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BERT LLOYD
Lubbock, Texas
About Bert Lloyd

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of CowboyPoetry.com.

 

It's Finished (Suvate) 

This was the beginning of the end,
    At Prairie Dog Fork of the Red, at its bend.
March 1875, the night it was cold,
    Old McKenzie's strategy, cruel and bold.
He'd chased the Comanche far and wide,
    Now no place to go, no place to hide.
He'd chased them for one whole year.
    The Comanche had nothing in heart, nothing but fear.
He'd run out of time, run out of heart,
    To stay and fight, was never smart.
In the Palo Duro, they wanted to stay,
    Now they had no time, not even to pray.
Quanah Parker, leader of this band,
    Gave them his heart; gave them his hand.
Wrapped in his blanket, head held low,
    Ran out of blessings, no place to go.
Old McKenzie, on his way down,
    From the top of the rim, to the lower ground.
Hooves of horses, wrapped in burlap to muffle,
    The troops ready to fight, or a scuffle.
To kill the Comanche, to make him bend,
    To settle for all time, to bring the end.
Quanah's scouts, out on the land,
    Had missed McKenzie and his band.
McKenzie's orders, spare the women and kids,
    To do it honorable, to make his bids.
The troopers were on them sure and fast,
    To do it right, to make it last.
They hit the lodges at first day light,
    Burned them, tore em' up, a terrible sight.
The women and kids, trying to run,
    All became visible with the rising sun.
Comanche warriors, trying to battle,
    The troopers herded them, just like cattle.
The coming of the sun, terrible to see,
    Quanah saw, knew it was not to be.
With feet he could hardly drag,
    With rifle and cloth, raised the white flag.
The battle was fought, came to an end,
    All the Comanche ponies, put in a pen.
With rifle fire, all 1200 paid the price,
    Terrible, like the roll of bad dice.
The troopers hung their heads in shame.
    Who was guilty; who was to blame?
All the Comanches walked to Ft. Sill,
    Without a good horse, a bitter pill.
McKenzie to Quanah, with held out hand;
    With misty eyes, beheld the whole band.
He shook the hand, held it fast,
    SUVATE - It's finished at last.

 

The Cowmen

To Oliver Loving,
    to Charles Goodnight,
They came with their dreams,
    they came with might.
To carve out an empire,
    with horse and cow;
Make it good for their people,
    they'd take their bow.
They gathered their horses,
    wagons and steers,
So hot, dry and dusty,
    it would make you have tears.
The cowboy cursed
    and groaned a lot,
With nothing to show at night,
    but beans in the pot.
He gathered them far
    and gathered them near,
To brand them, cull them
    and notch their ear.
All hard work
    from morning 'till night,
They gathered them all,
    a big herd they had,
And headed up the trail
    for good or bad.
They headed west
    from Palo Pinto County
To Ft. Sumner for a good
    price, maybe a bounty.
They knew the Indian
    needed his beef,
And hoped their layover,
    would be brief.
They headed for the Pecos
    and Horse Head crossing,
Made good time when the
    ramrod kept bossing.
Headed north and things
    got awfully dry;
Hot enough to drink, you'd
    think you'd surely die.
Kept on moving with
    hope in their heart,
The scouts would find water -
    they were smart.
They kept on pushin'
    the sun ablaze,
Nothing to see on the ground
    but dust and haze.
The water finally came,
    gritty and with alkali,
To leave this country, they
    hoped to say good-bye.
They kept their courage,
    they kept their senses,
They all came home to Palo
    and happy to mend their fences.

 

Saga of Prairie and Plain

Out on the prairie, out on the plain,
    Came the cowboy, stockman, farmer with grain.
They came with cattle and kids galore,
    To seek their fortunes - leave their mark forever more.
Some came broke, some with money.
    Now and then, a gambler with his Honey.
They came to work - some to look,
    But what they learned, never came from a book.
It was hot and dusty and mostly gritty,
    Never like the things they left in the city.
It was a hard, sometimes dangerous life,
    Hard on a man, his kids and his wife.
They worked hard, with sweat on their brow,
    To make a reasonable living, with horse and plow.
The cowboy came with spurs that jingled,
    Stayed in a bunkhouse that needed shingled.
He didn't gripe, he didn't complain,
    Even in bad times, and sometimes in pain.
They were all together on common ground.
    And helped each other where thoughts abound.
In drought and rain, they stuck it out.
    It was hard on all, the weak and the stout.
They turned to God and said their prayers,
    To have a better life, that they all shared.
They busted out the prairie, and plowed the plain,
    If they'd do it over, they'd do it again.
For their spirits were humble and shy,
    And to all those folks, I remember with a tear in my eye.

