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Cowboy History Poems | Cowboy Poems About History

These Cowboy History poems are examples of Cowboy poems about History. These are the best examples of Cowboy History 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

Copyright © Catherine Devine | Year Posted 2005

Details | Free verse |

Howling Wolf

The feeling of your touch 
I know it in the brush of the wind
The heat of the sun
Sweeping down on my skin
A reasurrace of a hand on my shoulder
A tear wiped away
As it fell from the sky
I know much about you
Like your cowboys and indians
And the nights we would dance
a pow wow in the night lights
stars abrasive against our hearts
rubbing off the smudge and dirt 
To say im proud would be an understatement
Our heritage may lie beneath the pavement 
But in our hearts and in our words
The feathers still fly
Howling wolf, and I

Copyright © Jay Loveless | Year Posted 2013

Details | Rhyme |


I'm very small
I am called Standing Tall
My story to be read as i live through it all.

Our Dakota lands are forest and vast
Where our ancestors have hunted
From long in the past.

Our tribes are, a confederation of seven
With our language of Lakota, Sioux heaven
We stand proud as we remember our past
And look to our gods, to make it all last.

A silhouette on the prairie hill i see
This shape in the distance is new to me
As we sleep in the night, we hear guns and blows
We arise from our camp, to look for the noise
We creep on the prairie to their surprise
Under the moon, where the land would flow
No longer the Buffalo.

We mount our ponies to challenge these men
What gives them this right to kill and maim
Bodies of beasts, furs cut away
Missing heads, a ghastly slay.

On reaching their camp our bows stretched
Arrows screech, hit the wretched
Watch them fall to the prarie floor
Just like the Buffalo did hours before.

Years have passed as we are moved from our lands
These poisonous men, and their poisonous glands
Bringing illness fever and strife
Ending many a Lakota life.

We reach a point in History
Which made the white man sit up and see
Their Golden Child General George Custer
And the Little Big Horn, my what a disaster.

Arapaho, Cheyenne and us Lakota too
Sliced the Blue Jackets, their Scouts too
The US Cavalry would have their glee
At the Battle Of Wounded Knee
Where Siiting Bull would finally rest
Standing Tall's story last's the test
If we Indians had the same resources
Like the silhouette on the hill
These praries we always had. would be ours still.


Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2009

Details | Rhyme |

Westward Ho'

In the 1600's, Europeans lived on the eastern shore
Their numbers grew, they wanted more.
Iroquios, Sauk, Ottawa, and Mohawk were tribes they met
Too many and more, paid our forefathers' debt.
Men moved west thru the Cumberland gap
Daniel Boone led them, wearing a coonskin cap.
Freedom's new country was born in 1776
The indians, however, did not fit our mix.

Lewis and Clark sought a Northwest Passage route
Rivers to cross, mountains to climb, animals to shoot.
An indian girl helped them gain their fame
Sackagewa led them, though few remember her name.
Two years of exploring to the western shore
They brought back tall tales, maps, journals, and more.
With many a tribe did they speak
Here were the Mandan, Ojibway, and Creek.

By 1845 "Manifest Destiny" was the phrase being coined
More indian lands were to be purloined.
In the south, Houston, Austin, and others too
"Texicans" all, under the one star flag they flew.
It was not easy to take Santa Anna"s land
Travis, Bowie, and Crockett went to lend a hand.
They died in a mission on the San Antonio line
Today, "The Alamo" is still their shrine.

Missouri to Kansas to California men went
Their golden passion in mines to vent.
new states joined as the country grew
Lines of covered wagons rolled on anew.
Something was amiss by 1852
Going west now, seemed wrong to do.
The south was rampant with Slavery's scourge
Making men free, would take more that courage.

Lincoln was President, a Civil War, the country bled
Hundreds of Thousands died, eager for it to be shed.
Four years of war, death and destruction
Followed by a euphomistic "Reconstruction".
Names of the west now tripped off the tongue
Dodge, Wichita, Hayes, and Tombstone's tale of the gun.
Hard men faced each other's will
Some of them end...up at "Boot Hill".

Cody, Hickock, Custer, and Earp were names that were said
So were Clanton, the James Boys, Hardin, and Billy the Kid.
The Cherokee and other indians now came into view
Apache, Cheyenne, Commanche, and not least the Sioux.
Pony Express, Overland Stage, Chisholm Trail were names we knew
Moving men and cattle, as the western legends grew.
Then, a seal on the joint was made
At Promontory Point, a golden spike was laid.

