A Welcoming Invitation

NEW! A special page for Cowboy Poetry Tweets. Submissions are invited for western and cowboy poems which have 140 characters or less, have consistent meter, and true rhymes.

Welcome to WesternPoetry where the work of both experienced poets and rising stars is displayed. Poets are invited to submit their original Western and Cowboy poetry for consideration. However, before submitting, please check our requirements by clicking on POETRY SUBMISSIONS in the right hand column. Limited mentoring and coaching are available for promising newcomers.

Rising stars in the field of cowboy poetry, as well as some experienced poets, may find some interesting and helpful resources on “Tools for Cowboy Poets“.

Please note that Western Poetry is  nonpartisan and subjects are not censored. The ideas expressed are those of the poetic authors and may or may not reflect the views of the publisher. Poems are accepted or rejected based on current need, theme, family orientation, and the use of consistent meter and true rhymes throughout.

Christmas on Our Ranch

Christmas on Our Ranch
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

We have a manger like the one on which Jesus lay.
We have a barn that’s filled with lots and lots of fresh hay.
We have Mary’s dolly that we use every year.
We put all of these together as the Day draws near.

When the day comes we all gather close by the stable
With all the cousins and the kids and me and Mable.

The men start playing and the family starts singing.
Down in the valley the church bells will be a ringing.

We don’t sing of snow bells ringing and flying reindeer,
we have none of those; we sing of other things out here.

We sing of young Jesus, Mary and the virgin birth.
We sing of how God in the flesh of man came to earth.

As we go in the house we smell the smell of chilli
Being prepared by none other than cousin Willie.

Then, when we are full of chilli, it’s then time to see
just what are in those boxes under the Christmas tree.

Willie got a brand new hat and some new saddle straps.
I got a rope, a pair of blue jeans, and some chaps.
Mable got a bran new cowgirl hat, the kids got some toys…
Some for the sweet girls and some toys for the rowdy boys.

At eleven o’clock we ask buckaroos to pray
And that’s how the folks out here celebrate Christmas Day

The Border Collie

The Border Collie
~~ Steve Dickson – ©2014 ~~

My uncle passed on not long ago
I sure didn’t know he was ill
I learned that he remembered me well
‘Cause left me his farm on the hill

I went there lots of times as a lad
There were so many things to do
Rode horses, milked cows, did all the chores
Summer days in green pastures flew

For many years we lived there in town
Forgotten were old country ways
When we topped the rise and saw the farm
Back came memories of those sweet days

The first thing I spied when we drove in
A black and white pup by the door
Wagging his tail, head down on his paws
So skinny he looked mighty poor

We have four children, the youngest Joe
He looked out and saw the dog first
Jumped out of the car, arms open wide
Hugged the pup til I thought he would burst

Looking around the place sure looked swell
The animals all seemed well fed
A old man came from out of the barn
We shook hands and he scratched his head

“You all are welcome, I’m an old friend
Of your uncle from long ago
Been taking care of the livestock here
This is all the home that I know”

His name was Henry and we were glad
He wanted to keep working there
He knew the ways of life on this farm
We saw that he really did care

“I see you found the little ol’ hound
he showed up a short time ago
Feeding him well but it’ll take time
Until he stops moving so slow.”

Joe named him Bob, we didn’t know why
He had a white star on his chest
Smart as a whip and surely learned fast
The kids gave him nearly no rest

We had a hard time learning the ropes
Henry showed us all what to do
We learned our way around the old farm
Took a while to know who was who

One day four heifers made a quick break
They all ran off down to the creek
Bob took off after right on their tails
He got ‘em all rounded up quick

Then he was nipping close at their heels
Drove ‘em back up by the corral
We opened the gate and they went through
As if Bob was their best ol’ pal

From that day on we couldn’t stop Bob
From herding the critters all day
Seemed he was destined to be their boss
He just had to have his own way

He herded the cows and all the pigs
The horses were under his his rule
Nothing escaped his sharp eagle eye
He herded the kids off to school

He had a hard time with the old geese
But finally they did succumb
He let the chickens go their own way
We reckon he knew they were dumb

For a few years now Bob’s run the farm
Every creature here knows the score
If you stray just a little too far
You’ll learn what a herdin’ dog’s for

Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas
~~ Nick David — ©2014 ~~

It’s late December in this town,
But it’s too brown and dry.
The cactus is all leathery;
The pinyon, like to die.

