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

Domain, Manitoba, Canada
About Diamond Doug Keith 
Diamond Doug Keith's web site


Just Me and the World

Four hooves in harmony
Echo across the dusted snow
Riding a pinto patched trail
Through twilight's colourful glow
          The willows lay in tangled web
          For one in the herd to stray
          Not knowin' it's just me and my sorrel pony
          Travellin' through here today

The wind carries a cowboy song
For only me to hear
Whistlin' that cowpuncher' melody
I stop to check out my gear
          My mount is grazin' where a ranch once stood
          When cowboy's lived by the code
          Ridin' the range throwin' straight 'n true
          For the outfits that they rode
The sun has set as I strike a lope
Guided by the stars above
Pictures tucked inside my heart
Of this land and life that I love
          Cowboys should ride and never to grow old
          Or lose that sparkle 'n gleam
          For it's days like this on the lone prairie
          I know I'm ridin' my childhood dream
I keep a tight grip on the reins
With one boot in the past
Just a good horse and me alone
Hopin' the feeling will last
                   I ride for the love of yesterday
                   For tomorrow it will be but a memory
                   Today it's just me and the world.
                   Today, just the world and me
© 2004, Doug Keith 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Doug told us that this poem "is merely a snapshot or memory of riding what's called  Canada's 'Cowboy Trail' off Highway 22, south of Longview, Alberta. It is one of the last places that we can open range cowboy. This was a winter day with just me, a good horse and the world. When I need to look for a reason as to why I live this is these days that keep me in the saddle. It definitely isn't the lucrative money we make. Although cowboys do have incredible benefit packages and these memories are a good portion of them."


The Day Leonard Had a Sale

Seasoned bargain dudes 'n cowboys alike
Traveled from near and far
To that camp hidden up in the hills
By half ton, semi and car
They had heard the rumor, the pillow talk
Passed up and down the trail
The cowboy known as Leonard
Was havin' a retirement sale

He'd sell off his treasured hoof 'n tack
The tools of his trade
And some old household items in a bid
To have his retirement paid
There were rusty wrenches & headstalls
Chaps plum worn through
The tools to float a horse's tooth
And a runnin' iron or two

Red velvet lamp shades, a saddle blanket,
A towel that says "hers,"
And one lonely jingle bob
From a pair of Leonard's spurs
Tapaderros chewed on by a mouse
From a year that ends in BC,
The remnants less a cantle
From an Australian saddle tree

Several of Will James' best books
And bits for those who chew the bit
Hackamores and snaffles of every shank
Silver, black, rust, every size, every fit
Still, no cowboys were buyin'
Just standin' round kickin' up dust
Sharin' jokes and a can of snoose
While ol' Len paced and fussed

By sundown his sale was over
And most everything did go
If it neighed or wasn't nailed down
Bargain hunters had it in tow
But why were them cowboys still circlin'
Stead of headin' down the road?
Old Leonard was flush with all that cash--
They'd finally get back what they're owed!

© 2004, Doug Keith 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Doug told us, "Len Carroll is a Canadian Hall of Fame cowboy legend and I am very proud to call him 'Pard.' He is 77 years old now and has rode with some big outfits. He has been a stuntman in some old Hollywood cowboy movies, he's packed, outfitted and tore up a bar or two. He is certified by the Canadian justice system as an expert in horses (in case there is a trial where an expert is needed). He is also an incredible poet and story teller. He lives by himself back in the hills with to many dang cats and a mess of horses (He says he keeps forgetting to take the stud out). He wanted to raise some cash to visit his brother in Arizona so he had a sale...this is that story with a little poetic license." 



