poems | Cowboy Poems About Sad

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

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Details | Cowboy | |

The Cowherd

On dark hillside
A lone cowherd
Wrapped in his blanket,
Gazed up at the sky,
Dreamed into the night.
A wisp of crescent moon,
A sky full of stars,
In his thought
He was asking:
Does my small fire shine up to the stars?


Details | Haiku | |

Into the sunset

Living lonely lives,
Cowboys are known for riding
Into the sunsets

8 May 2014


Details | Cowboy | |

Chew

I'll cut you into little pieces, 
push you down underground. 
I'll let maggots feast on you, 
just to see broken flesh. 

I'm glad you understand my twisted self, 
and you take part of my daily bread. 
I'm going to hang you from 
the highest star in the heavens, 
burning your laughter from your lungs.

I'd be joyful, emotionless, 
wreckage not even God Himself can undo. 
Underground the maggots chew and chew, 
hey girl there I see you.


Details | Cowboy | |

I am what i use to be

I am what I use to be
the cild that played 
alone at night in the dark
I am what I use to be
the same little girl who hated to 
cry cause when she started the tears
never seemed to stop
I am what I use to be
the same little girl whos afraid 
of being alone
The same little girl who cried
her first day of school 
I am what I use to be 
but yet i still change
i am the flower bud that 
had


Details | Cowboy | |

NIGHTMARES & WHISKEY

In a room stark & white 
A nightmare he will ride tonight 
Twisted sheets in a rider's grip 
as he settles in for that fateful trip 
silently he screams & shouts 
This time there'll be no turn out 
The final clash of beast & man 
In the mind's arena plays out again 
Once was a time he was among the best 
Until that Brahma stepped on his chest 
Now he's locked in a ride he can't quit 
as his wife & his family at his bedside sit 
How he longs to be up & out of this bed 
Away from the demons in his head 
But you can't drown a nightmare in morphine 
And every night he rigs up again 

In a room stark & white 
She'll replay the ride tonight 
"Just one more ride & I'm done 
I've got to help raise our son" 
He'd said as he climbed in the chute 
and straddled that Brahma brute 
With a nod & a prayer, he marked out 
His last would be his best, no doubt 
Then, with a sudden twist & a flash of horn 
The cowboy from his seat was torn 
She watched him fall & struggle to rise 
Numb to the crowd's horrified cries 
Now she sits here each night without rest 
Cradling their baby boy close to her chest 
How she longs to have him hold her near 
Later, she reaches for the bottle to chase the fear 
But you can't drown a nightmare in whiskey 
And every night she rigs up again 

Under the arena's bright lights 
He'll dance with a nightmare tonight 
Wearing a greasepaint smile to hide the pain 
He plays out that fateful ride again 
One step out of rhythm & rhyme 
He'd lost the race against Brahma & time 
Word's haunt him still of a Cowboy's last request 
After that Brahma had stomped on his chest "Tell Katie I love her & I'm sorry for this" 
"If I'd listened to her, I'd not be in this mess" 
"You & the boys take care of her & my son" 
"I hear the chopper landing, guess this ride is done" 
How he wishes he could run that race once more 
The memory pushes him hard, it won't be ignored 
But you can't mask a nightmare with greasepaint 
And every night he rigs up again 

A wild Bullrider, loved one or clown 
no matter the poison the memory won't drown 
Nightmares, whiskey, greasepaint or morphine 
Can't kill the demons that ride through your dreams


Details | Ballad | |

FLOWERS ON A FRIDAY

It was bucking bulls and cowboy busting broncos
And the challenge that accompanied each ride
That consumed the heart and mind of my young cowboy
And this fact my Buddy never tried to hide. 
I recall the time we met in Kelly’s diner
He was busted up and feeling rather sore
But the cheque that paid the tab that I presented
Seemed to him to somehow even up the score.

He had eaten there that week and got acquainted,
And I somehow got to know this cowboy’s mind
while the flowers that he gave me on that Friday
Surely showed beside his toughness, he was kind.
We were married in the summer six months later,
On a Friday I recall so very well,
Because Fridays he would always buy me flowers
And then go and ride those bulls and broncs from hell.

