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Wichita, Kansas
About Ed Parrish
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The Automatic Rope

Curley was a genius, though most thought he was a dope,
He brainstormed up the idee one day for an automatic rope,
Throw a switch up on the saddle, the rope would then take flight,
Equipped with Doppler radar, 'round the horns it would alight,
Ballistic models would calculate its pathway through the air,
Computing for the cowboy just when to launch - and where,
Computer driven logic would cause the rope to loop,
It'd do its own tricks, tie its knots, do everything but "Whooop!"

So Curley got to work that night, a'hammerin' in his shack,
Building up a prototype he could launch and then call back,
The mainframe logic center had a hunnert' kilobytes,
He installed it in a wagon 'cause it was anything but light,
The infrared optics had to be refrigerated,
So he put a cooler in there too, it was starting to get weighted.
Then he built in a joystick - and a full, heads-up display,
Had to add another mainframe, but he did it anyway.

He'd put a batt'ry in it later, an extension cord would do,
To run Curley's proto-typical computerized lass-oo,
And as the dawn was breaking, Curley rolled out his creation,
Hadn't had a wink of sleep, but he was full of inspiration,
He saddled up Old Daisy, hitched the wagon on behind,
Draggin' two miles of 'lectric cord, they rode the range to find,
A vick-tim for the first test, to see if he was right,
And the rope would work, unerring aim in true and stable flight.

They found Bessie munching breakfast, a juicy patch of grass,
Up on a rise and all alone, so Curley could harass,
That cow without disturbing any others standing near,
He switched on the weapons system and booted up the gear,
He checked on all the systems, selected targeting for "HORNS,"
He launched his lariat, his radar showed some strange returns,
That rope sailed high o'er Bessie, it went beyond the rise,
It kept on going.  Curley'd missed.  Then came a big surprise.
The system showed a target lock, and then it showed "ENGAGE,"
And as that looping lariat sailed o'er cow and rise and sage,
The computer showed a target hit, and Curley was astounded,
But it was coming.  "Must be big. . . ."  Dust flew as hooves a'pounded,
That cow let loose a bellow, she ran 'cause she was loose,
And o'er that leetle bitty rise came a two-ton bull moose,
With antlers big as Daisy, entwining 40 feet or so,
Of Curley's proto-typical computerized lasso.

Snortin' like a freight train and with eyes a'blazing red,
Rompin' and a'stompin'!  'Course, Curley knew he'as dead,
Old Daisy took to screaming, she tried to spin and bolt,
Her iron shoes skipped.  The wagon tipped.  She tumbled with a jolt,
Curley rode her to the ground, got tangled in his saddle,
The situation grew intense with no way to do battle,
Then the wagon started smoking and the sparks began to soar,
The moose turned and put his head down, hit that wagon with a roar.

The shock was catastrophic, that blast would kill the average bull,
Dropped the moose with Curley's lasso noose, stunned him hard and full,
Daisy got her wind back, and Curley dropped the buckboard,
Cut loose the moose's lasso noose and untangled the 'lectric cord,
Well, Curley canned the project, left the automatic rope,
Out there, on the lone prairie with the deer and antelope,
As Daisy carried Curley home, that moose came to, complete,
But the scare had sparked a new idee,
"Rocket shoes for horses feet!"

Ed Parrish  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Hang Him

A cowboy rode into town herding paper cattle,
Wore paper jeans and paper chaps aboard a paper saddle,
Had paper guns, paper ropes, he wore a paper hat,
Paper boots, a paper belt; and a paper horse he sat.

The sheriff saw him coming. 
Rode up to him, hustling,
Arrested him on the spot. 
The charge? 


Ed Parrish  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Circle Flies

The farmer in his six-wheel truck was driving most demure,
Hauling down the wasteland road a load of fresh manure,
He looked into the mirror and saw behind those pies,
Red and blue bubble lights; he braked in great surprise.

