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See the Art Spur introductory page here

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words...we know many that are worthy of a poem.  In Art Spur, we invite poets to let selections of Western art and photography inspire their poetry.

Our fourth piece offered to "spur" the imagination is Kent Rollins' photograph below, which he calls "Ridin' Out."  It is also our 2005 Cowboy Poetry Week poster.

Kent Rollins was raised in southwest Oklahoma near the banks of the Red River, where he runs a cow/calf operation today. He's an award-winning storyteller and poet, and a noted chuckwagon cook. 

He and his 1876 Studebaker Chuckwagon are sought after across the West, and Kent's Chuckwagon Bootcamp was featured in September 2004 on the Food Network's Roker on the Road. Kent's poetry, storytelling, cooking, and cowboying are also featured in a PBS Gallery documentary, It Ain't Shakespeare. 

Photo by Kathy Johnson

From his camp, Kent has the opportunity to  photograph his surroundings and cowboys' work.  Kent took this photo in December, 2004 while along the Palo Duro, cooking for the 5R Ranch in Goodnight, Texas. Kent told us, "I just happened to go to the wood pile that morning. It was about 15 degrees and I seen them fellers riding out against the morning sun... I've been on both sides from the saddle to the cook fire but I still miss riding out of camp in the morning the worst. At least I can say they had a good breakfast."

Read more about Kent Rollins in our feature here and at his web site.

Below are poems inspired by "Ridin' Out"

"Ridin' Out"
© 2004, Kent Rollins, All rights reserved
This photo may not be copied or reprinted without the photographer's written permission




Dawn Riders by Dave P. Fisher of Nevada

Ridin' Out by Michael Henley of Arkansas

A Life Untamed by Lincoln Rogers of Colorado

Ridin' Out by Rod Nichols of Texas

It's A Mostly Quiet Time of Day by Paul Kern of Utah

Ridin' Out by TJ Casey of Montana

Bling! Bling! by Victoria Boyd of California

From My Window by Yvonne Hollenbeck of South Dakota

The Search Party by Alf Bilton of Yukon

In the Mornin' Hours by Bruce Satta of Ohio

  Daybreak by Gregg Norman of Alberta

Riding Out in Red Sunrise by Glen Enloe of Missouri

First Light by Harold Roy Miller of Nevada

Searching for Billy by Merv Webster of Queensland

Left Behind by Hal Swift of Nevada

Cat Tales by Sharon Gonzales of California

Out 'n Back by Clark Crouch of Washington

Youth Poets

Utah poet and teacher Jo Lynne Kirkwood's 
Freshman English students at North Sevier High School share their poetry:

Desert Trail by Kelsha R.

Untitled by Rae J.

The Cowboy Life's For Me! by Kaylee C.

Trail Ride by Tandi H.

Limericks - Cowboy Neverland by Sofie D. and Steph K.

For the Poets

The Class by Ken Whitecotton


Dawn Riders


Latigos pulled tight with fingers gone numb,

Slide ‘em under the pad to warm ‘em up some.

The feel of a horse, the touch of good leather,

And to know that your heart’s light as a feather.

The smell of strong coffee a-drift on the breeze,

Hot biscuits and beef steaks as much as you please.

To stand in the chill and see the morning’s first glow,

And feel the very life blood in you starting to flow.


They say these are times to try a man’s soul,

The pace of today’s world exacts an almighty toll.

Too many men have never stood with a tin cup in their hand,

And watched the silent sunrise bring birth to the land.

They’ve never saddled up with men of their kind,

And dug down inside themselves to see what they’ll find.

Their souls would be healed, the good drawn from the bad,

If ever, just once – if ever they had.


Look to the west, where the mountains don’t change,

To the sage and rimrock where men ride the range.

Their grandfathers knew it and their fathers did too,

The look of the morning and grass soaked by the dew.

Now, their sons take their place or ride by their side,

Like brothers they hold on to the old ways with pride,

For these the days that have passed will never be gone,

The brotherhood of men who ride out with the dawn.


