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West Central Wyoming
About Rick Pitt

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


A Hell of a Ride  

   His clothes are old and dusty,
       His hat is slightly torn.
   He wears a scarf around his neck,
       His boots are badly worn.

   He used to be a bull rider,
        He rode in all the fairs.
   But now he's old and busted,
        He can barely climb the stairs

   He used to be a fearless man,
        He'd dog the meanest steer.
   But that was then and this is now,
        Today he just sips beer.

   He wears the scars,
         Of  a thousand fights.
   From drunken brawls,
          Under bar room lights.

   In years gone by,
           It was widely known.
   He was one cow hand,
           You should leave alone.

   His thoughts now drift,
            To years long past.
   A young girls love,
            That didn't last.

   The dreams he had,
             Have mostly died,
   But he has to admit,
             It was a hell of a ride.

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Daddy's Eyes

I looked into my daddy's eyes,
      I asked him what to do.
The lessons in this life are hard,
      The words he spoke are true.

He said I cannot tell you son,
      How you should live your life.
It's not the same for everyone,
      Though we all have pain and strife.

I don't have all the answers boy,
       They don't come in a kit.
It's hard to hold a young bronc back,
       When he's chompin at the bit.

He reached out and he hugged me,
       At the time I felt so weak.
I glanced back as I walked away,
       A tear ran down his cheek.

In denim jeans and cowboy boots,
      I headed for the city,
If I knew then what I know now,
      Well it truly is a pity.

We're just sheep among the wolves,
      Is what grandma used to say.
On her porch called shady shamrock,
     As she taught the christian way.

You must try to be a good man,
      Put your pride upon a shelf.
She said you must love all others,
      As much as you love yourself.

In a world filled with deception,
      Fueled by greed and hate and lust.
You can quickly lose direction,
     And you're not sure who to trust.

Well the time I've spent in cities,
     You can count in months and weeks.
Cause I came back to Wyoming,
      To those grand Wind River peaks.

  The years have passed so quickly,
       And my sons are nearly grown.
   I know it won't be long before,
       They too are on their own.

   If they ever ask the questions,
       Of this world so filled with lies,
   I only hope they'll understand,
        The look in daddy's eyes.

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Hell's Half Acre

Gather round all pardners,
     There's a story I must tell.
'Bout a place up in Wyoming,
     I myself call cowboy hell.

They were pushin' little dogies,
     Down the sage brush covered trail.
They were headin' up to Casper,
     Where they'd send 'em down the rail.

They were movin' sorta northeast,
     In the early mornin' sun.
It was maybe half past seven,
     When they all heard someone's gun.

They rode on through the sage brush,
     Where the prairie rattlers dwell.
Then they came upon a stretch of land,
     That truly looked like hell.

As they looked across the prairie,
     Not a cowboy made a sound.
It was pretty clear to all of 'em,
     They'd have to go around.

The trail boss rode up to the edge,
     With shock upon his face.
Never in his life had he seen,
     Such a Godforsaken place.

It's a place of desolation,
      Way out in the prairie sand.
And it looks like it was carved there,
     By the devil's own right hand.

The point man spotted somethin',
     And the trail boss gave the word.
He said ride on up an check it out,
     So it doesn't spook the herd.

Well the thing that he'd seen movin',
     Was a boy packin' a saddle.
The kid he really looked like hell,
     Like he'd fought a losin' battle.

As the boy told 'em his story,
     He would start to shake an shiver.
He said he was headin' west,
     To some kin in Powder River.

He said this wasn't his country,
     That he'd had a chance to roam.
But he'd fought with his ol' pappy,
     So he'd ran away from home.

He said he was just ridin',
     When he felt a sudden jolt.
Said he thought it was a rattler,
     That'd caused his horse to bolt.

Said he'd tried to hold 'em back,
     But the bronc was movin' fast.
When they dove into the hell hole,
     Said he thought he'd breathed his last.

When he came back to his senses,
     On the jagged rocks below.
Started lookin' for his pony,
     Where he was he didn't know.

He crawled down a little further,
     Then his face formed in a frown.
Cause he knew his horse was hurt bad,
     And he'd have to put him down.

Well they put him in the wagon,
     And they took him on back home.
And they knew that he'd be wiser,
     'Bout the places that he'd roam.

     All the cowboys they were happy,
Cause he hadn't met his maker.
     In that hell hole on the prairie,
That they now call Hell's Half Acre.

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



                  I read a poem a while back,
                        It made me mad as hell.
                  Said we all had Texas in us,
                        Made this Wyoming cowboy yell.

