A COWBOY POETS
©5/12/99 All Rights Reserved * David
Born the year of
Forty Three, my name is David Kelley,
With an itch to write
cowboy rhyme?deep within my belly.
I ain't no cowboy, but
tried the callin' a time or two.
I suffered bad from "Don't
Wanna", and bouts of black and blue.
work, and horses didn't like haulin' me around.
They had a real
fondness for throwin' my tail on the ground.
(If I coulda' been a
cowpoke, and WALKED that outside ring?
But then again, I reckon
there is still that 'working' thing.)
So, about the year
of Nineteen Hunnerd' and Sixty Three,
I told the Lord,
"..ranchin' and farmin' ain't the job for me,
A city feller's
'EASY' life is in my future plans.
You know lot's of money,
and long black Cadillac sedans!"
So I've pounded
this city concrete, in this race with rats,
Chasing the mighty dollar,
and wearin' tenderfoot hats.
But the memories that I'll
take, when I end my final days,
Are the one's of the land
and grass, and genteel cowboy ways.
Of Mama's stories
handed down, from Grandpa's cowboy side,
The times on terra-firma,
every time I tried to ride.
Struggling to pay the feed
bill, the vet, and the banker too,
Wondering if the price of
beef would hold a month or two.
Having pards that
remove their hat when ladies would arrive,
Where his word was a
binding contract, long as he's alive.
There exists the "..cool of
the eve'..", to end a summer's day,
While watching with glee as
God's critters in the valley play.
However the life
of the cowboy's gone and passed me by,
So there's one more option
to take, that really caught my eye.
I'll just be a COWBOY POET,
the second best of plans,
You know, lot's of money,
and long black Cadillac sedans!
© All Rights Reserved * David
WRAP OR TIE…THAT
IS THE QUESTION
© 6/98 All Rights Reserved * David
essential for any job and
cowpunchers require the
From his hammer to his catch rope,
they're tools by
any other name.
Their manner of use is sorta like faces,
A loop in some circles might be
elsewhere, it might just be "thrown".
That hammer's job
might be done usin'
two hands in the Arizona
But, best I can tell, here in Texas, we
prefer to use
The examples here, I would agree, to
be'in a mite
So…I'll give you folks' intelligence
When a cowboy
snags that heifer calf, the
problem gets a mite
It appears there 's ample controversy,
exactly how to
The smart thing to do and, before the
is to tie the twine off hard.
But it takes the sport out,
some would say,
some say it keeps stock in
Then, there's that
pardner who would enwrap
their twine, 'round that
Prayin' that friction holds fast their
for escape brings on certain scorn.
Well …each way
appears to do the job when
It could be different when conditions
comes back the learned reply.
I'm something of a
greenhorn, but the
obvious choice I would
That tyin' off hard, seems to leave your
to use again for other chores.
Wrappin' that twine the
other way, might
just slip a tad on the dally,
Leavin' fewer digits at end
with which to make the tally.
The wrappin' group
chides the tie-hards,
callin' 'em lazy or even
But, by necessity, sometimes we call
wrappers … STUBBY.
© 3/99 All Right Reserved * David Kelley
The Texas sun
escaped the horizon with the night closely in tow.
Tom found it
impossible not to watch the sight even though
the marvelous occurrence for more'n half his life;
of it cut through his ol' rough hide like a knife.
Sounds of day
heralds the night, which begins in deafening still,
Then yields to
the chorus of twilight resounding through the hill.
Tom watched the
herd closely for signs of turmoil or unrest...
bunched and bedded down was a never ending test.
He loved the night
watch, but knew the dangers were ever ready.
He watched every facet of
the night...attentive and steady.
The calm of one moment
could change to anarchy in the next,
The many causes for the
change would fill the largest known text.
prayer was; "...that dew fell quick to quiet the dry
'Cause the peace could be broken by the snap of a
That bank of clouds in the west holds on its quiet
And because the herd likes it, Abe's awful singing
voice holds out."
Sometimes he sang
the same verses, sometimes they weren't quite the
But to them cattle a song's a song by any other
Tom wished for something to write on, cause Abe's
words were good,
And he won't remember 'em in the mornin', that's
This was Tom's
last drive and he'd heard maybe the last of 'em all,
No more cattle
drives after the year of Eighty-five, in the fall.
It didn't seem
like he'd been doin' this for nineteen of his years;
Ridin' the night
watch over a bunch of rangy 'Meskin' steers.
Good Lord willin',
he'd sit out the rest of his life with sweet Lou,
his own cattle is what he figgered' to do.
How the stampede started
was a guess,...it all happened quick,
When Tom's carcass was
found, it was enough to make you sick.
Word was he was
still tryin' to turn 'em when he hit the ground;
'Nighthawk' to the end...even to his very last sound.
They took his
ragged ol' hat and spurs and give 'em to sweet Lou,
Nothing else they
could do...words were much too late and far too few.
Tears dustin' off
them spurs, placin' another stain on the hat,
cold, could only mutter, "Whatta' ya' know 'bout
Such was life on the trail, sometimes short, and
mostly much too hard.
Tom wouldn't 'ahad it any
other way, "Adios, for now", old pard.
TEAMED UP AND
© 4/97 All Rights Reserved * David
K.D. and the boys
were in town, off
the Pitchfork, havin' a fine time.
At the depot,
they saw Harve Black,
hitchin' his horses and
horses, Prince and Joe, had
a reputation as a fine
K.D. watched as Harve put 'em in their
unload steel I-beam.
Riggin' a gin pole
and pullies, like he'd
done a hundred times
His lines all done up, he stepped
to examine the upcoming chore,
Prince and Joe
were prancin' around,
rattling them chains and
the single tree,
And when Harve thought he had it just
right, he stepped
clear and winked at K.D.
and they acknowledged his
voice with a nodding of
those big heads.
"Tighten it up..", Harve spoke firmly,
though he was talking to his kids.
Prince and Joe
stepped forward until all the
slack went out, then held
"Gimme' a step", Harve said, that team
just ONE, and there was not a sound.
Harve checked his
lines and load, 'till he was
sure all was correct and
"Pick it up", he bade and once again
team was powerful and steady.
Leather, wood, and
steel strained at the load
And the beams steady
cleared the ground.
"Now hold it..", and those
trembled as Harve swung the
"Walk it back..",
and they slowly set it down,
while the load was gently
Prince and Joe repeated 'till nothing
left on the flat-car but space.
K.D. would never
forget how that team
worked like a well-oiled
And with a tear in his eye said, "There's
horseman that won't long be seen."
And he was
© All Rights Reserved * David