© 2005, Dave P. Fisher 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Ridin' Out

The last guard's sung his final notes
The horses full of good sweet oats
They button heavy canvass coats
As they go ridin' out

The top hand right down to the least
They squint as they turn toward the East
Just silhouettes of man and beast
As they go ridin' out

And I'm left here to watch 'em ride
With a lonesome sadness deep inside
Cause once I rode right by their side
As they went ridin' out

The coosie's job is now my lot
I stow their hot rolls and my cot
And keep the coffee strong and hot
As they go ridin' out

Like as not I'll nap and then
I'll fork that blue roan mare again
And be a top hand among men
As I go ridin' out

© 2005, Michael Henley 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




A Life Untamed

Dedicated to the working cowboy - past and present
The western trails bore Longhorn,
Over oceans of grass Plain,
And Cowboys rode like captains,
Through the waves of sun and rain.

4-inch brims and rowelled spurs,
Along with chaps and Latigo,
Matching leather on face and saddle,
Of a seasoned, working pro.

Some say the era of the Cowboy,
Is but a faded dream at best,
But that independent spirit,
Remains the heartbeat of the West.
Miles removed from concrete jungles,
On open vistas kissed by sun,
Modern Cowboys ride the range,
Just like those days the West was won.
So word and song is raised in honor,
To everyone who bears the flame;
Who stokes the fire of admiration,
For a life no one will tame.

© 2005, Lincoln Rogers
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Ridin' Out

There was dew upon the prairie
when mornin' fin'lly broke;
there was coffee on the campfire
when Bar-D's  crew awoke.
There were biscuits in the oven,
Dutch Oven, if you please
and the scent of cookin' bacon
now waifin' on the breeze.
There were sounds of horses' stampin'
the whispered words of men,
and the sounds of iron and leather
as the bridled bits went in.
There were sounds of cattle callin'
a cowdog barkin' some,
as if to let the whole camp know
twas time to make the run.
There was music on the mornin'
from birds and buzzin'  bees,
and a wind that moved the grasses
like a wavin' em'rald  sea.
There were calls of "Come and get it,"
that ol' cookie seemed to shout,
then the sounds of talk and laughter
as the crew was ridin' out.

© 2005, Rod Nichols
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



It's A Mostly Quiet Time of Day

It's a mostly quiet time of day,
No one has too much to say.
Muscles ache from what's been done,
We sit and watch the setting sun.

Purple mist settles over the valley,
Okra and sienna come forth to sally.
The old west's brushes swing center stage,
Indian paint, sego lily, lupine and sage.

Blossoms blazed red in the light of day,
Fade slowly into shades of gray.
Small white petals fold down their husk,
As sunlight drifts softly into dusk.

The cool of the evening wafts on by,
As painted clouds cover up the sky,
Red yellow blazes carry the light,
Of celestial embers into the night.

Dusters and slickers untied and unrolled,
Come off the saddles to ward off the cold,
As the evening dew begins to rise,
Remaining colors fade from our eyes.

Voices are soft away from the crowd,
Muffled and muzzled by a low hanging cloud.
What was yellow and what was white,
Now's just a shadow in the pale lunar light.

It's a mostly quiet time of day,
We rise from our rest not much to say,
It's gray in the east - a new day has begun,
We saddle and ride to the rising sun.

© 2005, Paul Kern
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Ridin' Out

It's quiet and it's peaceful
as the sun is waking up,
We've gathered here together,
Miles away, from the Wickiup,

We watch as the Master brings us
A brand new spanking day,
It's times like this that a feller should,
Just bow his head and pray,

Good Morning, to you Master,
Through yer work, I have no doubt,
We'll all be safe til riding in,
But fer now, we're "Ridin Out".....


© 2005, TJ Casey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Bling! Bling!