                  I was born here in Wyoming,
                        And that's where I'm gonna stay.
                  I reckon I'll be buried here,
                        If I've anything to say.

                  Now those Texans might be darn good hands,
                        I really do not know.
                  Cause ya see I've never been there,
                        And I'll probably never go.

                  I hear they're mighty boastful,
                        That they like to brag a bit.
                  But I've heard some locals stretch the truth,
                        On nights that they got lit.

                  See I'm no rich Texas rancher,
                        And I don't live in a palace.
                  I'd have tracked him down and whipped him,
                        'Cept my middle name is Dallas.

                 Rick Pitt
                     This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Angel of the West

As I sit and try to ponder,
     Why you've stayed by me so long.
I don't want to use another's words,
     You've heard in some old song.

So I guess that I'll just say it,
      If you hadn't took my hand.
I'd be livin' life for nothin',
     In that place called no man's land.

All the troubles that I've suffered,
     As I've tried to make my way.
You've been standin' there beside me,
     With great patience I must say.

As we push on through the problems,
     In this life that we must bare.
I know I could not endure as much,
     Without your love and care.

You're the paint upon the canvas,
     In a master work of art.
Without you to inspire me,
     My dreams would fall apart.

I do thank the Lord above me,
     For the day he gave me you.
If it weren't for his sweet kindness,
     You could paint this cowboy blue.

Of all the things I've loved in life,
     You're the lady I love best.
You're the good in my good-morning,
     You're my angel of the West.

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Big Al   

       This here ain't no cowboy story,
              It's about my Indian pal.
       His dear Momma called him Alan,
              But I just called him Big Al.

        See his Momma was his Aunt,
              And I know that that sounds strange.
         But this life can be quite tricky,
              When you live out on the range.

         His Mom gave him to her sister,
              Shortly after he was born,
         But he never did forgive her,
              And he always felt forlorn.

         See my brother's wife's his sister,
              'Cept she really is his cousin.
         I could go on here forever,
               But your eyes might start a fuzzin'.

          See it weren't she didn't love him,
                But her sister'd lost her boy.
           And her heart was filled with emptiness,
                 Her own life held little joy.

            I met him at age three or four,
                 Though I'm not sure if that's right.
             Sometimes it seems so long ago,
                  Other's just the other night.

              We'd play cowboys we'd play indians,
                   We'd play army and we'd fight.
              We were pretty goofy pardners,
                   And I bet we were a sight.

               We'd go fishin' at the river,
                   Didn't catch that many fish.
               He'd be settin' here beside me,
                   If I had a single wish.

               We broke out in the oil fields,
                   And they worked us mighty hard.
               Yet I didn't seem to mind it,
                   'Cause ol' Big Al was my Pard.

               Didn't last that long for me though,
                   'Cause I saw some men get hurt.
               I didn't think it smart of me,
                    To dig holes out in the dirt.

               Big Al he hung right in there,
                     Think he had it in his blood.
               Didn't mind all that back breakin' work,
                     Or bein' covered up with crud.

               He worked out in the freezin' cold,
                     Out in the drivin' rain.
                A fall from the board put him back on the floor,
                     But he could really throw a chain.

                I left the patch with sorrow,
                     Then I found myself a wife.
                We had ourselves a couple kids,
                      And we moved on with our life.

                Then one day my big brother called,
                      And he said Big Al was sick.
                Said you might wanna get up here,
                     'Cause I think he's dyin' Rick.

                 At the time well we were strugglin',
                      So ya see I didn't go.
                 Big Al he didn't make it,
                      But Lord how was I to know.

                 Now he lives inside my memory,
                      And he'll always be my pal.
                 He's a wild roughneckin' indian,
                      My best friend I called Big Al.

                 Rick Pitt
                      This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

A Cowboy Is

              A cowboy is the kinda man,
                   That takes it all in stride.
              A cowboy shows you what he knows,
                   Doesn't keep it hid inside.

              A cowboy likes to drink some beer,
                   And shoot a little pool.
              He has to let it out sometimes,
                   Cause he ain't nobody's fool.

               A cowboy gives his last darn buck,
                   To help a friend in need.
               Cause he knows the trail gets rocky,
                    And he's not a dyin' breed.

               A cowboy does get down sometimes,
                    Cause this ol' life is hard.
               But he always knows just where to go,
                    And he always has a pard.

                A cowboy isn't perfect,
                    And he knows he's prone to sin.
                But he always pulls his boots back on,
                    And he meets life with a grin.

                 A cowboy never throws 'er in,
                    When things are lookin' bad.
                 He puts 'em up when things get tough,
                    A cowboy is my dad.

                 Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.  