Buddy always bought me flowers on a Friday
As he knew I feared the rides that lay ahead
But my man his heart and soul was in his riding 
And I loved this cowboy that I planned to wed. 
Yes he always bought me flowers on a Friday
And I loved this cowboy that I planned to wed.

All our friends had shared that special evening with us
And we raged and partied well into the night,
Then we slipped away to share the morning hours, 
Til the dawn rose and revealed its splendid light.
We both showered and had breakfast at the roadhouse
Laughed and shared the joy that comes with wedded bliss, 
But I sensed a certain tiredness in my Buddy
And I prayed he’d give the ride that day a miss.

Buddy drew the brindle bombshell riders hated
And that beast exploded when it left the chute,
Twisting left then right and suddenly it stumbled
And my Buddy he was crushed by that great brute.
When it came to say goodbye to my sweet lover
There was one thing that I vowed I’d always do 
I would always bring him flowers on a Friday
And I’d tell his child about his father too.
.
“Bud I’ll always bring you flowers on a Friday”
That’s the one thing that I vow I’ll always do.
Cause you always brought me flowers on a Friday
And your child will always bring you flowers too. 
Yes I’ll always bring you flowers on a Friday
And your child will always bring you flowers too.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Pox Man

Oh, he rides though forest, he rides now through the hills—
The Pox Man is coming and he kills and he kills…
He lays waste to the red man and the white man, too—
He brings that soft darkness to both me and to you.

It may come with blankets; it may come with his horse—
It marks and gives you fever to run out its course.
He’s a tall, solemn scarred man that fills you with dread—
He may spare you your life or he’ll leave you for dead.

Oh, turn from the Pox Man – to him you do not pray,
His mercy is random, he has little to say.
He will ride off now soon - touch the weak with his breath—
He’s giver and taker – yes, we know him as death.


Details | Cowboy | |

I am what i use to be

I am what I use to be
the cild that played 
alone at night in the dark
I am what I use to be
the same little girl who hated to 
cry cause when she started the tears
never seemed to stop
I am what I use to be
the same little girl whos afraid 
of being alone
The same little girl who cried
her first day of school 
I am what I use to be 
but yet i still change
i am the flower bud that 
had


Details | Cowboy | |

The Cowboy from Cutter Bill's

(for Rod Nichols)

Oh, he rode in from Texas
On that sweet, high road trail—
His bright light was infectious—
His goodness did not fail.

He made us a warm campfire
And welcomed friend and foe—
Passed along gentle wisdom,
Drinkin’ a cup of joe.

He always had a poem
On any cowboy theme—
I’m glad I got to know him
And share that Old West dream.

He often was too modest
And hemmed and just said “yep”—
We cherish things he taught us—
Into our souls he crept.

But true cowboys always leave
Treasures we never see—
And for him we should not grieve
A life of memory.

He rides now on higher ground,
But we won’t soon forget—
His words leave a wondrous sound,
A soft glow in God’s sunset.


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 | |

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 | |

A Teardrop Away

I hear a hawk cry to its mate
Takes me back before "too late"
Lonesome lyric desert wind
Sings me into your arms again

How I wish that it could be
not just a dream but flesh & blood reality 
Gone but not forgotten, you will always be
just a teardrop away in my fondest memory

The whisper of the wind brings you back again
to dance among the shadows of my heart 
Thunder echoing down the hills
I hear your voice so close it chills

Lightening dances cross the sky
recalls the laughter in your eyes
Suddenly we're once again
Dizzy dancing in the rain 

Gone but not forgotten, you will always be
just a teardrop away in my fondest memory
The whisper of the wind brings you back again
to dance among the shadows of my heart 

Gone so swiftly without goodbyes
but I know true love never dies
As I kneel at this headstone
I know I will never walk alone

For you'll always live within my heart
guiding me from the deepest part 
Gone but not forgotten, you will always be
just a teardrop away in my fondest memory

The whisper of the wind brings you back again
to dance among the shadows of my heart

(c) January 2002


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 | |

Circles Made of Stone

As we journey wide in life
On strange ranges far from home,
We often stop and ponder
Old burnt circles made of stone.