A low-lyin' mist hugs the last of the night, as cowboys prepare for the dawn;
Cavvy's been grained 'n brushed 'n tacked... 'n Cookie's already gone.
His wagon rolls over the hill from view as the sun spills first mornin' light;
'N cowboys 'n cowgirl mount up for the day, after passin' a long, chilly night.
Jingle-bobs jangle 'n rein chains clink as shod hooves pick up the beat; 
They're a hopin' to make the home ranch today... before the midday's heat.
The cattle are restless, a heifer/calf herd ...don't know to drive straight along,
So the cowboys set 'em an easy pace 'n sing 'em a cowboy song.
They settle down good ... 'till bright flashin' lights send fear thru the heart of the mare,
what carries the girl on her first cattle drive - the girl with the style 'n the flair.
Bling!!! Bling!!! go the flashin' lights from her belt as each crystal catches the sun;
Burstin' with color, refractin' 'n dancin' ... Must be 'least a hundred 'n one!!!
Well, the eyes bug out on that little bay mare as she goes total Right Brain 'n bolts
straight off t'wards the herd... calmly pickin' ther way... past the cowboys a ridin' young colts.
It happened so fast, each cowboy just stopped 'n sat there stunned in ther kak...
As the flashin' lights 'n the wild eyed mare turned the herd...' n brought 'em back!
Them colts went to buckin'... the cowboys was tossed one by one as the mare circled 'round...
The herd thundered past 'n the colts ran off... leavin' cowboys a heaped on the ground.
Well! The girl wondered why them cowboys picked colts, 'stead of mares - can be rode anywhere!
N' figured to do the job herself... as she followed the herd outta there. 
Foot-sore, limpin' cowboys dragged into the ranch... saw ther colts in the shade by the barn...
n' dreaded tellin' ther tale to the boss. Knew he'd take it to be a yarn.
Then the sound?!? Was that bawlin? Each weary man turned. It couldn't be what it seemed!
Yet, a comin' in was the girl 'n the herd. Who woulda ever dreamed!!!
The herd draggin' udder... the bay mare done in... 'n the girl smilin' sweet as you please!
With her crystals a flashin' she winked as she passed 'em 'n settled her herd in the trees.

© 2005, Victoria Boyd 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


From My Window


From my window I can see the first dim light of day
and the cowboys, saddled up, are headed out;
they'll be rounding up the cattle, for it's branding time again,
and their favorite time of year, without a doubt.

By week's end they'll be riding in, their job will be complete
and I'll see 'em top that far and distant hill;
from my window I'll be watching as they head their horses home,
and to see this is a special kind of thrill.

Not even Charlie Russell, with a paint brush in his hand,
could paint the scenes I see from day to day.
I'm sure a lot of folks may think that this is mighty strange,
but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I get a glimpse of heaven from my window every day,
and I suppose my very favorite thing
is when the winter's finally past and nature bursts anew,
and a meadowlark announces, "it is spring!"

So, hats off to the poets and the singers of the songs,
and the writers for the stories they portray,
as they tell the world about the special life out here
.the way of life I'm blessed to see each day,

from my window.


© 2005, Yvonne Hollenbeck
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Search Party


They came from the farthest ranches, soon as they could tighten girth;
Came by truck, and car, and horseback; and one left a wife to birth.
Another quit his dream-job, just up and came away.
They've heard that someone's missing; they're here to search today.

Some don't even like him, but they're here to do their part,
In the hunt that it takes to find him, and the search is about to start.
In the predawn chill, the saddles creak, the hardware tinks 'n' clinks;
The horses stomp; the dew soaks grass; and each man waits ... and thinks.

As soon as the daylight's strong enough, the party will ride out;
And each man there is fully aware what the fuss is all about.
It might have been him in trouble, so he'll do whatever it takes,
To comb this range's hills and draws, the ridges, bluffs, and brakes.

These are the ones couldn't hesitate, for if they had not come,
They couldn't face tomorrow's shave. That's reason enough for some.


© 2005, Alf Bilton 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Read more about the story behind tthis poem at Alf Bilton's web site





In The Mornin' Hours

The crew has assembled, this mornin':
There's Bill 'n Charlie. ol' Dan.
The sun's spillin' over the treetops,
Silhouettin' each man.

The sky's as clear as a promise:
There ain't gonna be any showers
So every hand's optimistic,
Here in the mornin' hours.

A cowboy's life is rugged
'N the pay ain't much for braggin'.
This mornin' you're poor, but full of starch:
Tonight you'll be poor 'n draggin'.

Well, nobody's here for the money;
The work, so to speak, is your pay
'N you feel content with your lot in life
As you're ridin' out into the day -

A day full of more work than hours:
Now ain't that par for the course?
But there's nothin' that you can't handle
Sittin' astride a good horse.

Some men prefer the city
With its steel and concrete towers.
Tonight, you might trade 'em places.
But not in the mornin' hours.

