The Notorious Clanton Gang proudly presents...



September 2003

Gail T. Burton

By Gail T. Burton

When you talk about cowboys
there¹s things ya need to know.
Some of them are mighty fast,
but some of them are slow.
Some of them are tall Śn thin
and some are kinda short.
Some are ridin¹ for the pay,
but some just for the sport.

When the Lord made them cowboys
He didn¹t have no mold.
Some come out young and sassy
and others come out old.
You may find a handsome one,
tho¹ most are sorta plain.
Some are smart, Śn that¹s a fact,
but some are near insane.

Some are up to greet the dawn
while some lay in the sack.
Whatever one has plenty
another¹s sure to lack.
They¹re unique, but at the end,
the Lord got in a rut.
Cause when ol¹ cookie calls Śem
they¹re all just one long gut.

By Gail T. Burton

The cockeyed cowboy spurred his horse,
Then down the street he tore,
And ran into the bell that hung
Outside the firehouse door.
Mid clanging bell and squealing horse
He bounced upon the ground
And unconscious lay there in the dust
As the gawkers gathered Śround.

Randy Jones and Booger Red
Came walking down the street
And stopped in contemplation
Of the drunk there at their feet.
³Who¹s the waddie¹² Randy asked
³With his nose broke I can¹t tell.²
³Don¹t know his name,² was Red¹s reply
³But his face sure rings a bell.²

By Gail T. Burton

An oasis on the prairie
in a dry and dusty land,
but there are no palm trees growing
and there is no shifting sand.
Just a tank of brackish water
and a dozen scrawny trees,
and a windmill slowly turning
with it¹s face against the breeze.

Late afternoon the cattle come,
somehow nature calls them there,
to slake their thirst and then return
to a calf hid out somewhere.
Doves flutter down in cooing pairs
and they drink at failing light,
while rabbits come on silent pads
as they bring the closing night.

Then after dark the yapping yell
of some coyotes drifts around -
a lonely heartfelt lovers call
and an old familiar sound.
Walking, flying, and creeping things
filing by throughout the night
while hunters of the dark come feed
winging there in silent flight.

For weeks and years the squeaking rod
has pulled life from deep below,
a faithful palpitating stream
and a pleasing ceaseless flow.
An oasis on the prairie,
in such homely cool repose,
much more precious there than rubies
and more lovely than the rose.

Copyright © 2003

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Gail T. Burton?


-2003 All Rights Reserved


April 2003

Rod Nichols

By Rod Nichols

The herd was bedded for the night
some three miles from the town,
you could see the lights of two saloons
and almost hear their sounds.

The trail boss didn't like the signs
he'd read throughout the day,
he seemed to sense a storm was close
and ordered hands to stay.

"It don't seem fair" one cowhand swore,
"a town like that so near.
That herd ain't goin' anywhere
and I kin use that beer."

Still orders give'd is orders 'beyed
and they might grumble some
but no one dared to question him
when all was said and done.

The trail boss was a seasoned hand
who knew a thing or two,
a man who had the full respect
of each man in that crew.

Cold beer was out of question now
black coffee ruled the day
and each would do his duty so
while townfolk laughed and played.

Yet in the somber minds of men
bright images stayed on
of wild and wicked, lustful ways
of whiskey, vice and song.

Then from the night a growin' storm
unleashed a mighty wind
and stingin' rain began to lash
both herd and mounted men.

The lightnin' flashed and cattle bawled
but riders did their job
and held wild steers within the herd
outside the wrath of God.

The storm now ragin' passed them north
directly for the town,
where lightnin' struck the highest roof
and fire came rainin' down.

A blazin' pyre of leapin' flames
had now engulfed it all,
the two saloons and everything
that stood began to fall.

The wind caught hold of every spark
and spread the embers 'round,
til ev'ry building set ablaze
had smouldered to the ground.

No hand had ever seen the like,
a town ablaze in rain,
the chances were that not a one
would see such sight again.

