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Long Cowboy Poems

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Long Poems
Long poem by SillyBilly theKidster | Details

Today In Billy the Kid History - April 28, 1881

"Sentenced to hang in the town of Lincoln,
Billy made his bold escape.
Both of his guards died from thinking,
that a shackled young boy couldn't break away."

I've often wondered what thoughts were going through his head
as he stood staring out that window chained to the floor by his bed,
watching the gallows being built that would soon seal his fate.
Was he planning at that very moment his greatest escape?
Did he already know that his hanging would never come to be?
Was he already aware that before night fall, once again he'd be free?
Whatever his thoughts, they were interrupted rudely
by Deputy Bob Ollinger, one of his guards while in custody.
"Word has it you said that if we ever met again you'd kill me on the spot. 
Well here I am Kid. Now's your chance. Show me what you've got. 
It's a shame that you'll hang in another week or two, 
because I'd love to be the one who gets to kill you. 
I've got silver dimes in the barrells of my shotgun. 
I'd love to try them out on you, but I can't unless you run. 
If I free you from those chains will you run for the door? 
Oh by the way Kid, your Ma was one sweet filthy whore. 
I'll kill you before you hang Kid. That's a sure bet." 
"Be careful Bob," said the Kid, "I'm not hung yet."
Bob thrusted his shotgun hard into Billy's gut. 
The Kid looked up at him in pain and said, "Now what?" 
"Don't do it Bob," Bell screamed angrily, "or you'll be the one who'll hang for sure 
for killing an unarmed boy in cold blood who was chained helplessly to the floor. 
It's time for the other prisoners 
to be escorted across the street to be fed. The Kid's not going anywhere. 
He's chained to the floor by his bed. 
Anyway, I took the prisoners last so now it's your turn. 
Go and have yourself a beer 
and I'll stay here 
and guard the Kid until you return. 
Bob Ollinger placed his shotgun into the gun rack. 
Before he left, he said to Billy, "I'll see you when I get back." 
No one can say for sure if the above scenario ever truly took place,
but one thing's for sure. 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that murdered John Tunstall,
Billy's employer, friend and mentor. 
"I have to use the privy Bell," Billy said to the deputy. 
Bell kept his rifle trained on Billy as he tossed him the key. 
Billy unlocked the chains that kept him bound to the floor. 
Still in handcuffs and leg irons, Bell escorted Billy out the door. 
Billy entered the outhouse closing the door behind him. 
"Let's not take too long in there Kid," Bell said with a friendly grin. 
While in the outhouse, 
Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuffs. 
"You fall in there Kid?" Bell laughed, 
"You've been in there long enough." 
"I'm coming out now Bell," Billy said opening the door. 
"Sorry I took so long Bell. I must have ate something bad for sure." 
Deputy Bell then escorted Billy back to the jail cell. 
Once inside, Billy spun around and smacked hard Deputy James Bell. 
Bell lost his balance, dropped his rifle and was momentarily stunned. 
"Hands Up Bell!," the Kid yelled. In his hand was a gun. 
Please, please don't do it Bell," Billy pleaded, but Bell tried to run. 
The Kid had no choice but to do what had to be done. 
He shot and killed Bell, then quickly got Ollinger's shotgun. 
The Kid never found pleasure in killing, 
but Ollinger would indeed be the exception. 
Knowing that Ollinger heard the gunfire, Billy stood by the window 
and waited for Ollinger to appear in the street down below. 
One senior named Godfrey saw Bell fall dead down the stairs. 
The moment probably gave Godfrey a few more gray hairs. 
Ollinger ran out into the street as Godfrey screamed, 
"The Kid's killed Bell!" 
Ollinger looked up into both barrels of his own shotgun 
and muttered, "..and now he's killed me as well."
"Hello Bob!," Billy called out with a song in his heart 
just prior to blowing Bob Ollinger apart. 
He blasted both barrels into Ollinger's chest and face. 
Pieces of old Bob lay scattered all over the place. 
Billy snapped his shotgun in two, threw it at him but missed. 
"You'll never rifle me again," he screamed, "you son of a bitch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I do not want to hurt anyone, 
but I will kill anybody who tries to prevent my escape." 
In the office he found a sledge hammer
and smashed the chains of his leg irons free. 
He told Godfrey to fetch him a fast horse immediately. 
As he walked down the stairs, he came upon Bell's lifeless body 
and many eyewitnesses admit
that the Kid looked upon him and said somewhat tearfully, 
"I'm sorry I killed you Bell, but couldn't help it." 
As Billy mounted the horse 
the chains of his leg irons startled the beast. 
The horse bucked violently throwing Billy down onto the street. 
He was at this point his most vulnerable laying down on the ground. 
The crowd could have overtaken him easily, 
but none made a move or a sound. 
One might think that they were all too terrified to subdue him immediately,
but the truth is that he was so loved by so many
that they all just let him go free.
Once again Billy mounted the horse
and fled with the sound of his leg iron chains ringing. 
Many claim that as he rode out of Lincoln County 
that they heard the Kid singing. 
Billy had escaped danger so many other times in his past, 
but this was his greatest escape ever. 
It would also be his last.

