Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

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Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of



Day's End

As I sit and watch the sun go down, we have finished our day.
My horse grazes next to me he is content to stay.
I stoke my fire, pour coffee in my cup, open a can of beans to heat for my sup,
A coyote cries in the distance, another chimes in,
As the moon crawls over the back of my faithful old friend.
I hear his rhythmic chewing he gives a soft sigh,
A true friend he is without asking why.
I lean on my saddle, coffee in my hand, and stare at the silhouette that cascades on the land.
Crickets start their singing, the coyote and owl too,
They make me think of God and what he meant to do.
As I sit and listen quietly, of all that they sing, I think of tomorrow and what it will bring.
I know that today will never be again, and I am satisfied of what We've done to bring it to an end.

A. K. Moss
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Songs Less Traveled

When I was young our dad would sing a song
of Cowboys, horses and love gone wrong.
He'd take us back in time the stories we'd hear,
We rode along as he sang knowing he was near.

And we'd ride that Bad Brahmer Bull and the Chisolm Trail,
We went to Cowboy Heaven, Tied a Knot in that Devil's Tail,
Rode the Strawberry Roan, wore that Continental Suite,
Heard the Jingle Jangle Jingle, and saw the one they called the brute.
We'd hear that Coyote Song, and the Cattle Call,
Take me back to my boots and saddle when the work' all done this fall.

When it was time for bed or I was feeling low,
I'd ask my dad to sing a song, a song of long ago.
And before he'd finish a smile would cross my face,
As we rode off together, another time, another place.

And we'd ride that Bad Brahmer Bull and the Chisolm Trail,
Go to Cowboy Heaven, Tie a Knot in that Devil's Tail,
Rode that Strawberry Roan, Wore that Continental Suite,
Heard the Jingle Jangle Jingle and saw the one the called The Brute.
I'd hear the Coyotes song and the Cattle Call,
Take me back to my boots and saddle when the work's all done this fall.

Now when I am traveling alone and there is nothing but time
A tune comes drifting in and gathers in my mind,
I hum along as the words are unraveled,
Then start singing a song of long ago,
those songs less traveled.

Though time may be different from the wild west then
there is a magic and a wonder of how it all had been,
So let the stories live and your imaginations bring,
A distant memory as you hear a cowboy sing.

And ride that Bad Brahmer Bull and the Chisolm Trail,
Go to Cowboy Heaven Tie a Knot in that Devil's Tail.
Ride that Strawberry Roan, wear that Continental Suite,
Hear the Jingle Jangle Jingle and see the one they call the Brute
Hear that Coyote song and the Cattle Call
Take me back to my boots and saddle when the work's all done this fall.

So hum along as those words are unraveled
So you can sing a song of long ago,
Those songs now less traveled.

A. K. Moss
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem is not only a tribute to my Father but also for those who wrote
and sung them. It is included in my book called Legends in the Making.  



Listen my friend and you shall hear, the echoes down the canyon as they draw near,
The cries, the yips the hoof beats, the echoes off the wall
The whispers of the wild that beckon one and all.
You may not see them now my friend, you may not know their face,
But you can hear them calling, for you to take your place,
Among the valleys and mountains, among the sage and the trees,
Among the men before you. Can you hear it in the breeze?
Close your eyes and listen, then grab your saddle and your chinks,
For they are riding in to take you to the brink.

They ride hard for yesterday, so tomorrow won't forget
The call of the wild. They have no regret.
They gather, sort, they work until the last,
They dally up and drag them or they tie hard and fast,
The Cowboy or Vaquero it don't matter the names
For that blood runs thick and it courses through your veins.
You've been fighting it a long time, standing against the wind.
Knowing you were different from those who transcend.
And as you listen to the echoes. I can see it on your face,
You are where you belong as the wind whispers a trace,
Of hooves, horns and rawhide, the horses and the steers,
All that you stand for, the blood sweat and tears.

When in a lonely night you feel you want to cry,
When darkness smothers you and you thing you want to die
Just listen for the echoes, hear them calling you .
Know that you are among the best in all that you do.
Think of those before you who rode tall and bold
Think of what they stood for, the freedom that you hold.
Then grab your saddle and your chinks when you hear that distant call
The hooves, horns and horses when you hear the cattle bawl.
Then you will know why you stand for freedom, you'll know why you stand for pride,
You'll know why each morning you saddle up and ride.

So listen my friend and you shall hear,
The echoes down the canyon as they draw near.
For that thunder in the distance, it's not the hint of rain.
It's the past riding for you and it's calling your name.

