SOUTHWEST COWBOY POETS ASSOCIATION
Click to play: Canadian River Waltz
Fred Thompson, Tybo Thompson & Ivan Cates
Click to play: Pan-Tex Polka
Alvin Crow, Ivan Cates
SELECTED COWBOY POEMS & MUSIC
Click to hear BJ The Bra
By Bill Hershie
I fell in love with a cowboy
Who loved me too, of course,
He was always kind and gentle with me,
But more gentle with his horse.
He told me how much he needed me,
If I left, his heart would be sore,
I knew then how much he loved me
But he loved his horse even more.
He gave me a ring and a puppy,
A beautiful Irish Setter,
He treated me like I was a queen,
But he treated his horse even better.
He wanted me always near him,
He asked me to be his bride,
So we got married in a country church,
While his horse waited right outside.
If troubles arise in the future,
When the honeymoon runs it's course,
If he ever gets tired of this way of life,
It's not his horse he'll divorce.
THE GRAY PRAIRIE ROSE
In the distance that was always the western frontiers
Stand flowers man-made eclipsing the years
Stalwart and graceful guarding the secret they hold
Each the same, each one different. I see a gray prairie rose
Who was put there by man to nourish and feed
Water to range creatures and fulfill a need
That her tower be a landmark where an oasis grows
'Round a pool at her feet, this gray prairie rose.
Her face is a flowering of neatly-spaced blades
With a bosom of gearworks the succor obeys
Through legs wrought of angle-iron, and steel bolts for toes
A sail at her back guides this gray prairie rose.
Her strength a steel tower with cross-bars to bear
The load of the wind, the force of the air
She has courage to withstand the fury that blows
And braves all of the elements unchanging, this rose.
Rooted to the ground in a desolate spot
Of unbounded range land shimmering hot
Stands this lonesome sentinel in silent repose
Waiting-watching-this gray prairie rose.
Then as hot air stirs gently, the silence is broke,
With a slight shift of sail, a small turn of spoke,
her hulk shudders, awakening from a doze
Revolves as wind brushes this gray prairie rose.
Creak follows groan, she turns face to the breeze
And pulls at the shaft buried deep near her knees
Straining at the dryness of stem, a rhythm grows
And a trickle is tugged from the ground by this rose.
Water held deep below the bedrock in a seam
Surrenders to the pull, gushes forth in a stream
And the call not unnoticed, moving cattle start their lows
In answer to the signal from a gray prairie rose.
Cattle and coyote, antelope and snake
Insects and flowers all have a stake
The wind blows she turns, and they drink, I suppose
None would survive here without the gray prairie rose.
Stately alert now to every direction of air
Fin alters the angle and catches it there
To turn wind into water, on the cycle goes,
Man-made yet natural this gray prairie rose.
Her presence is routine, a matter of course
But the rancher depends, his cattle, his horse
That she capture the wind 'cross the prairie that blows
And we drink of the nectar from this sweet prairie rose.
I can see the land dotted with these stations of life
Galvanized range flowers with petals as a knife
Majestic observers of lives beginnings and close
As I stand in the shadow of this gray prairie rose.
The currents becalmed now, she slows to a stop
Her duty is done now, there's water at the top
The sail folds back gently, she takes up her pose,
And awaits another breeze to turn this gray prairie rose.
"OLD TIME COWBOY DAYS"
My daddy was an old time cowboy
He had the old time ways
Riding herd on cattle drives
And, bringing in the strays.
Around the camp fire at night
All the cowboys around
He would pull out his French Harp
And, the cattle would settle down.
When bronc busting time rolled around
The cowboys had their fun.
Those old wild horses
Would keep them on the run.
When one was tamed to ride
The cowboy's face would shine
Each one wished they could ride
Old Strawberry Roan next time.
At night when the coyotes howled
Gazing at the moon
The cowboy dreamed of being out west,
When the cactus was in bloom.
Yes! my daddy was an old time cowboy
He had the old time cowboy ways
There was no "Broke Back Mountain"
In the old time cowboy days.
After all the dust is settled, and the tracks is washed away.
After all the memories fade, and every cowboy's had his day,
Will the Wes' jes' be forgotten, like it never really was?
Will a man still take some pride in who he is, or what he does?
After all the herds is tended, and the long hard day is done,
After all them nights 'round campfires, when his cowboy fame is won,
Will his work go unrewarded, 'cept fer fifty cents a day?
Will his passin' go unnoticed as he turns and rides away?
After all he's tried to teach us, will we still refuse to learn?
After all these times that's changin' will we show the least concern?
Will we try to have some pride in what cowboys lives have meant?
Will we never know the value, of those lonesome nights he's spent?
After all these things he's left us can we stand up half as tall?
As for me, I'm proud of cowboys, That's my heritage, after all.
MY DADDY'S RIGHT HAND MAN
The hardest worker on our ranch
Often gets the smallest praise;
She's been here from the very start-
Gets no paycheck or a raise.
She's up before the morning sun-
Often the very last in bed;
She's the "voice of reason" in a storm.
She's the one who keeps her head!
She volunteers for hard jobs,
And she wears scars from battles;
She's been bumped and bruised and banged up
In her daily work with cattle.
A mind-reader extraordinaire,
Especially when it comes to the boss...
She's a comfort and constant encourager,
Whenever there's a hurt or a loss.
She wears several hats, sometimes all at once...
Accountant, assistant, and vet;
She's ready to go anytime of the day,
Whether it's sunny or snowy or wet.
She steps up to do all the menial jobs,
That nobody else wants to do;
She opens and closes the gates, cleans the pens,
Drives truck for the hay-hauling crew.
She builds a good fence, helps pull baby calves.
She doctors and castrates and brands.
She's tireless and gives more than a hundred percent.
She works harder than most any man!
She sets an example in all that she does...
Her attitude is always positive and fun;
When she's asked to slow down or take a small break...
She says, "Hard work never hurt anyone!"
As the hardest worker on our ranch,
She deserves acclaim so grand!
You've probably guessed that she's my mom...
My daddy's right-hand man!
(My 'horse' was a mare purchased as a two year old, my rig an old disgraceful looking army saddle. I rode when the opportunity presented itself, come home, put her up, get
a drink and tell Linda all about whatever wonderful moments and harrowing experiences the mare and I shared.
To my surprise one day, my wife had gone to town and wasn't there to hear of my 'riding tales.")
SHOW AND TELL
You've always been here to hear of my hurt
fell flat on my face knocked in the dirt.
Lost all the skin and a lot of my pride
on one of my shins that got left with some hide.
You've listened in awe at the courage it took
the dangers I saw jumping that brook.
You knew that my horse was taller than that limb
and please no deep water we hadn't learned how to swim.
She'd slide down those hills all day I'd hold tight,
Start buckin' at will come home, what a sight.
Show it all to you first from the trails we had run
you'd give me ice tea for my thirst, I showed the blisters on my bun.
But tonight my worst fear as I undid the girth
you wasn't here to hear of my hurt.