The west is part of our unique history
200 years of a nation, men longing to be free.
Listen in the winds around you that blow
Pehaps you will hear it whisper, "Westward Ho!"

God Bless America!!

Copyright © Daniel Cwiak | Year Posted 2010

Details | Rhyme |

Western Skies Of Spring

We have waited long and now momentarily pause
to lose ourselves in the Western skies of spring;
our mellow looks follow them until dusky evening...
ask the awe-captured painter how they seduce! 

Even the big mountains in the background seem blue,
below them discover lovely bluebells that surely ensue
beauty by waving in prairies dotted with yellow daisies;
spend an afternoon in contemplating the red canyons!

And resting beneath the motionless clouds, be dazzled
by radiance: deep moments of awareness can stupefy;
go back in time by imagining the same California sky  
that the old explorers saw heading West to seek gold.

Walk farther towards the blue lake, wide and clear,
it steals indigo from the above sky to look pretty;
the cactus in full bloom proclaim the desert's glory
once seen by young, wild cowboys who chased deer.  

Written on 3/36/2016

Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2016

Details | Rhyme |

Outlaws' Spirits in Tombstone

Each day in Tombstone as tourists watch
The OK Corral gunfight plays out
Reenactments staged by the locals
The Earps always prevail in this bout

Saunter down to the Bird Cage Theater
Now a museum in this Old West town
Actors aren’t needed to play roles
The original cast is still around

Sixteen gunfights caused 26 deaths
Poker players who were dealt bad hands
Tourists still hear the shuffling of cards
And music from the piano man

Gunshots, images captured on tape
Dancehall girls still perform on the stage
Scents of old ale cling to dusty walls
And card game losers express their rage

Doc Holliday and Clanton Brothers
Look on as Wyatt holds all the cards
Virgil, Morgan glare at the McLaurys
Lawmen and outlaws send their regards

Spirits may rise from nearby Boot Hill
To visit the Bird Cage for a while
Delighting modern-day visitors
With a taste of history, Tombstone-style

To learn more about the Bird Cage Theater hauntings and see photos, visit http://www.ghost-

Copyright © Carolyn Devonshire | Year Posted 2009

Details | Rhyme |

Oliver O. Howard " The Christian General "

Respect in uniform
A man with respect
Major Oliver O. Howard
One of the US Armies best
A courageous soldier
With an order to follow
Dis-quell the Indian Wars
So there be peace tomorrow
Born in Maine
His dad died when he was nine
But this little boy
Turned out oh so fine
At nineteen, he graduated
A young man, already well rated
1854 Military pass
This bright young man, 4th in his class
Time advances to the Indian Wars
To do his duties, soldier sworn
To quell the fighting, peace be ours
Chief Joseph and the Indian colors
His task achieved, tho Indian losses
Orders he served, from Washington's bosses
Chief Joseph, from his lands he was moved
To Oklahoma, situation defused
1894 the retirement of he
Major General what he rose to be
Universities and College named in his name
This quite amazing soldier of Military Fame

" When i heard about this gentleman, it desired me to write. Unknown to me he has actually   
been in the historical background of one of my poems, and an ancestor of one of our poets "

Copyright © James Fraser | Year Posted 2009

Details | I do not know? |

A Gunfighters Fate

Some folks feel like Jesse James got a raw deal,
just because he had an affinity and liked to rob and kill.
His ended up a tragic story I reluctantly have to relate;
He trusted one of his gang and suffered a gunfighter’s fate.

Jesse was shot in the back by one of his friends Robert Ford,
giving credence to the saying about living and dying by the sword.
Mr. Ford duly received a fatal shotgun blast up in Colorado State
And likewise he also suffered a gunfighter’s fate.

 Billy The Kid was a killer who lived a life of crime,
he was shot by Pat Garrett who was his friend at one time 
Then Pat himself was gunned down at a later date.
So eventually he too suffered a gunfighter’s fate.

 Outlaws who lived by the gun, reaped just what they sowed.
It was their choice to live and die by the gunfighter’s code.
Most of them had no desire to make any effort to go straight
So sooner or later they all suffered a gunfighter’s fate.