The Buffalo Men

They came from near; they came from afar
All for the same purpose;to maybe reach and catch the falling star.
To get rich, to have a good time,
To fulfill their destiny, oh so sublime.
Old men; young men, with hope in their heart,
That here they would make a new start.
With wagons and horses to make team,
They rode for the prairies to catch their dream.
Their skins were white, and some were black,
Each man gave the other plenty of slack.
Their guns were good, new and true,
And would shoot forever, into the blue.
They had Springfields, Spencers and Sharps.
And they could shoot good, like angels with harps.
To shoot the great buffalo and take his hide;
To search for him, far and ever wide.
To load their wagons and go back east,
With money in their pockets, maybe a feast.
To drink the good whiskey and get a girl,
To dance her, love her and give her a whirl.
Then back to the prairie they would go;
Back in their search for the buffalo.
But on the hill stood the Comanche in wrath,
And soon to gather, and take the war path.
There were fights and battles galore,
And soon to pass, the Comanche were no more.
They took all the shaggies and left their mark,
On the prairies it was naked, bare and stark.
They went back home, back to the East;
Never to set the camp fire and have a good feast.
The Buffalo Men, their chapter spent,
And now we all look back and wonder where they went.

 

The Comanche

He came to the Llano
    with hand and bow,
To hunt and take
    the great buffalo.
To take him quick
    and take him right,
It gave him strength
    and awesome might.
It gave him food,
    it gave him life,
Without the buffalo,
    it was toil and strife.
A good bridle,
    a good horse to ride,
He started as a kid
    and took it in stride.
A mounted Comanche,
    as tough as they come,
Good as any man,
    and better than some.
Without a good chase
    he searched for battle,
Shot the poor nester
    or stole his cattle.
A great warrior
    and meaner than sin;
An equal or better
    than most all men.
On the war path
    from night 'til noon,
He'd hit the war trail
    during the Comanche moon.
Across Texas,
    it ran like a snake,
And with this knowledge
    the settler would stake.
For here was the warrior
    that would send you to hell,
Without a warning,
    not even a yell.
From Red
    to Rio Grand River,
He came with lance
    and arrows from his quiver.
They tried to stay
    and tried to fight,
But couldn't stand
    against his might.
The army came
    with cannon and gun,
But even with this,
    they didn't run.
The Comanche -
    it would strike fear in your heart,
Make a man give up, move
    and make a new start.
Their time finally
    came to an end,
At Palo Duro,
    where spirits would bend.
And another saga ends
    in hate and shame,
No one to care
    and no one to blame.
The Comanche warrior,
    he paid the price,
With one more
    throw of the dice.

 

Me and Ben and a Dog Named Blue


Out of the East he did appear,
Spring of 70 was the year.
Down to St. Louie, end of track,
Eyes to the West and never looked back.
 
Spirit of adventure his middle name,
Ticket to life - maybe fame.
Late of the Union Army, where it was bad,
Toughest time in life he'd ever had.
 
Decided to hunt the buffalo,
Headed West was the way to go.
Outfitted in old St. Lou,
Cast his eyes to the sky so blue.
 
Met a partner whose thoughts were the same,
If it didn't work out, no one to blame.
Partners name, Ben the man
Always ready to lend a hand.
 
Studebaker Wagon to fill with gear,
Lots of stores/ maybe gone for a year.
Good span of horses to pull the rig,
Hard and gentle and plenty big.
 
Two of the new buffalo guns,
Couple of Sharps, we knew were the ones,
To down the buffalo far and wide,
Down him good and hang his hide.
 
The dog showed up as they were ready,
Watched them close, with eyes so steady.
Gentle expression upon his face,
Seemed to know this was his place.
 
A Blue Tick hound, he seemed to say,
"You are my friends, I'm here to stay."
He tagged along so straight and true,
We fitted his name of Old Blue.
 
Up the long trail we went,
As if we were heaven sent.
Out on the prairie, out on the plain,
Nothing to lose, but all to gain.
 
Nothing to lose, but hair and life,
Not much, but toil and strife.
In the land of Arapaho and Sioux
Stretched horizon to horizon into the blue.
 
Found the buffalo, so many to see.
Too many to count, we would agree.
This was a fine time, we all knew.
Me and Ben and of course, Old Blue.
 
Plenty of big ole critters we found.
Looked for Old Blue, who wasn't around.
Hiding under the wagon he would agree,
This is the best place for you and me.
 
We chided him in his shame,
But he seemed to say, "I'm not to blame.
Wail till you need me, I'll be there."
When we did, no other could compare.
 
Started our hunt, downed all that came our way.
So many down, you'd think we come to stay.
Skinned em out and done all right.
Worked all day and all the night.
 
Worked at it hard all day by day,
Come to think of it, was pretty good pay.
Salted them good and pegged them down.
Gettin a good pile, and no one around.
 
Worked at it hard and maybe a little luck,
Till the day we seen the Arapaho buck.
Knew he was not there to slay,
Knew there were others, tho he went away.
 
So it passed the Arapahos came,
To kill us then, it wasn't a game.
Armed with guns and hard wood lance,
So scared we almost peed in our pants.
 
