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Long Cowboy Poems | Long Cowboy Poetry

Long Cowboy Poems. Below are the most popular long Cowboy by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long Cowboy poems by poem length and keyword.

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Long Poems
Long poem by Steven Medellin | Details |

The Whiskey Bottle Wish


The Whiskey Bottle Wish

 	One late summer night outside a saloon in the mid-west, an intoxicated Dusty Rogers, stumbles out of the Bar nearly taking one of the revolving doors with him. As he flutters on out, he catches his fall on the walkway hand railing in front of him. Focusing his sight with a loose grip holding the railing, the other hand has tighter grip on a bottle of Whiskey. Hesitantly letting go of the rail he musters up enough hand eye coordination to fix his hat and pull up his pants. As the drunken man walks down the strip of a quiet town... A quiet town after all the rooms in the bathos are vacant, when all the liquor has run dry from every bottle, far after all the lead and gun powder filled the air ... It's then a quiet town. An hour walking and countless chugs of sweet, sweet whiskey; the drunken Rogers, has been taking over with the urge to piss. He sees a hallucination of a building up ahead about ten feet away. He pulls up, face nearly inches from what he thinks to be the wall of the building, but is in fact a towering cliff side standing over fifty feet staring down on him. He starts to piss on the cliff side soaking his pants and boots. He places the bottle down with his left hand as his right hand is stretched out flat on the wall holding himself up. He's leaning forward so much it appears as if he were holding up the mountain. He begins to mumble.

“You drunk. You will always be a drunk... That's all they ever spoked about me. But, why? How did this... How did any of this happen?” His right hand slips and his face crashes into the jagged cliff side in front of him. He groans in agonizing pain while he is lies in his urine. Bludgeon face he shouts up at the stars. 
“Damn you! You tooken everything from me. You left me all alone! Why didn't you take me too! Am I not good enough for death...? I do anything to feel the blaze envelop me. Like they so did... “Wiping his tears he whispers. “You should have tooked me with them. I should have burned on that train with my family... That was my destiny instead I bare the mark of Cain." looking up at the sky as if expecting an answer. “Just sit up their laughing as you strip everything from my hands and fill this void with this damned bottle."
 As he continues to wipe the tears off his face, he gets to his feet zipping up his pants and is about start to walk along the mountain side. In his peripheral he's sees the shimmer behind him. Turning around he Picks up the bottle of whiskey and stops to eye ball the remaining two or three gulps. Looking at the bottle and he starts to rub the side as if where a lamp. “I wish to see my family" holding back the tears forming in the corner of his eyes. "You took everything from me so in return, I'll take all of you!"
 He takes a swig and starts walking along side of the cliff shouting obscenities. In his anguish he stumbles and trips upon a metal beam railing falling flat on his face. Instead of picking himself up, he reaches for the whiskey and goes to take an even bigger hit from the bottle. Franticly shaking the bottle to get out every drop out he chucks the empty bottle in the air. The bottle never breaking hits the ground skipping and flipping along the gravel. Below his feet wooden planks placed about a foot apart from one another lay in a row. Running up the side, adjacent to the planks, runs a solid steel beam. The drunk has no idea he has stumbled onto train tracks leading into a tunnel right through the mountain. He thinks he is walking down a hand railed stairwell leading to a basement. He walks on the tracks towards a tunnel, he loses his balance and reaches for non-existing handrails but the rails are too low to grab so he trips over a plank of wood and falls on his face once more.

“What...What kind of crap is this?" he cries as he lays out on the floor half conscious. Suddenly he starts to laugh the intensity grew as he was trying to get to his feet. He only manages to sit up facing the blackened tunnel ceiling as if it was a starless night sky. “What are you waiting for? Stop toying with me. If you want then come take me. I'm here..." a loud whistling sound comes charging through the tunnel growing louder each passing second. With a shaky voice and a sense of uncertainty he asks.
“Trumpets? Is that roar trumpets I hear? Is that you?" as the ground starts to tremble the sound grows immensely; numbing all senses. Then, a bright light comes ripping through the darkness like a bullet through midair. The light striking his glossy eyes blinds him. The ground rumbles violently as the whistling sound becomes deafening. He chuckles and spreads his arms wide open and says “You finally answered my prayers." he closes his eyes, and black was the last thing he saw.


