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

"Cowboy Thatch the Bear River Buckaroo"
Bear River, Wyoming
About Thatch Elmer
Thatch Elmer's web site
Thatch Elmer on Facebook




The Drifter

He was an old cowboy pushin cattle across the Texas Plains,
Sittin tall in the saddle he works magic with his reins.

They say he’s lived forever and his stories tell the most,
They gather 'round the campfire, and settle down to listen close.

He tells of the time he made his way across the great divide,
And the time he rode with outlaws, looking for a place to hide.

But mostly he'd just herd cattle, workin as a hired hand,
His first drive was in Kansas, working for the Bar-C Brand.

That drive it took him out to Denver, 'cause the owner was to sell,
The trail was long, the air was dry, and the sun as hot as hell.

From there he drove a bunch of stock way up to ol’ Cheyenne,
Then he pushed a herd of sheep across the barren land.

He took the job of Ranch Boss, on a spread in Idaho,
Then set out all alone one day, headed south to old Elko.

Took a break from ranchin and worked the silver mines,
The work was long and dirty, using hammers, picks and tines.

He made a lot of money, and saved more than he spent,
Cause deep inside he always knew he’d ride the trail again.

He met up with the Mormons, out in Bonneville,
But after several months of plowin fields, he knew he’d had his fill.

Agreed to ride the buckboard stage, from there to Arizone,
Then saddled up his horse and made his way for San Antone.

He knew he found the place he would like to hang his hat,
The grass was green, the water clear and the land was vast and flat.

He rode upon a spread, far away from any town,
And it was clear to see, he’d made his mind to settle down.

So he built a house, and raised some stock, and the herd began to grow,
And now he has the biggest ranch from here to El Paso.

But don’t you think he lives his life in luxury and rest,
You’ll find him ridin fences, and pushin cattle with the best.

© 2012, Thatch Elmer
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.

Thatch told us that this poem, " .. comes from listening to stories from his great grandfather while traveling with him to do countless brand inspections in southwest Wyoming." Thatch says, "The stories told by ranchers, cattleman, sheep herders and cowboys have always been a fascination for me."



The Two-Headed Calf

I was visiting the other day with this rancher friend of mine,
and the story that he told me, well it dang near blew my mind.
He told me he was checking cows down at his calving sheds,
He was shocked to find just laying there a calf that had two heads!

He had to take a double look to verify this sight,
And thinking to himself he said “Nuh Uh,” now that just can’t be right!
But sure enough that calf turned around, 4 ears, 4 eyes, 2 nose,
And with a shaky wobbly motion on 4 legs this calf arose.

His body was quite normal, 4 legs 1 butt 1 tail,
I looked at him and asked him if this critter was for sale?
Ol' Festus looked at me and said, “with this critter I cannot part,”
The poor confused ol brand inspector would not know where to start!

Ear tags are the common way to identify a steer.
But do I tag each head or both?
Not to mention "Heck" which EAR?

And when it comes to brandin', do I burn just one side?
Or should I heat it up once more and burn the opposite hide?
Now these dilemmas got to me, and a decision I must make....
Do I choose the novelty of two heads? Or a big ol' juicy STEAK?

© 2014, Thatch Elmer
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.

Thatch told us, "I had always heard about the famous two-headed calf from long ago, and then one day this early summer my Grandpa took me to Kemmerer, Wyoming, and we went to the museum. And there it was, hanging on the wall in the museum, a two-headed calf. I told Dad about it and he said he had heard stories too and told me some stories he had heard. So after a few stories and seeing that stuffed head on the wall, I come up with this poem."




Thatch on YouTube:

"The Tradition"
"The Longhorn Speaks"



   About Thatch Elmer
provided 2014

"Cowboy Thatch the Bear River Buckaroo" is 10-years-old and is from Bear River, Wyoming.

He started reciting cowboy poetry when he was old enough to speak a full sentence. He has been influenced by his father, grandfathers, and family friend Don Proffit. Thatch has spent his short 10 years listening to stories about life as it used to be from his Great Grandpa, who was a cowboy all of his 88 years.

Thatch enjoys riding horses, playing with his dog Dally, and rodeoing in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. Thatch thoroughly enjoys his new love of writing and reciting cowboy poetry. Thatch has been privileged to share the stage with the likes of Saddle Strings Cowboy Band, Andy Nelson, Tyler Guy, Daron Little and Trinity Seely thus far in his career. Thatch says that his best memory so far has been having Waddie Mitchell know who he was and getting to do a poem for him.


The First Go Round


A collection of cowboy poetry including six original poems, some classic cowboy poetry by S. Omar Barker and Bruce Kiskaddon, along with a couple of favorites from Baxter Black and heartfelt writings from Bill "Three Feathers" Bunting.

$20 postpaid




 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

Site copyright information