The Notorious Clanton Gang proudly presents...



December 2002

Jo Lee T. Riley

By Jo Lee T. Riley

The start of the wreck I don't recall
Can just remember being quite small
Standing there, eyes & mouth opened wide
Dad was a-top OLE SUICIDE!

Buck'n & baul'n through the wood pile
Dad still on top, don't talk about style
The hair on my neck, it stood straight out
Mom tried to haze him but, had no clout.

He bucked right by her, into the fence
In ugly rage, that horse lost his sense
Four rusty wires all barbed & tight
Dad just ponder'n to ride or lite.

The options were bad, as bad can be
Stomped, or, a barbed wire entree'
Fence posts broke & the mess got bigger
Come out alive was now to figure.

Time to unload was finally here
Dad came up miss'n part of an ear
For sure I'll always remember wide eyed
Dad's wreck that day on OLE SUICIDE!

By Jo Lee T. Riley

Some of us are made of muscle and blood
Some of us are made of clay, sand and mud
My Mom is made of Grit and Glory
These next few lines will tell of her Story.

Born a cowboy rancher in twenty-two
She learned what this country gal was to do
She joined a brother, who four years older
Helped make this girl much sharper and bolder.

The family grew but tragedy came
Mom & baby lost, life's never the same
Dad's got to go on and raise his children
No easy task when your heart is sink'n.

In summers they ranched along side their Dad
Where they enjoyed life, the good and the bad
The house caught on fire, a horse in a bog
Drove a horse to school, but couldn't take the dog.

Later they stayed with Gram to go to school
Always escorted . . . Victorian rule
You took life as it came, never forewarned
Vanity was a plague much to be scorned.

"Eastern" School, experience to be had
It molded this Lady, the good and the bad
Tough, modest, sweet, proud, polite & full of life
A hand, lady, teacher, mother & wife.

Trials she had many in life, death, & health
Examples she set were greater than wealth
Losing a son was probably the worst
Tho with arthritis she has been cursed.

Nothing stopped her from being a good hand
Doctors, family or bronc that won't stand
We rode inside, then in front till three
Three and Four were bad- behind you can't see.

She had class and style, a rodeo queen
A ropin' buckle entered on this scene
She enjoyed ropin' with all of her friends
Then fed em all, her spirit never ends.

Children she had us three, two boys and me
Raised to be hands but, with breeding you see
We gave her six grandkyds that she helped raise
She made them mind, mostly, then filled with praise.

Now with 10 great grandkyds she's still quite hip
With their lineage on her computer chip
She lifts me up when in frustration
She's my proof reader and inspiration.

Jo Lee T. Riley

As a favorite uncle you were the best
My name and a cow to that I can attest!

At the river poker games, as I recall
When you pulled in the pot much money would fall
Onto the floor through the cracks in the table
Where little ones sat still, ready and able.

At Halloween you were also a good sport
You packed water by hand, as was the report
There sat your jeep, not astride of its tires
Hobgoblins took the jack and some of the wires.

You fed cows early so we could go along
Still make it to school for the very first song.
Dunking for apples or Indian wrestling
You evened it up for the small underling.

Quiet and soft spoken as most Trotter men
When you had something to say all would listen.
You’ll be missed greatly down here on this earth
By all, and family who really know your worth.

When we all come to join you up there on high
We know you’ll greet our chariot in the sky.

Much Love,   Jody Lee

Copyright © 2002

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Jo Lee T. Riley?

Jo Lee T. Riley born to a North Dakota Ranch couple in the badlands of Western North Dakota after WWII was raised on the family cattle ranch 45 miles from town and 3 miles from the nearest neighbor.  Went to country school with 5 to 9 students from grade 1 through 8.  All but one was related.  We rode to school until we lost a saddle blanket then we rode 3 miles to the grandfolks and walked the last mile.   I’ve never been without a horse or a cow since I was born.

My folks moved to Canada to ranch and I finished school and married in Montana.   I have lived on ranches in Montana, British Columbia, Alberta, and now have been in Oregon the last 22 years, married to Tom M Riley.  Tom was born and raised on a ranch in Nebraska and rodeo’d in College.  The last 5 years we have been on a 25,000 acre ranch so spend lots of time horseback.

My Grandfather rode broncs as well as roped and the rest of my family all roped,  including my mother and I.  My brother has won numerous saddles in calf and team roping.

We have two great children and 6 terrific grandchildren.

We raise registered Simmental, Fleckvieh strain, we prefer muscle and calving ease and never went to the tall slab sided ones, or the hard calving ones.   We handle our cattle with our quarter horses, not 4 wheelers..

-2002 All Rights Reserved

November 2002

Bruce Satta

By Bruce Satta

I drew the bull named Chuckles:
That does it, now I'm dead.
He always sends your buckles
High above your head,
And when you finally hit the ground,
Tryin' not to splatter,
If you don't see a clown around
It's not a laughin' matter.