Cowboys, Heroes and Horses

I paused from cinching my saddle's riggin'
To feel the crisp wind out of the West
Brush against my exposed hands and face
Sending my soul a shiver clean thru my vest
Its breath carried memories in vivid color
From when I weren't but a child half grown
Great stories 'n tales that shaped my being
Of cowboys, heroes and horses I've known

My spurs' jingle bobs rang in eerie chime
As I threw them reins over the saddle horn
Leading me to remember my Grandpa's voice
With his tales of buckaroos before I was born
And his great Clydes that worked in harmony
That I knew as if they were my own
And I realize now just how my life's been sculpted
By cowboys, heroes and horses I've known

My chaps' leather creaked against the fender
As I placed my boot in the stirrup's grip
The same sound heard by countless cowboys
When they mounted for their sunrise cow trip
History left us names like Alberta's John Ware
But kept silent the names of those who rode alone
The working cowboys, vaqueros and gauchos that haunt me
In cowboys, heroes and horses I've known

My gelding lurched forward with a spur to lope
With those men of dust and leather at my horse's side
The cowboys of character that came before me
Greats like Bud McKague, Lloyd Dolan and those others who ride
With me through smooth, rough or winding trails
Those who fanned a bronc, started a colt or bin thrown
That made me the man I am and gave me the life I lead
Of cowboys, heroes and horses I've known

Today more than ever we need those--
Cowboys, heroes and horses we've known!

© 2003, Doug Keith 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Doug told us about this poem: It was penned after my good friend Bud McKague died. He walked off stage from a standing ovation in Pincher Creek Alberta and collapsed. Bud was probably Canada's greatest orator. Also when he was younger he was a three event rough stock rodeo champion...more than anything he was my friend.

While saddling up one morning in the cold I started to think about Bud and all the other cowboys that have gone through the same saddling process that I was doing. Then I started to think of all the cowboys that have come into my life to make me the cowboy and more importantly the man I am today.

This poem is my tribute to those cowboys who have come before me

Cowpuncher's Melody

The west wind echoes a haunting tune
Carried on the willows they say
A song of history and tradition
Penned by men of yesterday
Its melodyís written in leather and hide  
And sung by ghosts and cowboys gone
Then woven through the pine in 3/4 time
At the start of each and every dawn
Itís the sounds of pure buckaroo
Adorned with chaps, rag and vest
Itís the creak of leather on leather
A life harsh, dusty and yet blessed
The romance of a cowboy is myth
But itís music to his ears
Hearing the cow bawling for her calf calling
On his horse like itís been done for years
A hawk screams in descent  
With talons poised for prey
A horse jingles its bit for the perfect fit
Then lets out a quiet neigh
The huff of its breath
Breathes an honest tune
For it can tell and knows full well
Itíll be home soon
The jingle of jingle bobs
On spurs that sparkle and gleam
Play an eerie song to days long gone
For cowboys whoíve already been
The rhythmic beat of hooves
Or the sound of hitting catch-twine,
And the wind vibrating bob wire or crackling fire
Or the tune whistled thru a bullet ridden sign
These sounds and many more
Together create a classic song
For cowboys riding alone where they are at home
In grass thick and long
Called the "Cowpuncherís Melody"
And to hear it you are blessed
Music to a cowboyís ears played for many years
For your heart is calling you West

© 2013, Doug Keith 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Doug comments, "Iíve rode for many years in all kinds of terrain looking for cattle, horses or solitude. I was always amazed by the music that Nature allows us to hear when you are with alone with her. Iíve always felt sad for the folk who couldnít hear this melodic magic because they were caught up in the constant din of the big city. Then when they get out in the country they say itís so silent. I hope one day everyone can listen and hear the sounds, the music, that we hear cowboyin' when everything is silent."



River Crossing

The cowboy folded his arms over the horn
And stared through the horseís ears
Glued to the rushing riverís current
Like cowboys have done for years
The swirling, circling, bubbling water
Seemed to taunt and beckon him in
A crossing here cuts miles off his journey
He has a decision to walk or swim

If things went bad and the horse was swimming
It will most likely make it to the other side
Heíll just slide down the saddle and grab the tail
Then hang on for the watery ride
For it to breathe heíll untie the horseís head
And heíll loosen the cinchís latigo
So the horse can blow up and take in more air
And face him to the current is the way to go