They are last meager remnants
Of some campfire long ago—
Where pards and tired travelers
Would share a hot cup of joe.

The fire would blaze but briefly
Then be just smoke as they’d part—
To rise again down the trail
Where another fire would start.

Yes, they’d slowly gather rocks
And form that new ring of stone—
Build a blaze to ease the night,
So they’d not be all alone.

But those days are mostly gone
With stone circles left behind—
Cowboys seldom come this way
And good pards are hard to find.

And while fires now seem to die
And a cold north wind does moan—
There’s always comfort in a fire
In our circle made of stone.

And so we all go our way,
Build rings all the farther—
Honor roots and family,
But most of all, our Father.

Yes, now we’ve come full circle—
Return to earth as it lays—
A circle of completion—
Like brief dust of earthly days.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Fourth of July Hat

THE FOURTH OF JULY HAT

We used to celebrate July the Fourth when the kids were young—
Till they grew up and moved away and life became far-flung.

Yes, once we toasted freedom’s day and shot off big fireworks—
Now I sit here in this dark bar surrounded by some jerks.

We used to ride our horses on this Independence Day,
We barbecued and downed a few and for our nation prayed.

Then the show of fountains, Roman candles and Black Cat—
Till judges and town laws ruled: “You aren’t allowed to do that!”

Slowly the country lost its way and now it seems insane—
Shredding our constitution with rights of eminent domain.

Now Addie’s gone and I’m alone to tend to this old spread,
Till slickers come and crowd me off and I’m just left for dead.

Now holidays don’t mean too much and good times just don’t last,
I wonder if folks understand sacrifices of our past?

So on this Fourth I watch fireworks upon a bar room screen,
My wrinkled skin like leather now, but oh, what I have seen…

They’re playing our nation’s anthem and I’m sure liking that,
When some young tough rudely yells: “Cowboy, I can’t see through your hat!”

But I feel a bit stubborn and cling to what I have left
And sit there till he says, “Old man, are you a little deaf?”

Slowly, I take that hat off, and feel for something inside—
Then put on an old folded army cap with deep love and pride. 

Then as the last fireworks fade, and loud rockets burst and whir—
That young man shakes my hand and says, “Happy Fourth of July, sir.” 
  


Details | Cowboy | |

Riding the Rim of Dreams

Oh, he shakes out his old blanket
And stirs that dying fire,
Watching dim embers star black sky
As wolves and snakes conspire

To make his sleeping uneasy
With thoughts of strays and streams,
As long restless sleep comes slowly
Riding the rim of dreams.

Low fire calls his name and crackles 
Like a girl in Broken Bow,
That he promised he would marry
Before he had to go.

Now coyotes croon his story—
Sing sad and lonely tales
Of that old cowboy’s far travels
Down mountainsides and trails.

And like his life, that old campfire
Burns low and then flares high,
As he drifts off in welcome sleep
Not dreaming that he’ll die.

They’ll find him in the orange dawn,
Stone still by ash mesquite,
The last remains of man’s efforts—
All stories told and complete.

Now soft sleep comes much more easy
Or to his friends it seems,
All his long trails have now lessened
As he rides the rim of dreams.     
 


Details | Cowboy | |

How ????

As I herd cattle in 104 heat,
just to get food to eat...

Rememberin' what it was to be rich,
then all taken by the witch...

A woman so very evil,
like a fat bollwevil...

To let lies eat away lives,
as if to stab by knives...

It's really just not fair,
that she does not love or care...

About my little boys & girl,
& their poor broken world...

GOD knows about my plite,
only He can make it right...

Just want my kids to care,
about the sacrafices I made there...

I LOVE them &  swear,
that in My heart I am always near !!!

                                                             For My Kids, LOVE DAD  PRV


Details | Couplet | |

Ramble With Glen Campbell

Ramble With Glen Campbell

Now that I have become an old-timer
What if I were to have Alzheimer
Disease and things start to forget
But still each day the sun will set.

My memory seems to come and go;
Wasn't that you who I used to know?
And if new song I recently did make,
A much longer time it now does take.