I usually don't sound gloomy
'Bout my ridin' skills
But last time that he threw me
I had lots'a doctor bills,
So when they start to introduce
The bull that I can't steer,
I'll know it's almost time to use
My cowboy landin' gear.

(c) 2002, Bruce Satta

By Bruce Satta

Huntin' and trappin' since eighteen and twenty-eight:
I've lived a way of life already outta date.
I could git most any critter a'crawlin' or a'swimmin'
But I never had me luck with them there wimmen!

Every once or twice a year, I'd stop off at Bent's Fort
And there weren't no girlies there for me to court,
But an angel lives in Denver, name a "Colorada Sal":
Lord, thanks for finally sendin' me muh gal!

Though she's only twenty-one and I'm now all of eighty-four,
And she frets about my clothes... and how I smell... and how I snore...
I try to keep our romance burnin' like a fire, a'course,
'Cause 'til now I ain't had no one love me ('ceptin' "Scout", muh horse),

But even though she wants me when those love-fires burn,
They tend to flicker out too fast, and that's my big concern!
So yep, I'm a lonely cuss, muh heart plum full a'hunger,
But maybe I should let Sal go and wait for someone younger.

(c) 2002, Bruce Satta

By Bruce Satta

The nighttime is never too easy
With two thousand head in a herd.
We built a good fire
And it's time to retire,
But the cattle are restless and stirred:

"I'll sing ya to sleep, stubborn mav'ricks,
To the tune of the coyotes' call.
The moon is a spotlight
And not much is not right,
But wish on a star that might fall

For your days here on earth are now numbered
And the winds of change are a'blowin'.
You'll soon ride the rail
At the end of this trail:
Abilene is where you're a'goin'.

Rest easy, then, here in this moment,
There's no need for fussin' or cryin'.
Ya can't change your fate
Just by stayin' up late,
Though I can't say I blame ya for tryin',

But the future's beyond the horizon
With all of it's fine consequences:
Just spendin' your days in
Cow Heaven, a'grazin'
In pastures unbounded by fences."

(c) 2002, Bruce Satta

Copyright © 2002

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Bruce Satta?

-2002 All Rights Reserved

October 2002

Orin "Cowboy" Cody

By Orin "Cowboy" Cody

A Cowboy is a tough breed.
Cowboys are rough indeed.
Only the Cowboys have the Old west code,
Where in the old stories, it is told.
Bringing in the herds, in the times of the gather.
Only the Cowboy the herd he would gather.
Young and old the Cowboy's life will be told,
Heavy is the heart of a Cowboy, for the times of old.
Even when times are tough, and rations grow thin,
A Cowboys heart will never give in.
Remember the Cowboy and the range that he rides,
Tall in the saddle, with his dog by his side.
A horse as his friend and a dog as his pal,
No one could understand, the love for his Pals.
Don't underestimate, what is in a Cowboy's heart.
Hence the Cowboy, is never week of heart.
In the good times and the bad,
Somewhere there is a Cowboy that never feels sad.
Don't forget the Cowboys are a historical lot,
Only their dogs and their horses are surely forgot.
Give a Cowboy a time to sit a spell,
So that he may yarn a tale of old to tell.

By Orin "Cowboy" Cody

There is a fellow, that they call a cowboy.
He wears a ten gallon hat and spurs that jingle,
Everywhere you go, you might find one that is single.

Cowboys are the ones that walk bowlegged, and talk with a drawl.
Old Cowboys, sometimes can not even walk at all.
When children see a cowboy, they get such a thrill,
Because they are told stories of the famous Buffalo Bill.
Only in the history books, the legends will shine.
Yet only the Old Cowboys, can tell the tales of the time.

When all the Old Cowboys, are far in the past,
Always remember, they are not the last.
Yet look for the Cowboy with the ten gallon hat,
Because if it wasn't for the legends,
the Cowboy would never come back.

By Orin "Cowboy" Cody

A place in the world
where a cowboy calls home.
Back in the olden days
the mighty buffalo would roam.
For many a miles
one could see far and wide,
many a day and night the cowboy would ride.
The hills and the valleys,
the mountains and the plains,
the cowboy is the one
that understood and
loved the range.
The range was a place of wondrous sight,
with mirages in daylight,
and the beauty of the northern lights in the night.
The cattle would spread about and wander,
and the cowboy would set upon his horse and ponder.
He pondered the times when life was so simple and plain.
When the only worry was
when the heavens would open up and rain.
The cowboy in this day, this time of life,
is so filled with worry and unendable strife.
He worries about the cattle
and worries about the rain,
he worries about when he'll see his wife again.
Life used to be so simple in the cowboy lot,
but a lot of the olden days were simply forgot.
Times are a changin
sometimes for the better, or for the worse.
Now a days the cowboy frets with fillin his purse.
There is one thing in this life
that a cowboy always wants to remain the same,
that is the glimmer of hope and the flicker of light
of the horizon, and that he'll continue to ride with no shame.
The range has changed as the seasons have passed by,
the wet of the spring, the heat of the summer,
and the fall of the leaves
in the autumn,
brings frost, cool in the night.
As December approaches
we be gin to see the glimmer in the night
 There is one place in  this world
in this time of year,
when the time of Christmas
is so very near,

The cowboy sets his horse
upon a hill,
he looks into the night and hears the call of the Whippoorwill.
He sees the distant lights of home,
as he feels the cool winter wind begin to moan.
He begins to feel a warmth, deep inside his heart,
as the northern Lights begin to start.

