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Montana poet and singer TJ Casey is a participating artist in the Arts and Education program through the Montana Arts Council and the North Dakota Council on the Arts.  

TJ's school residencies programs, From the Ground Up, "utilize the natural talent and imaginations of kids and give them confidence to believe in themselves while learning how to express themselves through cowboy poetry."

T. J. works with many additional arts groups and organizations, including: Alaska State Council on the Arts, Nevada Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, Montana Performing Arts Consortium, The Writers Voice, Wyoming Arts Alliance, Arts Northwest, and Montana 4-H.  See his web site for more information.

We're pleased to have some of the students' top poems and more about From the Ground Up below.


Below:

About From the Ground Up

Top Poems

Contacting TJ Casey

 


Visit TJ Casey's web site for more about his school programs, 
with more photos, and more of the students' poetry.

 

 


About From the Ground Up

The official program description:

TJ believes that the preservation of our western and cowboy culture is very important.

TJ uses the art of cowboy poetry to pass on to future generations the same strong morals and values that he was fortunate to be raised with.  His belief that kids need to learn that they are a very significant link of preserving our western American heritage is a lesson that TJ mixes in while teaching cowboy poetry.

"I believe in our roots and heritage," says TJ, "I've got a story to tell. We all need to stand up and protect the traditions and legacies we've inherited.  I want to be an image for kids to look up to, and hopefully instill in them this same love of country and customs I know and respect. Without our heritage, our children lose focus.  Without our children's focus, we lose our world."

With this in mind, TJ's main objective is to utilize the natural talent and imaginations of kids and give them confidence to believe in themselves while learning how to express themselves through cowboy poetry.

 


Top Poems

TJ Casey chooses the best poem from each class that he works with in each school and posts it on his
web site.  TJ says, "There are some very talented students and it is not an easy choice, for all the students are winners!" Following are the poems TJ has chosen as the "top overall" poem from each school.  The most recent are posted first:


Newest:


Bucking Horse Moon
by Sam - 8th grader
Lima, Montana

The Elk's Bugle
7th Grade class
Terry, Montana

Bacon & Beans
8th Grade class
Terry, Montana

Dakota Prairie
by Baldwin students
Baldwin, North Dakota

Buffalo Land
by Keeley - 6th grade
Ft. Washakie, Wyoming

Howling Wolf
by 5th & 6th Grade
Lodge Grass, Montana

Branding Time
Mamie Rose - 8th grade
Lodge Grass, Montana

The High Life
by 7th & 8th graders
Ashland, Montana

Horse Shoes
by Clinton
Miles City, Montana

 

Previously posted:

Canyon Wind
by Josie - 3rd grader
Billings, Montana

Jumping Jack Rabbits
by Tobia Dawn - 9th grader
Grass Range, Montana

Heads and Heels
by Tanner - 4th grader
Ekalaka, Montana

Saddle Tramp
by Layna - 5th grader
Blunt, South Dakota

Gallopin' Goat Roper
by James - 7th grader
Miller, South Dakota

Ben's Dilemma
by Kirstyn - 8th grader
Miller, South Dakota

 

The Life of a Pioneer
by Blair - 12th grader
Troy, Montana

 Running Waters
by Steve - Pine Hills Correctional Facility
Miles City, Montana

Galloping Goat Roper
by Kayla - 7th grader
Ennis, Montana

Canyon Wind
by Chris - 8th grader
Williston, North Dakota

Snail Snot
by Troy - 11th grader
Melstone, Montana
 

Open Range
by Ashaleigh - 12th grader
Box Elder, South Dakota

My Native Land
by Joanne - 7th grader
Poplar, Montana

Old Stories
by Miranda - 7th grader
Shishmaref, Alaska

The Way it Used to Be
by Frieda - 8th grader
Shishmaref, Alaska

Family History
by Abbey - 8th grader
White Sulphur Springs, Montana

The Wild Horses of the State
by Dillyn B. -
5th grader 
Ojibwa Indian School of Belcourt, North Dakota

Towards the Sun
by Danielle - 8th grader 
Eureka, Montana

Montana's Nature
by Barbara C. - 5th grade
Columbia Falls area, Montana

Crazy Eyed Cow
by Abbey G. - 6th Grade
White Sulphur Springs, Montana

Breeds of Horses
by Taylor N. - 4th Grade
Williston, North Dakota

Gallopin'
by Evan - 4th Grade
Williston, North Dakota

Calves
Jaclyn L. - 7th grade
Williston, North Dakota

The Dusty Trail
by Ben R. - 6th Grade
Lima, Montana

On The Ranch
by Jaime, Andria, and Brynn - 4th Grade
Langdon, North Dakota

Porcupine
by Reese J. - 7th Grade
While Sulphur Springs, Montana

The Big Horns
by Ashley W. - 5th Grade
Noxon, Montana

My Horse
by Ben D. - 6th Grade
Crosby, North Dakota

untitled
by Will - 8th Grade
Plevna, Montana

The Tagger
by Whit W. - 6th Grade
Winnett, Montana

Sunrise, Sunset
by Emma G. - 6th Grade
Ekalaka, Montana

untitled
by Daylon - 5th grade
Superior, Montana

A Cowboy's Job
by Joe S. - 8th Grade
Baldwin, North Dakota

Making the Pay
by Lat W. - 10th Grade
Roberts, Montana

The Old Man
by Devin D. - 11th Grade
Drummond, Montana

Goats
by Sarah Z. - 8th Grade
White Sulphur Springs, Montana

Wild Horses
by Lori S. - 7th Grade
Colstrip, Montana

 



Bucking Horse Moon

Once there was a horse,
a bucking horse named Moon.
He was a rodeo horse, of course,
who was wily as a coon.