*

It was a few days after the Kid's great escape, 
when the following happened to Sheriff Pat Garrett's dismay. 
A stranger rode into the town of Lincoln, 
with the same horse that the Kid stole for his escaping. 
The stranger approached Garrett and said, 'Excuse me partner,
"Billy said that you would return this horse to its rightful owner."
.....just another example of the Kid's unique sense of humor.

Copyright © SillyBilly theKidster | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Chris Peers | Details

Cowboy Jesus

There's a man who lives in my street,
he wears cowboy clothes and he looks like Jesus,
he has a thick silver chain around his neck,
and a big silver cross on the end of it,
I hear him before I see him,
the heels of his alligator skinned boots are studded,
clack, clack, clack, clack,
he walks around the block every morning,
one of his daily rituals is singing in the style of Elvis Presley,
each morning he sings the same verse from "If I can dream",

"There must be lights burning brighter somewhere,
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue,
If I can dream of a better land,
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why, can't my dream come true".

In the evenings, he slowly drives his blood red mustang
thru the neighborhood, always singing the same verse from
"Walk a mile in my shoes",

"If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".

One Sunday morning in the summer,
I was mowing my front yard, before the heat of the day arrived,
Cowboy Jesus, that's what I call him, stopped at the edge of my yard, 
and leaned his back against my mail box,
I cut the engine to my lawn mower and went over to him,
he said to me "Do you go to church"?
I said "No",
he said "You should, let me tell you about my church, its called,
its called, o' dear lord, I can't remember the name of my church,
goddammit, anyway, you should go to church",
I said "Maybe you should pray to your god and he'll tell you the 
name of your church",
he stared at me for a couple of seconds, then burst out laughing,
he walked away still laughing while the heels of his alligator skinned
cowboy boots went clack, clack, clack, clack, 
I then began to hear him singing that verse
from his morning ritual song, trying to impersonate Elvis,

"There must be lights burning brighter somewhere,
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue,
If I can dream of a better land,
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand,
Tell me why, oh why, oh why, can't my dream come true".

Throughout the rest of the year,
I heard him walking by my house,
clack, clack, clack clack,
singing his morning song,
and in the evenings, 
he drove his blood red mustang,
extra slow as he passed by my yard and house,
always singing the same verse from 'Walk a mile in my shoes"
in the style of the King of Rock 'n' Roll,

 "If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".
  
Last week, I went for a walk around the block with my dog, a black and white
Old English sheepdog, who we call Barkley Barkington, 
we were approaching Cowboy Jesus' house, when I was struck with awe
by his tree and yard Christmas decorations. The trees and bushes were
bedecked with green, yellow, red and orange twinkling lights, in the center of his yard,
he had a nativity scene, back lit with a golden yellow, that made the scene glow.
Behind the nativity scene, he had a Christmas tree, standing taller than his one
story house, strewn with multi colored lights, with a silver star at the apex.
He had two 6 foot inflatable snow men in the back corners of his yard, he had
inflatable reindeer pulling Santa Claus on a sled in the front left corner of his yard,
and a 10 foot silver colored cross erected on the front right of his yard. 
With tubular multi colored lights, he had, in cursive, the words JESUS SAVES,
spread out across the front and width of his yard.