His time on the range
has seemed to come to an end,
and now there is a
new era to begin.
There is one thing in this whole world
that will never fall apart
that his love for his family and the love for the range
deep inside his heart.

Copyright © 2002

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Orin "Cowboy" Cody?

-2002 All Rights Reserved


Sept 2002

Ronald Ray Roberts

By Ronald Ray Roberts

                   They say he came from No Where, this man called, Mountain Mike;

             Trekkin' through the mountains, was to him but, just a hike.

             He never rode a horse, ya' see, it's said that he was feared;

             I never know'd a mountain man, of horses, who was sceered.

                   Now, Mike, he was a big man, stood in at six foot three;

            With legs as long as lodge poles, an', arms as big as trees.

             A barrel chest an', muscle bound, he could whup his weight in B'ars;

             I'd say that I'd believe it, 'cause, Mike, he had some scars.

                    They say he was out walkin', around them hills, one day;

             He come upon two Grizzly cubs, an', stopped to watch 'em play.

             He sat down on a holler log, to watch an', rest a spell;

             When, suddenly, he heered a noise, that sounded straight from Hell.

                     B'fore Mike had a chance to move, he was knocked right off that log;

              That old Ma Griz', she had returned, an', she was mean as an ol' boar hog.

              She grabbed him by the shoulder, an', dragged him to the ground;

              She raked him with her dagger claws, an', wrestled him around.

                      Well, Mike, I guess, he'd had enough, 'cause he got mad, ya' see;

              He knocked that B'ar right offa him, an', then, he grabbed a tree.

              An', when that she B'ar charged him, he brought that tree trunk down;

              Right b'tween 'er beady eyes, an', put 'er to the ground.

                      Then, he got them lodge pole legs of his, a movin', once ag'in;

              He thought it best to leave that spot, whilst that Griz' still had 'er skin.

              Ya' see, Mike, he had no reason, to quarrel with that Griz';

              She was tryin' to protect them cubs, 'cause, that's the way she is.

                       He went on home an' patched hisself, with whatever he could find;

              He knew he'd prob'ly have some scars, but, Mike, he didn't mind.

              At least he got away from there, 'thout killin' that ol' B'ar;

              'Cause then, he'd have them cubs to raise, an', couldn't go no whar.

                       An', on days like this, he knew that he, would want to take a hike;

              'Cause, that's the way he got his name, this man called, Mountain Mike.

By Ronald Ray Roberts

                       Now, Mountain Mike and, Pecos Bill, they never really met;

             But, some folks think they's brothers, 'cause they're bigger'n life can get.

             Mike, he roamed the Rockies, some say, the Cont-nental Dee-vide;

             An', Pecos, he was from Southwest, I think, Gran' Canyon, side.

                       But, somewheres, in the middle, these two was s'posed ta' met;

             To see which one was toughest, the winner'd take all bets.

             I'm told they met outside some town, I don't recall the name;

             Mike, he had his B'ar scars, an', Pecos, had his fame.

                    It's said that when they both shook hands, they had a grasp so tight;

             It made the ground 'neath tremble, an', some trees fell out of sight.

             They stood that way for hours, with their hands clenched tight as Hell;

             The ground around them soaked with sweat, you'd thought it rained a spell.

                    Finally, they both backed off, an', then got set to fight;

             They'd stood there shakin' hands all day, now, it was almost night.

             B'fore Mike had his hat off, he was layin' on the ground;

             Pecos hit 'im with a rock, an', knocked ol' Mikey down.

                   Mike picked hisself up off the ground, an', dusted hisself off;

             Blood a streamin' down his face, he looked a little rough.

             Well, Mike, he smiled at Pecos, an', then he stomped his foot;

             A wave of ground went rollin', right toward where ol' Pecos stood.

                    An', when that ground wave hit him, it flipped 'im in the air;

           They say he went up fifty feet, when he came down, ol' Mike was there.

            Those two, they took ta' fightin', an', th'owin' each around;

            The church bell started ringin', each time they'd hit the ground.

                    They fought all night an' half the day, with rocks an' dust flyin' all


            An', when the dust cloud settled, there wasn't no more town!

            They'd fought so hard an' shook the ground, the town had fell apart;

            Though Mike an', Pecos, both looked mean, they each one had a heart.

                     They said the fight, it was a draw, the money, they would split;

            They both shook hands an', took their share, then, returned it, ev'ry bit.

            "To rebuild the town.", ol' Mikey said, an', Pecos, he agreed;

            "We was havin' fun, didn't think of damage done, ya' might also plant

            some trees".

