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Happy holidays folks!

Classic Cowboy Poetry


Christmas Shopping in Cactus Center

Women's scarce in Cactus Center, and there ain't no bargain stores
Fer to start them Monday rushes that break down the stoutest doors;
But we had some Christmas shoppin' that the town ain't over yet,
Jest because of one small woman and a drug store toilet set.

She was Cactus Center's teacher, and she had n't left the stage
'Fore she had the boys plum locoed  -- and I don't bar youth nor age;
She was cute and smart and pretty, and she might 'a' been here yet
If it had n't been fer Dawson and his drug store toilet set.

It was old and scratched and speckled, for 't was in his case for years,
But ol' Dawson, sharp and clever, put a whisper in our ears--
'Lowed he'd sell that set at auction, and he says:  "Now, boys, you bet
This 'ill make a hit with Teacher - this here swell new toilet set."

Well the biddin' stated lively, and it got to gettin' hot,
For every mind in Cactus on that single thing was sot;
Purty soon I'd staked my saddle, worth two hundred dollars net,
Jest to own fer one short second that blamed drug store toilet set.

It was then began the shootin' -- no one seems to know jest how --
And 't was lack of ammunition that at last broke up the row;
And thirteen of us was hurted, but the worst blow that we met
Was in findin' that some bullets had gone through that toilet set.

But we plugged the punctures in it, and we plugged the wounded, too,
And agreed we'd arbitrate it, and the bunch 'd see it through;
So we sent a gift committee, but they came back sorer yet --
Fer the teacher'd fluttered Eastward -- so we've got that toilet set.

by Arthur Chapman


You can read more of Arthur Chapman's classic poetry here at the BAR-D.

He is:

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


Happy holidays folks!


A Penner's Letter to Santa 

Howdy there Santa way up north snowy white,
hope you have a safe trip, come Christmas Eve night.
Now I'm a Team Penner, from the old Cariboo,
and I got me a Christmas wish list for you.

Nah, I don't need a saddle or a new saddle pad,
'cuz the ones that I got, well they ain't all that bad.
Great family, good friends, I sure 'nuff got,
and material things, well I don't need a lot.

But come pennin' time, just for a change,
leave all the bad cattle, out there on the range.
Don't give us no mavericks, that challenge the hole,
or orn'ry critters that just run and roll.

But I'd like lots'a peelers for my team mates and me,
and alone in the corner our number...times three.
See our cuttin' is clean and our hazin' is true
let 'em look at the gate and hurry on through.

And just one more thing, and I hope this ain't greed,
but Santa it's somethin' I surely do need.
At Calgary, the short go for all of my teams,
and then see our times are somewhere in the teens.

2000, JA Fox


Jim Fox and Shasta

JA Fox performs his poetry, does ranch work, participates in saddle bronc and "doggin'" events, spends time behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. You can read more of his poetry here at the BAR-D. 

Happy holidays folks!

Howdy Friend

Well it's that time of year again
(my god the year went fast)
You seen the price of firewood?
it's gettin' high as gas

An' how about this drought we got?
We're outta grass and hay
My cows all look like xylophones
four more died today

My wife ran off -- the kids don't speak
my pickup's obsolete
Asked the banker, "Check my balance?"
an' he pushed me off my feet

My dog drinks from the toilet now
my Mom sez, "'Cause it's cold."
How the hell does she know that?
(my god she's gettin' old)

Pollution's bad, it's worse each year
dadgum my ornery hide
Put air in my pickup tires
an' several of 'em died

But that ain't why I wrote to you --
to just whine 'bout my career
I wanna wish the best to You and Yours --
with lotsa Christmas Cheer

2002, Pat Richardson


Pat says "It's an ol' Christmas tradition of mine to insult all my friends on this and
any other occasion. They love it!! Those phone calls from their lawyers are just in jest (I

Merry Christmas

Well the belly draggin' kiyote isn't known for strength in deed
He relies on calculations, coupled with his blinding speed

His reflexes honed thru centuries of saving life an' limb
He can damn near walk on water when it comes to "sink or swim"

He will sacrifice his family, he'll desert his pups an' bride
No act's beneath his dignity, to save his yeller hide

But you'll have to give him credit, even Satan gets his due
Meanwhile have a Merry Christmas - that ol' kiyote's just like you

yer pal Pat Richardson

2002, Pat Richardson


You can read more of Honored Guest Pat Richardson's poetry here at the BAR-D. A frequent performer at Elko and other gatherings, Pat has a new recording, B. Y. O. S. (Bring Your Own Sheep):


Happy holidays folks!



I looked up "progress" in the dictionary (Webster's edition),
it read, "move forward or to a better condition."
Dad said, "Always try to make progress throughout the year."
So I took a look back, since the end of this one's near.
I had another birthday, right at the start.
No matter how old I get, I hope I'm always a kid at heart.
The rainy spring helped my grass touch the sky,
and the ponderosa pines grew another foot high.
Heard the first robins sing on April three,
they later hatched 4 eggs up in that aspen tree.
A doe and 2 fawns came by now and then.
I noticed a lot of little ones following a mallard hen.
The 8 or 10 quail must have been 40 by August,
about when the water hole finally turned to dust.
The heifers gave me another 20 head runnin' 'round
and I had a new foal hit the ground.
That herd of elk still visits the meadow every day,
'cept now there's twice as many as the first part of May.
The sun has cut its arc across the southern sky.
Wildflowers in the yard are pretty much gone by.
Got a new set of tires put on the truck
and put some gravel on the road so it doesn't get stuck.
I split some dry lodgepole to warm the cabin through the freeze,
lately seen a lot of geese flyin' over in "V's."
The first snow came on October 29
and I got a year supply of elk steak around the same time.
Now here it is December, and the cabin is aglow
with smells of baking bread and a fire in the stove.
The tree is decorated with a few gifts for family and friends.
I can't think of a better way for another year to end.
They might not call it progress higher up the social ladder,
but judging by things here, progress couldn't get better.

2002, Eric Wyman


You can read about Eric Wyman here at the BAR-D.



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