A. K. Moss
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Of Grace and Grit

Since the day of his birth, a twine around his girth he was meant to buck,
Almost a ton of mass gives him style and class with a force of a semi truck.
Within his eye is knowledge and try of a thousand rides before,
Within his heart the major part, the beat of acrobatic war.
And beside him now, seemed a joke somehow, a lad not a tenth of his size,
Who would boldly sit with determined grit, no intimidation in his eyes
upon this bulls back.  Was there a lack of sense to be had?
Or does he look fear in the face to ratify some case to become more than a lad?
He is taking a road many before him has strode with a stubborn hardy will,
A yearning deep within, beckoning him in, to face mortality yet still
He is quiet and reserved, not altering his nerve, he came here to ride,
With a friend trusted to the core who helps balance the score standing by his side.

The tension is strong the wait not long for he is next in line.
He wraps his glove and with a glance above it is now his time.
He removes his hat from where he is at, no ego to be played,
Knelt and bowed his head silent words were said as he quietly prayed.
The words he spoke no silence was broke mere whispers from the heart and soul,
From one man to one God they silently trod where bigger men fear to go.

Then he stepped astride this mass of hoof and hide. Like in life he rides alone.
The future untold as he grabs a hold of all that he has known.
Only his arm will tether these two athletes together, no friendship to be made.
But the respect between mass and lean are challenged and rightfully paid.
Pulling tight his strap taking his wrap, sitting balanced and deep.
Few words are said with a nod of his head, the bull takes a mighty leap
And jumps out of the gate with power and hate blazened on his face,
He has the count of eight to set the record straight and put this cowboy in his place.
With a jumping surge this bull wanting to purge this weight from his massive back
He twists and strains he won't refrain and whips him like a burlap sack.

Poetry in motion with passion and devotion one arm connects to two
He rocks to and fro with the beat of his foe, the plan to follow through.
The cowboys chin to his chest his feet did the rest to rake rattle and roll,
But the force and the jar of each impact by far took a mighty toll
His riggin began to slip he tried to retain his grip and rode one second more.
When he hit the ground his legs he found to retreat the arena floor.
The buzzer then rang as he sprang to the fence for the bull to pass by,
Knowing the life that we live with the take and the give, we always face another try.
As he walked away with knowledge that day there was a whisper that will transcend,
a boy to a man for with tough yet gentle hand he touched his hat as he said "Amen."

A. K. Moss
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Wink, Nod and Sigh

She has felt a rope with a mustang attached,
Threw berries into a biscuit batch,
The holes she'd patch in clothes and shoes
She loves her life and has paid her dues.
She has tallied, rallied, opened the gate,
Chased, paced and could hardly wait,
For true love to come calling and fulfill her life,
Yet the blue of her falling and the dreams of a wife
Would have to wait until there was more time in the day,
For her fate would not dawn on her or come her way
Until she gathered her emotions and set them aside,
Till she lathered all horses she started to ride.
And found out that tough is not all that there is,
What she's done comes back on her, the takes and the give.
She has gathered and sorted she's worked dawn till dark,
She's been lathered and courted, jerked drawn and embark,
Into places with horses she never thought existed,
Keeping paces through courses that she has enlisted.
She has draped and dallied, taped and cursed,
Coped and prodded, roped and worse,
She has caught things she didn't want to and tried to turn loose,
Been drug, whipped and burned, yet learned to cook goose.
She has folded, molded, and tarried to long,
Charmed harmed, and done things wrong,
Brought laughter where tears stain the face,
Taught love, soothed fears, she's attempted grace.
She has held many a child, colt and calf,
With the hands the size of mans only half,
And the calluses that line them may dull the feel,
Yet her heart it binds them to a mother so real.
She has procrastinated, assassinated, tallied and stewed,
Migrated almost been abominated, is liberated and has brewed
Over family, friends, dinner and such,
All she has, all she wants which isn't that much.
She has cursed God, loves the bible and believes in Amen.
If she had her druthers she'd do it over again,
And the source of remorse behind her eyes,
With all her give up and failures that she tries to disguise,
Only haunts the face that in the mirror lies.
It taunts a trace in the lines of grace
And gives her knowledge she can now recognize.
Then that moment is gone, she fixes her hair,
With a hum of a song that tickles the air,
The wind in her wake is the after math
For she has learned to walk another path
To keep her life whole,
That is imbedded deep within her soul.
And with a wink, nod and sigh,
She boldly walks by.