Remember on TV when I had viewed
Some singing cowboy who was tattooed
His hands flew up and down a long fret;
What the tattoo showed was a sunset.

Shiny sunset just happened to be his
Whose soul here on earth will sorely miss
He is glad we still remember his face
Even left a son behind to take his place.

James Serious Mysterious Horn
Retired Veteran

www.poetrysoup.com



Please forward this to the Today Show for me.

Thanks


Details | Cowboy | |

Deadwood Hill

(At Wild Bill Hickok’s Grave)

Those bold Black Hills of South Dakota,
Darkly murmur of all your Badlands—
You have left now like the Lakota—
On that hillside your monument stands.

Hills pulse under Ponderosa pines—
Strong night breezes have yet much to say—
Legends linger on lips and pale shrines—
They know that Wild Bill once passed this way.

You sleep long in this last resting place,
That now overlooks sinful Deadwood—
It is here that we still see your face,
Yet ponder if you were bad or good.

They moved your petrified form it’s said—
Casket opened, though some thought it wrong—
Your dark face yet perfect, though long dead—
Your fair hair still so flaxen and long.  

Jane Cannary lays mute beside you—
A calamity that is no more—
As you study those cards in the blue—
Play that dead man’s hand from a far shore.

Saffron leaves and stern winds shape your grave—
And your name’s one that we all know still—
As you raise dark death’s ante and save,
One last red ace to trump Deadwood hill.


Details | Cowboy | |

Where am I ?

I see buzzards circling up high...
The sun so hot we could all die.

Nites are long for a guy.
The stars seem brighter in this sky.

Lizards run to and fro,
but there is no where to go !

I look in the cattles' eyes...
and hear a lonesome coyote cry.

A road runner darts across the sand...
So many rocks a man can't stand !

The beans and bread are getting old...
Even the nites are getting cold.

                                                            By Perri R. Voge


Details | Cowboy | |

Waddie Peacock's Last New Year

(The real Waddie Peacock, described only as “an old L.S. cowpuncher,” had the 
distinction of being the first person buried in Logan, New Mexico’s first cemetery 
in 1910.) 

It seems a man rides restless when he’s alone on the rim—
No one to rein him in a bit, no one to bury him.

So Waddie Peacock sat astride his horse reassessin’—
Dreamin’ past those frozen plains, tryin’ to count each blessin’.

He’d been an ol’ L.S. cowpuncher since hard scrabble youth,
But with the years and creakin’ bowlegs, he now sought the truth. 

He didn’t go out ridin’ much on that December trail—
He holed-up in an ol’ line shack till wit and nerve did fail.

But here he was on New Year’s Eve watchin’ those lone star skies,
Knowin’ that each man’s life is short, before he ups and dies.

Come fall he’ll head his hoss out to Logan, New Mexico—
Say goodbye to the L.S. boys and then he’ll have to go.

Some say there’s silver down Logan way - he’ll pack up his gun—
A brand new town and way of life – a brand new risin’ sun.

But now ol’ Waddie Peacock waits the start of this New Year.
He pats his faithful horse and knows with life there is no fear.

Somewhere a cowboy clangs a bell and shoots into the air—
The New Year comes like all the rest – ol’ Waddie just sits there.

Somehow he feels this year’s his last, and that he’ll be called home—
And Logan’s where he’ll soon now rest beneath the land and stone.


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 | |

I Wish We Had Our Own Trails

I wish that I just had my own road—
I wish that I had my own trail—
I wish the stories hadn’t been told
‘Bout how there’s now no range to sail.

It seems that all the land is now fenced
And there are no more wagon swales—
To most, the Old West now makes no sense
And the interstates are our trails.

I wish for those times of clear creek skies
When the horse and bison ran free—
When the campfires burned and night had eyes
And the trails were open for me.

Oh, I wish we all could go back now
And each of us had his own trail—
And winter never broke summer’s bow
And roads we rode down did not fail.
 


Details | Cowboy | |

On That Range We'll See No More

You can hear coyotes come a calling
And the cattle restless now and bawling
As we dodge the storm that sends us sprawling
On that range we’ll see no more.