© 2005, Bruce Satta 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Can't linger on coffee and biscuits and eggs.
Slips boots on his feet and chaps on his legs.
Pulls his hat down real tight and buttons his coat.
Leaves the bunkhouse behind him. That's all she wrote.
His eyes see a sunrise he won't soon forget.
His nose smells the horses, the leather, the sweat.
His ears hear the jingle of spurs, bits and chains.
His skin feels the freshness of yesterday's rains.
He leaves with the crew, but he circles alone
Up in the high lonesome where wind spirits moan,
Where cattle can hide in the brush and the draws,
Where the view from the top gives him serious pause.
The pay is too short and the days are too long.
The rest of the world is convinced he's gone wrong.
But the world as he sees it from over the horn
Makes him feel like the luckiest man ever born.

© 2005, Gregg Norman 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Riding Out in Red Sunrise


I can still smell morning mesquite
And a perking pot of joe,
As I tidy the chuck wagon
And rub campfire smoke from eyes.

There's just something 'bout the mystique
Of the only job they know
That keeps them from town and bragging
As they ride out in red sunrise.

The sun is peeking over hills
And cool, purple pearly butte,
As they leave camp to go their ways--
To rustle up some loose calves

And relive those old times and thrills,
When cowboys would shout and shoot
Riding palominos and bays
And roping rising moons for laughs.

But when they come dragging their tails
At the end of that long day,
I'll stir stew and have the joe hot
And I'll be one of the guys--

'Cause next morning they'll ride new trails
And no one will block their way
Or start complaining 'bout their lot
As they ride out in red sunrise...
As they ride out in red sunrise...

© 2005, Glen Enloe
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


First Light

The eastern sun began to rise
and illuminated the spacious prairie skies.
To me it was an awesome sight
as we rode out at first light.

Fall roundup was about to start
and everyone was set to do their part.
Some wranglers who rode for the Bar Fork brand
had shown up to give us a helping hand.

We struck out across a river bottom.
I could plainly see the signs of autumn.
The cottonwood leaves were yellow and green,
creating a beautiful western scene.

The cattle were in the breaks and trees,
but we found them all with relative ease.
A gentle breeze whispered nature's song
as we pushed the ornery steers along.

The cowboys worked with hardly a word;
bawling cows and calves were all I heard.
But there was something special I liked about
being there at first light and ridin' out.

© 2005, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Searching for Billy

It was just before sunrise that morning in Spring
when the telephone barked out its long piercing ring
and reluctant to answer I rubbed both my eyes
til a plea midst loud weeping took me by surprise.
On the end of the line, in a terrible state,
was my darling, young daughter we fondly called Kate
and she mumbled mid tears "Dad I'm sorry to phone,
but young Billy's horse Treacle's come home on his own.

"He rode over to Blakely's to visit young Skye,
but I've rung and they say that he never called by.
We found Treacle this morning in front of the yards
and the chance he's met harm now seems quite on the cards.
My Jim's roused all the men and they're saddling their mounts;
Can you please come and join them;  each moment now counts?"
"I'll be over in ten and Kate...saddle the roan!
And girl ring your big sister... don't stay there alone."

As the dawn yawned that morning to greet a new day,
we were saddled and ready and rode on our way.
The grim silence reflected the mood of the crew,
As each pondered...what harm had young Billy come to.
"It's a fair chance," I muttered "he's cut through the pine
and then crossed Wilys Creek.  It's near a straight line."
"That's a fair estimation," Jim said in reply,
"with the dry setting in old Wily's is dry."

The pine country revealed fresh hoof prints on the ground
and more signs showed he'd crossed Wilys creek safe and sound.
Then a hundred yards on, no further than that,
lying there on the grass was young Billy's black hat.
And a line of wild flowers, hand picked, led from there,
like a trail freshly laid, but by whom and to where?
It was puzzling for sure as to where this trail led
when I reined up and noticed an object ahead.

In the grass lay a body, the frame of a lad,
his poor face was all swollen and looking real bad.
He was breathing, but barely, though what caught my sight
were the few broken flowers he clung to so tight?
On the cheek of his face was the sting of a bee
and what happened to Billy was now clear to me.
He had stopped to pick flowers to give to his gal,
when a bee went and stung him and caused him to swell.

He had tried to ride on losing flowers as he did,
til he fell from the saddle;  the lovesick poor kid.
His old Treacle went home and had raised the alarm
causing us to believe he had come to some harm.
So this tale has an ending that's not filled with gloom
As a year down the track Bill became a bridegroom.
And my Kate and her Jim, with no word of a lie
Have a daughter-in-law;  the delightful young Skye.