 Even to survive was a curse, because as the killers grew older.
They spent a lot of time nervously looking back over their shoulder.
Some would even move away to escape the life they learned to hate,
But they were usually recognized and suffered a gunfighter’s fate.

So when a person chose to ride down the lawless outlaw trail
They usually ended hanging from a rope or spending their life in jail.
 A lot of them made bad choices and ended up being buzzard bait,
because it was in their destiny to suffer a gunfighter’s fate.

Copyright © harold miller | Year Posted 2007

Details | Rhyme |

My Rodeo Cowboy

papa said 
son what you going to do 
with your life

now that you have 
no money job 
or wife

he said papa
I'm going to 
leave this town

think I'll
join up with the rodeo 
and break them bulls down 

Maybe even rope
me a stallion or
even a clown

Son you better
take another 
look around

for theres no money
for bull riders
thrown to the ground

or being stepped on
by a horse or bull
weighing over eight hundred pounds

Papa I promise 
Ill make you proud
of your rodeo cowboy when I'm done

And promise 
not to be thrown or bucked off
to the ground

So papa please come
visit when our show's
in town

for I'll be 
the one riding high on 
the biggest bull that's found

hanging on for just 
eight seconds while I'm
listening for that bells sound

just kicking those sides
of horses and bulls
jumping up and down

with coming out your
top rodeo champion and
bull rider found

Tribute To
The Rodeo Cowboys 
and Cowgirls

Hang Tough

Copyright © Katherine Stella | Year Posted 2008

Details | Free verse |

The West

Cattle rolled tracks
Straw sacks
Migrants rode lonely
Lonesome rhythm in sound
Landless –

Copyright © Ron Cervero | Year Posted 2007

Details | Cowboy |

The Outlaw's Angel, Part II

...Burke grabbed Aura and they both ran out,
riding double on his trusty horse.
The word raced quickly through the town,
a posse was formed, as a matter of course.
So Burke pushed his mount, more and more.
They couldn’t go back, despite acts justified,
not when two men, one a sherriff, had died.

So they rode, pursuers hot on their trail,
until they reach a ranch high the peaks.
Burke pulled a gun while Aurelia seized
a new horse, both study and sleek.
The rancher fumed, too angry to speak.
Burke apologized, gave him all his gold,
then sped off again into mountains cold.

Two days passed, the posse drew close,
and both their horses started to flag.
No longer able to outrun their hunters,
Burke mad camp high up in a crag,
where he could shoot safely if they attacked.
The posse appeared in the meadow below,
lead the by the sherriff’s oldest, known as Milo.

“Surrendor now, or we’ll shoot you down!”
They shouted it as they stared to climb.
But before Burke could even open his mouth
the air exploded with shrill, Indian cries.
A horde of Bannocks their arrows let fly!
They swept into the meadow, circling fast.
The posse died quickly, not long could they last.

Burke and Aurelia hid low in the rocks
until the last of the Bannocks had left.
Not much was left of the posse below,
they lay still, and were mostly scalpless.
But one figured crawled amongst the dead.
Burke climbed down, still clutching his gun,
and loomed over the sheriff's bloodied son.

“You won’t believe me, but I’ll say it now,
I acted only out of self-defense.
You’re father and Grisby were gunning for me,
and Grisby was putting his hands on my friend.
There choices brought them to their ends.”
But Milo just snarled, and crawled away,
Burke and Aura sighed, and left him that way.

No one from Tillico ever saw them again,
even when Milo put a bounty of their hides.
Some say they made for themselves new names
and peacefully lived out their lives.
Others said, like most outlaws, they died...
And if you all liked this tale that you just heard,
Tell your friends about me, Bruce Bowden the Third.

Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2017

Details | Quatrain |


The Quakers, being religiously persecuted, set sail from expatriated England;
they were the first settlers to reach the shore of New England: a free land!
Later the Puritans came and settled in other eastern, bustling colonies
seeking the same religious freedom, but their urge was stronger than dreams.

Many moved westward on foot, on horseback and on overloaded wagons...
exploring the American wilderness plundered by indigenous Indians;
they searched for grassland everywhere, to let their cattle roam and graze;
first they built wooden shacks on vast, lush prairies full of Queen Ann's Lace. 