The birds like omens now are all singing
And our thoughts and lives are swiftly winging
Toward that railhead with these cows we’re bringing
On that range we’ll see no more.

Nothing lasts forever we are thinking
As our heart’s and spirits are now sinking
While on to that last day we are slinking
On that range we’ll see no more.

They say that the Old West it is dying
But it’s not for all our work and trying,
But like these streams we are parched and drying
On that range we’ll see no more.

Our life is rough and so unforgiving,
But it was much more than just a living—
Branded in our souls with no misgiving
On that range we’ll see no more.

After longhorns, whisky and the shouting,
For other jobs we will go a scouting—
Cowboys now on our sad final outing—
On that range we’ll see no more.

They say us cowpokes were made for fighting,
And that we find those wrongs that need righting
As we still honor Him with no slighting
On that range we’ll see no more.

One last time we’ll hear the cattle lowing
While on prairie seas we go a rowing 
Riding toward wisdom and final knowing 
On that range we’ll see no more.


Details | Cowboy | |

Faces In the Fire

On those cool summer evenings when coyotes haunt the night
And the campfire is dying—burning low, then flaring bright,
A cowboy plays harmonica while others sing and hum
While down by the chuck wagon a lonely guitar does strum.

A few pokes like Lon Stonecipher stare silent at the fire,
Imagining old friends and folks in times both dear and dire.
Lon sees and talks to faces that flicker in gold flames—
He asks them of the weather—remembers all their names.

“There’s Delton and Rosella, old Burlin and Rob Alcorn,
There’s that sweet Renata Robins that kissed me one June morn.
There’s Cal Shirlo and Spud Scanlon, that both died in the war,
And Addie Belle from Abilene that said she’d love no more.”

Cowpokes yawned and nodded—on this wild words did not dwell—
They knew the man he used to be, but this was just his shell.
The faces in the fire gave him comfort and offered hope,
They were his last salvation—without them he could not cope.

Lon stared into the fire for many hours before sleep—
His rest was fitful, frenzied—never calm, peaceful or deep.
And often he’d awake and gaze mournfully once again
Into those glowing embers in search of friend or kin.

“I can see my last saddle pal, young Mathew Leatherwood
And a Dodge City gambler that I shot right where he stood.
I see my dear grandmother and my sister Anna Lee—
My grandpa and brother Jim, who died at the age of three.”

The fire burned low and so did Lon out on that prairie bow,
But this was as it always was, at least until just now.
“I see you, ma—I see you, pa—your faces smile at me,”
So said old Lon one last time, drifting upon a prairie sea.

They buried Lon Stonecipher right out on that cold, dark land—
And right beside him built a blaze as hot as they could stand.
Then they watched the flames dance, and stared long into that pyre,
And to this day some still swear, Lon’s face was smiling in that fire.


 


  


Details | Cowboy | |

A Red Navajo Blanket

A red Navajo blanket
Shines in the setting sun—
Marking a cowboy’s final rest
When that long ride is done.

There will be no wood marker
Or stone to note his place—
We’ll just remember laughter
And long recall his face.

“Please boys,” he asked us softly,
“Do one last thing for me
And put that Navajo rug
High where the world will see.

“An old dying Indian
Passed that blanket to me—
After I tried to save him
From sure death meant to be. 

“Oh, it won’t last forever—
Like leaves it will soon fall—
But like a man’s life well-lived,   
Beauty’s what we recall.”

So high upon that green hill
We placed blanket and grave,
Then said what words that we knew
In hopes a soul we’d save.

A red Navajo blanket
Shines in the setting sun—
Marking a cowboy’s final rest
When that long ride is done.
 


Details | Cowboy | |

Riding Down the Decline

The plains have their moments of wild beauty
As you ride with morning wind in your hair---
The sage and wide open spaces thrill you
As you ride free on that celestial stair.

But the hill country is another thing,
Although you and your horse start out just fine—
You both have to carefully watch your step
As you ride down that steady old decline.

At first, you don’t really notice a change—
A misstep or a small ache in your back—
Then you sense you can’t do things you once did
And to your thinking there’s a certain lack.