A. K. Moss
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Kathy writes, "This poem was inspired by Georgie Sicking. She is a lady who has seen it all, done it all, might have shed a tear or two but still laughs at the good times and looks back with no regrets. Yet as I have reread this poem I see so many women who are a part of this poem. See if it fits you. S special thank you will always go to Georgie for the inspiration, her stories and her poetry."

Georgie Sicking is an inductee in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame (though she has always preferred being called a "cowboy" for the work she's done).  Read more about her and some of her poetry in our feature here. An acclaimed film about her, Ridin' & Rhymin', now available on DVD, is featured here. A selection of her poetry from that film is included on The BAR-D Roundup CD, which also includes A. Kathy Moss' tribute to another working ranch woman, Billie Flick.


  About A. Kathy Moss:

With pen in one hand, camera in the other and reins between her teeth, A. K. Moss has a passion for writing and western heritage that shows in everything she does. She has been published in The Big Roundup, North American Hunter, Cowgirl Poetry, edited by Virginia Bennett and various other publications. She has been performing her own work since 1998 throughout the West Coast States. Living in remote Grant County, situated in Eastern Oregon Kathy'swriting comes straight from the heart and soul of the American West. She writes what she knows and believes in, with pride in western history, heritage and the people.

Through high school and beyond, Kathy would rodeo, work colts, calve heifers, day ride and work on a cutting horse ranch which added finesse in her first passion, training horses. She teaches youth to ride and handle horses, along with teaching them the value of western history and customs she has learned. She still starts a few colts and works with troubled horses. She can be found down on the desert working and sorting horses and taking photographs of the working western people while putting to rhyme their stories to preserve for the future. If not at any of those places she can be found standing on stage performing at a poetry gathering.

Expanding her poetry to a new area of outdoor life, Kathy is in the process of completing a new CD called Of Elk and Men, bringing to life the true values of the hunt and the thrill of elk up close.  It will bring the imagination alive with special effects to any who listen to the words.

She has written three limited edition poetry books, Cowboy in the Making, Cowgirl in the Making and Cow Horse in the Making, and her CD called Dear Charlie, a tribute to Charlie Russell and those who influenced her. Mixed with a little music and a lot of rhyme it is a CD to cherish in any audio library.

Her passion for Western history has brought her to study and write poems from the diaries of the Oregon Trail, which she performs at the Oregon Tail Interpretive Center in Baker City. Her photographs she has taken preserve western lifestyles of today had found a spot in the Western Folklife Center Museum at Elko in 2001. Not one to sit idle for any length of time, Kathy has coordinated a cowboy gathering held in Baker City Oregon each September, called the Elkhorn Western Arts Gathering where over 20 cowboy poets and singers, along with craftsmen and artists gather for a weekend to show off their wares and preserve our western heritage.

So with pen in one hand, camera in the other and reins between her teeth, Kathy will continue to study people, habits of life and horses, bringing pen to paper.

Like a good friend Billie Flick told her one day, "A spur is only a spur until the story is written."

So let the writing begin.

  In 2015 Kathy Moss released Unspoken, a novel of Western life that will appeal to a wide audience. The author's own working ranch and horse training experience shines through in an intriguing tale of hardship, sacrifice, and courage, the story of a family faced with adversity but armed with determination. At the heart of the novel is a young complex character, Paige Cason, who learns—and teachesabout patience and healing. Readers will be glad to know that Paige returns in a forthcoming sequel, Finding Home.

Unspoken is available from and booksellers.


  In 2004 Kathy Moss released Dear Charlie, a CD of original poetry, which she describes as "a tribute to Charlie Russell and those such as Will James."

From the heart of the west A. K. Moss has captured some of its tales. From legends of yesterday to friends of today, let her voice take you from the quiet moments of writing a letter, to the brink of running with the horses and all in between. Kathy has woven moments of her life and others into rhythm and rhyme, gracefully capturing those moments to live in spoken word.

Available from


  In 2005 Kathy Moss released Of Elk and Men, a CD of original poetry. 

In her poetry as well as her life, A. K. Moss brings the passion of outdoor living to life. From her Western and Cowboy to her now Outdoor Collection she brings poetry to a new level. Kathy's writing has a way of wrapping her listeners and readers up into a moment and feeling, where you could almost feel the elk's breath, taste the mountain air and hear the crack of campfire. So come and join Kathy as she recites rhythm and t=rhyme and brings outdoor life and memories to you through her poetry, Of Elk Men.

Available from



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