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.

Evening Sojourn

Evening Sojourn
~~ Steve Dickson — ©2015 ~~

Let us live down by the river
When we leave this earthly home
No more days will we still wander
No more longing then to roam

We’ve been gone seems like forever
Far from where we need to be
Take us back to greener pastures
By the garden we’ll be free

Free from burdens we have shouldered
Free from pains that are endured
Bring us peace in nature’s bounty
Calm and quiet is ensured

Walk among the highest mountains
Prairie grass as sweet as dew
Valleys wide all filled with flowers
Where I want to be with you

Western skies now call out to us
In clear streams we drink our fill
Souls are quenched in all this glory
In the sunset all is still


~~ Steve Dickson — ©2015 ~~

He’s called the cur of the prairie
Worthless and no good and plain mean
But his eyes are bright and joyful
His senses are very darn keen

I seen them play in the winter
Runnin’ and chasin’ in the snow
Carin’ for litters of puppies
That most likely never will grow

He wanders and roams and rambles
Gets into much trouble in town
So many men are agin him
They seem to love shootin’ him down

He’s baited and trapped and poisoned
Killed off by the thousands each year
God and most tribes of the natives
The onliest ones hold him dear

Folks never have learned the lesson
That messin’ with nature is bad
Here comes a skinny coyote
His eyes are not shiny, just sad


~~ Larry Bradfield — ©2015~~

When all of this ropin’ an’ ridin’ is done
I’ll take me to Dallas an’ find me someone
She’ll have reddest hair and some freckles just so
An’ want to come with me wherever I go
We’ll travel this land from Ft Worth to Austin
Or just maybe we’ll go clear up to Boston
Whatever we do it’s got to be goin’
Can’t stand it much more with this sand a blowin’
I’ll quit what I’m doin’ and have me some fun
When all of this ropin’ an’ ridin’ is done

Buy me some trousers that ain’t made of denim
She’ll tell me she’s proud of how I look in ‘em
I’ll buy me a shirt that ain’t got no patchin’
Get me a hanky with socks that are matchin’
I’ll shine up my boots to cover the scuffin’
Take ‘em to dance with my redheaded muffin’
We’ll do up the town until the sun’s risin’
Just think of the dreams I’ll be realizin’
I’ll be a rootin’ tootin’ son-of-a-gun
When all of this ropin’ an’ ridin’ is done

I’ll take her and keep her and call her my hon
When all of this ropin’ and ridin’ is done.

A Story of a Homesteader and a Rancher

A  Story of a Homesteader and a Rancher
~~ Jimmy Coleman – ©2015 ~~

Listen up now you ranch hands and you wives as well.
I have got a story I really need to tell.
So gather close around me and lend me your ear.
I‘ve got a story that all of you need to hear.

Bandits beat him, took his horse and all that he had.
They left him to die; he was bleeding really bad!
A wagon full of hymn singers passed by his way.
They saw but did nothing and had nothing to say.

Then the parson, he came by later in the day,
but he only looked at the man and rode away
Next came a homesteader with a mule and a pack
Memories of the range wars started flashing back.

His Pa spoke evil of their kind every day
He taught his son to feel,think, and act the same way.
The stranger put wine on the cut, and bound it tight.
There was no doubt that he knew how to do it right.

Then he put him on the horse and they rode away.
When they started up they still had the light of day.
Darkness came and with only the light of the moon,
They found a village with a hotel and saloon.

After the stranger paid for the wounded man’s keep,
He took the rancher upstairs and put him to sleep.
The next morning the rancher asked about the man.
He heard a story that is hard to understand.

It seemed the stranger only came by once a year;
He’d do a deed for a rancher and disappear.
Now folks I know the story is true as can be,
Because the one lying in that hot sand was me.

Was the stranger my special angel in disguise?
Or one of the ones I had been taught to despise?
Pa was wrong about the homesteader and his kind.
The bad things are not true; they’re only in your mind.

Well Howdy Little Feller

Well Howdy Little Feller
~~ Tom Swearingen — © 2014 ~~
First published by CowboyPoetry.com, 2014.
Well howdy little feller,
But aren’t you a welcome sight.
You know you had me worried
Wondr’n if you’d be all right.

Your momma told the story
In a lonesome restless way.
Made clear that you were missing,
That you’d somehow gone astray.

Last night sure was a cold one.
Don’t you wonder how I know?
You didn’t think I’d stay in
With you out here in the snow.

Yes, I was looking for you,
Was out searchin’ most the night.
Sure thought I had you spotted,
But turns out I wasn’t right.

Could swear I saw your bald face
Least a hundred times, but no.
Each time it was just nothing
But another pile of snow.

‘Be honest little bugger,
Was afraid of what I’d find.
The thought of cold and coyotes
Put some pictures in my mind.

Sure glad to see you made it.
Good to feel your steamy breath.
Don’t suppose you’ve got a clue
Just how close you came to death.

Your momma’s waiting for you,
So let’s get up now and go.
Come on now little feller,
Let’s both get out of this snow.

Spot On Perfect Balance

Spot On Perfect Balance
~~ Tom Swearingen — © 2014 ~~
First published by CowboyPoetry.com, 2014.