You hear the church bell strike out ten.
It’s late on Christmas Eve.
The stores are so deserted now,
Wal-Mart employees leave.

The teacher has his grading done.
The banker is a-snooze.
The store clerk has his p.j.s on.
And drinkers have their booze.

But one old cowpoke’s not in bed,
But out among his herd.
Some think his workload grinchy-like,
His care for them, absurd.

The heifers all are lowing now.
The calves are close behind.
The steers are pacing off to bed.
No dangers on their minds.

It’s then the cowboy heard a sound,
Above the desert stones.
It sounded like a cattle drive.
His dog began to moan.

A portly figure was in back.
Nine reindeer pulled the sled.
The bearded man was Santa Claus,
His coat a deep-hued red.

The cowboy smiled and tipped his hat.
“Have a bit of biscuit.”
Santa said, “No thank you, but my
Worry, you might fix it.

“You’re in between the list, my friend,
Not naughty, but not nice.
I’ve come out here to ask you for
Some gift-giving advice.

“You cowboys, you are all alike.
You say you have no needs.
For independent wanderers
What do I get you, please?”

“Well coal and switches was the gift
I got through my childhood.
The switches kept the steers in line;
The coal’s as good as wood.

“But jokes aside, I’ll answer you,
I’ll tell you straight and plain.
The only thing a cowboy needs,
Is just a soaking rain.”

“You only ask for rain,” he mused.
“There must be something more.
How ‘bout some chaps or spurs to wear
The kind you see in stores?

“I’ll get you a new pair of boots
A Stetson for your head.”
“Heck, I don’t need no fancy clothes,
I’ll take the rain instead.”

“Well that’s the strangest gift request
That I have ever seen!”
“But rain, it keeps the creek beds full
The hillsides shades of green.

“And green hillsides aside, um, sir,
It keeps the cattle fed.
I hate to see them hungry-like.
It keeps me up in bed.

“With dogs like Gus, I need no friends.
I’ve heard the wind’s own call.
With jeweled stars in God’s own land,
I just need rain to fall.”

“How ‘bout a wife to marry you?”
“I fear we’d only fight.
I’ve never known no women folk.
And ranch life’s lonesome like.”

So Santa pulled his tallowed beard
And came to understand.
That right before him, thin and tall,
This cowboy matched the land.

“Son, merry Christmas” Santa called
And flew beyond the plains
Then came a welcome thunderclap
Then falling, needed rain.

So when your Christmas is all wet
And you live in the West,
Just smile and know that Santa gave,
The cowboy’s one request.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens
~~ DWeaver — ©2014 ~~

I was settin’ at my campfire,
hot coffee in my cup.
A big “halloo” came from the trees,
I said “come in and sup.”

The feller wasn’t a big man,
but finished off my beans.
“Thank ya’ son” he said with a smile
“hoped for some collard greens.”

“Hard to find in this wilderness,”
I replied with a smile.
“Taters and onions too” he moaned,
“for them I’d walk a mile.

We set a spell with our coffee
“I come from Arkansas.”
He said while rolling a quirley
“the drought was the last straw.”

“Cold up here in North Dakota,”
he said with frozen lips.
“I knowed I shoulda’ went down south,
reckon I lost my wits.”

“Nothin’ grows up here worth eatin’
‘less you can live on ice.”
He stood then and looked around us,
“cornbread and greens ‘be nice.”

“Think I’ll go down to Texas,”
as he packed up his gear.
“Hold on partner,” as I readied,
“It’s greens for me I fear.”


~~ DWeaver — ©2014 ~~

I ain’t a cowboy like John Wayne
that’s really plain to see
I sure can’t “duke” it out with him
some fool might shoot at me

I ain’t ridin’ on “happy trails”
like Roy Rogers can do
I’m not real fast on the “trigger”
with one “bullet” or two

I ain’t got a sweet Dale Evans
or “buttermilk” to drink
The “nellybelle” still runs a bit
she makes a “gabby” blink

I ain’t a “champion” rider
I’d need an “angel” near
There’s not a cowboy “gene” in me
can’t make a “frog” appear

I ain’t like a Marshall Dillon
who does “miss” his “kitty”
But there’s “doc” and Festus Haggen
wranglin’ in Dodge City

I ain’t Hopalong Cassidy
my hop is much too short
Not goin’ to “California”
Topper might give a snort

I ain’t masked like the Lone Ranger
I’m not “Clayton” any “Moore”
I don’t have a scout like Tonto
whose “silver heels” are wore