The cowboys all feared him,
he threw them every time.
Nearly killed was good old Tim,
though he was never referred to as slime.


They rode him at nationals,
but eight seconds was too long.
Though he looked quite fashionable,
he was scarier than King Kong.


Then there came a boy named Mack,
one of the Montana men.
He fearlessly got on Moon's back,
to be thrown off again.


"Give me another try screamed Mack,"
his ears red with shame.
"I shall ride this horses' back,"
as he walked to the chute lame.


He crawled atop old Moon again
now crying freely with shame.
But laugh at him not did the men,
for they admired his game.


The buzzer rang, the chute swung open,
Moon came out, madder than ever.
Yet Mack held on till the horse was broken,
and that is the end of Moon's endeavor.

© 2010, Sam
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The Elk's Bugle

Deep in the mountains
a herd of elk lie
by the sparkling waters
you can hear the bull elk cry.


Then the clashing of the horns
as it echoes 'cross the sky
with the clouds overhead
casting shadows passing by.


The wind howls through the canyon
as it makes an eerie sigh
suddenly there's silence
as the challenger slowly dies.


Hear the bull elk's bugle
respected by his peers
the champion defiant
the herd just stands and stares.


A moment there of silence
still tension in the air
the bugler takes his prize
of the herd he will take care.


A hunter is on the trail
creeping through the trees
suddenly he sees the herd
it drops him to his knees.


He raises up his rifle
takes a deep, deep breath
then slowly pulls the trigger
puts the bugler to his death.

© 2010, 7th Grade Class, Terry, Montana
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Bacon & Beans

They were out on the Prairie
on their cattle drive
they all had beans for breakfast
with bacon on the side.


A tin cup full of coffee
they were singing to the sky
it was five o'clock in the morning
they had sleepers in their eyes.


They saddled up their horses
and they waved their camp good-bye
they were headed for the gather
you could hear the coyotes cry.


They started at a long trot
there were stars up in the sky
when suddenly the beans kicked in
and Charlie let one fly.


They had bacon and beans for breakfast
when Charlie blew they all thought they had died
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
through the trees we heard the breezes sigh
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
suddenly a bird fell from the sky
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
there's a hole in the ozone is that why?


There's a theory about cowboys
just why they eat their beans
well it's been around for decades
just why they wear tight jeans.


I'm sure it's just a story
and I'm sure that it'll pass
they say the reason they eat beans
is so they don't run out of gas.


They had bacon and beans for breakfast
when Charlie blew they all thought they had died
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
through the trees we heard the breezes sigh
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
suddenly a bird fell from the sky
they had bacon and beans for breakfast
there's a hole in the ozone is that why?
there's a hole in the ozone is that why
there's a hole in the ozone
plltttt
is that why?

© 2010, 7th Grade Class, Terry, Montana
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Dakota Prairie

Oh what a beautiful sight
his prairie is to me
grasses swaying in the wind
leaves falling from the trees.


Horses running with the breeze
geese flying 'cross the sky
river flowing to the seas
as the sun sparkles in my eyes.


Chorus:
North Dakota prairie
will always be home to me
blue skies between the horizons
as far as the eye can see.


The clouds o'er the Missouri
drifting oh so free
North Dakota prairie
will always be home to me.


The Northern lights are shining
as the night grows old
making ribbons in the sky
what a sight to behold.


The sunrise in the morning
purples and hues to gold
it lights the Dakota prairie
like a story that's never been told.


Chorus:
North Dakota prairie
will always be home to me
blue skies between the horizons
as far as the eye can see.


© 2010, Baldwin, North Dakota students
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 



Buffalo Land


Us natives have pride
we roam in the buffalo land
the buffalo are sacred
oh, how the buffalo stand.

Watching the eagles
high in the sky
the feathers are sacred
they bring a tear to the eye.

They have the freedom
we have the pride and power
the eagles glide
hour after hour.

Us native are proud
the fur on the buffalo is grand
we natives don't joke
we roam the buffalo land.

© 2010, Keeley
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Howling Wolf

The wolf howls at midnight
when the moon is full and bright
he hides in the shadows
on a cold winter night.


He waits for the dawn
when the night is almost gone
then he goes to the river
where he lays all day long.
(howl)


He's waiting for his prey
in the shadow where he lays
he hears the bull elk bugle
as the skies are turning gray


when the full moon starts to rise
he whines and half way cries
when he hears the poachers coming
it's the element of surprise.