And out of this American westward expansion, came the fearless pioneers,
who sought gold mines...despite the wild cowboys causing troubles
with heavy drinking and desire for unscrupulous women, seeking money and pleasure, 
who served them more whisky and lured them to a room with a demeaning measure.

Beyond the Rocky Mountains' and the Appalachians Mountains' skies,
these diligent pioneers obtained wealth with sweat and sacrifices...
changing and shaping the wild landscapes of arable land,
avoiding the drudgery of getting stuck in mud and sand.

Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2010

Details | Sestina |

The Legendary Wild West

Back in the days, when men bold,
spun golden legends;
of exploits in the wild west;
of punch-in and herd-in cows
and saloon brawls where they’d shoot
and scores of bullets roared.

Stories of the Iron Horse’s roar
and gunfighters and marshals, bold;
Of gamblers, who’d go shooting
for the stars in cards; those were feats of legend.
Days when plains of cows,
fur-painted the landscape of, the old west.

These are the breed that won the west,
as across the plains, the Iron Horse roared.
those are the backs worn, herding cows;
the exploits of the brave and bold.
those brave and haggard legends
made of silver spurs and pearl-handled shooters.

You’re darn toot-in, shoot’in
like that, was what won the west.
While the Iron Horse died, its legend
lives on, belching out its roar,
across the plains, so bold.
Still, cowboys herd and rope their cows.

Modern day cowboys, herding cows
by truck and shootouts 
no longer ring so boldly.
Wild no more, is the west,
where now, only cars and planes roar.
Yet, there still live the legends.

They aren’t as great, these new legends, 
but it doesn’t phase the cows.
They calmly graze, amid the airplanes roar.
Though one may say, “shoot,
it’s spoiled now”, the legends live on, in the west, 
of heroes brave and bold.

The west will always, have its legends, Though trains no longer roar.
Cowboys will always rope their cows, as they did in the old, wild west.
Upon museum walls, stories of the shootouts,
are told; of ancient heroes brave and bold.

Copyright © M. L. Kiser | Year Posted 2015

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

Copyright © Tirzah Conway | Year Posted 2012

Details | Rhyme |

Jesse Evans and The Boys and the kid

Jesse Evans and The Boys earned much notoriety
during the old west's most untamed and wild history.
Raiding resturants and salloons they would drink and eat for free.
"Chalk it up!" they'd say to all of the merchants before they'd leave,
and riding along with them was one William H Bonney,
known as William Antrim formerly
and speaking Spanish fluently.
Three months earlier he was but a young boy of fifteen,
orphaned, scared, alone and in desperate need.
Now he was holding his own among outlaw killers and theives.
Such a feat for a small young boy of his stature wasn't easily achieved.
He was a prime target for this dangerous gang of thug bullies
who would often abuse him, make fun of and tease.
The kid was forced to face a very hard reality.
He could just take it and be miserable, or he could leave,
or show them all that he was a force to be respected and taken seriously.
He began practicing his shooting skills regularly,
hitting his target everytime and with lightening speed.
On his horse he would shoot at anything and everything,
whether he was stationary or whether he was moving
from every single possible concievable position
and always hit his target with such accurate precision.
Once for fun one outlaw shot the kid's hat off of his head.
The kid returned fire shooting the hat off of the outlaw's head.
Holding his pistol trained on his intended, the kid coldly said,
"I could kill you right now. I could kill you dead,
but I'm hungry and I would rather eat instead."
The kid returned to his meal and nothing more was done or said.
His message was crystal clear; Respect Me Or You're Dead
and from that moment on, respect him they all did.
Jesse Evans and The Boys now all took very seriously this Billy, this kid.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2014

Details | Couplet |


The true story of the American west
Is one of killing field slaughters and 
The bison killers worked day and night
They were all busier than a kennel full 
of dogs in heat
The bison had never seen anything 
equaling this
And therefore knew nothing of how to 
Their bodies piled up on prairies by the 
While human beings continued their 
Humans had no thought about an animal's 
Mention of such would have laughed them 
into a slop bowl
This all points out a basic flaw in the nature 
of man
The evidence was there since man's time on 
earth began
Animals to Man are just mechanized bodies 
of meat and fur
Causing no lapse of conscience for killings 
humans incur
But human beings think to improve Mother 
Nature's rules
What they forget is this mother suffers no fools
When Man becomes comfortable in his unnatural 
Then mother will send earthquakes and floods to 
level Man flat 

Copyright © Elizabeth Smith | Year Posted 2015

Details | Rhyme |

A Doc Holiday Classic

The loudmouth cowboy was challenged by an inebriated Doc Holiday.
"Draw your weapon sir," slurred the doc, "I'm your huckleberry."
"You're drunk as a skunk," said the cowboy, "probably seeing double too."
Mr Holiday responded, "Yes sir, that is very true,
but I have two guns,.. one for each of you."

