Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Emmett, Idaho
About Bobbie Hunter





A Cowboy Died Today

His chaps hang loosely from the peg; his boots are on the floor--
His gloves and hat together lie, but will be worn no more.
Outside the door his dog awaits; he's strainin' just to hear
Some sound to bring assurance that his master is still near.
His pony knickers, urgin' him to rise and walk again--
To climb upon his waitin' back and ride to yonder glen.
The cattle low impatiently, the mornin' slips away--
They're waitin' for that old cowboy to push them on their way.
The other hands, with lowered heads, in quiet sorrow bend;
They show no shame at tears that fall while mournin' for their friend.
Through depth of feelin' shared that day their sorrow is expressed.
With work-rough hands they lay their friend forever to his rest.
His faithful dog must now obey another man's commands--
His pony shies and backs away from unfamiliar hands.
The whole day long they sorrow there and wait his sure return--
In vain they linger still and lone; in vain they ache and yearn.
An eagle flies alone that night o'er rocky mountain crest--
A sentinel, he'll stay his watch to guard that place of rest.
Next mornin' they continue movin' slowly on their way--
A rough-hewn cross will mark the spot where their compadre lay.
No fancy stone, no words there etched, no flowers bright and gay,
But God will know just where to look on Resurrection Day.

© 2002, Bobbie Hunter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Bobbie comments: This poem is reflective of the cowboy era, a thing of the past in many ways. The trappings may linger but much of the lifestyle has changed. It will never die completely, but if it did there would be many to mourn its passing!


Sellin' the Ranch

I read there in the paper that the ranch is up for sale.
The whole kit and caboodle--ever' horseshoe, rasp, and nail.
The young uns are all gone now; they grow'd up and moved away.
And findin' help gets harder with the passin' of each day.
And rumor's goin' 'roun' the town that neither one is well.
I ain't surprised but more like sad they feel they need to sell.
'Cause in the end ya gets so tired, worn out, and weary, too,
And it's a fact they can't keep up the way they once could do.
The stock will be the first to go' I hope the price is high,
And lots of bidders there that day with real intent to buy.
The auctioneer will wait 'til spring, then sell away the rest.
They'll dread the comin' of that day but know it's for the best,
It's hard to face when strangers come, but harder when they go;
To watch the ranch go piece by piece...well, it's a mighty blow.
Their lives will sure be diff'rent when they make the move to town.
They've got a lot of real good friends who'll always come aroun'--
They'll sit together on the porch so they can reminisce
About the ranch and ranchin' life that they will sorely miss.
They'll talk about the weather and the grass out on the hills;
The price of hay, their good old dog, and their most current ills.
They'll talk as if they're happy and their move was good, indeed.
There's just one thing they truly want, one thing they think they need:
They long for days back on the ranch, the way it used to be.
And so they cling to thoughts of yore that set their poor hearts free.
And oh, how sweet, and how they seek the dreams that fill their sleep.
And how they pine, and yearn, and long, to somehow in them keep
The things of all their yesterdays--the way it used to be.
Their "good old days" live on, you see, within their memory.
And so it goes from day to day but if they had the chance,
They'd trade it all so eagerly for life back on the ranch.

© 2006, Bobbie Hunter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Bobbie comments: The inspiration for "Sellin' The Ranch" was the true-to-life occasion of my in-laws selling out. They had lived on their ranch for 34 years. They sold their place, moved to town, had the farm sale, etc., just as the poem says, but their hearts never made the move. It was a difficult transition, but one which opened my eyes to what so many "old-timers" face.


In Cadillac my cousin came to visit from afar,
That's all that she had ever rode; 'twas such a fancy car!
Next mornin' we were up at dawn all set to start the day,
And like a sport she pitched right in to feed the oats and hay.
Her eyes then fell upon a filly, Luna was her name,
And with a rockin' easy gait that beauty quickly came.
With wond'rous awe my Cuz spoke up, "I kinda like that hide.
I wonder if you'd let me ride that filly by your side?"
"But she's not broke, " I quickly said, "You daresn't even try!"
She stroked, and cooed, and petted Luna, longing in her eye.
Cuz lost her heart that very day, 'twas all too plain to see.
She thought perhaps that I'd relent so gently pestered me
To let her try her hand just once to see what she could do.
I told her that it takes some skill and lots of patience, too.
But cousin had to have her way (she was a bit headstrong);
Her habit was to jump right in, yes, even when she's wrong.
My Cuz, you see, was green as green, and Luna, she was, too.
And puttin' 'em together then just simply would not do.
"But I can hold my own," she said, "so put away your fears."
I cringed, and shook, and said a prayer as Luna pinned her ears!
But she stood still while saddled up (that was beginner's luck),
And thus she fooled my naive Cuz to think she would not buck.
When Luna felt my cousin's weight perched there upon her back
The air began to fill with dirt, and snot, and bits of tack!
Nine-hundred pounds of raw brute strength unleashed its awful force!
She bawled and squalled and carried on—my cousin, not the horse!
Now there was lots of daylight 'tween the saddle and my Cuz...
She bounced real high then flattened out like a big round beach ball does!
She lost both reins but had a death grip on that saddle horn,
And nowhere could we find the smile that earlier she'd worn!
She didn't know that spurs are like the gas feed for a car—
That throttle worked! Away they flew...she couldn't guess how far!
But more than spurs she needed brakes and wondered how to stop.
No pedals could she find below, and there were none on top!
A seatbelt would have been real nice to save her bloomin' neck
'Cause she was sure as sure could be a headin' for a wreck!
And how to turn that runaway? A signal there was none—
And no way could she clock the speed, but boy! That horse could run!
We did not know where they had gone so we could not pursue,
But seemed to us that their return was mighty overdue.
An hour passed, and then two more when Luna came for hay,
But came alone, for Cuz was gone the most part of that day.
She limped on back all bruised, and cut, and covered some with blood!
I barely recognized her! She was smeared all o'er with mud;
And weeds a stickin' out her hair, one boot was in her hand;
And when she talked 'twas hard to hear, her mouth all full of sand!
Her eyes were fixed in vacant stare as if she'd seen a ghost,
And her left knee was mostly there—the rest on some fence post!
Her shirt was torn and britches, too—I called up 911!
She said her only thought was that she'd have a little fun.
So prob'ly it's a real good plan to stick with what you know.
Don't rock the boat or change direction; keep the status quo.
For now we'll put away the gear and store up all the tack,
My Cuz won't need that stuff at all to ride her Cadillac.
'Though Luna is a beauty and stands quiet in her stall,
That gives no indication of her temper'ment at all.
She's got a sorry disposition—temper flies real quick,
And Luna's just a nickname for her real name; Lunatic!

