A Welcoming Invitation

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.

The Weary, Dreary, Cowboy Blues

The Weary, Dreary, Cowboy Blues
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

My old hoss up and died the other day.
The cows, they are starvin’ from lack of hay.
I got bills, and more bills, but I can’t pay.
I got the weary, dreary, cowboy blues.

My boots and my spurs badly need a shine.
The ones I am now wearing are not mine.
My jeans are those some cowboy left behind.
I got the weary, dreary, cowboy blues.

When my wife left me for that other man,
She took the ranch house also and the land,
And left me a-sittin’ in the hot sand.
I got the weary, dreary, cowboy blues.

I am so lonesome; I just wanna die.
I jumped in the river but it was dry.
I just fail at everything thing I try.
I got the weary, dreary, cowboy blues.

I looked to left and I looked to the right.
I looked but there was not one friend in sight.
Lord have mercy, and please, Lord, help me lose,
These here weary, yea, dreary cowboy blues.

Points of View

Points of View
~~ Larry Bradfield — ©2014 ~~

If it hadn’t been for brown eyed Hannah
I’d a got married in Alabama
She came on the train from Corsicana
Changed my point of view

Sarah and me had growed up together
Been through a lot and all kinds of weather
Then here come Hannah in boots of leather
Changed my point of view

She walked right up and said “Howdy Mister,
I come from Texas to see my sister.
Been sittin’ so much I got a blister.”
Changed my point of view

I could see she was married, ring and all
I asked her if all the Texans were tall
She said most of ‘em are, but some are small
Changed my point of view

So I rode west lookin’ for a Hannah
Found her in Dallas, her name’s Suzannah
She didn’t like folks from Alabama
Changed her point of view

We raised a family of mostly boys
Hosses and cows made up most of their toys
Ropin’ and ridin’ are most of their joys
Texans through and through

If it hadn’t been for brown eyed Hannah
I’d a got married in Alabama
And never have worn a red bandana
Changed my point of view

The Cowhand’s Last Ride

The Cowhand’s Last Ride
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

When the last stray is brought back to the herd,
when the cattle call is no longer heard,
when the Maker of Men issues the word,
I’ll be riding home never more to roam.

When finally the cowhand’s work is done
at the end of the day, at setting sun
my life from then on will have just begun.
I’ll be ridin’ home , never more to roam.

I’ll reach that oasis up in the sky,
drink from the river that never runs dry,
and settle down on that comforting shore,
and i will not ride the range any more.

On the Prairie Tonight

On the Prairie Tonight
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

Out on the prairie tonight
Enjoying the stars so bright
Worries fade in the moonlight
Out on the Prairie tonight.

A wonderful way to lose
These lonely cattle trail blues
Everything feels so, so right
Out on the Prairie tonight

My weary eyes will tire
I’ll put out the camp fire
Then wait for the morning light
Out on the prairie tonight

There Was Plenty of Time

There Was Plenty of Time
~~ Larry Bradfield — ©2014 ~~

I’ve seen old cowboys with busted fingers
And a stove up back with pain that lingers
Seen scars aplenty ‘cross the nose and chin
And skin like leather that’s worn paper thin

Bow legs result from sittin’ a saddle
And hips that’s sprung makes walkin’ a spraddle
Elbows that bend but only a little
Knuckles that’s broke and won’t even whittle

But those old cowpokes have lived a long while
Ain’t got much else, but they’ve still got a smile
You can hear the laughter at some lame joke
About some ol’ hoss that’s never been broke

You hear about money that they ain’t got
And ain’t likely to get without some pot
The dreams they once had if the truth be told
The gamblin’ they did – the hosses they sold

They talk of the loves they had and they lost
The liquor they drank and dice that they tossed
Leanin’ on this oak I’ll be sixty three
I never thought it would happen to me

I rode and laughed – there was plenty of time
All of my dreams were not worth a thin dime
So I’ll shake my head and smile at this tree
Just never thought it would happen to me

My Pretty Mary Sue

My Pretty Mary Sue
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

Coming from the round up to see my Mary Sue,
She’s pretty as a filly in her dress of blue.
Gonna go get the parson and a friend or two
Cause I’m gonna marry that pretty Mary Sue.

Her mama likes me and her daddy he does too.
So does her little sister and her brother Lew.
Gonna get me a ranch house and a cow or two
And live happy ever after with Mary Sue.

The Rancher’s Social

The Rancher’s Social
~~ Debbie Raney — ©2014 ~~

Occasionally, a poem invokes memories and demands to be printed! This one from Debbie’s book “Hair on Barbed Wire” (see book review), is just such a poem causing me to remember those social days of the 1930s and 40s when I was a youthful cowboy in Nebraska. The only things missin’ are the fresh, fire-roasted prairie oysters!

It’s planned in advance,
Usually three or four days.
A spring social event
Put on the cattle rancher’s way.

Though branding’s a job
The each year must be done.
It’s also an excuse
For good friends to have fun.