Chorus
Can you hear the wolf howling
can you hear his eerie cry
as it echoes through the canyon
and stars twinkle in the sky
can you hear the wolf howling
over the wind's sigh
as it echoes through the canyon it's the lone wolf's lullaby.


He moves without a single sound
as he covers lots of ground
like a spirit on the winter wind
his eyes shine all around.


He watches with a wary eye
then looks up to the sky
then you hear "howling wolf"
as the northern breezes sigh.
(howl)
Chorus

© 2010, 5th & 6th Grade, Lodge Grass, Montana
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Branding Time


Living to earn a dime
we can't wait for branding time
not s easy as it looks!
But a lot better than writing books.


This is more than a one man job
when calves come in it's a mob!
We struggle with more than one
especially when they feel like a ton.


From sunrise to sundown
we end the day looking like a rodeo clown
only knowing with so much cattle
tomorrow is another day we have to battle.


By the end of the week
we're not as strong, but weak.
Although we'll feel dandy when the job is done
cattle hands feeling like champs, number one!!


My horse, in the beginning, is hyper by the sound
of numerous reckless calves stomping the ground!
I feel his nerves as we wait
my cowgirl life isn't what I call fate!


Living among what I love, I wouldn't spare a day
to just fly by, without remembering, and fade away.
Riding is a chore, cattle is working
branding time is living!


© 2010, Mamie Rose
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The High Life

I've gone many miles
through the back roads of my mind
I've seen good and bad
but now that's all behind
I'm drifting through my memory
to the places where I've been
thinking to my future
and where I will go again.

Embracing my mistakes
seeing what I've learned
how far I have gotten
and everything I've earned
now I'm getting older
and I'm thinking up ahead
I won't go back to where I was
I'll move along instead.

chorus

I'm living the high life
good places in my mind
I won't go back I'm telling you
this place is hard to find
I like the way I'm feeling
I've left the past behind
I'm living the high life
why was I so blind.

I've taken the high road
instead of the low
there's no place I can turn around
so forward I shall go
I think about my future
in a positive way
I'll just keep moving forward
and hope I don't stray.

© 2010, 7th & 8th Grade, Ashland, Montana
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Horse Shoes

As I ride my hoss
his head turned and tossed
if ya hear me singin' the blues
I go by the tune of the horse shoes.


They clack and they click in a wonderful tune
Durango is far behind so I'll be at the cow town soon
I'm not one o drink but I mosey to the saloon
I belly up to the bar and look out at the moon.


Billy walked in a revolver slung low on his hip
I knew it was coming because I was tipped
I look down at my beer and took a sip
I rolled just in time as lead starts to rip.


I came up on my feet colts belching flame
and down drops the kid who was looking for fame
this is the life I would not frame
its the life of the West which still is not tame.


I ride out of town at a trot that shakes ground
in my ears rings the explosive sound
and off again I go singing the blues
and the sound I love most is that of horse shoes.

© 2010, Clinton
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Canyon Wind

The other night Mike
Was reading a book about a man who sinned
Then he heard from his open window
Whistling canyon wind.

It whistled and whistled on and on
Really, really loud.
It whistled so loud,
The noise went up to the clouds.

And Mike described,
It might be a lie
The clouds were shaking
In the sky.

He said the noise
Was so loud
That the canyon wind
Was very proud.

© 2009, Josie
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Jumping Jack Rabbits

Jumping jack rabbits
through the meadow they go
running so fast
just like a muley doe.

When you go out to see
you find them with a spot light
just hopping along
in the plain dark night.

You grab your 22
and get ready to shoot
boom, you missed
and then you hear a hoot.

Oh! There goes another one
ready get your gun
yeah we got it
now our work here is done.

Brandon, go and get it
hurry before it gets cold
Dad honk the horn
to see if Brandon can hold.

As he honks the horn
the jumping jack hops up in fear
Brandon Catch it
before you fall on your rear.

So, that night as we laugh
we head home to go to sleep
as we lay on our beds there's no sound
not even a peep.

So, here's a hint
when you make it a habit
shooting and shooting
make you sure don't scream Jumping jack rabbit.

© 2009, Tobia Dawn
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Heads and Heels

There goes the cow
Running down the trail
She was a lonely ol’ sow
So I knew we wouldn’t fail

One of us took the head
And one too the heels
My friend said
He had the tinkling feel

I told him
To just go
He told me Jim
Would toss him in the snow

I looked down
It was surely wet
Then I heard a sound
My friend needed a vet

That mean ol’ bull
Had stepped on his poor head
He looked very dull
I thought he was dead

So I let go
He was fine
But that bull was in the snow
We were out of time

That bull got away
We were fine
I just wish that bull was clay
Then we would of beat the time.

© 2009, Tanner
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Saddle Tramp

Hi, I'm a "saddle tramp"
my horse is my traveling camp
I ride all day and I ride all night
I ride everywhere without missing a sight.

My trusty steed is a good ol' horse
she always travels a long the course
she can be fast or she can be slow
but she always gets me where I need to go.

One day we came upon a bear
we knew we had no time to spare
so I threw a rock right at his head
but that didn't put him down to bed.

When that didn't work my horse got a plan
she trampled the bear like he was a man
then on the way we went full of pride
my horse galloping in a full stride.