Long poem by Jerry T Curtis | Details |

BAD On BAD Parts 1-2-3-4-now 5

1
We've been riding now, for days
On this dry and dusty plain
Headed to a land, that's never tasted rain
The posse has been thinning out
As men head back to town
So, that just leaves you and me
To track these Outlaws down

Standing on the rim of 
One of God forsaken places
I'd probably let them go
And just post pictures of there faces
But they shot down my deputy
Who was my youngest son
So I'll ride right into hell
'Till I catch or kill each one

I won't blame you, if you choose
To turn and ride away
For you'll probably end up dead
If you follow me today
All right then, Mount your pony
And you better save your breath
Here's an extra gun to tote
And a tin star for your chest
 2
Don't worry 'bout me Sheriff 
I know that I am young
But there's one thing that I'm good at
Is using these here guns
I know there is a danger
Don't think that I'm insane
You may have,  been a Ranger
But, William Bonny is my name

Well Kid, if that's true
You best have seven lives
'Cause you're gonna use up six today
In order to survive
Put your rifle cross your lap 
Keep your pistol left untied
And when the shooting starts
Be prepared like hell, to ride                

The Kid was really smart
He followed what I said
As we rode our ponies down the slope
To an ancient river bed
I got a little nervous
But what else could I do
With a killer at my back
In a land controlled by Sioux 

3
The day was cold and dry
But the Sun was shining bright
I had hoped to get this over with 
Before, being stuck here for the night
The rocks ranged in color
From purple to blood red
And the jagged hills and cliffs
Made the earth looked cut and bled

It was a wonderment to me
That creatures could survive
Without water trees or plants
It's amazing they're alive
Then Bonny saw the first man
High-up on a hill
Snatch-up his rife with his hands
And cocked it for the kill

I did not see the man
'till I heard the rifle tattle
As the silhouette slumped down
And fell off of the saddle
"Why'd you do that Billy
Now they know that we're here"
Then shots rang out, from the hill
As I felt one graze my ear

4
He cocked his lever action 
As fast as He could shoot
And two more shadows fell
From their horses on that butte
I rode like hell for cover
And Billy followed suit
And as we dove behind a rock
I saw blood run down his boot

I said Billy, "you've been hit"
He said, "It's just a scratch" 
But I ripped the sleeve off my shirt
And used it as a patch
"Well,  I stopped the bleeding, Billy
But do you think that you can ride
If your leg starts to numb
You can loosen what I've tied"

I turned to see our horses
Were clearly out of reach
And in the rife that I gave him
Had one round left in its breach
Then I heard the Outlaws yelling
And their guns were blazing so
I stepped out from behind the rock
To face this evil foe


5
From behind the hillside
A dozen rode towards me
The red dust that they kicked up
Made it hard for me it see
The odds weren't in my favor
Just one bullet for each man
With my guns both fully loaded
I prepared to make my stand

As death was drawing nearer
I watched my life pass by
And it ended with the image
Of me watching my son die
The outlaws now were closer
A blaze with all their guns
While bullets whizzed around me
My back now toward the sun

I drew both my pistols 
Calm and slow, deliberately 
Then took real careful aim 
At the first two I could see
Then cocked each hammer back
And the squeezed each trigger tight
I could not afford to miss
Or waste a bullet in this fight











Stay Tuned for the next issue 
BAD On BAD
Appearing on this page Only !