While working the ground
Stories are shared by the crew.
Some have been told before,
But many are new.

Wild broncs get re-ridden
And great loops are re-thrown.
They all like to talk
Of good hands they have known.

Through the smoke from the fire
And the dust from the herd,
The calves all get branded
Without the crew missing a word.

After the last heels have been scooped
And a mark’s on each ear,
The horses are haltered
And lunchtime is here.

As the crew cleans their plates
The conversation’s never boring
It centers around the
Work from the morning.

With neighbors no closer
Than 10 or so miles
The branding social is always
An event filled with smiles.

A day of hard work
Made easier with friends.
A rancher’s social enjoyment
A tradition we just can’t let end.

The Old Western Patriarch

The Old Western Patriarch
~~ Steve Dickson — ©2014 ~~

One mornin’ my ol’ grandpa decided
To be bound for south Texas to see
All his sons and fair daughters and grandkids
His chosen trav’lin partner was me

My grandma passed on when I was a lad
Ma and pa were not then far behind
Gramps took me on in and raised me up well
His heart was good and gentle and kind

I stayed on the ranch when others had gone
They all ended up so far from home
The man taught me to care for the old place
It was seldom he’d leave there to roam

He’d done many fine things in his long life
He fought for us on cold foreign soil
Raised a big fam’ly here in Montana
Knew the meaning of hard work and toil

We wandered the high mountains a huntin’
Fished for big rainbow trout in cold streams
He showed me the use of ev’ry old gun
Til I took them apart in my dreams

Uncle Richard, he met us in Houston
In his bright shiny big pickup truck
Grampa asked him ’bout what he was haulin’
“Why. nuthin’ but I sure won’t get stuck”

“Son, I still drive the truck you was born in
Daily use it for feedin’ the stock
I see all these folks ride in big wagons
By their lonesome and that’s sure a crock”

Richard stopped then to pick up some staples
At a big ass new home warehouse store
Inside there some men had assault rifles
Gramps said “boys what are them guns here for

I don’t see no whitetails or jackrabbits
Nary a lion, tiger or bear”
One feller said “Don’t worry old timer
We’re all tea party men here who care

Our constitution is in bad danger
The guv’mint is now bringin’ us down
The president is a dark foreigner
And he’s takin’ our guns town by town”

Gramps shook his big ol’ fist right there at ‘em
“You’re nothin’ but a bunch of damn fools
You don’t know what the hell you are doin’
You stand here bein’ used like dumb tools

I been readin’ about your tea party
You folks seem to all spout the same creed
Them dummies who you all think are heroes
Are lyin’ thieves who feed off their greed

In my day we fought hard for this country
We plain worked hard together that’s all
You’re trying to tear good things asunder
By pullin’ all these dumb stunts you’ll fall

“It don’t matter you don’t like our leader
He’s here now so you do your darned best
To help him work hard for America
Or leave here, else you’ll then be a pest

Nobody’s a tryin’ to take your guns
Go put ‘em all right back on their shelves
Those only are made for killin’ of men
You have nothin’ to fear but yourselves

Because you can pack, don’t mean you ought to
Many folks want them guns to be banned
To carry in public makes you a fool
Double if you still don’t understand

There’s more of my kind than you’ll ever know
We all think by ourselves and can see
The future belongs to those who help out
We still drink our strong coffee not tea

We may not always carry our weapons
But when we do you will never know
There ain’t no use in showin’ off your hand
The true purpose of guns ain’t for show

The time spent was nice with all of our kin
Many folks came from points far and wide
I told them of gramps and the teabaggers
And I tell you this tale with great pride

A Drifting Cowboy’s Prayer

A Drifting Cowboy’s Prayer
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

Father of sky and the open space
Wipe the tears from her sorrowing face.

I’ve been gone for a day and a night;
She thinks I’ve been killed in a gunfight.

Please wake her up from her restless sleep.
Tell her there’s no need at all to weep.

Tell her that her cowboy is not dead.
Tell her it was another instead.

Tell her that I am a-headed home.
Please take it away–this urge to roam.

Oh Father you know I love to ride
So please help me stay close to her side.

Help me to stay near the old home place.
Father of sky and the open space

Rodeo in the Sky

Rodeo in the Sky
~~ Jimmy Coleman — ©2014 ~~

Don’t worry about me none; and don’t ya cry.
I’ll be  fine in that Rodeo In The Sky.
There will be bulls to lasso, horses to break,
and there will be plenty of calves legs to tie
Up there in that great  Rodeo in The Sky.

Don’t worry about me none; and don’t ya  cry.
I’ll be  fine  in that Rodeo In The Sky.
There’ll be horses to groom, saddles to shine,
The broncos will be bucking the cowboys high
Up there in that great Rodeo in the Sky.

Don’t worry about me none and don’t ya cry.
I’ll be  fine in that Rodeo in the Sky
I’ll tell all my rodeo partners goodbye
Until that great rodeo up in the sky.