I ain’t as tough as Clint Eastwood
won’t be hung in a tree
I’m not a member of that bunch
“the good, bad, and ugly”

I ain’t a fast draw Paladin
to him I can’t compare
I don’t “have” a “gun” to carry
“will travel” anywhere

I ain’t been to “the big valley”
Victoria is the boss
I left just in the “nick” of time
young Audra is my loss

Ben Cartwright found a “bonanza”
he even found a “hoss”
“Joe” was a “little” tenacious
Adam’s not one to cross

I ain’t rode on a “wagon train”
or use “flint” to make fire
The folks all form a sacred “bond”
there’s nothing much higher

I ain’t got a silver saddle
or no horses to feed
I don’t have a new white Stetson
because there ain’t no need

My boots ain’t made for bull ridin’
my belt’s a piece of rope
To see these heroes ride again
would give our country hope

They made us proud Americans
ridin’ the new frontier
To have them and the others now
would cause our foes to fear

The Man from New York City

The Man from New York City
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

A man from the East rode into a West Texas town.
He didn’t ride a horse instead he rode a Greyhound.

He wanted to be a rancher but didn’t know how.
Well sir, he didn’t know a cowboy from a boy cow.

On the very first day they gave to him a milk pail.
He put it under the cow and then he pumped her tail.

The next day he showed himself to be a bigger fool.
He tried and tried to get the cow to sit on the stool.

A mare that was in heat was purchased for a good price.
He got her out of the hot sun and bathed her in ice.

In the summer cowboys rode the plains on certain nights.
He refused because he was afraid of planes and heights.

He touched the electric fence and sparks began to fly.
This convinced the cowboys it was time to say goodbye.

That very afternoon, long before the sun went down,
They gave him vittles and put him back on the Greyhound.

A Cowboy’s Faithful Friend

A Cowboy’s Faithful Friend
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

He was there when I was trampled by the stampede.
He was there when I was being stomped by the steed.
He was there in these great moments of my need.
He is my best friend, and He’ll be there at trail’s end.

He was there when the ranch house burned down , to the ground.
He was there when our daughter couldn’t be found.
He was there to help when no one else was around.
He is my best friend, and He’ll be there at trail’s end.

He was there when all that was left was a soup bone.
He was there when my money was completely gone.
He was there when the banker denied me the loan.
He is my best friend, and He’ll be there at trail’s end.

He was there when I was forsaken and alone.
He was there when every crony was long gone.
He was there when the loneliness cut to the bone.
He is my best friend, and He’ll be there at trail’s end.

He’s here and on His kindness I’ll always rely.
He’s here where faithfulness and friendships never die.
He’s in the land where people never say goodbye.
He is my best friend, and He was there at trail’s end.

Apples and Hosses

Apples and Hosses
~~ Larry Bradfield — ©2014 ~~

I started to cowboy just sixteen and raw
On a spread east of the divide
The boss man was as tough as I ever saw
He didn’t keep nothin’ inside

I knew your pa, he says, a long time ago
He was tough and built for this land
I never saw him quit or even go slow
Might you be this same kind of man ?

Now I’d never thought one way or the other
About what sort of man I was
He says we’ll find out this way or another
Just what’s underneath that peach fuzz

You see that notch in the mountains right yonder?
There’s a painted filly up there
There’s a Mustang stud who don’t let her wander
I want you to bring her down here

Now I just didn’t know no better back then
Took a sack of apples to eat
Headed toward the place he said they had been –
A drizzly day with rain and sleet

When I got to the notch the sun came out bright
And shone on the stud and the paint
Didn’t have no plan but I could think all night
To see if I can or I cain’t

Well, I leaned on a tree,ate apples all night
And thought ’til my brain got all sore
Then just at dawn I heard a hoss take a bite
They were eatin’ them apple cores

I jumped on my hoss, slung the sack on my back
And headed on straight down the hill
Took an apple now and then out of the sack
An’ dropped it to give them their fill

I rode in through the gate with the paint and stud
Followed by four mares and two colts
I poured out the apples as fast as I could
Closed the gate and threw all the bolts

Well the bossman was grinnin’ from ear to ear
Never saw nothin’ that clever
He says your daddy was never even near
As smart as you, nossir never!

Well, I wound up as just another cowpoke
No more or maybe less than you
Sometimes I get drunk and I’m always half broke –
The story ’bout apples is true