The storm now moved away at last,
the town in ashes lay
and those who still remained behind
had knelt to pause and pray.

"It came to pass that God destroyed
the cities of the plain
and we," the preacher now implored
"must not forget again."

The herd was started out next morn,
they passed 'round to the east,
into a hazy risin' sun
all grumblin' now had ceased.

A cowboy has a heap of faults
and Lord I got 'em too
but none of us is fool enough
to turn deaf ears to you.

And to a man that rode that day
that storm reminds us yet,
a time will come when God shall judge
us all lest we forget.

Rod Nichols
(c) 2003

By Rod Nichols

One Sunday mornin' mistin' rain
beneath a Texas oak,
a canopy had been set up
where cowboy poets spoke.

Some cowboys had already 'rived
this early time of day,
so I sat down to rest a bit
and hear what they might say.

"Dear Lord" I heard a cowboy say
"We thank you for this time
and for the chance to praise your name
and speak our hearts and mind.

To some a cowboy may seem rough
and not what folks might say
would be the type of character
to ever stop and pray.

But Lord you know the hearts of men
and you know that ain't true,
no man could live the life we live
and not believe in you.

Perhaps it takes a cowboy Lord
who lives close to the land
to see the handiwork of God
and understand his plan.

Our work is neverending seems
and sometimes we forget
and sometimes we might slip a tad
or wander off a bit.

But given time we will return
on such a day as now
and raise our voice in thankfulness
beneath these oaken boughs.

And so we come in praise of thee
our Father's will be done
and ask your blessings as we go
God keep us ev'ry one.

I sat there at the service end
in silence, not a sound
and prayed dear Lord I thank you for
this cowboy church I'd found.

Rod Nichols
(c) 2003

By Rod Nichols

A cowboy ain't a race my friend:
it's a chosen way of life.
It don't depend
upon yore skin,
jest can you cowboy right.

It ain't about yore politics
or music you may like.
It's what is shown
by which yore known
and do you cowboy right.

A man can claim to be a hand
but when it's held to light,
the only truth
that's worth a hoot
is did he cowboy right.

The Good Lord is the final judge
of how we lived our life,
and when we pass
the question asked
is did we cowboy right.

Rod Nichols
(c) 2003

Copyright © 2003

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Rod Nichols?


-2003 All Rights Reserved


April 2003

Harold Miller

By Harold Miller

Blacksmith maurry winslow could sell an equine,
and you wouldn't find out to later.
The horse was probably lame or blind.
he was that good of a horse trader.

  he was such a cunning master of his craft,
that when he was making a sale.
            You could hardly contain your laugh,
          as he weaved his gullible spell.

  The picture he exuded was honesty and grace.
I have to admit he was nervy.
He would take a horse that had never been in a race,
       and make you think he'd won the kentucky derby.

 I will never forget the day a stranger came to town,
saying he needed a horse in a hurry.
                   One of the saloon bums just hanging around,
    made tracks to get ole maurry.

Maurry showed up and said " watch this cowpokes
I'm going to dupe this buyer."
             Then he invoked his infallible hoax,
            this seasoned acomplished liar.

 The horse being sold was a sorry excuse,
A little larger than a pony.
It was a splay footed, ewe necked, wild cayuse,
   with a back, and ribs that were bony.

The stranger listened raptly, to one of maurrys' spills
then he bought the flea bitten mount.
                He paid him in cash with twenty dollar bills,
      so many that I lost count.

Maurry was laughing as he strode to the bank.
    He pranced and crowed all the way.
Then the decivious blacksmiths' heart sank,
           when he heard what the banker had to say.

He said " maurry I know you like to swindle and brag,
but this time it strikes me as funny.
sure you stuck the stranger with that pitiful nag.
       But he paid you with counterfeit money!"

 By Harold Miller

 This new modern equine stuff,
 makes life for an old school cowboy tough.
   Things that I thought I knew,
are things I learned I cannot do.
Things that I knew back when,
I've had to learn all over again.