Long poem by Roy Jerden | Details |

Call Me Tex

When I was just a teenage lad, and growing up out west
I never wore a cowboy hat or fancy leather vest
Never put on cowboy boots or western shirts with snaps
Never wore tooled leather belts, much less a pair of chaps

To be in style the Ivy League was what one wore to school
A skinny tie and button-down was how you dressed up cool
We wore Weejun penny loafers and tapered chino slacks
The boys all sported flattops, kept up straight with wax

Rock and roll and sock hops, my dance was then the twist
Cotton-eyed Joe and two-step didn't even make the list
Good ol' Willie Nelson could hardly make a sound
'Cause the King and Frank Sinatra were the coolest guys around

But when I joined the service, and moved outside the state
It didn't matter where I went or if I spoke my name out straight
For a while I thought I had some kind of omnipresent hex
'Cause anywhere outside Texas, they'd always call me Tex
 
When I said over yonder, they'd all say “Over... Where?”
When I talked about a horny toad, I'd get a funny stare
It didn't matter if my name was Buck or Roy or Rex
'Cause anywhere outside Texas, they'd always call me Tex

When they shipped me overseas, I thought that I would die
Couldn't get a Dr. Pepper there, or any Frito pie
When I wanted longneck Lone Stars, all they had was Beck's
And all those Europeans would always call me Tex
 
Any label kind of burned me, so right then I made the call
I'd learn to talk just like those guys, to hide my Texas drawl
I practiced on my diction, with elocution persevered
And soon the sideways looks and grins had finally disappeared

I traveled all around the world, got married overseas
Learned myself a few more tongues and got a few degrees
Now if I talk to British lords or English-speaking Czechs
When I masticate the lingo, they never call me Tex

Finally made it home one day, after way too many years
Came back to salute old pals and maybe share some beers
I wondered how the touch of time had treated all those lads
To my surprise, those preppy guys had all turned into their dads

Each one wore a cowboy hat and dandy leather vest
Some sported a bandana, some with bola ties were dressed
Some shod those M.L. Leddy boots with fancy pull-on straps
Each had a set of bootcut jeans and western shirts with snaps

Something then came over me, something that felt right
I heard my voice inside me say "Well boys, ain't y'all a sight!”
That educated accent that I'd worked so hard to gain
Had evaporated quicker than a light West Texas rain

I guess that you can travel, and learn lots of fancy stuff
But with friends who knew you when, there's no way that you can bluff
They might be polite with you, and humor you no doubt 
But you're better off to cut it loose and let it all hang out

They all let out a holler, yelling “Waitress bring the checks!
Give 'em to that ugly hombre yonder with the handle Tex.”
Now if I were any other place, I'd likely wring their necks
But when I'm home in Texas, then you can call me Tex


Long poem by Amy Green | Details |

Cowboys

          -LAST DAYS OF OLD BEN-


    “See that man up there on the mountain, son?”
“Yeah Pop, why’s he a’jes sittin there starin’ out at nuthin?"
 Well, son it ain’t nothin’ he’s seein’…Just nuthin we can’t see, know what I ‘m sayin’?” confused the boy just agreed.
 '"He’s a legend, that there Ol’ Ben. From times long past before e’en when I was borned,” Now he just sit’s on his old nag waitin’ for sumthin, just not sure, and can only guess what. They sez Ol’ Ben was a rascal way back when, boozing up moon shine, not carin’ a world fer nuthin’ or no one. Well, Old Ben got caught one day he did, they throwed his sloppy drunk hide in the tank fer a long time.' 