© 2005, Merv Webster
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Left Behind


When all of the men folks'd go ridin' out,
I was the one left behind.
When I was a youngster, I'd cry all day,
but now, I really don't mind.

Bein' left behind ain't all that bad,
it's somethin' that happens to folks.
'Course the bad part is, some think that it's funny,
and start tellin' put-you-down jokes.

"You're not popular, you're no good,
you don't know your Haw from your Gee."
Not a single word of this is the truth,
and never, no way will it be.

When I got left, I got chocolate candy,
and cookies, and milk, and iced cream.
I got to shoe horses, and ride paw's mare.
I got to live ever kid's dream.

Bein' left behind aint' all that bad,
it's somethin' that happens to folks.
I got to do things that othor kids didn't,
so now I'm makin' the jokes.

"Would y'like some candy, or cookies and milk?
Or maybe a bowl of iced cream?
Awww, I'm real sorry, but I et 'em all,
and I don't want to play on your team!"

When the men folk ride out, and you cain't go,
because someone ain't chosen you,
just bear in mind, though you been left behind,
there's a lot of fun stuff you can do.

© 2005, Hal Swift 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Cat Tales

Dawn had just begun to break when the call came in.
The tremble in the caller's voice put goose bumps on my skin.
Get the hands together quick, as many as you can.
The fence was down, the herd was lost, we needed every man.

Grabbed my clothes and rang the bell used only for alarm.
They came a runnin' one and all from all across the farm.
We've got to get a move on - they have a long head start.
We mounted up and headed out, the daylight broke the dark.

It wasn't 'til high noon or so we caught a glimpse of hair.
Seems they'd nestled down to sleep inside a cozy lair.
We gathered round to make a plan to catch the runaways.
Some had a few tricks up their sleeve they'd learned in younger days.

We built a fire and warmed some milk we'd thought to bring along.
A scratchin' post and furry mouse, some catnip in a ball.
A dog or two kept on a leash, placed in prime position,
can sometimes be quite helpful when needed for submission.

When all was set and ready, we hid among the brush.
We watched and waited patiently - it never helps to rush.
A tabby was the first to sneak outside and sniff the air.
Not too far behind him came a quite fat American Short Hair.

Shshshshshshsh!  Hold your breath.  Don't make a sound!
Too late! A bark exploded from one of those danged hounds.
That's all it took to spook the herd - they broke and ran like hell.
Over sagebrush, under logs, they scurried, flurried, fell.

With no method to the madness, we rode mach 10 at least.
All we got for effort was a healthy dose of fleas.
That's it!  I give up.  This danged ranchin' life's too rough.
I think I'll look for work elsewhere - herdin' cat's too tough!

© 2005, Sharon Gonzales 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Out 'n Back

You ride out on a crisp morning
toward sunrise in the east
then back t'ward sunset that evening...
both do give your eyes a feast.

For the life of me I don't know
which view is truly the best...
is it t'ward the prairie sunrise
or t'ward sunset in the west?

Each day when that old sun comes up
and lights up the sky so well
ain't like nowhere else in the world
'least as far as I can tell.

But, as you turn to go back home
at the ending of the day
and face that grand western sunset,
it is difficult to say.

I reckon I'll procrastinate,
and refuse to choose between,
'cause both of these western vistas
are the best I've ever seen.

© 2005, Clark Crouch 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Youth Poets

Utah poet and teacher Jo Lynne Kirkwood's 
Freshman English students at North Sevier High School share their poetry:


Desert Trail

That old trail, out in the desert somewhere
Seems like a long stretch of dirt, shrubs and hot air.
But cowboys from afar are getting ready to ride
With blankets and saddles on their horses' hides.

As the horses stand ready men gaze toward the sun
Knowing their journey has just begun.
Morning is here, but there's a whole day ahead.
They'll ride 'til it's dark, have dinner, to bed,

Cause riding is what these cowboys do all the day.
Nothing will stop them, nothing gets in their way
Not rain or the snow, not wind, and not hail
Can ever make these mighty cowboys bail.

Hats upon heads, black tan and straw
Keep quickly burned faces from getting too raw.
Bandanas on necks, pulled up over the nose,
Chaps worn and broke in, strapped tight to their clothes.