Cowboys Rule

He's a workin' man,
He's a hell of a hand.
He's a real go-getter,
And he's gotta lotta sand.

He's no drain on our society,
He's givin' it his all.
And although he's workin' mighty hard,
He's still havin' a ball.

He's not worried what they're givin',
He's just takin' what he needs.
He's a back bustin' rip-snorter,
One of those rare sorta breeds.

He's a smilin' when he tells you,
That he's really doin' fine.
Ain't got time for no complainin',
'Cause he's reelin' in the line.

People like to be around him,
'Cause he fills 'em full of cheer.
Just jawin' with his cowbuddies
While they're drinkin' up his beer.

They don't think that he's just shovelin',
Says he plans to set his brand.
Plans on writin' cowboy songs,
For a country-western band.

Don't you underestimate him,
He's been punchin' on a cow.
He's no quick talkin' city slicker,
He's been pullin' on a plow.

Says his daddy was a cowboy,
And he knew that he was cool.
He keeps spendin' all his free time,
Provin' just how  "cowboys rule."

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Outlaws and Saints          

I'm a little bit outlaw, And I'm a little bit saint.
I am what I am,
And I'm not what I ain't.

You might look at me and smile, Thinkin' wow what a loser.
But I've got an extra pretty wife,
And I think that I amuse her.

She's the only thing that makes me smile, On cold dark winter nights.
And I think we're somethin' special,
Though we've had our share of fights.

I reckon I'm half honest, 'Cause I ain't got much to give.
I'm livin' in the wild west,
'Cause that's where I wanna live.

There are lots of people out there, Who aren't happy with their life. They're
causin' their own misery,
And they're doublin' up their strife.

I just try to be who I am, I don't worry what I ain't.
'Cause we're all a little outlaw,
And we're all a little saint.

Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


No More 

No more shall I trade hats with you,
   Or hear your many tales.
No more shall we just shoot the breeze,
   As we toss a couple bales.

No more shall I admire your horse,
   Or tell ya how he's grown.
No more shall you advise me,
   On the things I should have known.

No more shall I borrow your gun,
   And keep it way too long.
No more shall you recite a poem,
   They turned into a song.

No more shall you encourage me,
   To meet your expectation,
No more shall I not understand,
   Your love for this great nation.

No more shall I say later Pa,
   As I walk out the door,
No more shall you just smile and wave,
   No more, No more, No more.

2002, Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Verlin Marvin Pitt Sr.



Old Soldiers

When I think about old soldiers,
Men who gave their very best.
They were fighting for our freedom,
Far from home here in the West.

See I'm just a country offspring,
From a man who rode the trail.
All the stories that he told me,
Surely came right straight from Hell.

He was trained to be a warrior,
At a time when evil reigned.
He could not forget the memories,
Of the past that he'd retained.

His dreams were never pleasant,
And his heart held constant hurt.
Images of men left dead and cold,
In the blood and in the dirt.

In a world of pure insanity,
In a place where men must die.
All dreams are lost at any cost,
As the bravest of us try.

All these old men and old women,
That we seem to push aside.
They're the ones that gave us glory,
They're the ones that saved our hide.

2003, Rick Pitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



About Rick Pitt

I was born in west central Wyoming and have spent very little time anywhere else. I've been to the big cities (New York, Seattle, Salt Lake) and have come to realize just how fortunate I really am. Slick talkers and high rollers really don't impress me. I prefer to live life in simpler terms.

I don't feel you have to be raised on the back of a horse to share in the heritage of western philosophy and lifestyle. Like most things I feel it's a state of mind rather than circumstances.

I love the openness of the sage brush covered prairies, the solitude of remote mountain lakes and the wit, charm and humor of common people who aren't too busy to share a few moments of their day with you.  I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.


Wyocpbk.jpg (7975 bytes) 

Rick Pitt's poetry is included in Wyoming's Cowboy Poets. The 201-page book contains brief profiles of 28 Wyoming cowboy poets, their photos and samples of their poetry. The introduction is written by Montana humorist/poet Gwen Petersen.  The editor, Jean Henry-Mead, is a novelist and award-winning photojournalist, founder of the Western Writers Hall of Fame, and former teacher in the Wyoming Poetry in the Schools Program with Peggy Simson Curry. Read more about the book and at Jean Henry-Mead's Sagebrush and Sleuths web site, where you can order the book.  Wyoming's Cowboy Poets is also available by check or money order from Medallion Books, 8344 Shady Lane, Evansville, WY 82636 for $19.95 postpaid (paperback) or  $27.45 postpaid (hardcover). Please add 5% sales tax if ordered within Wyoming.




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