So now you know about my tale
and you'll always see me on a trail
me and my horse are sturdy and strong
when it comes to ridin' we never go wrong.

© 2009, Layna
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Gallopin' Goat Roper

There was a huge stampede
Of gallopin' goats.
They were everywhere
In pastures, in cornfields, and even in boats.

It was all too strange,
They were too fast.
They zoomed right by
As they went past.

Someone had to fix this,
But who could it be?
That guy over there,
Maybe?

So I asked for his name.
He says, "I don't have a name,
I'm the gallopin' goat roper,
And roping gallopin' goats is my game."

So I say,
"Okay, let's cut to the chase.
You rope gallopin' goats,
So rope those goats before I slap your face!"

He said, "Okay, I will,
Just don't hurt me.
I'll sting those goats
Like a buzzing bee."

He gets up and gets his special rope,
Made from the hairs of a lion's mane.
 From the way it looks,
I can tell this is going to cause a lot of pain.

He roped those goats,
So swift and so fast.
In my opinion,
The goats placed last.

So as you can see,
This guy was no joker.
He was a genuine,
Gallopin' goat roper.

© 2009, James
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Ben's Dilemma

The room was quiet, everyone still,
the President wiped his hands
he picked up his pen, only to wonder
could he meet their demands?

One this day, November the second,
two states wanted to join
who would be first, the North or the South?
maybe he should flip a coin.

He finally decided how it should be done,
he simply would not look
he mixed up the papers and closed his eyes
and one paper he took.

He signed one with a flourish
the other as well,
he was done with this deed
the order he would not tell.

Although North will be first
because N is before S
Everyone knows,
South Dakota is best!

© 2009, Kirstyn
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

The Life of a Pioneer

The empty traveled roads
people carrying their belongings in loads
all the horses stopped and "woahed"
the Life of a Pioneer.
 
Sleeping on the harsh cold ground
never knowing what was to be found
having your gun ready at every sound
The Life of a Pioneer.
 
Telling stories by campfire at night
watching the beautiful dawn light
always seeing a new sight
The Life of a Pioneer.
 
The wind, the cold, the heat
always the same thing to eat
dreaming of the next time you would have meat
The Life of a Pioneer.
 
In the end the traveling was never done
though it was hard, it sure was fun
can't wait to wake up and see that sun
The Life of a Pioneer.

© 2009, Blair
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 



 

Running Waters
While walking in the mountain's hills
I heard the faint cry of running water
while my stomach gurgled and my mouth dried
the weather started getting hotter.
 
I went in search of the running water
the sun beat down on my lean face
on and on the hills went there seemed to be no end.
While in search of the running water time ticked down in a rushing race.

Still on and on I went in search of the running water
as the sun beat down on me, I still walked tall and strong.
illusions came to me, and still the heat went on.
I stopped and looked around and my eye's told me everything was gone.

Then I heard the faint trickle of the running water
I darted left and all of a sudden I tumbled.
I rolled and rolled until I fell in a trickling wonder.
as I sat dumbfounded I realized my stomach started to rumble.

As the birds sang, and the bees buzzed I took a drink of the running water.
as the cold water touch my lips, my mouth burst full of wonderful wild flavor.
I finally found the running water
I look up in the sky and realized the day is near and I did myself a favor.

© 2009, Steve
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 



Galloping Goat Roper

Rodeo has never been the same
since 1987 came
it had a new claim to fame
and goat roping was its name.
 
If you had a horse
and a rope of course
you could be a Galloping Goat Roper
but you had to be a loper.
 
With a goat in the chute
your horse will have a dispute
but she settles down
with all four feet on the ground.
 
A rope in hand
the crowd cheering like a band
a nod of your head
and the goat will surely need a med.
 
Your horse takes off
like a big bad cough
you caught him around the neck
but you can't find your horn and think what the heck.

You finally get your dally
and jump off ole Sally
you grab the legs
like they're pegs.
 
When the goat hit he ground
there won't be no sound
you tie the legs together
and wait for six altogether.

The goat stays tied
oh boy its been a ride
so your name if only a hoper
could be Galloping Goat Roper.

© 2009, Kayla
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 



 

Canyon Wind

In the canyon
living without sin
my ancestors sing
in the canyon wind.

Either singing fast
or singing slow
they always sing together
in a steady flow.

I will sing now
with all of my kin
joining them in the fun
in the canyon wind.

As we sing
people think we cry
for reasons no one knows
they don't know why.

But one day they will see
and be without sin
one day they will join us
in the canyon wind.

© 2009, Chris
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Snail Snot
My friend asked me
"what the heck is that?
that slimy green stuff
that's all over the mat?"
 
I tried explaining
"that's snail snot, you see"
but he looked at me in amazement and said
"How can this be."

I told him the story
about the green stuff on the floor
"It came in over there,
through that hole in the door."
 
It waddled over to the mat
and let out a loud "ka-choo!"
Man, had you been standing there
you would have had snot, all over you!"

My friend stood there in shock
"I've never heard a snail sneeze!
Please explain yourself
would you, please"

"Oh, when a snail sneezes,
it sure stirs up hell!
I'm sure if it sneezed again
he would finish the crack in the Liberty Bell."