'Bet he didn’t care none, he din’ have nuthin to do.
As time went on, Ben got ought’n jail ‘n’ went right back to his thievin’ ways. As we all expected, the law was jus’ bout ready to throw him in the canner and toss the key down inta a well furev'r, when Ol’ Ben he saw something that took the fight right outn’ him ‘n’ made his chest swell.'
   'Comin’ round the Sheriff’s desk were the prettiest Southern Bell you ev’r did see, an’ Old Ben dropped his jaw- from that day on…. Ol’ Ben turnt into a man…. He fell in love with sweet Lindsay Lane, banker’s daughter- And they ran off to the range- and lived on what they can'. That little Southern Bell did’t care Ben was a wrangler, she loved him for’ver. But Oh her Daddy’ did care, he put up a fight’ ‘n’ gave reward money if’n someone’d kill Old Ben, you see, but Old Ben was too wiley. He knew… he always knew her Papa wuld git 'em somehow. That Pappy o’ her’s was a pain in the ass, and so they couldn’t never really get away. Rumors ran ‘round town lika a nuthin’, there was gonna be a showdown! Firse light 'n ba’ween Ben ‘n; her Daddy., Soon as that li’ Southern Bell heard, she begged her daddy to leave Ben alone, her daddy wasn’t havin’ it, and Ben knowed that’d be the only way they would be rid of her father.'
   'So The mor’n came of the quick draw- I ‘membe, it were  misty, foggy that day, culdn' see nuthin'. Both men drew guns walked 100 paces and shot! BAM! N dat was the day Old Ben really did change. Turned a rascal fount love inta a sad sad shell o’ a man..His Southern Bell tied him up in the night, so she would be the one to draw- hopin’ as soon as her daddy saw’ it were her, mebbe he’d let them go. But the anger and fog hid her daddy’s senses, he was a red burstin’, he took’n his pistol he shot. Shot her right in the head, blew the hat off (she wor’d Ben’s clothes) and there in all her glory- blond hair dusted with red.'"
  " Welp, her daddy done took his own life, but Ben, Old Ben and that old nag just stayed up in them hills forever- and to this day they visit the place his beloved lost her life.” 
Don’t know, can’t fathom eve’, a love that strong, one day you’ll look up there on that mountain and Old Ben will be gone.”

4/18/2014


Long poem by James Blubaugh | Details | . You can read it on PoetrySoup.com' st_url='http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/a_cowboys_last_dream_602700' st_title='A Cowboy's Last Dream'>

A Cowboy's Last Dream

They had camped near a bubbling spring with one lone mesquite tree.  The day had been hot and dusty, and the respite from the glaring sun was welcome.  The large herd of cattle had quenched their thirst at the near-by river, and were now settled for the night.  The soft lowing of the animals added a melody to the quiet evening.
The old cowboy finished his supper and left the company of the other trail hands. 

Making his way to the shade of the mesquite, he leaned back against the tree and relaxed for a few minutes.  The sound of the spring made him sleepy, but he had no desire to give in to the impulse at the moment.  Removing his wide-brimmed hat, he brushed the dust from it and laid it on the ground.  He was dressed in faded jeans which had seen too many hours in the saddle.  His denim shirt was dirty and damp from the day’s long journey across the hot prairie.  A red bandana hung loosely around his leathery neck.
 
He could smell the leather and sweat from his saddle lying nearby.  Probably repulsive to some, but like a sweet perfume to his senses.  Reaching into the saddle bags, he removed a bundle wrapped in a heavy piece of mackinaw to protect its contents from the ever-present dust.  Unwrapping the bundle, he gently removed an old Bible, it’s brown leather cover beginning to show the wear of years, and the pages stained by soiled but gentle hands.

Tonight, he didn’t open its pages.  Instead he held it close to his chest, gripping it with both arms as though it might fly away.  He was tired from the long day, but something was different about tonight.  

He glanced up at the stars and thought of the God who was big enough to create the universe, and about the love of Christ which brought Him to this earth to die for sinners such as this old cowboy.    

His feet were tired, but he didn’t want to remove his boots.  He knew he had one more journey to make today, and he would make it with his boots on.  
As he continued staring at the sky, one of the stars began to grow brighter and larger.  It looked like it was coming closer, maybe coming just for him.  
And then, it wasn’t a star at all - it was Someone he had never seen before, but instinctively knew who it was.  His tiredness slipped away and he began to feel like a young man again.  He began to rise toward the Star-Person, knowing that everything was going to be all right.

As he began that last journey, he looked back and saw an old cowboy slumped against a mesquite tree.  He was still wearing his boots, and also a smile across his weathered face.  His journey was over and he was going home.