He ponders, will the crossing be worth the trip
Thereís no tell whatís on the other side
It could be green pasture with grass knee high
Or rocks, thorns and bog for miles wide
He decides to long rein his horse and jump in
To live with his trust and faith intact
But the frigid waterís past his saddleís fender
And the rushing water is pushing him back

The horse fights and grabs for its rocky footing
Against the powerful riverís flow
The cowboy stares through a wall of splashing
To see where they have to go
His saddlebags, chaps and knee-high boots
Like him are soaked clean to the core
The horse grunts as it lunges toward the bank
The cowboy wonders how much more

Heís proud of his saddle horse for working so right
He knows itís just the two of them alone
Making their way on this almost insurmountable journey
To a future difficult and unknown
Finally he sighs as the horseís hooves hit rocks
And it starts to pull them out
The end is in sight or the beginning is near
A cowboy never takes the easy route

They fought the mad river and crossed her alone
But their journey is now really under way
They traverse the clay bank at a lunge and a lope
What adventures will come with a new day?
Standing at the edge they wondered if they should cross
Even if though it scared them to the bone
Cowboys know sometimes crossings lead to green pastures
And sometimes they carry you home

© 2013, Diamond Doug Keith 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Doug comments, "The spark for this poem ignited while riding in the Pembina River Valley on the Medicine Line Ranch. In the one day we crossed the river about four or five times, some of those when the horse had to swim against the current, as the water was high. I started to ponder that making a river crossing is really a metaphor of life. I was going through a transformation in my life and I didnít know what lay ahead once I reached the other side. So this is my attempt at a poetic river crossing."



Read Diamond Doug Keith's Remember Christmas, posted with other Christmas 2004 poems


  About Diamond Doug Keith:

The "Rhymin' Diamond" continues to be a feature performer at some of the most prestigious cowboy gatherings across North America. He also travels extensively for private and public shows. He enjoys being buckaroo entertainment for companies, associations and a wide variety of organizations when they're havin' a supper or event. Fans can still catch Doug on television and radio through out the year.

He's headlined for the opening ceremonies of the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Diamond has also been on stage with some of the world's biggest cowboy/country stars, and 2004 was no different. He shared the main-stage at the Dauphin Countryfest with Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam and Keith Urban.

Doug captured first place in the Tall Tale Tellin competition at the Brandon 2001 Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He was also recently named Manitoba Cowboy Poet of the Year by the Cowboy Poets of Manitoba and the Brandon Cowboy Gathering committee.

2003 was a big year for Doug as he was featured in the Espiritu Films/CTV documentary Cowboys, Heroes and Horses, an inside look at Canadian cowboy culture through his eyes and shown on the national network. That poem "Cowboys, Heroes and Horses" was published in the April-May issue of Canadian Cowboy Country magazine, an honor and thrill for the Diamond. He was also featured in the 2 hour Calgary Stampede national television special and interviewed on CMT. Two rarities for a cowboy poet.

Known for his humorous story tellin' as well as his poems, Rhymin' Diamond Doug frequently entertains across Western Canada and into the United States as folks seem to be hearin' about the Domain Diamond's shows and escapades for far and wide.

As a well known western illustrator, Doug was commissioned in 2004 to produce a portrait of "Skoal's Airwolf," the three time world champion buckin' horse, upon his retirement at the Bonnyville, Alberta Pro Rodeo. Doug presented Shane Franklin of the famous and historic Franklin Rodeo Stock Company with the beautifully framed piece at the centre or the pitch with Rod Tandy of Montana and representatives of the rodeo.

Living a western lifestyle, promoting cowboy culture through his poems and western art is where Doug is the happiest. His greatest love however, is his faithful sidekick, (his daughter) Cody Anne.  They enjoy life horsin' around the "Cowboy Way."

If you're a wrangler, or just wearin' wranglers, you are bound to enjoy this rare blend of humour and cowboy folklore.

Look to Doug's web-site for more info or where you can catch him,

For booking information call: 1-204-736-3412, Or mail to: Diamond Doug Keith, Rhymin' Diamond Ranch, Box 8, Domain, Manitoba, R0G 0M0



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