"If they can sneeze so violent,"
my friend said with a confused look on his face,
"how come I couldn't hear him sneeze
over at my place?"

"It takes a special person,
to hear such a thing,
to hear such a sneeze
that would make church bells ring."
 
"And now I've come to the end of my story,
I have but one thing to confess.
I've never heard a snail sneeze
and I have no clue what made this mess!"

© 2009, Troy
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Open Range

His eyes may roam
for his road is long
my cowboy will sing to me
his heart-warming song.

Many of his nights spent by the fire,
to him this is not strange
my heart belongs to the lonesome cowboy
whose first love, after all, is the open range.

You see, he may never witness
the waves of the ocean blue
instead, every day he witnesses a miracle
for not only to himself, but to others as well is he true.

On this journey will he never tire
for there is much work to be done
this lonesome cowboy has no alarm
just the rising of the sun.

This song being whispered to me
is that from only him
my cowboy's love, the open range
but mine will just begin.

The color of the hills
beats within the lovely breast
within the breast of Poker Alice
could you find a truth better than the rest.

With a cigar in her mouth
and her gun in hand
welcome the lady to town
who's not afraid to stand.

She never sold herself
nor has he ever hung her head
never lost composure
your favorite woman on the homestead.

© 2008, Ashaleigh
 These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

My Native Land

The eagles soar above us,
in the clear blue air,
I love being Native
there's something I want to share.

I know my land is free
it's Native pride and so,
sometimes people die
but our pride will show.

Look at the green grass,
and our Mother Earth.
I respect my Natives
its something that's all worth.

I love my Native land
it will always be ours
respect my precious Natives
I wish upon a star.

© 2008, Joanne
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Old Stories

Stories are a timeless tale
that always make you look back to the past.
If you don't know where you come from
then you won't know where you’re going at last.
If you loose yourself in the swarm, you could be lost forever.
so listen to the wise stories of our elders.

© 2008, Miranda
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

The Way it Used to Be

No one was lazy
people were dog mushing
they always walked
but now everyone is rushing.

What did it used to be like?
when men hunted with a harpoon
for seals and walrus
at the lagoon.

Now we all are
staying inside
watching TV
instead of going for a boat ride.

The men are now
killing everything in sight
with their guns
and the birds are all in flight.

Things were easier back then
like an old story
everything seemed so calm
and everyone enjoyed the glory.

© 2008, Frieda
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Family History

Family history, what a wonderful thing
there are so many people who could be a queen or king
I've got quite a family I could tell you about
So I'll start with a story you could not doubt.

Well, my great Uncle Bill was quite a man
he took down many German's with a gun in his hand.
he made his troops go, and never stop
he killed 40 German's ending on top
he may have died, but not in vein.
He got a medal, and a good name.

Another relative who was a good man,
helped out the Senate with a good plan
my grandpa Jack did many good deeds
we'll never forget him, cause he filled all our needs.

My grandma Louise is a good gal,
she's always there, and is a good pal
she's a good grandma, one of the best
if you ask me, she beats all the rest
she was a well accomplished lawyer indeed
once again, another person who fills our family's needs.

My Uncle Bill is as fantastic as can be
when there's a fire, he's got water ready
he does everything thing he possibly can
and that is why I'm proud to be related to that man.

My Uncle Charlie is quite a character
you ask him to do something and he'll be right there.
He is really funny, and makes everyone laugh
if my grandpa Gary has trouble, he's already there helping the calves.

My Grandpa Gary is a hard working man
he may not have is cattle, but he does what he can
he tries his hardest to put us to the test
when were around him, we all do our best.

My parents, and step parents are all real great
they are all real patient, even when I'm late
that's why I love them all to death
they all work hard, and beat out all the rest.

All my aunt's are a crazy bunch
they like to do fun stuff like shopping, or go to lunch
it doesn't matter what side of the family they are on
they are all really great,
I rate them at the top and everything beyond.

All my other uncles are really cool
they take us anywhere, like to the pool
they work real hard no matter what they do
they are really nice and always tell the truth.

I've got so many relatives that make me so proud
they all stand out in a crowd
so if you ask me, I will say,
My family is great, they are ten!
I hope some day I can be like them.

© 2008, Abbey
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Wild Horses of the State

I see the wild horses,
running down the hill,
and some are left standing,
standing there, still.
 
As the horses gaze across,
wind blows threw their hair
the others sit there and watch
and their colts, sit and stare.
 
As others come and join,
the running herd, gets bigger
the mare's tell their colts
please, come and linger.
 
When they run threw the water,
water splashes everywhere,
the water gets on the leaders,
the stallion and the mare.
 
The herd finds their land
with fresh grass on the ground
and while the wind is blowing
oh, that beautiful bound.
 
When the eagle soars across,
the horse's look up high
the eagle fly's away
the horses take a sigh.
 
When the day turned to night,
all the horses lie down
when they fall asleep,
they dream of the beautiful sound.
 
When night turned to day,
they all rise without fear,
and when the colts nurse,
they stay close near.
 