Long poem by Darryl Ashton | Details |

THOSE NOSTALGIC USA WESTERN COWBOYS

THOSE NOSTALGIC U.S.A. WESTERN COWBOYS

Not one for afternoon TV,
But cowboy films appeal
to me,
Those Western romps from
years ago,
From Fox, Republic, RKO,

Gnarled prospectors pan
for gold,
(Not as much as they’ve
Been told)
Forced to buy supplies ‘on
tick’
And hope to file a claim
real quick.

A dusty stage brakes to a
halt,
The townsfolk get a nasty
jolt.
The saloon’s new owner
steps on down,
Peroxide hair and Paris 
gown.

She’s here to set the town
alight,
Bring entertainment every
night,
That evening, on a different
stage,
Her dancers quickly all the     
rage. 

Cattle ranchers rule the 
land,
Each with their own
distinctive brand,
With marauding Indians
ever near,
The townsfolk live in
constant fear.

But Randolph Scott or
Joel McCrea
Will save the day and
prove that he
Is constant, firm, upright
and strong –  
But then, we knew that 
all along.
 
The heroin’s virtuous 
and serene,
The baddie, dastardly 
and mean,
One thing you can be
sure and that’s
The villains always 
wear black hats.

The sheriff quakes 
behind his star,
When trouble comes,
he’s in the bar,
A weakling in the
rancher’s pay,
Don’t look to him to
save the day. 

A fight erupts, a bar-room
brawl,
And suddenly, a free-for-
all, 
But Mitchum, Widmark, 
Big John Wayne
Will bravely set things 
right again.

Or Audie Murphy in Yankee
blue
As the 7th Cavalry burst on
through.
The villain’s dead, his gang
in jail,
So all that good can now
prevail.

From Deadwood, Dodge
and Abilene
And all the trail-stops in
between
Our hero rides out, bold
and brave
Looking for more folks to
save.

He rides off in the setting
sun,
With peace restored, his
job is done.
With classics like High
Noon and Shane,
We’ll never see their likes
again.

With Gunfight at the OK Corral, 
Really lifted the town’s moral,
And when they saw Billy The 
Kid,
The baddies all ran – hiding 
behind a garbage lid.

Alias Smith and Jones
were there,
They didn’t kill folk – as
they did care.
Jessie James, and brother,
Frank,
They travelled the USA, 
and robbing the banks.

In the old wild west – the
cowboys knew best,
They would always draw
guns – to put to the test,
In the saloons they drank
wild whisky, and cavorted 
with women,
Then yelling and dancing – 
til early morning.

This is how; The West Was Won, 
Being quick on the draw – with 
their gun.
Blazing Saddles, was funny
from the start,
Especially those beans – that
so made them all fart!   

