Special:  Cowboy Love Poetry

Complete list of cowboy love poetry



Badger Clark Classic Cowboy Poetry
To Her
The Wind is Blowin'

DW Groethe 
Under the Dim and Nodding Sky
Just Like A Chinook 

Virginia Bennett
Lookin' for Cows, Fawn Creek, 1993

Paul Kern
Caroline Was a Cowboy's Wife



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To Her

Cut loose a hundred rivers,
     Roaring across my trail,
Swift as the lightning quivers,
     Loud as a mountain gale.
I build me a boat of slivers;
     I weave me a sail of fur,
And ducks may founder and die
     But I
  Cross that river to her!

Bunch the deserts together,
     Hang three suns in the vault;
Scorch the lizards to leather,
     Strangle the springs with salt.
I fly with a buzzard feather,
     I dig me wells with a spur,
And snakes may famish and fry
     But I
Cross that desert to her!

Murder my sleep with revel;
     Make me ride through the bogs
Knee to knee with the devil,
     Just ahead of the dogs.
I harrow the Bad Lands level,
     I teach the tiger to purr,
For saints may wallow and lie
     But I
Go clean-hearted to her!

Badger Clark

"To Her" is beautifully put to music like no one else could by Wylie Gustafson of Wylie and Wild West on his Paradise CD

The Wind is Blowin'

My tired horse nickers for his own home bars;
A hoof clicks out a spark.
The dim creek flickers to the lonesome starts;
The trail twists down the dark.
The ridge pines whimper to the pines below.
The wind is blowin' and I want you so.

The birch has yellowed since I saw you last,
The Fall haze blued as the creeks,
The big pine bellowed as the snow swished past,
But still, above the peaks,
The same stars twinkle that we used to know.
The wind is blowin' and I want you so.

The stars up yonder wait at the end of time
But earth fires soon go black.
I trip and wander on the trail I climb--
A fool who will look back
To glimpse a fire dead a year ago.
The wind is blowin' and I want you so.

Who says the lover kills the man in me?
Beneath the day's hot blue
This thing hunts cover and my heart fights free
To laugh an hour or two.
But now it wavers like a wounded doe.
The wind is blowin' and I want you so.

Badger Clark

You can read more of Badger Clark's poetry here.





The Tryst

I've ridden since the day throwed back
     The trailers of the night.
An' what fer, shall I tell you,
     In a stampede o' delight?
To wait out by the cottonwoods.
     An' dove-call softly to
A girl I know will answer:
     I'm a-comin', boy, to you."

'Twas no time to spare my bronco;
     His breathin' spells were brief;
He's white with foam an' shakin'
     Like the Chinook shakes the leaf.
Fer I've splashed thro muddy rivers,
     An' loped across divides,
An' ridden where no puncher
     In his reason ever rides.

Thro' wallers caked with gumbo,
     The buffalo once knew;
Thro' water holes an' washouts,
     An' a-boggin' in the slew.
O'er alkali an' sage brush flats
     I cut the whistlin' breeze,
An' come straight as the eagle
     When his lady bird's to please

I'm a-watchin' and I'm waitin'
     With heart as light as air,
As happy as they make 'em,
     Either here or anywhere.
Jes' to listen fer her footfall,
     An' hear her sweet voice thro'
The prairie silence murmur,
     "I'm a-comin', boy, to you."

by Robert V. Carr, from Cowboy Lyrics, 1912


See our feature on Robert V. Carr here.



Real Affection

If I could say the words I think,
     My tongue with overwork would bust;
I'll make old Shakespeare rise and say:
     "What varlot now disturbs my dust!"
If I would do the things which I
     Am simply achin' to perform,
I'd rope the lighnin' an' I'd jerk
     The terror from the blindin' storm.

I'd use a comet fer a bronk,
     And ride him stuck-up like an' proud:
My spurs would be a pair of stars,
     My blanket jes' a fleecy cloud.
I'd roundup all the planets an'
     I'd do it sudden, sure an' soon,
And then I'd set back ca'm an' watch
     Them mill around the helpless moon.

I'd do all this an' maybe more,
     Pervidin' that I thought it would
To this here busted heart of mine
     Do any sort of passin' good.
I'd do it all an' take a chance
     To hold the trail thro' Afterwhile,
If she would throw me jes' one word
     An' tie it up with one sweet smile.

by Robert V. Carr, from Cowboy Lyrics, 1912


See our feature on Robert V. Carr here.



Under the Dim and Nodding Sky

Under the dim and nodding sky
   Mid the night hawks fading skree
Bend your ear to the rush in the willows,
   That hush you hear is me.
Up through the cottonwoods murmuring leaves
   Down round in a laughing swirl
Hovering close to the warm moist earth
   My whispering fingers unfurl
And lightly gather each blade of grass
   Till at last I come to thee
And brush your cheek with lover's lips
  You can no longer see

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


You can read more of DW Groethe's poetry here.  This poem is included in his book, West River Waltz (2006)



Just Like a Chinook

She come on strong
and warm
and totally unexpected.
            Just like a chinook
during one a' them
spine cracking winters
when even the stones groan.