When the stallion watches the herd,
when the herd is ready to run,
while the eagle soars across,
across, the flaring sun.
 
When the horses leave their land,
some gallop and some run
when the horses run upon,
the little ones are having fun.
 
When they land at a lake,
they are thirsty you can see,
when they leave the clear blue lake,
there's nothing left to be,
 
As they ran across the lands,
as fast as can be,
their hearts where beating fast,
cause they were running free.
 
These horses took a stop
without fear, without hate,
cause these horses will be known as,
the wild horses of the state.

© 2007, Dillyn B.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Towards the Sun

Swaying in the breeze
dancing in the heavenly skies
nothing but the wind
hiding from earthly lies.
 
Spinning through the desert sands
laughing at their woes
travel further, linger no longer
chase away our foes.
 
Dancing 'cross the ocean blue
tapping through the waves
travel like a hurricane
lacking the will to save.
 
Watching the wandering breeze
begging it to linger longer
gripping it tightly, crying oh so lightly
tomorrow, we'll be stronger.
 
Let us dance away
let us spin towards eternity
tomorrow's not so far away
so, let us fly towards serenity.
 
clinging to the hand
fly, fly away, fly
towards the invisible land
hidden from you and I.
 
We could stay there
and prolong our days
dance forever with the breeze
along the ocean bays.
 
Such an entrancing waltz
the wind swaying with the trees
we could dance like them
just like the autumn leaves.
 
As we prance forever
amongst the ocean breeze
the wind will carry us further
towards a future we must seize.
 
This life can't contain us forever
let us soar towards the sun
the wind will carry you home
let us soar towards the sun.

© 2007, Danielle
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Montana's Nature

Wind rustling through the trees
and squirrels roaming around
chipmunks gathering nuts for hibernation
and dropping them on the ground.

Deer exploring the forests
looking for places to live
bears looking for food to eat
trying to be very secretive.

Rivers flowing through the canyon
currents flowing fast
seaweed at the bottom
gripping on like grass.

Horses on the ranches
waiting to be mounted
bulls in the arenas
being ridden for 8 seconds counted.

Wild cats roaming
in the mountains way up high
bald eagles flying
in the clear blue sky.

Mountains shining white
from glistening deep snow
great horned owls
hooting deep and low.

© 2006, Barbara C.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Crazy Eyed Cow

You never see her,
the crazy eyed cow
you always look,
but you don't know how.

If you ever did see her,
it would be fast
you never may see her,
so don't let your thoughts last.

Yesterday I thought I saw the crazy eyed cow,
so I told my maw,
she said it wasn't true,
but it didn't stop paw.

Paw took his gun and ran out the door,
he said he's gonna shoot that crazy eyed cow,
and off he went
when he remembered he don't know how.

The next day my brother thought he saw her, he said to himself,
"I finally get to see her for the very first time"
he realized it was our bull
now, he's in the hospital, and doin' just fine.
 
So next time your try,
to catch the crazy eyed cow,
be sure it's her,
and be sure you know how.

© 2006, Abbey G.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Breeds of Horses

There are many kinds of horses
and many colors too.
Spots, stripes, and blazes
reds and roans of blue.

There are quarter horses and Thoroughbred
paints, mustangs, and palominos
there are many many more
when they run their main blows.

There are colors that are very vibrant
like red, chestnut, and black
some have very weird markings
they run or gallop when your on their back.

There are cow horses and cuttin' horses
there are many others too
like pullin' horses and pleasure horses
and one is rode by buckaroos.

© 2006, Taylor N. 
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Gallopin'

Oh, no!  Oh, no!
move all you darn hogs!
Because out of nowhere
come gallopin' cow dogs.

They come out of nowhere,
then leave out of sight.
they don't come back till
the end of the night.

When they come back
they howl and they bark
to get rid of them you need to be a shark.

Always be alert
always be ready
always prepare to be
feeling unsteady.

A grey dog!  A black dog!
What will come next?
I think that I should stop
writing in this text!

But there is one more thing
If you want to be a pro
the cow dogs always like it
when you put on a funny show!

The End

© 2006, Evan
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Calves

Calves are so cute.
They run and sleep all day.
They cuddle with their moms
and they play.

I like it when they wag their tails,
while they drink their mother's milk.
and when they are all done,
their mouths look like white silk.

Some are skinny and have long legs
some have big ears, some have small.
some are fat and have short tails.
because they are all different, I love them all.

© 2006, Jaclyn L.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The Dusty Trail

There was a man upon a horse,
upon the dusty trail.
He has no phone or radio,
no address for the mail.

The man has roped the cows all day,
his body's weak and frail.
but he prefers to live his life,
upon the dusty trail.

Last night I seen him on his horse,
he need not go to fast.
He climbed off his best friend's back,
and stood there in the grass.

He laid there staring at the stars
his life he did not fail.
Because he lived and died his life.
upon the dusty trail.

© 2006, Ben R.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



On The Ranch

On the ranch there's lots of work
the cattle roam at home
the flies fly and bug them
so they go in the dome.

The horses run and gallop
they like to rear
so when you want to ride them
you go and get the gear.

The dogs like to ride them
all around the yard
but one day they got in trouble
so we sent them a postcard.