I rested my back against his mail box to marvel at the scene,
a minute later, Cowboy Jesus came out of his house and approached
me at his mail box. He said to me, "I remember you, you're that pagan who lives
up the street'. I merely grunted in acknowledgement.
I then noticed that he was shirtless, still wearing his silver cross and chain,
but, his whole torso and arms were tattooed in red ink with religious scripture. 
I thought to myself, "i don't think you understand the irony of your words, Cowboy Jesus".
I complimented his Christmas decorations and said good night to him, and continued to
walk around the block with Barkley Barkington, with echoes of Cowboy Jesus singing that verse 
from "Walk a mile in shoes".

"If I could be you and you could be me for just one hour,
If we could find a way to get inside each others mind,
If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
I believe you'd be surprised to see that you'd been blind,
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes".

And I screamed inside my head, "Oh Hell, no"!!

Copyright © Chris Peers | Year Posted 2016

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.

Copyright © Steven Medellin | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Robert Lindley | Details

The Grizzly Old Cowboy's Night At The Saloon

The Grizzly Old Cowboy's Night At The Saloon


That wash-bin washed away tons of trail-dirt
Many a pint of blood too said the old man
He was lean and mean in his cowboy shirt
Weather-beaten face and western sun's tan.
Young man, hitch your belt tight tonight
We afixin' to race forth to DryCreek's saloon
With luck, we'll have great fun and win a fight
Before sad coyotes howl at the new moon.

Young cowboy winked with a foolish grin
Sure Pops, whatever you want to do
You know I was born ready and all in
I heard that saloon is a snake filled zoo.
Last month, ole Tex got shot plum full of holes
Died on that sweat-soaked sawdust floor
I swear DryCreek jackals got no damn souls
Took his boots, searched his body for more!

That they did young man, so be lively tonight
A cowboy has got to live by heart, wits and gun
Just wait, those saloon gals are a pretty sight
I bet my best saddle, we fixin' have some fun.
Now strap on your six shooter and best shirt
Those beauties will cry for young cowboy like you
Each one giving you the eye if you dare to flirt
I am mighty proud to see you get your due.

Hearing loud gunfire from many a mile away
Pops checked his six and rode on with a smile
For five months he'd lived for this time to play
Enduring far too many ranch, dust choking mile.
Down main street they in great haste rode
The young cowboy, admiring the much older man
Walking in, to see how much whiskey they could hold
Just being wild and crazy was the unwritten plan!

No sooner limbered up than a fight started by the bar
Some young fool got himself knife and carried out
Damn thought Pops, that's gonna leave a wicked scar
Young cowboy grinned and let out a booming shout.
All went well until that beauty entered down the stairs
Young cowboy, quick as greased lightning fell in love
He then began dreaming they would soon be pairs
He and that raven-haired queen from heaven above!

Pops saw and knew there would be bad trouble soon
For she belonged to one bad hombre named Laredo
For her he'd fight anything and jump over the moon
He was fast with a gun and one tough Texas tornado.
Young cowboy knew too but did not care a whit
His smitten heart overriding his western good sense
He had now found true love and she was all of it
For her he'd ride all night and break down any fence!

When Laredo approached old Pops saw that gleam
Fire in his blazing eyes and steam from his ears
Thinking to save his own wild fantasy dream
He tossed away any of his caution and fears.
Young cowboy saw his hand moved lightning fast
Had only enough time to reach for his pistol too
This was it, some cowboy wasn't gonna live past
Tonight's good fun, and would pay heavy dues!

Two shots rang out, almost at the same time
Each man dropped his gun, grabbed his chest
Fair was this usual type of fight, not a crime
Neither cowboy had proved to be the very best.
Each fell forward, in a puddle of flowing red-blood
And soon died upon that saw-dust saloon floor
As coyotes wailed and cattle chewed their cud
Neither would see the sun rise once more!