My spirit quivered.
                  Been a while.
You bury things deep
in a spell like that
and time                      takes time
to thaw feelin's
froze deep as all that.

Like a wink.
A brief flurry of dancin'
hand grabbin' romancin'
that settles your heart into spring.
And then's gone.
And after one a' them passages
of short
hollow gut feelin's
winter come back    
                        and then softened
like new fallen snow.
Spring snow.
And I knew that I'd make it.
All quite unexpected.
                 Just like a chinook.

2005, DW Groethe
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more of DW Groethe's poetry here.  This poem is included in his book, West River Waltz (2006)



Lookin' for Cows, Fawn Creek, 1993

Oh, my surprised lungs catch for a breath.
Tho' my eyes keep starin' on down the road.
Was it you, with mystified and cursed intention,
That caused my heart to nearly explode?

Or was it your horse, that renegade bay,
The one with an eye purely demonic?
Did he side-pass right to avoid a sharp rock,
And make my spirit sing something symphonic?

Or was it my mare, 'cause she is in heat,
And she's been looking all day at that bay?
She's a flirty ol' hussy, and I wouldn't put it past 'er
To swing that big butt over your way.

It couldn't have been me, tho, I guess it is true
That my right spur was embedded in 'er side.
And I know full well, I trained 'er to leg cues
Back when I broke 'er to ride.

It coulda been the moon, I hear it's been waxin'
And there's just no accountin' for nature.
Them hosses know better, but they're plumb confused
When it's the moon manning their legislature.

And, now a cowboy don't really know it.
He's about as perceptive as a blind porcupine.
But when he's calculatin' some on where the cows are
That ol' moon can sure put a knot in 'is twine.

So, it might just have been the hosses' fault
And it mighta been some birds on the wing.
It coulda been the hint of sage on the air,
'Cause I know a gal won't fall for sech a thing.

Hey, now, buster, we're workin' today!
There's no time for this, you scruffy ol' pard,
To be sparkin' or considerin' our options.
Heck, gettin' this job done with you is dang hard!

Yep, we been cowboyin' together for more'n twenty years
 I count it somethin' so rare and so fine.
And I still get that shiver up and down my back
Whenever your stirrup rubs up against mine.

2005, Virginia Bennett
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


You can read more of Virginia Bennett's poetry here.


Caroline Was a Cowboy's Wife

Caroline was a cowboy's wife,
She could have chosen an easier life,
Well bred and pretty she let it all be,
To marry that Jacobsen boy - Lee.

She fell in love and Lee did too,
He was a 1910 vintage buckaroo,
Who first wandered into Island Park,
On horseback where he left his mark.

A young cowboy on the Railroad Ranch,
The Herrimans gave him his chance,
To live out his dream on the back of a horse,
Caroline followed with no remorse.

From there they worked the Flying R,
A ways up the road but not too far,
Two sons she bore him - one for each knee,
They named 'em Cody and Larry Lee.

Two lives entwined in the livestock trade,
Caroline made the cowhand grade,
She rode and trailed and fenced and hazed,
Making a home where the cattle grazed.

Caroline knew livestock better than most,
She helped Lee build fences post by post.
All the same she would cook and sew,
Her favorite mare she called Latigo.

In time they bought a place of their own,
The kids were big now, nearly all grown,
Their brand? - the Quarter Circle J Bar,
Still they kept on working at the Flying R.

They shared their cowboy ways with me,
How to find strays and where they'd be,
How to run cattle throughout the year,
And how to use old-time cowboy gear.

I'd got thrown off by a horse named Buck,
Caroline came over in her pick-up truck,
She always said to just get back on,
I would have, but that horse was gone.

Lee claimed never to have lost a steer,
Or a heifer or bull regardless the year,
And so the years came and then flew by,
Caroline departed for the sweet by and by.

One quite morning Lee opened the door,
Caroline's sewing room was left as before,
Just as she left it before she left him,
Lee's eyes were misty but not all that dim.

He told me on his headstone next to hers,
There'd be an empty saddle, a rope and spurs.
Someday when he crosses that great divide,
Caroline will be riding at his side.

2004, Paul Kern 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Paul told us:  Lee Jacobsen rode with us up until his 94th year.  He now lives in an assisted living center in Idaho Falls surrounded by women of his same age who would love to have his attentions, but Lee says that he already has a wife and she is just waiting for him to show up.  Caroline and Lee were our neighbors in Island Park.  My wife hates this poem 'cause it makes her cry.


You can read more of Paul Kern's poetry here.




Page Fifteen








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