                     They turned an' went their seperate ways, Bill, South an', ol'

             Mike, North;

             That's the story as told to me, for whatever ya' think it's worth.

             So, that's the tale of Mountain Mike, an', the time he fought Pecos Bill;

             They never had another fight, let's hope they never will.

By Ronald Ray Roberts

         Now, Antelope Jack, he roamed the plains, way back in 1810;

         He loved to hunt those prairie goats, and, lived with Indians.

         He rode out from camp, one early morn', a lookin' for some goats;

         He'd had a cravin' for some stew, made with some Antelopes.

         He rode among them prairie hills, a huntin' for some 'lope;

         An', presently, he spied a herd, a restin' on a slope.

         He grabbed his rifle, carefully, an', slid down off his horse;

         Then, started crawlin' through the grass, it was dry and, tough and, coarse.

         He crawled a quarter mile or so, through that swayin' prairie grass;

         He crawled past rocks an', over logs, an', through a small crevasse.

         He guessed that he still had about, two hun'erd yards to go;

         B'fore he would be close enough, to shoot an antelope.

         He started crawlin', once ag'in, through that dry an', brittle grass;

         'Til he come face to face with a rattlesnake, that wouldn't let him pass.

         Well, Jack just laid there, starin' at, that snake that wouldn't budge;

         He slowly eased his rifle up, an', give that snake a nudge.

         That snake, he started rattlin', he didn't like that gun;

         Pokin' him b'tween the eyes, while layin' in the sun.

         But, Jack had stew upon his mind, an', didn't have time to play;

         He reached his rifle barrel out, an', pushed that snake away.

         That snake crawled off a buzzin', an', Jack just watched him go;

         He didn't have time to waste on snakes, he was after an antelope.

         So, once ag'in, ol' Jack set out, a crawlin' through the brush;

         He was startin' to get hungry, so, he knew he'd have to rush.

         He crawled another hun'erd yards, out in that ol' hot sun;

         But, he knew he'd have a dish of stew, b'fore this day was done.

         He found a spot where he could see, the herd still on the hill;

         He raised his gun, took careful aim, an', got all set to kill.

         Then, he saw the herd buck layin' there, off to the main herd's right;

         He pointed his gun right at the buck, an', 'justed his rear sight.

         He waited for the buck to stand, so, his shot was clear an', true;

         His belly started rumblin' loud, a waitin' for that stew.

         That buck, he heard the rumble, way out there in the grass;

         He jumped up an', started runnin', all four hooves a beatin' fast.

         When that buck jumped up an', took off, it took Jack by surprise;

         He shot too late an', all he hit, was those big, blue, prairie skies.

         Well, ol' Jack sat there a minute, he thought it was a dream;

         As he stood up, he said, "Aw, Hell!", "I'll settle for some beans!"

Copyright © 2002

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Ronald Ray Roberts?

I was born on July 4, 1950, in the small farming community of Harvard, Illinois, where I still live.  I have been writing poetry since 1966, when I wrote my first poem at the age of 16 which was published in the High School paper.  The subjects that I write about are varied although a lot of my poems have to do with the outdoors and Nature.  Although I am not a cowboy in the truest sense of the meaning, I have always had an interest in the West and, Western life.

                               Ronald Ray Roberts

-2002 All Rights Reserved

July 2002

Noel Burles

By Noel Burles

My name is Billy Deacons
I once rode the outlaw trail
But that little job in Waco
Cost me thirty years in jail

I mighta got out early
If I mavbe told
What happened to the money
Ten thousand all in gold

There was me and Crazy Jimmy
Black Jack and Texas Slim
I held the horses outside
The others, they went in

It went like we had planed it
Another job well done
Then Jimmy started shootin'
When the teller pulled a gun

I still recall the gunfire
The dust and smoke of town
Slin and I both made it
The others, they went down

The posse it was organzied
they chased us all that night
They caught me in the morning
But Slim plumb dropped outta sight

I heard they posted big reward
For the head of Texas Slim
For he packed all the money
But not a trace was found of him

I got released this morning
and I'm on my way to go
To the hidden grave of Texas Slim
Next stop          Mexico

By Noel Burles

Well old dag, old pal,old freind
The time has finally come
I can't put off no longer
A job that must be done

The thought crossed my mind last summer
But I had more pleasent things to do
'Sides, it worked out all right
We both made the winter through.

It's a gourgous day outside
What say we take a walk
I'll just pack my rifle
You can listen to me talk

You and me been partners
for oh so many years
and this job I have'ta do today
brings me close to tears

Oh here's that pool down my the river
always was your favorite spot
you'ld splash around the waters edge
bark at the fish I caught

But old dag, old pal, old friend
Time does catch all in it's path
Lord I hate to do this
But I gotta have a   Bath!

By Noel Burles

When I was young and in my prime
It was everywhere
I quess I mast'a  wasted it
cause now it nowhere

I'm sure that I coud find it
But right now there's things to do
Fence to mend and cows to feed
a million things to do

You know I really miss it
for I enjoyed it so
But where it could of got to
I really just don't know

I'm sure it's out there somewhere
I wish I could make it mine
But right now I'm to busy
To find this thing called    Time

Copyright © 2002 Noel Burles

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Noel Burles?