Oh, you can still out ride all those young dudes
And you’re still relied on in a real pinch—
But your step’s a little slower these days
And you give slack when once you gave no inch.

Gone are the days of those endless trail rides—
Your tail bone ain’t the rock it used to be—
You’d rather be riding soft rocking chairs,
Than on the range where it’s rough and still free.

So you slow up your horse on that ride down
And look ahead to the clouds and sunshine—
As you steady your reigns and your old horse
And slowly ease down that long last decline.  


Details | Cowboy | |

Hold On To What You Got

You’re nineteen years old and fancy
That you’re fast as that Wild Bill—
You ride and shoot and go crazy—
Drink rye whiskey to your fill.

You bet that you’ll live forever
And never see a sick day,
Till some sense is knocked in your head 
That soon won’t go far away.

That buddy you said you’d kill for
Lays dead because he was shot—
And there was nothing you could do,
But hold on to what you got.

So you grow wrinkled and wiser
And think what you need is gold—
To buy your dreams and your lovers
As days and years make you old.

But the gold comes and then it’s gone
And only your kin stand by—
As you watch them die one by one
And all you can do is cry.

So you tighten up your cinches
And delight in God’s sad plot—
Then savor those you love the more
And hold on to what you got.


Details | Cowboy | |

Mountain Mandolin

Its mournful melodies come drifting
Through the valley and the glen,
Those last haunting , misting memories 
Of the mountain mandolin.

A jaunty jew’s-harp joins along now
Like a lonesome loud amen,
While a fiddle fades and then rises
With that mountain mandolin.

Then the bass moans of an old cowboy
Who in rage shot his best friend,
As that band of long ago plays on
Like soft thunder in the wind.

Yet, one by one those cowboys drift off
As we still remember when
And we join that dying orchestra
Lead by that mountain mandolin.

                                   


Details | Cowboy | |

Festus

He wore a floppy, chewed-up hat
And he came to replace Chester,
Who limped off to a better deal
And then let sad feelings fester.

On Gunsmoke they called him Festus,
But his real name was Ken Curtis—
At first no one knew what to think,
Because Chester’s leaving hurt us.  

His talk was high and real scratchy
And he spoke with a mountain twang—
Of course it was just put on thick,
For we all knew that he once sang. 

Seemed like he needed a close shave,
His whiskers were mangy and wild—
He screwed up his face like Popeye—
It was hard to tell if he smiled.

It just seemed that he was cranky—
Most times had loud words with old Doc—
Out of fun they always quarreled—
Guess we thought that they’d never stop.

There was Marshal Dillon, Newly,
Sam the barkeep and Miss Kitty—
And those jingling spurs of Festus,
Long silent now – it’s such a pity. 

Doc, Kitty and Sam are gone, too,
And Gunsmoke is long off the air—
Didn’t know how good Festus was,
Till we looked around and he wasn’t there.


Details | Cowboy | |

Those Halcyon Hero Days

Smiley sold autographs and pieces of his hat, they say—
In halcyon movie days when heroes just blew away.

There came a time western movie jobs were sparse as hen’s teeth,
And Ken and Kermit Maynard retired and lived on relief.

Ken was reduced to a trailer on a Hollywood lot,
Where he nursed pride and bottles and dreamt of what he was not.

And fans that came to talk with him had no need of poses,
As long as they brought ‘long a bottle of Seven Roses.

Then Ken would show them his fancy holsters with guns loaded—
And he’d relive days again of heroes and villains he goaded.

But though he did not have much, those guns were still his prize—
“He’d not sell them for anything,” was written in his eyes.      

Two pension checks were all he lived on, and they seemed paltry—
One from government and a false named one from Gene Autry.

So it went with now rare jobs, he lived more like a hermit—
But even with the drink, he outlived his brother Kermit.

And so it went in better times when cowboys had their say—
In halcyon movie days when heroes just blew away.


Details | Cowboy | |

When Cowboys Rode Away

There were clear, sunny mornings with the rustle of leaves,
A patchwork of sunlight beneath the wind-blown trees--
There were round-ups and long rides that lasted all the day,
In times of our innocence when cowboys rode away.