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2014

Details | Rhyme |

Duerme Bien Querido Guillermo

When you compare the facts with the tales of his legend,
you'll find that most stories of his life are pure fabrication.
He is known worldwide for his killer marksmanship with a gun,
but few know his reputation for helping the elderly, the poor and the young.
It's been said that he killed a man for every year of his life.
That would bring his total to about twenty one,
but nine would be a more accurate number according to historical documentation.
Although he killed, he was not at all a wanton killer outlaw.
If given a choice not to kill, that would have been his choice for sure.
He killed in self defense, he killed in an act of war,
he killed in the line of duty and then he killed once more.
He killed to escape his execution.
In all honesty,
I would have killed just like he
had I been placed in the same situations.
Billy Bonney was not at all your classic killer outlaw.
A poor victim of circumstance would accuratly describe his life more.
He experienced more violence in his short lifetime than today's war veterans.
He suffered personal loss that any one of us would find most horrifying,
yet he never lost his friendly, helpful and charming disposition.
In short, if you weren't his enemy, you couldn't help but love him.
His tragic, short and violent life had come to an end
when he was killed by the hand of a Judas who was once his friend.
He was shot in the dark without warning, he was unarmed.
An all night long candle lit vigil followed as everyone mourned.
He was already a legend back when the old west was still untamed and wild,
but legend doesn't portray the brutal harshness of the true life he had lived.
His was the tragedy of a promising young boy, 
forced to become a man while still a child
and all would one day know him as Billy, the Kid.

Duerme Bien Querido Guillermo

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Western Melodies

Give me a "Home On The Range"
Where my granpa once roamed
Out on the lone prairie
From "Deep In The Heart Of Texas"
He cummed  up the trail
Following the "Cowboys Dream"

All the way to "The Chisholm Trail"
There "At The Cowboys Dance"
He met "Sweet Betsy From Pike"
And danced with "The Buffalo Gals"
Early next morn he hit the saddle once more
Headed for "Cripple Creek"

"The Yellow Rose Of Texas"
And "San Antonio Rose"
He met on the "Streets Of Loredo"
In "Red River Valley"
He met that "Red River Gal"
Headed for the "Lone Star Trail"

This "Texas Cowboy"
Hit a new trail "Way Out In Idaho"
But when "Windy Bill" gave him a taste of 
"Life In A Prairie Shack"
He jumped on "Old Paint" and did leave.

He headed north to "Dakota Land"
Where his last years he did spend
Proudly he'd boast "I'm An Old Cowhand"
And sits and tells them his tales.

Of the "Grand Roundup" as he rode "Wild Buckaroo"
When "Down In The Valley" he ranched.
But tears filled his gray eyes
As he told of "Little Joe The Wrangler"
On the "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine"

When "The Work's All Done This Fall"
"Git  Along Little Doggies" he'll say
It's about time for the "Last Round-Up"
Which is the "Dying Cowboy's" dream.

                                               Cile Beer

Copyright © Marycile Beer | Year Posted 2007

Details | Free verse |


In the old, wild west
every lonely cowboy
stopped to rest at a crowded inn
surrounded by bare
rocky hills; he blamed it
on the greedy pioneers.

Traveling wasn't easy, not because
of coyotes or deadly
snakes that hid, or slept
in the blue stern grass......
they had to look out 
for those Indians.

In the old, wild west
every lonely cowboy 
always left his loaded gun
close to his bed
for a quick draw...unless it was
a loud brawl coming from the floor below.

Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2013

Details | Rhyme |

The Lincoln County War

Billy the Kid was living an honest life as a ranch hand.
He was employed by John Tunstall, an immigrant Englishman.
Mr Tunstall gave Billy his own horse, rifle and full saddle gear.
When he presented them to the Kid, Billy held back his tears.
"What's wrong son?" Mr Tunstall asked Billy outright.
The Kid responded, "No one has ever given me anything ever in my life."
It appeared that Billy was finally going to live a good life for sure,
until the competition murdered Mr Tunstall, which sparked The Lincoln County War.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2013

Details | Cowboy |

Ringo's Last Ride


It’s way back in the eighties, of  the eighteenth century,
the bad man Johnny Ringo, did stalk Arizona free,
from Lukeville  to Sonoro, he dealt his darkest hand,
and sought to take the silver, from outlawed Mexican band

With Curly Bill and Scott Corley, he ambushed smuggler’s
band, their heavy bags of silver, sure lookin kinda grand,
gunshots smoked the many, some were kept for sport,
tortured in the hot sun, without a kindred thought

Now Ringo took to spendin, his gotten gains with glee,
and tabled games of poker, he played while he was free
but Wyatt Earp got wind of  him, or so the story goes,
and shot him thru the head one day, sleepin peacefully

Now many’s took the claim, for shootin Johnny thru,
but others say he took his life cos drinkin made him blue,
and if you want to see the place, they laid his body down,
he’s in West Turkey Valley, on the other side of town

Copyright © Peter Lewis Holmes | Year Posted 2015

Details | Rhyme |


Unlikely the explorers of the Wild West,
I'm bound for sheer adventure, not amazing discovery;
finding gold is far from any quest 
while this clanking, slow-moving stream locomotive
will take me to places so primitive... 
even a small ghost town has tales that conjure mystery!  

Whistle along train as your steam puffs...
reaching clouds and turning them into raindrops,
California is still a seeker's dream for the unhappy folks living 
in bustling cities enduring noise and pollution;
soundless are the canyons drifting
by without any fearless cowboy riding,
but the watchful coyotes will resent this intrusion...
whenever your whistle startles them when they are napping!

Whistle along train as your steam puffs,
I didn't bring along a single book to read not to be distracted by reality,   
only a huge map showing me historic towns...
where daily shootings were as common as drinking whiskey!
Imagine seeing the ghosts of Billy the Kid and Jesse James 
roam the dusty streets ready to start a gunfight;
see crowds gather and wait for the winner to shout...
it's like watching a Clint Eastwood's western movie drawing his guns!

Copyright © Andrew Crisci | Year Posted 2015

Details | Cowboy |


Take my heart to Tombstone,
Away from hill and tree,
Sell my horse to injuns
But give the saddle free

Outside haunts a spectre,
He has his eye on me, so 
Take my heart to Tombstone,
And hang it from a tree

Blood and friendship’s now
Long gone, only rivers run 
True free, so take my heart 
To Tombstone, OK Coral
For me

Put my gun behind the bar
The bullets and the belt,
If a bad man passes by
Hot lead he should be dealt

And if one evening’s scented
Breeze a whippoorwill calls new, 
remember me, proud Wyatt Earp, 
with six-gun justice true

Copyright © Peter Lewis Holmes | Year Posted 2015

Details | Rhyme |

What Might Have Been Grand by Wee Luck Mc Gee

Well, Finn and Mc Gee 
Were riding along
Headed back home
When something looked wrong

So, Finn off his horse
Now looked all around
He said, "We are lost
But, there's something we've found"

"Look at this massive 
Whole in this plain
We'll never get home
This is insane"

"A canyon like this
What an unlucky find
We can't ride around it
We haven't the time"

"And we can't ride down through it
There isn't a way
If even there was
We'd be dead in a day"

So Mc Gee very calmly
with shovel in hand
Said "Well, we'd better get crackin'
And fill it with sand"

Copyright © Jerry T Curtis | Year Posted 2014

Details | Free verse |

Wild, Wild West

Magazine ads and newspaper obituaries
skitter across the streets
like tumbleweed in the desert.
Rims the size of carriage wheels roll by.
Everyone's holsters are filled,
even the children carry pistols.
The schools are ghost towns
but the saloons stay occupied.
This is the Wild, Wild West.