BY  
DARRYL ASHTON


Long poem by cherl dunn | Details |

TOMBSTONE

Whistle does the lone desert winds, flowing downwards from
Boot hill cemetery, in icy chilling breeze full of echoing voices,
From the past, begging for redemptions last chance of salvation.
Roll does the crimson tumbleweed, towards the ghost town known as
Tombstone, a monuments graveyard to the old west.
In this rock cactus garden of venomous vipers, did the righteous
Live, amongst the uncivilized lawless, in this wildness country,
Of the unbridled frontier.
Blinded by greed's lightning flash, for quick money and easy cash,
Did the earth expose evil's shining metal, silver, from deep within,
Accursed is this place, purgatory's hell on earth, its deadly soil marred
And sanctified in blood sacrifice.
Left to the scorpions and rattlesnakes, as the only living inhabitants,
Ramshackle buildings remain, abandonment’s delinquent tribute
To a once thriving community.
But after night fall, others come forth, crossing the threshold of the
Nether underworld, the gun slinger, the gambler, and ladies of
Reputation's ill repute, claim this desert real estate for their own
Dark amusement park, still whooping it up at the bird cage theatre,
Indulging themselves. In all manor of seductions insidious erotic acts
Of depravity.
The condemned soulless walk these dusty sandy streets of limbo,
Forever banished are these bastered son's of the gun. Or until the last
Shot is fired at the O.K. Corral, on high noon's final sunrise.
Satan is the lawful sheriff here, in this the territory of the forsaken,
And his loyal deputy the Grim Reaper controls the posses of the undead.
Riding against the redden moon, seeking any innocent soul trying
To escape from this desert prison.
You've drawn the dead man's hand my friend, if you find yourself lost here,
For the condemned show no mercy's reprieve to outsiders, the screaming
Souls shout from above, run lone cowboy run, and don't look back,
For the devils possess rides behind thee, and the dark lord,
Takes no prisoner's alive.
Whistle do the lone desert winds, flowing downwards from
Boot hill cemetery, in icy chilling breeze full of echoing voices,
From the past, begging for redemptions last chance of salvation.
But light concurs darkness, and death's icy grip fades at the 
First rays of sunrise, and all evil must return to their crypts
Beneath the earth, from the dust from when'est they came, 
Until the next moon's rising, then wide will the gates of hell,
Swing again, releasing the germinate residences of a city,
Named Tomb Stone.

BY: CHERYL ANNA DUNN


Long poem by Earl Schumacker | Details |

Tumbleweed Billy And One Eyed Sam

            Tumbleweed Billy And One Eyed Sam

Banked off jagged hills, pushed on by memory
Cause and effect took turns churning the sidewinders
Tumbleweed Billy and One Eyed Sam (The patron Saint of snake eyes)
Dragged down from on high by a freak flood

Through swollen gorges flushed with raging waters
From melted mountain snow with a long way to go
Two cowpokes gathered up by ancient storms without warning 
Compounding the Pounding past the sandy canyonous rocks
Crashing through dams along the flooding passage
Tumbleweed Billy and his one eyed friend rolled into town 

They came to rest at Rusty Bottom, a dusty town
Released their grip on a sturdy timber log 
That brought them there all wet and muddied
With wind against their backs 
That swept them up to view the Last Chance Saloon
Looming over there

This brought them to their feet to mossy over
They moved like prestidigitation fakes, hankering for a drink
Taking whiskey down like magic water  
Then set out their pedestrian plan there on the table
To take this western town down by gambling pranks
Quick digits formed their sleight of hand

Children suddenly appeared before the strangers
Seemingly from nowhere on the action
The two cowpokes glanced back at them like spies
Sam scared them with his missing eye
Covered by a black patch, looking kinda pirate like
The other clouded, milky white, piercing, with limited sight

Billy grants the young ones wishes on the spot to settle them
Magic to be perfected and performed above a pending storm
He rolls one die.   A one comes up.  A snake eye
An omen more visible than not
This made the children fear an awful lot

Dice played a major role for his desires and devices
He kissed them twice for luck then vanished in their cast
Tumbleweed Billy rolled out of Rusty Bottom Town 
Taking his dice and the bad eyed man  

In a singular milky white last lost glance around
On the same south winds now gone from town
Both sidewinders de-materialized, vanished in that instance 
As though they never existed 
Invisible, never seen before, never seen again, as foe or friend
They disappeared

As for the children; who gambled on the chance of magic
Got exactly what they asked
And what was granted when they first wished it
For the two to disappear

Tumbleweed Billy and Sam were gone as quickly as they came
And no one really missed them or their game
That is; their tricks, dice and way of life
Their little slice of paradise

9/16/14 Cowboys in the badlands – Poetry contest


Long poem by Marycile Beer | Details |

Ghosts of South Dakota Intro

                                                                                                        
	In 1957 I took my teaching certificate back to the land of my mother.  
She was raised on a cattle ranch in the north central area of Nebraska.  The 
famous Sand Hills.  It was there I found my cowboy and we ranched for fourteen 
years on the eastern edge of the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.  The 
teacher in this story is my mother's sister and our experiences at the Indian 
Government School of Spring Creek during my early years.
	In the year 2002 Cowboy and I moved to a very special town, Harper, 
Kansas.  This town is just a few miles down the road from the memories of my 
Kansas childhood. How lucky to be able to have all of these memories and with 
the help of God maybe another dozen or so years down the road I'll have another 
set of memories to pass on to another generation.   

