Category: Cowboy Poetry

GOOD ADVICE

GOOD ADVICE

Whenever anything got broke or lost
Kim’s mother would always say
Don’t cry over anything that can’t cry over you

Which is a good thing to remember
when your life becomes a country song
and your dog
and your wife and your truck are gone

Your dog will miss you right away
and cry with the coyotes all the night
your wife will miss you later – maybe
and cry for all the coulda’s that might

but you’re sadly mistaken
if you think that old C-10 Chevy
following the repo truck down the lane
is going to miss you half as much as you miss it

THE FARM, THE RANCH AND THE SWEEPING SCYTHE

THE FARM, THE RANCH
AND THE SWEEPING SCYTHE

Sunrise can be brilly bright
and all day long
everything out to get you

The horse can kick or fall
the bull has horns of steel

Every machine is grinding its teeth
in wait for a chance to bite

and every snowstorm
eager to find you
too far from the barn
and stiffen you like the manure-pile cat

The sunsets worth surviving for

MY UNCLE SHOT MY DOG

MY UNCLE SHOT MY DOG

My uncle shot my dog

My ever loving, ever loyal
saved me from the coyotes
went back to the ranch to
lead my parents to me
stuck in the mud – just
like in the movies –
Lassie dog

My uncle shot my dog

Maybe she had took to bitin’ people
if she did, I’m sure they had it coming

Maybe she’d got to eatin’ the chickens
if she did, she’d earned every one

Maybe she was old and sick and hurtin’
maybe she was better off dead
than alive

I don’t remember anyone saying that
but I doubt it would’ve helped

Not when it’s your best friend
and you’re five

My uncle shot my dog

My uncle shot my dog
and went to his grave
unforgiven

Maybe I can get it done
before I go to mine

CLEANING THE CALF SHED

CLEANING THE CALF SHED

Forty below outside
not much warmer
on the inside

A hundred little Herefords
dropping and stepping
where it freezes
where it drops

The calves are
four feet closer
to the roof
by April

After the thaw
sitting on the steel seat
of the little orange Allis
with the front end loader

Driving in hard
and pulling
out
fast

Manuria
in one nostril
spring
in the other

A PRAIRIE VILLANELLE

A PRAIRIE VILLANELLE

If prairie wheels again had I
I’d chew the gravel and the air
with prairie roads to fly

I’d plume the earth into sky
to show them I was there
If prairie wheels I had again

Past placed where dead neighbours lie
I’d not linger, who would dare
with prairie roads to fly

Dust to dust gets in your eye
I’d look for other things to share
if prairie wheels again had I

Then greener farmyards I’d pass by
in mem-mirages free of care
with prairie roads to fly

I’d roll past all that makes you cry
afloat I sunsets clear and fair
in prairie wheels again had I
with prairie roads to fly