Noel Burles grew up on a ranch north of Cowley Alberta, Canada. He has published two books of poetry and is working on his third. He has been featured at the Pincher Creek Gathering as a poet and as a musician. He has worked in many professions and is a licenced auto mechanic. He still helps out at the home ranch which just had it's
100 year birthday in the same family.

 © -2002 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Noel Burles

May 2002

Hal Swift

By Hal Swift

At the railroad station one hot summer day
This ragged ol' cowpoke rides in
He's dusty an' sweaty an' smells like 'is horse
An' he looks to be older than sin

He climbs off an' comes over t'where we're at
An' he sez that he's seekin' a job
I sez, Seems t'me you're 'bout all worked out
An' he smiles an' sez, Folks call me Bob

I come up from Yuma, an' rode all the way
An' I spent ever cent that I had
If any you gents got a job I kin do
I'd sure be obliged, an' real glad

Jeramy Coolidge sez, I might be hirin'
Jist whatta you got on yer mind
Jake Miller chimes in an' sez, Hold on a bit
This feller is purty near blind

What'll y'do, have 'im bustin' yer broncs
This cowpoke is way past 'is prime
An' Bob sez, Now boys, I ain't askin' too much
Lest me bein' old is a crime

When it comes t'ranchin' I've done all they is
All I need is a chance fer a berth
T'do some real work, an' t'help someone out
That's all that I want on this earth

Some other cow bosses was part a' the group
But no one spoke up fer Ol' Bob
Jeremy allowed as how he'd changed 'is mind
So the ol' cowpoke still had no job

Jake Miller's wife, drove 'er buggy up then
T'meet with the train from Saint Lou
Jake was jist reachin' t'help 'er git down
When a switch engine whistled 'er crew

The Miller horse nearly jumped out of  'is skin
Miz Miller fell back in her seat
Ol' Jake lost 'is grip an' the horse took off
Right straight fer the sage an' mesquite

While we was all thinkin' about what t'do
Ol' Bob showed he wouldn't  be rattled
Before we could sort out the best way t'go
The ol' man jist up an' skedaddled

That cayuse a' his went straight t'full speed
He leaped right over the track
Bob got to the buggy, an' jumped off of his horse
T'land on the runaway's back

Miz Miller was hangin' on, sayin' her prayers
An' Bob's doin' much the same thing
Then all of a suddent, the runaway stopped
An' it looked like Ol' Bob had took wing

He flew through the air, like he's shot from a gun
Then dropped like a sack full a' lead
Miz Miller was cryin' an' not hurt at all
But the cowpoke who saved 'er was dead

We buried Ol' Bob in the Miller's front yard
In the grave that he'd got fer 'is  berth
He was lookin' fer work, an' t'help someone out
An' that's all that he sought on this earth

Jake Miller, he planted a big shade tree
An' t'make sure Bob's not alone
Put a picnic table alongside 'is grave
Got a carver to make 'im a stone

The Cowboy that Nobody Wanted, it said
With thanks from 'is cowpoke brothers
Ol' Bob saved a life, when he lost his own
And changed about three dozen others

Copyright©2002 Hal Swift

By Hal Swift

A young gunslinger comes inta the bar
An' spies an ol' shooter he's seen
He sets down by 'im an' orders some gin
An' sez, Folks tell me yer mean

The ol' boy sez, That's what some folks claim
But I give it all up last year
The young feller sez, I'll give ya this gin
If you gimme some tips right here

The ol' boy sez, Give y'tips fer what
An' the kid sez, How t'shoot straight
The ol' man sez, lemme see your piece
An' the kid sez, Don't tempt fate

I don't hand off my gun t'jist anybody else
Irregardless of 'is reputation
Jist tell me some things that'll help me shoot straight
An' do it in conversation

The old timer sez, Well first off yer gun
Is way too high t'draw fast
If y'lower yer holster 'bout a foot-an' a half
You never gonna be outclassed

The kid did jist that, his draw was a blur
Quicker'n y'blink yer eye
Fired off a round at the man at the pie-anna
An' shot off 'is little bow tie

The old man sez, Here's another cute trick
That'll help out the talent y'got
Cut a notch in yer holster where the hammer rests
Fer a clean smooth draw an' quick shot

That's what the kid did and shot a cuff link off
The pie-anna man's left shirt sleeve
He sez, Gimme 'nother good tip, ol' man
Then I gotta git up an' leave

The old man sez, Take this salt an' pepper
An' some a' that butter over there
An' rub it all over the length a' yer gun
An' make sure y'do it with care

The kid sez, Wait jist a cotton-pickin' minute
Up t'now ever'thin's worked fine
Is this gonna help me t'be a better shot
Er you steppin' over the line

The old man sez, Well, the number one reason
T'dress yer gun like a chicken wing
Is Doc Holliday gits through playin' this song
He's gonna make you eat that thing