People climb on hay bales
so do the dogs
one day they fell off
so they turned in to hogs.

The bulls like to stampede
so get out of the way
and if you can
hide in the hay.

Look at the kitty cats
they like to run and play
they don't do it in April
but they do it in May.

Look at the cows they're calving
but be very careful they're napping
give them lots of feed
so they don't start yapping.

Watch the chickens
oh how they fight over the feed
they have funny names
so we named one Seed.

Watch for coyotes
don't let them bite
when we see them at night
oh how they are a fright.

Hear the birds
they're in the barn
watch out for the cats
the birds have their yarn.

Be careful for the minks
they come at night
they can kill you
oh what a fright.

See the barns
oh how they are big
oh they would look so funny
if they put on a wig.

The corrals are big and round
look at the sheep
oh how they run a lot
running to the jeep.

Oh see the pigs
they roll in the mud
if they come in
they soak in the tub.

Look at the geese
Look at the ducks
we'll sell them
for a few bucks.

See the fields
the flowers are blooming
look at the horses
they need grooming.

So if you come to the ranch
you'll see all these things
so pack your bags
or we'll start to sing.

© 2006, Jaime, Andria, and Brynn
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Porcupine

A cowboy's job is tough you see
believe me, I tell you listen to me
I live out on the open range
eaten critters, some are strange.
Once my horse just ran away
and left me stranded for twelve days
by the twelfth day I was out of food
my stomach ached, I was in a foul mood.
I looked down low, I looked up high
until I spied me a porcupine.
Now how to get him out of that tree
my, oh my, what a mystery!
I looked up and he looked down
he saw my face I saw him frown
his eyes rolled back in to his head
it came to me the porcupine is dead.
He must of had a heart attack
he fell out of the tree right on his back
his quills were stuck down in the dirt
at least he didn't land on me, boy that would hurt.
I built a fire around the beast
this was going to be the greatest feast
now my stomach felt real fine
thanks to that poor porcupine.
The only problem left you seeth
I had some meath stuck in my teeth
by that time my horse was back
I hopped right up and gave him a smack.
Leave me again you'll be my next meal
I picked my teeth with a porcupine quill.

© 2005, Reese J. 
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

The Big Horns

In the mountain air
the big horns sleep
nobody would even dare
to slumber deep.

Deep in a clumber of trees
danger does await
an unexpected visitor sees
could be the big horns' fate.

then the big horns scatter
for they know danger's in the air
the rocks start to clatter
they don't hesitate or care.

But what's over that ridge
could it be a cliff
or maybe a natural bridge
they charge on with all theory believed.

They have made it safely
on their promised land
although it got drafty
they would strongly stand.

© 2005, Ashley W. 
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


My Horse

My horse is brown.
He is so nice.
He's the best in town,
but he's afraid of mice.

He's very tame,
and he never gets mad.
To me he's got more fame
than Michael Jackson had.

He's got this white spot
on his head.
He drinks water from a pot
before he goes to bed.

I got this horse for free.
And that's pretty good deal.
I've been keeping a secret inside me.
My horse isn't real.

© 2005, Ben D.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

untitled

I don't like that horse
I like my old saddle.
Why did I lend it to Morse
who just took my cattle.

I watched him buy the plug
from a no-account drifter,
and when we came to the big hill and he had to chug
right on the nice side the rack o'bones biffed 'er.

Now that I think about it, I want my saddle back
either that or I'll come up with a bill
better think where the receipt is, oh, its on the rack
Cause right now he's ridin' over the hill.

Hope he didn't take a rope,
he'll scratch up my redone horn.
here he comes back at a lope
its roughed up!  I wish that horse was never born.

© 2005, Will
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The Tagger

In spring you've got a fresh start,
calves run wild and free.
Riding checking for calves is my part,
tagging a calf is a chasing spree.

Oh don't get me started on that;
there are those bad ones that none can tag.
Grab the tagger and jam down your hat,
take a look at that old barf bag.

Now me and my horse come in,
soon dizzy, he grabs the calf.
Snot clings to the heifers wet chin,
in the middle, I try not to laugh.

The tagger snaps and the calf gives a bawl,
the heifer's wild now more than before.
Back and forth the cow and calf call,
the calf jumps up and heads for the door.

Everything turned out to be okay with the wicked thing,
I can't wait until next time.
All the excitement tagging a calf can bring,
That's the life of a true cowboy - all written in rhyme.

© 2005, Whit W.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset
every day is gone.
I want a day I haven't met
in waiting for a new dawn.

Sunrise, Sunset
It's a new day
I need a night I won't forget
I have nothing I need to say.

Sunrise, Sunset
It's a beautiful night
It's a night I won't regret
just look at that moonlight.

Sunrise, Sunset
see that falling star
I have no debt
I can see Mars.

Sunrise, Sunset
The sky is so clear
I must not fret
the end is near.

© 2005, Emma G. 
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


untitled


One day I saw a horse
it won a lot of races
it was a two time world champ
he saw a lot of faces.

I watched him race
he won the race by a mile
when he got back to his trailer
he received a great huge smile.