                                                       GHOSTS

	Yesterday I was sitting at my computer working  when I looked out of 
my magic window 
and noticed the swing set.  The wind was fiercely blowing up a gale and the 
swings were rocking to and fro.  That didn't bother me, but when I saw the glider 
was in motion, I didn't even have to close my eyes to picture the children playing 
on it.  They weren't my grandchildren.  They weren't my children.  They weren't any 
children I could recognize, but I felt blessed.  I didn't care who they were, they 
were happy.
	And then I thought back.  Back to the reservation.  I could hear the 
laughter of the Indian children, but whenever we came into view they would run to 
hide behind their mothers or grandmothers and peek around at us.  Some of the 
older ones, seven, eight, nine or ten year olds would line up in front of the shack 
or tent to stare at us.
	I can still see them dressed in faded, wrinkled, soiled clothing.  
Disgards from who knows where that ended up at the mission.  Their large 
round brown eyes staring from behind the greasy scraggly black hair. Some with 
their dirty fingers stuffed in their mouths. The little ones clinging desperately to 
the skirt as they peered around at us,  always had snout trailing from their nose, 
and their feet were either bare or encased in shoes three sizes to large for them.
	I don't know if it was a tradition of some kind but it seems, in my 
memory, there were never any men.  Only women and children came forth.  I 
have my ideas where the men were but I shall not go into that here.


Long poem by Shadow Hamilton | Details |

The Drove

The trail was long and very dusty
great clouds churned up by hooves
of the vast herd being wrangled on
300 more miles of eating their dust

Bandana's tightly wrapped round faces
cries of "get up there" ringing out
bawling calves separated from mothers
hiss of hot branding irons scorching

A rumbling constantly moving mass
stretching back as far as eyes can see
horses reeling back and forth, pushing
always pushing them on, 200 miles to go

Storm is approaching as they settle down
tightly bunched up wranglers keeping watch
hard as nails falls the rain, lashing down
cattle milling round and round as flashes

Of lightning light up the sky causing 
restless beasts to try to break and flee away
tumultuous thunder now joining in causing panic
"Keep them circling, don't let them break out"

Came the cries of the foreman as they tried to hold 
chuck wagon knocked over as through camp they run
woe to anyone on foot or even a thrown rider
"keep them going south, They will stop at the river"

Gradually the storm quietens and dies down
first light shows how scattered they are
some needing to be shot where they lay mangled
the rest pushed through the river to the plains

Here they can be regrouped, lush grasses to eat
no urgency now 10 miles or so a day we push them
letting them gain some more weight, 50 miles to go
the foreman sends two men on to warn the yards

At last they see the rail tracks, only 15 miles away
"one last big push lads and we will have them there
tonight we will wet our whistles and eat like kings"
hot tubs to soak in, washing away dirt that is caked

We push them into the waiting pens as they bawl and churn
settled now with fresh hay and water the plaintive calls
of mothers looking for their calves, the wranglers push 
them together keeping the bulls apart, they will ship first

Now work is done, 800 miles or so we have driven them
it is time to relax and let our hair down, find ladies
of the night with which to dally for awhile, some poker
played, several fights break out over who gets which one

As dawn breaks low rumbles from the pens as the cattle stir
the town but for a few still fast asleep, until the train
spitting steam and smoke arrives, and buyers now alight
many offers are made and rejected out of hand, these cows

Are already sold to keep our armies fed as they war against
the Maverick Indians, that are plundering the homesteads
30,000 at first of drove, now reduced to 27,000 or so
loaded up on the train our job is done we are homeward bound    

written 09/17/2013

contest Epic Only


Long Poems