Hopalong, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Lash LaRue,
We grew up with them in movies--their days were too few.
They stood for truth; what was right; they always had their say,
America was not the same when cowboys rode away.

The West is gone, it's true--there are no cowboys anymore--
At least not like the old ones that we knew before.
We make our worlds to please ourselves with our yesterday--
You'll find my world gone years ago, when cowboys rode away.


Details | Cowboy | |

The Ol' Hitchin' Rail

Ol’ Kiley, he’d gone out a ridin’,
Just to clear his weary head—
‘Bout the workin’ of this busy world
And how it done changed the spread.

Seems things they were just changin’ too fast,
And new owners had fired men—
Ol’ Kiley, he figured he’d go next—
Just didn’t know why or when.

Then right in the middle of nowhere—
Like he’d just seen him a ghost—
Sure ‘nuff amid the grass and the sage,
Stood an ol’ wood hitchin’ post.

But it weren’t really just a post now—
It were two posts and a rail—
Where long ago you tied up your horse
After ridin’ down some trail.

Kiley hitched his hoss there and got down,
And it gave him pause to think—
As he kicked the remnants of a trough
Where once the horses could drink.

But here it was now, all by itself—
No buildin’s ‘round - all alone,
Nothin’ to mark where once it belonged
As it stood without a home.

In front he could see the faint tracin’s
Of a buildin’s foundation:
A home, a store or stage coach stop
That marked a once great nation.

He stood there by his horse – shook a post
To test the strength of that rail—
And to his surprise it was solid
And not at all was it frail.

Then as he gazed across empty land—
He sensed change had come here, too—
And only our solid moorin’s last—
Without them we’re all just through.

And how was it, Kiley asked himself—
Sometimes we hitch up all wrong—
When we have the choice of tyin’ up
With life’s best where we belong?

And how come there are those sad ol’ times
When we didn’t hitch at all—
But just kept on ridin’ life real hard
Till ones we loved all turned small?

So Kiley unhitched his ol’ paint hoss
From that solid hitchin’ rail—
And he headed back to his new ranch
To face change that must prevail.

He looked back once at that hitchin’ rail—
Wondered how long it would last—
Till wind and sun and snow would weaken
The strength that now held it fast.

You see, there’s nothin’ certain in life
And there’s much at which we fail—
But time and change always ride with us,
When once we hitch to life’s rail.  


Details | Cowboy | |

Buffalo Thunder No More

(Chief White Buffalo speaks) 

Long knives turn dark the west sky,
Bring big iron horse on rails that roar—
My people now starve and die,
Where buffalo thunder no more.

Their bones turn red, then pure white
As pale hunters stack them in piles—
Their praise we chant in the night,
Our stories like smoke travel miles.

They give us cattle for meat
And tell us now to end our hunt—
But no red man is complete
As we just nod and meekly grunt.

They take sacred land for gold
And give us less food and more lies—
Our Great Father has grown old
And will not gaze upon sunrise.

The long knives bring many things:
Baubles, sickness, wonder and war—
But he takes more than he brings—
And buffalo thunder no more.
   


Details | Cowboy | |

The Last Camp

As that new bunch drifted slowly into Deadwood,
Bill turned round in his saddle to Charley Utter—
Sadly told him something he’d always remember—
That which made the others smirk and weak hearts flutter:

“Charley, I feel this is going to be my last camp,”
Bill then softly said, “and I won’t leave it alive…”
Charley, Calam Jane and all the others just laughed—
But Wild Bill did not smile and he never replied. 

Even to that day, as Bill foretold his own doom
And wrote a letter to the wife he’d know no more: 
“Agnes… if such should be we never meet again…”  
Bill penned, “I will try to swim to the other shore.”

Next day, August second, eighteen seventy six,
Wild Bill Hickok went in that Saloon Number Ten—
And to this day, the rest they say is history—
Now that last Deadwood camp is still recalled by men. 

“Charley, I feel this is going to be my last camp,
And I won’t leave it alive….” Utter heard Bill say—
Or so he, Calam and Agnes long remembered
And his spirit grows all the stronger to this day.