Pops rode away, thinking what a damn shame
That young man had a great future to live for
He was strong and cocky with a good game
Now gone, he'd ride this dusty trail no more.
With that solemn thought he began to pray
God, when my time comes, send me in quick
Give me a speeding hot bullet to the chest
I want no long drawn out time of being sick.

Grant me this wish, we both know to be best!
I too, have long lived by heart, wits and gun
I now repent of this black heart in my chest
I lived and loved, had me one mighty fine run.
At ranch-house, he smelled the morning beans
Looked he up at heaven and with smile he said
Lord, I have on work-shirt and my favorite jeans
Forget my wish, give me good day's ride instead!

Robert J. Lindley, 1-27-2017
Form- Narrative

Copyright © Robert Lindley | Year Posted 2017

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 !

Copyright © Jerry T Curtis | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Lindsay Laurie | Details

Slowest With a Gun

The whips will crack across the back
of the steers that won’t move on.
Every day comes closer now
for the day they will be gone.
All these ‘beeves’ on the trail,
will be yarded sold and railed,
and the cowboys who drove them here
will all get underpaid.

Three long months upon a horse;
one night in the ‘star’ saloon;
Five hours at the table;
a  young girl in his room.
He's letting down his Texas hair
from the range and starlit night,
believing he can win tomorrow
what he lost tonight.

Morning shines, and those good times
left his head a mess,
he couldn't find a dollar sign
when he went to dress.
She must have slipped him something,
in a drink she lured him on,
now every cent that he had,
like the lady has all gone.

He sought her out with a cold hard grin;
his gun flashed in her eye.
She realized what this cowboy meant,
that she could easily die.
The melting smile’s now a nervous grin,
uncommon with her guests,
she lifted notes from in between,
the cleavage of her breasts.

Her parting smile bought his guard down
when he turned his back to leave,
then he thought he heard the hammer,
from a colt held up her sleeve.
He reeled away, then a deafening roar,
left a hole right through the door,
he drew and fired and a flash leapt out.
She lay dying on the floor.

There was no trial, there was no fuss,
the lady had drawn first.
The sheriff told the waiting crowd,
he can't satisfy their thirst,
so the hanging tree still hangs around,
with a rope and knot undone,
it seems out here the guilty
are the slowest with a gun.

His newfound fame had lifted him
as a leader of the crowd,
a cowboy who was mean and wild
and one who’s becoming loud.
He found a chair on the table where,
high rollers urged their prey.
When he pulled that wad of notes out,
the dealer called out play.

His eyes were filled with glitter
as diamonds filled his hands,
a fortune in the centre,
folks heard the high demands.
He only had to make the call,
and take the stake then leave
against a man who made his luck,
from an ace held up his sleeve.

He left the game at midnight;
there were drinks all 'round the bar.
‘A cowboy’s beat the rollers!’
Leaked out from the ‘star’.
Will he leave this place tomorrow
with his fortune and his fame?
The gambler knows his cowboys.
He knows their cowboy game.

Now the cowboy’s pockets empty,
the cards won't go his way,
the hands that he got yesterday
ain't winning here today.
He glared at the gambler smiling
and  he saw him wink and gloat,
he knew he'd brought an ace out
from somewhere in his coat.

Steely eyes were matched,                                                      
between the expert and the fool.
The cowboy had been drinking,
so forgot one golden rule.
He made a move to stand,
while staring at the gamblers face,
a  shot from beneath the table,
claimed a victim of the ace.

There was no trial, there was no fuss,
the cowboy had drawn first.
The sheriff told the waiting crowd,
he can't satisfy their thirst,
so the hanging tree still hangs around,
with a rope and knot undone,
it seems out here the guilty
are the slowest with a gun.

Copyright © Lindsay Laurie | Year Posted 2016

Long poem by Roy Jerden | Details

Call Me Tex

Listen to poem:
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 when I was out of 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 when I was out of 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

Copyright © Roy Jerden | Year Posted 2013

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

Copyright © Amy Green | Year Posted 2014

Long poem by Victoria Anderson-Throop | Details

THE STARGAZER'S RIDE for WILD WILD WESTCowboy contest

                                             THE STARGAZER'S RIDE
                                         (or THE LAST SPURRING LICK)

                                        Saddle shoulder-tossed like feather light
                                        Aging cowboy strutted for the crowds
                                        The throngs that mingled in his mind
                                        From past glory, cheering loud.