Gained our courage and each his gun,
Hoped to put down everyone.
Sharps shot straight and plenty true,
Get them before they get you.
 
Evened the odds and made our stand,
Doing real good with blood on the sand.
Two braves left with hate in their eye
With lances ready to make their try.
 
Down to our last shell, had to make it good,
Left one big brave, solid as wood.
Cocked his arm to throw his lance,
Kill us both, and he would dance.
 
A startled gasp was his end,
For here was Old Blue, our trusty friend.
Fastened to the throat of this big brave,
Fought the dog, but his life he gave.
 
Battle all fought and we were through,
We'd be dead if it weren't for Old Blue.
Looked at us as if to say,
"If it weren't for me you'd have lost the day."
 
Loaded our wagon and hides we had,
Headed East, cause it could get bad.
Better to be poor and still alive,
Than rich with coin and not survive.
 
Back to the railroad we did go,
Split our hides and all our dough.
I took Old Blue and headed back,
He rode with me upon the track.
 
Thanked the Lord for His help,
Even Old blue gave a little yelp.
If Old Blue hadn't used his head,
I'd be lying on the prairie dead.
 
Now in my room I reserve a space,
For Old blue, he has his place.
In my room and in my heart,
He'll be there when I make a new start.

2002, Bert Lloyd
 


On Honor And Courage

Feb. 23, 1836 was the date
    That began in infamy and settled in hate.
Here, 182 men would make their stand
    And two weeks later, all had left this land.
Left it in death, left it in pain
    But started their fight, for freedom and gain.
Here it started the battle for the Alamo
    That ended in old Bexar, so long ago.
Some were from the East, and Texans there
    All to come together, their fate to share.
Some from England and Ireland too
    There were Germans, one a Dane, one a Jew.
Some had walked, some on horse they rode
    Down the path to glory, they all strode.
Here was Crockett, Statesman of Tennessee
    Down in Texas history, as a hero to be.
Lawyers and doctors, men of letters
    Little education, men looked to their betters.
On equal ground their lives they gave
    Never a thought for the life they could save.
Bowie and Travis, in joint command
    Came together on their fight for this land.
Friendly Mexicano and women were there
    To fight for a cause, they could all share.
So on the 25th, the battle to start
    With Santa Ana, to play his part.
With 2,000 troops it's rumored to be
    Against 200, they shouted with glee.
Against these odds, they could surely win
    To lose this battle, would be a sin.
But they hadn't considered the courage of foe
    And against these odds, victory would flow.
The Mexicans hoisted the blood red banner
    No quarter given in any manner.
From Travis came the reply
    "I'll never surrender, but I'll surely die."
A cold wind from the North seemed to say
    You've crossed the line, now you'll pay.
Mexican army attacked the North wall
    Met with fierce fighting by all.
So it went, the defenders to repel
    Try they would, to send Santa Ana to hell.
Canon and grape shot raged around
    The Alamo stood and held it's ground.
March 3, Travis draws the line in the sand
    Step over, and united we'll stand.
All crossed the line but one
    The deed was accomplished, it was done.
Bowie on his cot, too sick to stand
    Was carried across to join the band.
Mexican artillery, terrible to see
    To take the Alamo, it was to be.
March 5, the start of the end
    To kill the defenders, make 'em bend.
So it was, the assault began
    To kill the defenders to the last man.
Travis' artillery deadly to see
    Stopped the first charge at what's to be.
The all out fight to settle the score
    To end it now and forever more.
Defenders won at a terrible cost
    To the Mexican army, all was not lost.
They launched the second wave
    Thrown back by men so brave.
Lost Travis, a bullet to the head
    Left the defenders filled with dread.
They abandoned their artillery and fell back
    To musket and steel to take up the slack.
In the open plaza, they were few
    Open to fire and death, they all knew.
They fought to the end and made their stand
    And left their mark on this land.
So it was on March 6, the Mexicans won
    The fight for the Alamo, it was done.
On this date, a funeral pyre was laid
    Bodies of defenders in death were paid.
All 182 paid the price and burned in flame
    Passed into Glory and into fame.
What possessed these men to stand so tall
    To fight to death, and lose it all.
To come together it was clear
    To fight for Liberty, they held so dear.
Santa Ana, outward bound on this day
    To capture Sam Houston, make him pay.
On to San Jacinto, flags flying they rode
    On to their defeat they strode.
Victory was Houston's, for all to see
    Turned the corner in history for what's to be.
The shout so loud for all to hear,
    "Remember the Alamo," we hold so dear.

2002, Bert Lloyd

 

About Bert Lloyd:

I was born in Comanche County, Texas, January 27, 1923.  We moved to Lubbock in 1925.  All my schooling took place in Lubbock.  Enlisted in US Coast Guard in 1942. Discharged in 1946.  Back to Texas with a Yankee wife.  Wrote some stuff in high school, and majored in history.  Started on Cowboy Poetry about 2 years ago.  Like it fine.  Lets your heart beat fast and your spirit roam.

 

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