Copyright©2002 Hal Swift

By Hal Swift

The Dodge Flats Ranch
North a' old Drytown
Is a place no rain clouds visit
The place is dust
An' if y'must
Y'kin ask me how dry is it

Water 'round here
Is so dadblamed scarce
Y'cain't drink enough t'make sweat
An' it ain't no use
Tryin' to witch a well
Cuz no water's been found here yet

Down in old Dry Crick
Where the catfish come
Ever year jist to lay their eggs
They cain't swim up
They gotta come on foot
Cuz ever one a' them fish growed legs

Now you've heard it said
Give a horse 'is head
He'll go find y'fresh clear water
But it does no good
With the horses here
Cuz they don't know how they oughter

Now some folks say
That I stretch the truth
An' others folks say that I cain't
Cuz they ain't no where
That no water is
No place that the rain jist ain't

Okay I'll admit
It sprinkled one day
But it never even wet the land
I tried t'swim in the crick
An' I found myself
Doin' the backstroke in the sand

Oh, this place is dry
An' I cain't complain
If y'ask jist how dry is it
But come on up
It's the Dodge Flats Ranch
You'll see fer yerself when y'visit

Copyright © 2002 Hal Swift

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Hal Swift?

Born in Indiana in 1928, Hal has lived in Arizona, California, Texas, and Colorado.  In his teens, his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he learned to play a bass fiddle and worked with local cowboy musicians such as Marty Robbins, and with such jazz greats, as piano man, Pete Jolly and guitarist, Howard Roberts.  A Navy veteran, he
served with the Japan occupation forces and in the Korean War.  With Carol, his wife of 50 years, he's the father of three grown sons.  He's now retired and, with Carol, lives in Sparks, Nevada.  Reporter, writer, ad man, sailor, minister, disc jockey--at age 73, Hal is a recent convert to the writing of cowboy poetry.  He got into it while writing a western novel, and was hooked.  Following publication of his book, Cowboy Poems and Outright Lies, he's out of the chute and stirrin' up the dust in the cowboy poetry arena.

 © -2002 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Hal Swift

April 2002

Trevor Lee

By Trevor Lee

Two and a half feet tall and three years old
This little cowboy's got no better goal
Than to learn to rope and to ride'em all
And to be like his Dad, strong and tall

He wears his hat almost ever' day
Especially to help brothers bring in the strays
His spurs, chinks and hat are used
Cuz to him practicing ain't nothing new

At sixteen years not much has changed
Except for where he sets his hat to hang
Big dreams are now his horizon goal
To have school under his belt to show

Now, he's got a girl that he calls his friend
But that's not where their relations end
If it came right down to the very start
He's always called her his sweetheart

Horses have been his life since three
And he's good with them, that's easy to see
Hard work is what fills his every day
But with honest work comes honest play

At twenty-three a few years have past
He's married his sweetheart now at last
Others have hired him to work long and hard
He does mostly busy work to pay off the car

Now five sons have entered into his life
They bring joy and pain to him and his wife
In them is where his love now lies
And he gives council to them when they cry

Dreams and goals have not left his view
Now he's reached one at the age of forty-two
He drives his drafts and rides his paints
And teaches others "proper" English like Ain't

His biggest dream is to share of himself
A living legend, not something set on a shelf
So live the legend that you must be
That's what you must let others see

By Trevor Lee

He has rode a bronc or two
And punched cows some
In place of boots he's got shoes
To see Him, you'd wonder where He's from

No he don't wear them tight blue jeans
Or the best Stetson you can find
He don't like a lot of Fancy things
Probably cuz they ain't His kind

He's a good ole cowboy though
Does His best to get along
He ain't got the nicest things to show
But His heart and mind are strong

His hands are thick and scarred
From working the whole day through
But that don't make His humor hard
And that, He don't have to prove

He stands over six feet tall
And on top He's got some gray
But that don't bother him at all
I s'pose these things will stay

Someday He'll be hunched and bent
But it won't be all that bad
Cuz see, He was heaven sent
By now you've guessed He's my Dad

By Trevor Lee

I'll attempt to paint a picture
For you my friend to see
I'll turn your doubt, you will be sure
Of what he used to be

The understanding of someone
A boy now grown to man
But this I fear, cannot be done
Until you understand;

Look at his past of what he was
And who he is today
Witness now, you'll see the cause
And effects that come into play

His life, he's hacked from his dreams
For the future he knows the price
To live the way that he deems
He has laid it out concise

There was a time he bought a truck
And worked real hard to pay
And that along with a little luck
He still has that truck today

He had a love that has been lost
And now he's found alone
But this again, he know the cost
And it aches him to the bone

Some hair he found upon his face
He terms it as his "stache
The rest of his hair is still in place
And he covers it with a hat

He's always known his vocation
Of fixin' them bonehead cattle
This has been brought on by tradition
Of horses and a saddle

He looks up to, and loves the parents
And from them he tries to draw
The qualities of kind and caring
He sees in Mother and Pa

He tries to be Big Brother
And perhaps doesn't see
Sometimes he tends to smother
But that's all right with me

He yearns to ride and work some land
That lay's out east of here
A ranch that is now sparsely manned
And stories pass on by ear

Perhaps his is a cowboy's life
That he has yet to fulfill
Of time, work, and pain and strife
Fixed by nary a pill

Now, look back and tell me friend
What will your question be?
After time and where we've been
What potential do you see?

