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

 Wood Lake, Nebraska
About Willard Hollopeter





Over the Belt Cowboy

He rode with ease, supple as the trees,
Thin and lithe and proud.
Tough to the bone, he rode alone.
Now he himself makes a crowd.

The horses are taller, and he tends to waller
When heís getting mounted up to go.
And he wants his horses tame.  He donít aim
On ridiní in no rodeo.

For proper attire young cowboys aspire
To a big buckle, and they tuck in their shirts,
They are keen for that buckle to be seen.
But, on him, the buckle just hurts.

The edge is thin, and it Ďbout cuts in
To the belly that reposes thereon.
He tries pulliní it in, heíd like to look thin
But the pulliní in muscles are gone.

He wants to be fit. If he could just be a bit
Of a semblance of that strong young man.
He tries workiní out, but his body does shout
In protest to his exercisiní plan.

A hat heíd proudly wear on wavy, thick hair.
Now pride has turned to functional instead.
To keep the hot sun from baking like a bun,
The top of his pale bald head.

© 2002, Willard Hollopeter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Willard says: The poem was written somewhat from experience.   Iíve gotten a little paunchy (not near as bad as a lot of fellows my age) I have trouble getting my leg high enough to reach the stirrup, and I canít as easily grab the horn, hop and hit the stirrup.  And I donít sit a saddle as good as I did.

Itís downright disgusting but I still enjoy riding, especially when Iím mounted on a good horse and have some work to do.

I have ridden some awful good horses through the years.



Cowboy Love Poem

He saw her standing there
And his pulse began to race.
He was smitten at first sight.
You could see it in his face.

He knew he had to have her,
Of that there was no doubt.
He didn't know just how,
But he was gonna figure it out

Her beauty addled his thinkin',
As she stood there in his sight.
Her body was a work of  art.
She was put together right.

Her good looks were inherited.
Passed on by her mom and dad.
He knew her family lineage,
And he wanted her real bad.

He couldn't be contented,
Without her in his life.
He knew that down the road,
He was gonna want a wife

But just for right now,
His need was drivin' him silly.
And he knew he had to buy
That little Doc Bar filly.

© 2003, Willard Hollopeter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Willard told us: The poem was written for a wedding.
I figured it should be serious and sweet, but this is what I came up with.  They loved it. 



Going Back

"Head them into the wind son,
we gotta move them against the storm.
Don't have so very far to go,
then we'll be home where it's warm."

He's going back, in his mind,
but maybe that's not so bad.
I went to see him today,
and that's just about all he had.

He's going back in his mind,
to when he was ranching long ago.
And the things he used to do,
back then, before he had to go

to the county old folks home,
but he doesn't know he's there.
He's out on the land he loves,
Out where he's free, out where

the air is clean as nature made it,
where a man wants to take a big breath.
Where the air don't smell of medicine,
a lot of suffering, pain and...death.

I went to see him today,
and I was glad I had come.
From what I see, that old cowboy,
is much better off than some.

At least he's back out on his ranch,
working cattle, in his head.
Not in the county old folks home,
laying weak and wore out, in a bed.

"Snub him up while I get on,
then I'll pull off the blind.
You fellers get on out of the way,
'cause this old boy's gonna unwind."

© 2008, Willard Hollopeter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Willard told us the poem " imaginary, but it is one of those poems that could be factual. I was in a theme session, 'Aging Cowboy,' at the Arvada Colorado poetry gathering. I was certainly qualified for that session and was inspired to write this poem when I got home."


Find Willard Hollopeter's poem, Joe, in a Memorial Day tribute
 to the memory of his grandson, Corporal Josiah Hollopeter.




About Willard Hollopeter:

Willard Hollopeter draws material for his poetry from most of a lifetime of ranching in the Nebraska Sandhills, an avid interest in history of the American West, and a keen imagination. His poems have just enough reality to them that if they didnít actually happen they surely could have.


He has been writing poetry forever but has been sharing it with other folks for probably ten years.


He also writes a bi-monthly column for two publications, occasionally has a story in a magazine, has a weekly radio program called ďThe Heritage Trail,Ē  is on the Nebraska Arts Councilís touring program, and is chairman of the Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Old West Days.


He has two books of poetry.




Lost Trails




108 pages of original poetry, some humorous, some serious and some tear jerkin' sad.
And factual stories. Some about wrecks, which weren't near as funny at the time of their happening.
It has photos, some really old to go along with the "Lost Trails" title, and some cartoon-type drawings.


Available for $15.00 plus $2.00 postage from:


Willard Hollopeter
HC 68 Box 13
Wood Lake, NE 69221



So Many Winters




So Many Winters


Available for $8.00 plus $1.00 postage from:

Willard Hollopeter
HC 68 Box 13
Wood Lake, NE 69221



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