I took a holistic horse care class,
It's something I could barely pass.
Nowadays if a horse goes lame,
blood restriction is to blame.
If a horse decides it wants to bite
you probably didn't massage it right.

There are no bad horses now,
just sorry riders that don't know how.
If your mount doesn't want to halt,
you have to accept it's all your fault.
When you ride you must be kind
and ask the horses if they mind.

If you decide to use a bit,
fill out a form in triplicate.
you must be politically correct
to get the behavior you expect.
 so if you are going to ride these days,
              you better learn these modern ways!

By Harold Miller

My crowe indian name was running bear.
I was a half breed scout for yellow hair.
The reason no one knows my story,
is cowards receive very little glory.

I rode with custer that day in june.
sensing trouble would dog me soon.
from the crows nest, I saw the giant village below.
I knew it was time for me to go!

My indian part wanted to stay and fight
but my other half was lilly livered white.
I was torn between fear and honor.
I figured if I stayed I was a goner.

The seventh calvery was in for a lickin'
and this brave crowe scout was a cringing chicken.
I did not desire to meet my end,
at the hand of a savage sioux redskin!

The impatient boy general would cut no slack
to a man with a yellow streak down his back.
 I had always been kind of shallow,
and I was pretty sure my whole body was yellow.

So I decided to take a chance
before my scalp decorated some warriors lance.
I told gereral Custer, like any good guide,
over yonder ridge I would ride.

            Over the ridge I rode all right,
until I was plum clean out of sight.
             I found me a spot on the acclivious land
and watched ole custer, make his last stand!

Copyright © 2003

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Harold Miller?

Hi my name is Harold Miller I live in Stagecoach Nevada, I have a deep appreciation for the old west and the cowboy. I ride and raise horses and exploring ghost towns is one of my favorite things to do.
Thank you Harold Miller

-2003 All Rights Reserved


March 2003

By Greg "Cowboy" Monacelli

Living in the east has surely a certain style.
Nightclubs and traffic jams and crazy kids getting wild.
Well I grew up right here, but I dream of the west,
wild horses and rodeos, I rode with the best.

Ya see, I learned from the cowboys I watched on TV.
The Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers were the favorites to me.
Well Ma said "You 're old enough now son to go off the block".
So I headed down to the local stable, said "Sir I'd like to ride your stock".

Well ole Rudy said
"Muck a few stalls for some riding time,
and I'll bring you out a mare,
you and her will do just fine.

So he brought out old Tiny,
she was about 17.2,
jumped up on her bareback,
she knew just what to do.

Well the next day, you know
there was a wrangler in need,
the boss said "quit muckin stalls"
go get that Tiny steed.

So I ran to the barn
and pulled her out to ride,
found out (the hard way) she didn't want no saddle
on her backside.

Why, she just turned  around
and gave me a dirty look,
so I smacked her in the belly,
figured, that all it took.

Well, while everyone was watchin'
she grabbed me by my arm,
picked me off the ground a few times
then slammed me into the barn.

When I got off the ground,
went over to see Mr. Rudy,
said "I hope you don't mind sir,
if I could go back to muckin' duty.

He said come  on now son,
I know Cowboy'ns in your heart,
so I said yea, then let me ride that there horse name Chicky,
think I'll get a much better cowboy start.

So I started riding,
first Chicky, then Joker, Ruby and King,
I knew I was hooked
on this cowboy thing.

Then it was off to the rodeos,
I rode on a bet,
won my first jackpot,
then the stage was set.

Yep, I grew up right here,
but I dream of the west,
wild horses and rodeos,
I rode with the best.

©  July 29, 1992

By Greg "Cowboy" Monacelli

We were heading west Rt. 84 my brother-in-law and me
Had a date at the studio this morn.
There was a traffic jam up ahead, so I pulled over,
decided to write another poem.