And now I will attempt to expound
As with all the rest
In him a brother I have found,
And yes he is the best

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Trevor Lee?

Hello, My name is Trevor Lee.  I thought I'd write and tell you a little about myself, and my poetry.

I'm originally from Ogden, Utah.  I'm 24 years old and going to school at Utah State University.  My maternal grandfather was a poet, and a good one at that.  I believe his poetic traits have been passed on.  I have only been writing for two years.  I'm still finding new styles of writing, and I'm excited at what I've found so far.

Each of my poems have great meaning to me.  When I write, it's usually spawned by feelings or experiences.  That's true in each case so far.

I can be reached at

 © -2002 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Trevor Lee

March 2002

Jo Lee T. Riley

By Jo Lee T. Riley

He was from a ‘different’ age
He chased cows thru cedar & sage
Could also top an outlaw bronc
Then how arena horns would honk.

When he’d alite, he’d tip his hat
All in a days work, that was that.
There was no great big glory show
To those who mattered they would know.

Back then hands were a quiet breed
Cept howl’n late that nite by creed
Mostly toot’n each others horn
At today’s self show they would scorn.

Oh, they could recall, that, great ride
An tell just how, they raked his hide
If ‘you’d’ brag, about how he sat
He’d just nod, smile, an’ tip his hat.

That gentle style became them all
Rider, roper, rancher stood tall
When they received an accolade
It would be a humble parade.

Now they’re on a different range
With no jackpots it must be strange
They must smile from where they are at
Watch’n a hand just, ‘tip his hat’

By Jo Lee T. Riley

There’s still a few ole hands around
Who can read a cow, know where she’s bound
The slightest shift of his horse’s nose
Because he is always on his toes

Will make most any cow change her mind
Even do what he wants if given her time.

Many out there don’t know that cows think
Get in a panic, push to the brink

Learn’n their whims & watch’n their eyes
Handle them right, there’s no surprise

Real, good, cowmen, they don’t write the books
They learned by watch’n & elders looks.

Ranchers, special’y with gray in their hair
Taught by the Bible, know when to care

Before short course & great fish & game
They love the land & creatures that came

Take mother nature, go with the flow
Stock it real hard or save it & sow.

It says right there in that “Great” big “Book”
“In moderation” … the path, least took

“Love”, alone, to be spread far & wide
“Respect” & Love, they hold with great pride

May not admit it…let it show thru
The real rancher knows his Lord, tis true.

Their “Country” church, the largest around
Sky is the ceiling, walls are not bound

By limits made, with boards from the trees
The choir a blend, of bird, beast & breeze

“His” eminence, fills sky, air & ground
Reminds, to the “Creator”, he’s bound.

By Jo Lee T. Riley

Was chowse’n steers out’a the timber on Brown
Lots a Banchee-Ky-yi’n brush crash’n sound
Top’n a rise I run on to a bear
He kept get’n bigger, as he did unfold
His arms raised up, way up , my blood it ran cold.

A mouth so big and a noise so errie
My skin still crawls when I bring up that mem’ry
Twas clear he objected to being disturbed
That long dark gray hair grew white at its tips
Ripl’n when he ran like waves from a ship.

We stood there in shock, too petrified to move
I came to first, with a touch, Brown found his grove
We were head’n down hill till we hit the trail
Last look back, were ahead just one stride
Yelled,”Mom, get out, a Big Bear, just got my hide.

Mom’s sit’n out in the clear, & Buck runs fast
No reason for her to be bear food at last

She just set there, I thought,
she’s blumb lost her mind
Little did I know, when we hit the trail
He done turned up country, just tuck’n his tail.

They went a hunt’n, my Dad & my brother
Must have scared him too, or somthin or other
As narry a sign have we ever seen yet
Of ole silvertip, who raises my hackles
Brown vanished that fall & doubt it was jackals.

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Jo Lee T. Riley?


 © -2002 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Jo Lee T. riley:

February 2002

Glen Enloe

By Glen Enloe

I'll be ridin' the trail alone these days,
The years have caught up with my bud,
No more will he be trottin' by our side--
That brown mutt I called Ol' Spud.

Red Roan, my hoss, will miss 'em I guess,
She keeps lookin' down at the ground--
It'll take us both a while I'll bet
To realize he's still not around.

Ol' Spud was a bird dog in his day--
He was ever since a pup,
But he lost his job of pointin' 'em out
When he et all the profits up!

I buried him deep on the land he loved,
Jest a soul that's lost to old age--
But he'll always trot right by our side
Along the whispering sienna sage.