Half ounce of my direction
Half a ton of equine force
In spot on perfect balance
Man, I love this Appy horse

Half ton of up and lets go
Coiled up about to bolt
Without a lick of warning
Could explode like unbroke colt

But there’s also half a ton
Of deep trust and want and try
That holds him here beneath me
And controls his urge to fly

What happens in this saddle
Is a magical display
Of poetry in motion
Appaloosa horse ballet

Half ton of pure excitement
Bridled by light touch of rein
Responds to my intention
Gives me feet and speed and brain

Half ounce of my direction
Half a ton of equine force
In spot on perfect balance
Man, I love this Appy horse

A Brief History of the Appaloosa in the West

A Brief History of the Appaloosa in the West
~~ Susan Matley — ©2014 ~~

When Spaniards stormed the New World’s keep,
in hulls of ships through ocean deep
our hooves danced.

When caught and bred by Nez Perce tribe
for color, pattern, strength and pride
our hooves danced.

When captured in the Cayuse raids
or bartered through more honest trade
our hooves danced.

When Cayuse fell, reservation penned,
and Nez Perce, too, came to bitter end
the Army seized us. Some were sold
others slaughtered. Escaped, the bold
                                                  went wild.
Our hooves danced.

Man reclaimed us from the range—
fed us, worked us —not much change
from the New World now called West.
Pressed in modern horsemen’s quests
our hooves still dance.

We were fascinated by both the metric pattern and
the historic substance of this poem! It was first
published by CowboyPoetry.com in December 2014.


Anvil Bob and the Stranger

Anvil Bob and the Stranger
~~ Larry Bradfield — ©2014 ~~

The sun was down when the batwings swung
An’ Anvil Bob walked in.
Bob’s name came from the blacksmith trade –
He’s stronger than strong men

He was more than mad, he looked fierce,
There was blood in his eye.
“I’m lookin’ for a tall stranger,
That came here some time by.

“Had his way with my young Sadie,
And rode off into town.
I aim to tear his limbs apart
An’ grind him in the ground!”

A chuckle came from down the bar,
The stranger gave a smile.
He tipped his hat to Anvil Bob,
Just grinnin’ all the while.

“You’d best calm down before you bust
Yor’ ticker my old friend.
You’ll be awhile at what you said
You’d do to me just then.

You see this knife here in my belt?
It’s skinned many a hog.
It’ll cut all yor’ buttons off
Or circumcise a frog.

I’ve used this knife from here to there
An’ never lost a fight.
You’d best come have a drink with me
An’ we can make this right.”

Anvil Bob turned a little pale
Starin’ at that sticker.
He knew he’d best talk to this man
An’ drink his free likker.

The stranger said he’d been away
Workin’ cattle all year.
He an’ Sadie had gotten wed
Before he’d left from here.

“Get yor’ nose out of them hot coals
An’ look around a bit.
You’ll see the world still goes around
An’ all the pieces fit.”

“I got the money now saved up
To buy a little spread.
An’ she’ll be goin’ there with me –
Best get that through yor’ head.”

Well, Anvil Bob’s a grandpa now
An’ got a whole new life.
Don’t argue with his son-in-law —
‘Cause he recalls that knife.

A Young Man and His Horse

A Young Man and his Horse
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

Hoss ran with the mountain herd; he was wild and free
until pa roped him, broke him, and gave him to me.

I rode Hoss every day to town for supplies.
I rode Hoss every week to Mary’s for pies.

Mary Lou rode Hoss in a calf roping contest.
They won and was considered the best of the best.

I decked Hoss out in the best and brightest of gear.
We were the best dressed horse and rider of the year.

I enter Hoss in the Fourth of July horse race.
He won by a lap; the others couldn’t keep pace.

Cornered by a bob cat; I knew it was my last day.
Hoss snorted, stomped, and pawed and the cat ran away.

He rescued me again when I was in a tight.
He found the way home on a very foggy night.

The time was a-coming when Hoss would run away.
Boys, I tell I never wanted to see that day.

Ready or not it happened one bad stormy night.
He jumped the corral fence and was soon out of sight.

Old Hoss was a good friend and this story is true.
When Hoss left to rejoin the herd he left me blue.

I married Mary; she comforts me in my loss.
We snuggled and she had a boy; and I named him Hoss.

The Mission at the End of the Trail

~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

The Spanish mission was at the end of the trail.
It used to be where cow pokes stopped to get their mail
I needed much more than a letter could provide.
I shot a man and I needed a place to hide.

I was neither Spanish nor the religious kind
But I was hurting and had to unload my mind.
As I arrived at the door I fell from my steed.
The priest was there without delay to meet my need.

He took me in, gave me water, and washed my face.
I needed to sleep and he had the perfect place.
It had a clean cot and a pillow for my head
He sat beside me and held my hand as he read.

After a good night’s sleep I woke at morning light.
I didn’t know the priest had been awake all night.
He had asked Jesus to grant mercy for my life
and to take far away the anger and the strife.

Then he took me to a small room and left me there.
He knew that I would not try to go anywhere.
I prayed and I pleaded for the rest of the day.
When I finished all my sins were taken away.

I hung around and helped the old priest for awhile.
Then one morning there on his face was big a smile.
He said ‘Mr. Cowboy’ you no longer have to hide
so saddle up the old steed and begin to ride.

I rode away from where the cowboys got their mail,
But not from the mission at the end of the trail.
The mission will never, not ever, leave my mind;
Nor the priest who lives there who was a special kind.