                                        Across his shoulder down his back
                                        Leather mended with great care
                                        Oiled and rubbed with tender hands
                                        A woman never stirred such love.
                                       
                                         Excitement scuttled--- colors blazed---
                                         whooping kids these afternoons—
                                         Livestock stirr and kicked the stalls
                                         inhaling echo pumped excitement’s blur—

                                         Colors mixed with fear and joy
                                         Set the boldest man on edge
                                         Broken bones mere memories--
                                         Blotted out behind the thrills  
                                         That bucked behind the unknown stalls.
                                        
                                         A sudden certainty grabbed him
                                         As real as bucking in the stalls
                                         His breath still strong and stalwart sure
                                         The sounds and colors shimmered on

                                         Visions flashed from death to glory
                                         Called to thrills that grind the soul.
                                         He'd had his fill of limps and aches
                                         No delights in growing old .

                                         Today he'd end his life on fire
                                         A rank Star gazer sucking back
                                         His time the best—tho body crushed
                                         He’d give this crowd a shattering crack



Rodeo Terms:
spurring lick--the movement of a cowboy's feet
Rank—hard animal to ride
Star gazer- animal that bucks with his head up
Suck back: animal that suddenly switches direction
Crack--excitement

Copyright © Victoria Anderson-Throop | Year Posted 2013

Long poem by David Welch | Details

Showdown at Heller Ranch

Don Heller owned an impressive spread,
Not that far from Lindholme town,
Below the tall peaks of Idaho,
Down the road from Ed McGowan.

Ed McGowan owned half the ville,
And had two-dozen hanger-son.
Ike Raeburn owned the other half,
But had thirty men with guns.

All knew that someday blood would come,
And six-shooters would be drawn,
But Marshall Jackson, old and tired
Could not stop this violent dawn.

Ed and Ike threw their weight around,
Then demanded the loyalty,
Of townsfolk and of ranchers all
Who lived in the wide country.

Before long folks had taken sides,
Just trying somehow to survive,
But Dan wouldn’t be tread upon,
He said he’d sooner die!

He readied himself for a fight,
Not knowing who’d strike first.
But he paused and then had an idea
To end the pair’s blood-thirst.

He sauntered one day into town,
And sat down for a drink.
To all who’d ask he told freely
Which side he thought would win.

By day’s end the rumor ran
That McGowan he did choose.
But another claimed him Raeburn’s man,
Twas a wild mess of news.

But Ed and Ike, they would not stand
Someone siding against them,
So they both went down to Heller’s ranch,
To deal out his punishment!

As each drew near and saw the other
They raised up an angry cry!
Colts came out and roared to life,
The hot lead began to fly.

And as the bodies piled up,
As hot blood so freely spilled,
Dan sat perched with his Sharps
Upon a nearby, wooded hill.

When one would run from the carnage,
He could carefully take aim,
And whether they were Ed’s of Ike’s
Dan sent them swiftly to their graves.

And when the shirkers started falling,
Each side blamed the other gang.
They redoubled their violent efforts,
Their guns with mad rage sang!

In seven quick and hellish minutes
They tore each other apart,
And left but one man standing,
Where fifty-seven had stood at the start!

That man was old Ike Raeburn,
Desperately limping away.
So Dan he drew a bead on him,
Squeezed, and ended his days.

Dan went down to the town for Marshall,
And told him a sordid yarn,
About two gangs having it out,
While he ‘hid’ within the barn.

Marshall Jackson made his way out,
Whistled, then shook his head.
And said,”Never thought it would end like this,
But at least those thugs are dead.”

Lindholme had no trouble after that,
The Marshall saw to his job,
Hired on a younger deputy
To help him control the mob.

And Dan never had to worry again,
For as the townfolk like to say:
What fears a man who takes on fifty-plus
And lives to walk away?

Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2017

Long Poems