Copyright © Dylan Catalano | Year Posted 2012

Details | Cowboy |

The Cowboy

The legacy of a Cowboy,
Can be written in a song;
About the misty mountain passes,
Where the Cowboy’s life belongs;

About the days spent in the saddle,
Punching cattle and mending fence;
At home with mother nature,
Living life in his defense;

All the nights spent under stars,
With the campfire burning low;
Riding range on shifty heifers,
In the rain and blowing snow;

Icicles hang from his mustache,
As he pulls his coat in tight;
Steam rolls off his horse’s flanks,
Disappearing into the night;

He works until the job is done,
And is up long before dawn;
See the legacy of a Cowboy,
Lives on long after he‘s gone.

Copyright © Tirzah Conway | Year Posted 2011

Details | Rhyme |

John Tunstall and the Kid

The Kid had been arrested along with The Boys and Jesse Evans.
All were being charged with cattle rustling.
It was John Tunstall's livestock that had been stolen,
and he intended to press charges against all of them,
until he happened to see William H Bonney.
He seemed so out of place with this gang of ruthless thieves.
Mr Tunstall then spoke with the Kid privately.
"I will drop all charges against you for your testimony,
that my livestock was stolen by this gang of thieves,
afterward you're welcome to come and work for me.
Room and board will be absolutely free,
and you will earn a decent salary honestly."
Billy Bonney readily agreed
and so John Tunstall had the Kid released.
When they arrived at Tunstall's home he had a gift for the Kid,
a rifle and a horse complete with  saddle gear and blanket.
This unexpectedly brought tears to the Kid's eyes.
"What's wrong son?" Mr Tunstall asked surprised.
"Nobody," said the Kid, "has ever given me anything in my life."
John Tunstall would become Billy's mentor.
John wrote home to his family the following in a letter,
"That kid never ceases to amaze me.
There isn't anything in the world he won't do to try and impress me.
I'm going to make one hell of a man out of that kid one day,"
but tragically John Tunstall got blown away,
by the ruthless monopolizing competition.
Partners Lawrence Murphy and Jimmy Dolan 
sent a merciless gang of corrupt lawmen
to John Tunstall's ranch and murdered him.
Billy's second chance for a better life was no more.
John Tunstall's murder ignited The Lincoln County War.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2015

Details | Rhyme |

An Animal Lover

None of the other horsemen would ask this of him,
but he would tend to all of the horses after a hard day of riding.
He would feed and give water to every single one of them.
While they were grazing he would groom them
and talk to them also when he thought no one was listening.
He would feed a hungry stray dog or malnourished cat.
He loved animals but was never really known for that.
Most focus on the very violent and very short life he had lived.
This animal lover was none other than the legendary Billy the Kid.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2015

Details | Free verse |


Oh lord hear the lonesome cowboys lullaby, singing beneath
The vast prairie open sky.
Hush, do they not lull the restless cattle to sleep, by a soft
Undertones sweet melody.
Drifting plains men, singing of the sorrows broken hearted,
And dreaming visions of their beloved, they've left behind.
Guitar strumming minstrels, of the fire hearth, accented
By the lone harmonica, playing off in the distance
Amongst a sea of cows, and horses.
In harmonic rhythm is this grassroots orchestra, as the fiddler
Strikes up his bow to join in, and playing ever so gently along,
To harmony's rhythm.
On the rocky cliffs mixed in the sandy dunes, the heckling
Coyotes, give an eerie ambiance, to this old western chorus.
Do these desert whyly creatures, howl in perfections tune,
To the wrangler's musical beat, of these wide grassy expanses,
That they all call home.
The rattler shakes it's tail in defiance, against the munching
Prairie dog, whom got away at the last moment.
Listen closely to the sounds of the meadow-lands, does not the crickets,
And locusts, add a natural flavor by their clicking and chirping.
Near the rivers stream, as the winds do blow, along the waters edge,
Another elements assent, is bestowed by the forcing of the reeds, to
Bend hitting them against the hollow log, causing a thumping's,
Drumming, to this uniquest of bands.
As twilight's distant starlight, flickering in the vast
Blackness above, these rambling souls whom wander so.
Down these dusty trails long journey, yearn for nothing
More than to know the quite serenity, of their home
That seems so far away.
Let your music fill your emptiness, for one nights
Beautiful dream, and remember the memory as if it
Were real, a vivid vision of illusion, and rest
In complete bliss, good night my young
Cowboy of the open sky.


Copyright © cherl dunn | Year Posted 2014