Well he looked at me, I looked at him,
both of us drew a blank.
Said "I'll think of something for an opening line"
and you could take this one to the bank."

Then suddenly it started raining, when it hit me,
as I leaned over to turn on the wipers.
Here's one that ain't been written.
Do cowboys change baby diapers?

Well I pick up after the dog,
and even mucked a stall,
but a cowboy changin' a diaper,
that ain't somethin' I recall.

Why I heard everytime you change one,
there's always a different surprise.
Different colors and textures
and smells you could never surmise.

I been thrown off of buckin' horses,
and landed in a manure pile,
but changin' a stinky diaper,
to me that's a lot more vile.

Why you gotta grabb'm by there little ankles.
They say it's tougher than flankin' a calf.
They kick and swing and holler,
and that ain't even the half.

Then after ten minutes of wrestling,
you gett'm changed, without much grace.
then they go and mess up them diapers again,
and they look at you and laugh in your face.

Besides, changin' diapers
ain't a manly thing to do.
There's horses to be broke.
Not cleanin' baby pooh.

Why, if I was to get caught changin' a diaper,
what would my partners say?
But you know what, I gotta feeling
they change diapers too anyway.

©  1/9/94

By Greg "Cowboy" Monacelli

I might not of did a lot of cowboyin' per say livin' here in the east,
but I did help once to catch my cousin's milk cow, just to say the least.

And I did compete in a team pennin' event, my pard and I came in first.
Or that time I was untyin'' ropin' calves, ooh that was the worst.

When that heifer did a tap dance on my chest,
Well I might not be a cowboy, and I might not live out west.

But I did my share of rodeoin', ridin' bareback broncs upstate.
I rode as far as Wyominin' and Texas lookin' to make the eight.

I might not be called a cowboy, though I performed all these feats,
I think a better terminology would be called a rodeo athlete.

Now I still value the cowboy life style though I don't live out on the range.
And I live in the spirit of the west even though the west has changed.

I sent some cowboy poems to some western magazines, and some been published as a matter of fact.
But with every few that I send out, I always seem to get some back.

With the same old exclamation sayin " "Me and the boys sat down and we did ponder it a while,
and Cowboy, we like your poem and all, and it has a western style.

But there is somethin' in this writin' biz I think you must beware,
it's that we prefer the writins' of a cowboy that really lives out there.

So I decided to write another poem that painted a real western scene.
I put it in an envelope and sent it off to this western magazine.

Yeah, I signed my name as Cody Joe, and stuck my letter in the mail.
Wrote my return address as Cheyenne, Wyomin' and prayed my plan didn't fail.

Before you knew it, next months issue came, I was thumbing through some pages.
Right there before my eyes, I should of bet a whole weeks cowboy wages.

A full page spread, a poem about a cowboy, wouldn't you know.
Written by someone that went by the name Cody Joe.

So I called up this western magazine and told them, "You might want to make a note of it.
That Cody Joe is a fictitious one, that poem you published, I'm the one that wrote it.

They said "if you wrote it, then why didn't you just use your real name. Send us another poem.
So I told them I would rather deal with a magazine that don't mind where I call home.

It ain’t in the way they walk, or how they wear their hat.
It ain’t in the way they tip their brim, It’s a little more then that

It ain’t in the way they hold the reins, or how they sit a horse.
And it ain’t what they do for work, or who they call their boss.

Because they drive an old pickup truck, instead of driving a car
ain’t another reason to call them what they are.

Naw, you don’t become a cowboy cause of where your born.
Or cause you can ride a buckin’ horse or take a steer by the horns.

Yea, there’s cowboys in every state you’ll find.
But cowboyin’ is not what you talk, Cowboyin’ is a state of mind.

It’s a life-style you value, through good times and bad.
It ain’t some fancy boots or some other silly fad.

And let me tell you this here partner, I might not live out on the range, just to say the least.
But here's somethin' you might want to think about . . .

The West began in the east.