By Glen Enloe

My born name jest ain't fit fer me:
No cowboy's called Leslie Van Clip,
Some smart alecks jest call me Les,
But most know me by Buffalo Chip.

I may not be the prettiest guy
Or the sharpest tack in the pile,
I may be slow to get the gist
But I'm powerful quick to rile.

They ain't too many can match my draw
And they ain't none that call me lazy,
I may be mean and don't smell so good
And some may say I be crazy.

But Buffalo Chip's a mighty good catch--
It's jest those gals that think he's a letch!

By Glen Enloe

I hear ol' cowboys never die...
Or so the sayin' goes--
Some call it "o-dour," I calls it smell--
It's from never washin' their clothes!

They'll fall in a crick
And call it a bath,
And be soaked to their bones--
But they'll jest give a laugh
And darn near break their neck
To give a friend a loan.

They may be dirty and odorous--
Ornery and nothin' but fodder,
They're jest God's great unwashed--
Jest wish they'd use some toilet water!

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Glenn Enloe?

I'm from Independence, Missouri, the Queen City of the Trails (Sante Fe, California and Oregon) and the final resting place of Frank James. I'm late to cowboy poetry (been writing it only about 2 months) but I've written free verse for over 35 years and have published in numerous publications. Being a baby boomer, I grew up watching Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and all the other cowboys on TV. You might say I've always been a cowboy at heart. I currently make my living writing ads for United
Country Real Estate, a national rural real estate company. My hobbies include working with leather (mostly ornately carved western holsters). I'm also just joined the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association.

 © -2002 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Glenn Enloe:

January 2002

Geoff Matero

By Geoff Matero

I told my Dad my dream about,
Becoming A bigtime rodeo star.
How I wanted to be known by Cowboys,
With my picture in Honky-Tonk bars.

He looked at me and started laughing,
He said, "You must have lost your mind.".
But little did my Father know,
Of the fortunes that I'd find.

I told him how I'd start off small,
Ridin' in some local fairs.
I'd get me one of those big round hats,
Just like all those Cowboys wears.

After competing throughout the land,
I'd make my way to "The City of Lights",
There I'd ride against the best,
And put up one good fight.

Once I'd ridin' to the top,
And made my fortune in gold.
I'd go on out and find me a woman,
Before I'd got to old.

We'd settle down on a spread,
Nessled on a hill.
We'd have pigs,and sheep, and chickens,
And maybe a lumber mill.

After making it as a four time world champ,
I'd retire to my cattle.
Whoa, but wait, before this dream goes to far.
One question; What's a saddle?

By Geoff Matero

Ever since I've been married,
Heck...ever since I can recall.
My wife's nagged me about gettin' a horse,
Now, she wants one before next fall.

So I set out on a journey,
That spread across the land.
To find her that one true steed,
That's only fit for her hand.

I stopped at barns in San Antonio,
Looked a Arabians in Dallas, Ft. Worth.
I witnessed a discusting miricle in Cheyenne,
Where a horse had given birth.

I saddled a horse just north of Tulsa,
But it bucked me into the air.
It wasn't very pretty in Denver,
Where I nearly got trampled by a mare.

There's a dozen or more types of horses,
I've looked at Appies, Paints, and Quarters.
I've realized that much to my frustration,
None of them followed my orders.

I've got bruises, cuts, and breaks,
From getting bucked, and thrown, and tossed.
I've even landed on my head,
Until all my memory was lost.

I've driven all over creation and back,
And I'm nearly out of fuel.
I just don't have the patients anymore.
She'll have to settle for a mule.

By Geoff Matero

Some people come and ask me questions,
About the places that I've been.
The people that I've ridin' with,
Or the rodeos I've been in.

They say I have a famous face,
They'd spotted me anywhere.
They always say,"What's up Tuff?",
"I saw you ride last year.".

So, sometimes I tell them stories,
About the early years.
It was partyin', and ridin' hard,
Meetin' fans, and drinkin' beer.

I've told them I've ridin' with Jim Sharp,
Been in concert with Chris Ledoux.
I've even helped the people at Stetson,
Design a comfortable shoe.

I've hosted radio programs,
They even made a movie about me.
I've told people I'm working with CBS,
To get my own sitcom on TV.

Livin' a life in the rodeo,
Isn't easy; It's pretty tough.
If you don't know what you're doing,
You can get beat-up pretty rough.

After all that they shake my hand,
And snap a real quick photo.
They ask me,"When's the next time you'll be in town?",
I say,"I really don't know.".

And from meeting these people I've notice,
Fame is a pretty powerful force.
Too bad I'm just a lonely banker,
Who's never been on a horse.

All poems Copyright © 2001
All Rights Reserved

Who is Geoff Matero?

Here are some poems that I've done; that I hope will bring laughter to someone's day.  My name is Geoff Matero, and I live in Salem, Oregon.

 © -2001 All Rights Reserved

Above poems are NOT to be used in any form without the expressed permission of Geoff Matero

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