They'll work all the day, up down left and right,
Until there is only a small amount of daylight.
Nighttime is near, they'll need somewhere to stay.
Camp has been made just a short hill away.

Stars fill the sky, and a moon bright and bold.
This will be a memory all the cowboys will hold.
Crackling fire burns bright, puts the men all to sleep.
The horses might whinny, but from the boys, not a peep.

Dawn comes awful early, and brings a new day
Just in time for the cowboys to get on their way.
Off they will ride, to the desert once more
To find new adventure, to open a new door.

© 2005, Kelsha R.
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The sun comes up, the rooster crows
The day has now arrived
To go and gather cattle
Wherever they may hide.

The camp begins to waken
Orders are given out
Of where to find the cattle,
And what's the better route.

We have our morning breakfast,
Just a biscuit or two.
They taste like ancient cardboard
And take us hours to chew.

Camp is finally all picked up,
Everything's in its spot.
I never even once look back
As my mount begins to trot.

This is how I live each day
And I'm filled with no reget.
Some folks think it's boring
But it's never been boring yet.

© 2005, Rae J.
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Cowboy Life's For Me!

Yep, the cowboy life's for me,
Tough, rough, and dirty's what I want to be.
Wake up on the range, before crack of dawn
Then saddle my horse fore the sun's rise is gone.

In search of cattle, all my buddies and I
We find we're distracted by the colors of sky.
Orange, yellow and red, all painting a picture
Makes me wish I could paint. Maybe I would be richer.

But the highlight of day has now come to an end
And it's back to the cattle. Run fast, horse, my friend.
The day's in full swing, and the sky now is blue.
Hurry, my friends. We've much to do.

Round up all the cattle from this wide open space.
Now don't hurry too much, this isn't a race!
Brand all the cattle, the big and the small,
Ugly, fat short. I don't care. Brand them all!

By the time we're finished, dark will be the sky
So hang up your spurs, boys. It's time for shut eye.
For tomorrow's another hard working day.
But we'll see the sun rise! Hip hip...hooray!

© 2005, Kaylee C.
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Trail Ride

Getting up early
For a horse ride,
My dad and my brother
Right there at my side.

We pick a good place
That is really fun
Riding all day
Til the whole day is done.

The sun keeps on beating
Down on my face
While we are looking
For a good resting place.

We stop to eat lunch,
Take a little short break
Have a stretch and a rest
And my horse gives a shake.

When we've finished eating
I'm back on my horse
Ready to finish
This long riding course.

When the ride is all over
It was really quite fun.
But I'm sure saddle sore
Now this long day is done!

© 2005, Tandi H. 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Limericks - Cowboy Neverland

Into the sunset seven will ride,
To a far away land, desperate to hide.
They're outlaws by choice
But they speak with one voice
And have chosen to live on the wild side.

The bravest are Reno, and Dally
And then, there's that cunning O'Mally.
There's Woody, and Sid,
And that old Shanghai Kid,
And that strange little guy they call Sally.

With great wealth and fame at their hand,
They'll ride hard, this unlikely band
Willing to go the distance,
They'll fade from existence
And ride off to Cowboy Neverland.

© 2005, Sofie D. & Steph K.
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Ken Whitecotton wrote this poem for the poets who participated in this Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur:

The Class

I gathered here with a bunch o' good 'pokes
All sittin' 'round in this meetin' hall.
They brought in this great big ol' picture
An' hung it up on the wall.

Said we all should write some pretty prose
'Bout the thoughts that picture brought ta mind.
Well, I heard this an' I began ta glance around
An "Exit" sign is what I wanted ta find.

'Twas then I began ta notice all the 'pokes
Lickin' the ends of their pencil stubs
Like they was fixin' ta cipher their ol' tally book.
Then I saw 'em jot an' scribble a while,
    then glance up fer a second look.

They jist kept fillin' up pages o' paper
An' occasionally I saw a smile emerge from a frown.
Some tapped their toes in 3/4 time
Whilst others jist plumb hunkered down.

These fellers were workin' up a sweat
An' though it wasn't no gold buckle they'd win,
I could see 'em workin' jist as hard
As if'n they jist picked up their bull riggin', 'stead of a pen.

From my years o' study of critters an' men,
I know, when they put their quills down tonight
There'll be a heap o' western heritage shared
In all the proud "cowboy poetry" these 'pokes will write.

© 2005, Ken Whitecotton 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.







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