© 2007, Bobbie Hunter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Bobbie told us: The inspiration for Luna came from recollections of a favorite childhood story comparing a country mouse and a city mouse. The comparison can be made for people as well: what a country person takes for granted may be foreign to a city dweller, and vice versa. Sometimes those from the city who have very little "country" experience find that the ways of the West are more challenging than they first thought.



Aggravatin' Torments

A cowboy's day has twists and turns—it seldom runs real straight
'Cause sometimes he must be the fence, and other times the gate.
More times than not he'll work alone (that's when he's at his best),
And ever' day they's sure to be some aggravatin' test—
Like breachy cows, and achy backs when hossy needs a shoe;
Plus fixin' fence, and cuttin' calves, and all the chores to do;
The rope that kinks, the blistered fingers, kacks that slip an' slide;
The lack of shade from blazin' sun from which he cannot hide.
There's dried up springs, and parchin' thirst, and pesky insect bites;
And pullin' calves that keeps him out on long and bitter nights.
Those buckin' broncs will toss him high if he is not their match,
But 'though he'll limp on gimpy leg, he'll hide the bruise an' scratch.
A barbwire fence will tear his clothes but he won't holler none—
Less educated folks don't know that's how the game is run.
But underneath the battered hat that shades his weathered face,
His eyes betray a grit so true—there's nuthin' can erase
The satisfaction found within the heart of that cowpoke.
He typifies a dying' breed—extraordinary folk
Who would not trade the way they live for therein lies the joy,
And few there be who claim that life or bear the name "Cowboy."

© 2007, Bobbie Hunter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Bobbie comments that his poem  "came about after giving serious consideration to some of the trials that face those embracing the Western way of life. Why do they do it? They love it. It's bred in them. You understand it or you don't, that's all there is to it."


The Dance

The bull's gone lame, his John Deere quit, the yearlin's ran amok,
And now he's nearly out of gas to feed his pick up truck!
Ol' Tex was needin' bolsterin' so thought he'd take a chance
On Texas two-step magic charm a waitin' at the dance.
He waxed his moustache, proper like, and tried as best he could
To make himself presentable as any bach'lor would.
He took his time a primpin' cuz he had to look just right--
He hoped to find romance a bloomin' at the dance that night.
But when he drove on in to town he shrank at what he saw--
The sign outside the dancin' hall was 'nuff to drop his jaw!
A sock hop was a goin' on....he quickly lost his smile.
His brow began to furrow up; he had to think awhile.
He'd best not dance! No matter how enticin' were the girls
Or how the fiddle sang its song, he'd save his spins and twirls.
The ladies wanted him to ask...they lined up near the wall
And came in ever' size and shape from short on up to tall.
Their toes were tappin', skirts were swayin', each one looked his way....
But he ignored their temptin' stares, had not one word to say.
The whole night long he sat on bench with eyes cast down to floor
Just starin' at his cowboy boots that hid the socks he wore.
The eve'nin' passed. The band was done. The gals had lost their chance,
When some sweet thing approached that man and asked, "Why cain't ya dance?"
He drew one long and measured breath then let it out in sigh,
And with a forlorn look at her he stammered his reply:
"This mornin' when I got my socks they both had holes in them,
And I'd be guessin' they don't match cuz bedroom light was dim.
I hadn't done the wash of late, the pickin's was real low.
I'd rather not be dancin' 'round with socks run through by toe!"
It's sad but true. There was no balm to soothe that cowboy's woes.
The sock hop was no place for Tex cuz his were naught but holes!
Compared to that embarrassment his troubles at the farm
Seemed mild indeed and certainly no reason for alarm.
He'd fix the tractor, Vet the bull, then track those yearlin's down,
And stay real busy so as not to show his face in town.
But next time that he goes a shoppin', tucked inside his box
There's sure to be at least a dozen brand new pairs of socks!

© 2008, Bobbie Hunter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Read Bobbie Hunter's

Cowboy Logic and Mistletoe, posted with 2008 Christmas poems


 A Cowboy's Christmas Thoughts, posted with 2006 Christmas poems




About Bobbie Hunter:

Bobbie Hunter lives in Emmett, Idaho, where she and her husband own and operate a cattle ranch.  Having been introduced to cowboy poetry in 2003, it immediately became a passion, inspiring her to record thoughts, feelings, and events--all part of the ranching experience.  She has been published in Idaho Magazine, and has a line of greeting cards, Howdy Pard', featuring selected cowboy poems.  Bobbie has been a member of Cowboy Poets of Idaho (CPI) since 2003.  Working part time as an RN, she looks forward to retirement when there will be more time to write, recite, and share her love of cowboy poetry.





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