© 1/26/98

Copyright © 2003

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Greg "Cowboy" Monacelli?


-2002 All Rights Reserved

January 2003

By Gene O’Quinn

Decorated floats and marching bands,
Mounted horsemen and local cowhands;
Banners and streamers of Blue, Red, and White,
Town full of spenders, a merchant’s delight.

Uniformed police directing parking,
Duded up locals and stray dogs barking;
Carnival midway of thriving masses,
F F A and 4-H All-Breed classes.

Aromatic mixture, hay, manure and beer,
Seven running boys after one loose steer.
Cowgirls in satin and denim and boots,
R C A cowboys and local galoots.

Horses and riders loosening up,
A few sipping drinks from a tin cup.
Some contestants lounging in the shade,
Dignitaries and Grand Entry Parade.

Amidst swirling dust and stifling heat,
Grandstand filled with folk in every seat;
To watch an event that was S R O,
An Independence Day rodeo.

© 2002 Gene O’Quinn

By Gene O’Quinn

Soft muffled sounds of riders and the hounds,
Penetrate the morning’s still.
Silent faces kissed by slow rising mist,
And shadows moved upon the hill.
Saddles creak ‘neath the dawn’s first streak,
A stock-whip snaps with a sharp crack;
Bedded down cattle arise with a rattle,
With their tails high o’er their back.

Rattling of horns echo through Huisache thorns
Cattle crashing through brush so thick;
Midst Hackberry leaves and clumps o’Live Oak trees,
Cows and steers disappear quick.
strays near the bog found by rider and dog,
And soon returned to the herd.
To race with a bound startled by fluttering sound,
From the wings of a flushed bird.

O’er downy thistles and cowmen’s shrill whistles,
Hoarse voices and “hi-Yah” sounds,
Chaos was resembled as the herd assembled,
Before nips and yelps of the hounds.
Cattle were lowing and horses blowing,
As they dance both to and fro.
Cattle wanted loose from the agile cayuse,
And ropers with accurate throw.

The sun rose up high in mid-morning sky,
The gather was divided thrice;
Beeves for the sale and calves for branding travail,
And the main herd was driven twice.
Dogs were called and mother cows bawled,
One steer led in by a dally;
Tired riders dismount and at noon-time discount,
Errors disclosed by the Final Tally.

© 2002 Gene O’Quinn

By Gene O’Quinn

There is something about having
        a blooded horse between your knees;
Makes a man sit proud and erect,
        in anticipation if you please;
Of the raw power released
        when rowelled heels lightly goad,
Midst swirling dust and flying
        clods gouged from a country road.

There is something special about
        a blooded horse between your knees,
Pigging string in your teeth and
        elbow tucking your loop with ease;
Then a calf catapults ‘neath
        the gate and in loose dirt races
Across the arena’s floor
        as the horse and rider chases.

There is something special about
        a blooded horse between your knees,
Windblown tears are generated
        as horse and rider split the breeze;
To return that old renegade
        back into the herd just once more,
As it crashes through the bushes
        as it has many times before.

There is something special about
        a blooded horse between your knees,
When you target a big yearling
        and then your horse’s focus freeze;
Then cutting that calf out of the herd
        and the gentle waltz proceeded;
While keeping it separated
        and added reining was un-needed.

You bet there is something about
        a blooded horse between your knees,
And it makes a cowboy feel special, very special, indeed.

© 2002 Gene O’Quinn

Copyright © 2002

All poems Copyright © 2002
All Rights Reserved

Who is Gene O'Quinn?

Gene O'Quinn resides in Crosby, TX and is retired from the petrochemical industry. He is an amateur Texas Historian, genealogist and poet. He has recited his poetry in many southeast Texas locations.  This poem was inspired by a quote from former Texas Ranger, George Durham, who said; 1. “Clinking silver dollars has always done something for me--sorta like having a blooded horse between my knees.”

-2002 All Rights Reserved