After that I went to see his owner
I asked if he was for sale
the owner said, "no
your hay is probably way to stale."

He was a great big paint
he was super good with a halter
it took a really long time
to get him not to falter.

He had a long tail
he ate a lot of hay
when his tail was in the loft
I just had to shout hooray!!!!

He is a stallion
he is really wild
he hates to play
but he acts like a child.

© 2005, Daylon 
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


A Cowboy's Job 

A cowboy's job is to work on the ranch
from training horses to working cattle.
He never passed up the chance
if you take it slow, there will be no battle.

Long cattle drives are his favorite thing to do,
sleeping under the stars by the fire
but its hard to get to sleep when the cows say moo,
but I sure do admire.

Waking up at dawn
starting back on the trail.
We seen a doe and a fawn
both looking perty pale.

As the cattle cross the river
a young calf gets stuck.
He gave all the rope he could giver
then he pulled it out of the muck.

The get home and put the cattle away
then he goes in to relax a little.
When he wakes up it is a new day
then he goes to play his fiddle.

© 2005, Joe S.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Making the Pay


Rodeo was uncle Bill's game,
Saddle broncs were his pray,
But really women were his fame,
As they came to stay,

A champ he was
Three golden buckles on his belt,
Riding broncs just because
That's the way he felt,

Kids watch him every day,
To soon be like he,
Hoping to make the pay,
As he did oh-so free,

A Hall-o'-famer now,
Because of his way of life,
How he did it I just don't know,
but rodeo was his life,

A winner to all,
Indeed I must say,
He never did fall,
That's how he made the pay.

© 2004, Lat W.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


 

The Old Man
by Devin Dahl - 11th Grade
Drummond, Montana

I was sitting with an old man
One day around the campfire
Telling me about the days he was a cowhand
And there was no such thing as barbed wire

So I sat there listening
About the cowboy days
His face was almost glistening
As he told of the cowboy ways

They led a romantic sort of life
Just following the breeze
The cowboy knew the secret to life
For he held all the keys

The cowboy tamed the West
For us to follow along
They made this country the very best
So wild, free and strong

Riding his trusty steed
Off into the sunset
Always doing a good deed
Is the cowboy way I bet

But the cowboy has evolved
His is more modern now
All his problems he has solved
For they now use tractors to plow

As I look through the smoke,
I realized I am by myself
Why did the old man go, I choke
He has gone to sit on God's shelf

For he disappeared as fast
As the cowboys of old
I took a peek at the past
As a life a cowboy told.

© 2004, Devin D.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Goats
by Sarah Zehntnar - 8th Grade
White Sulphur Springs, Montana


My sister has this goat,
Oh my God, she just won't die.
she really loves this thing,
And sometimes I wonder why.

She was born in early spring,
And was close to dead.
Robin brought her in and cleaned her,
And put Scooter in her bed.

She lived in our house,
And thought she a dog.
She chased the cows, befriended a sheep,
And followed Robin on her jogs.

When summer came she moved outside,
And lived out in our yard.
We built her a fence, a horse, and a toy,
And had the dogs for her bodyguards.

Later that summer she moved with the goats,
And they didn't get along.
She didn't listen and follow them,
So she didn't really belong.

The next March she had some kids,
Two of them, as a matter of fact.
One was Becky and the other Gracie,
And were pretty cute to be exact.

Along the way poor Gracie died,
It was a tragic end.
While Becky baby-sat her Mom,
And had Ginger for a friend.

Her favorite place to catch some shade,
Was under our pickup truck.
Dad jumped in and pulled away,
And ran her over, with her luck.

She didn't die, to bad for me,
But hurt her hip real bad.
She has a problem walking,
But she doesn't seem too sad.

Robin couldn't show her,
in the 4-H Fair.
She did pretty good with Becky,
So I don't think Robin cared.

The next year Scooter tried
to have a baby boy.
Robin was upset,
So that really was a joy.

She had to have a C-section,
for a goat you never do.
But with a crying owner who was saying,
What if that was you?

So 12:00 that morning,
They headed to the vet.
Robin in the passenger seat,
Sleeping I would bet.

The bad news is the baby died,
And Scooter, a little sick.
She was shaved and stapled up,
And all you could say was "ick".

Scooter is still alive,
Though I wonder why.
She should have died so many times,
I wonder if she'll ever die.

Maybe someday she will die,
But I don't know what I'll do.
Who will I pick and complain about?
They're out there some place, but who?

© 2004, Sarah Z.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Wild Horses
by Lori Saulsbury - 7th Grade
Colstrip, Montana


Horses are strong,
Running together,
Moving along,
Through all kinds of weather.

So free, so wild,
A Spirit untamed,
No part of them mild,
A power unnamed,

Etched in my mind,
The elegance, the grace,
a beauty with no bind,
Once roamed in this place,
Wild Horses.

© 2004, Lori S.
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 


Contacting TJ Casey


Visit TJ Casey's web site for more about his school residencies programs, photos, and more of the students' poetry.

Cowboy Enterprises
PO Box 31676 Billings,  MT 59101
(406) 245-0734 
tjcaseymt@gmail.com
http://www.tjcasey.net


 

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