The dep'ty was indignant, he strutted past the wagon,
"Old man," sez he, "Y'r taillight's out, and you've got chains a'draggin,
"You drove right past that big old sign, says thirty-five's the limit,
"You were doing thirty-seven!  Boy, I'm trouble, and you're in it!"

Just then the dep'ty noticed a buzzing most ferocious,
Fify-'leven flies around him, swooping in precocious,
He batted them with no effect, his ticket book a swatter,
Just made the flies accelerate.  That got the dep'ty hotter.

"They're circle flies," the farmer said.  "They orbit mule's behinds,
"They loop my hinny every day.  Don't pay 'em any mind."
"You calling me a donkey's rump?"  The dep'ty's voice did rise.
"I'd not do that," the farmer said.  "But you can't fool them flies."

Ed Parrish  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Dropping Off

Up on the screen, the shootout raged, the good guys fighting bad,
And in the aisle the usher prowled 'cause something made him mad,
He'd heard an awful ruckus, a howling in the black,
He found a cowboy sprawled across three seats 'bout halfway back.

His flashlight told the story, the cowpoke's eyes were closed,
He's sawing logs, the usher thought, this feller's in repose!
"Sir," the usher scolded him, "You've got to sit up straight,
"You can't take a nap here!  Heck, it ain't even late."

The cowboy just ignored him, so the usher beat retreat,
His boss would boot that galoot right out into the street,
But the manager bent low and said, "Sir what is your name?"
"Sam," the cowboy whispered, "I'll lie here if it's all the same."

The boss was fit to holler, but he held his temper tight,
The house was mostly empty, it being Monday night,
"Maybe you don't get it, sir.  The seats you're in ain't beds.
"Where you from?" the boss inquired. 
"The balcony," the cowboy said.

Ed Parrish  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Dallas Nose-hair Mutiny

The owner was the chairman and the chief exec as well,
Such vision!  He was the smartest man in all that corporate hell,
A hero to his customers, his employees thought he'as God,
But when he turned to face you - you saw this nose hair wad.

T'was huge in its construction, a double-lobed affair,
A shiny, tangled weave of thatch, all spiky-black with hair,
Now I've seen bigger lemons and melons not so great,
But this snarl was vast impressive, spherical yet oblate.

It sure got your attention.  Y' couldn't rip your eyes away,
Though wrong side up, it looked just like a pile of moldy hay,
Now the ladies in the office, they took a subtle tact,
Left tiny scissors lying 'round, laid plans behind his back.

They babbled 'bout how much they liked his fine-honed taste in suits,
Admired his ties, ten-gallon hats, and spit-shined cowboy boots,
Left open compact mirrors a'sittin' by his phone,
Yet all the while they cringed and winced, revolted to the bone.

The office staff was at a loss, all witless with confusion,
How could they order their own boss to cut off that profusion?
But just when they'd 'bout given up, the answer strutted in,
A redheaded millionaire-ess with finely freckled skin.

This firebrand came from Austin, she'd lived there all her days,
She took one look at the boss' beak and vowed t' chop that hay,
He thought he'as safe behind his desk, big as Lake Tawakoni,
But that Texas girl was on him quick, like cheese on macaroni.

The battle was ferocious, they brawled and punched and stomped,
That Texas wench was whoopin' like she was ridin' daddy's broncs,
She tackled him, whupped up on him, and tried to hold him down,
But he was strong, he throwed her off and quick-like spun around.

That's when the staff busted in, they'd broken down the door,
All hot and mad, the boss was snortin' at Red across the floor,
And her with trimmin' scissors, scarlet tangles, and one shoe,
In just a split-hair instant, the staff knew what to do.
Now they was loyal women, loved the boss in highest measure,
So they jumped him all at one time!  Let the redhead have her pleasure,
She trimmed that nose hair, snipped it clean, cut off the boss' broom,
When they was done, a hairless nose was snortin' in that room.

Now the boss don't have no nose hair, and the ladies say he's gorgeous,
And the red head, well, it turns out she's descended from the Borgias,
The boss keeps scissors close at hand, he's learnt from that day's joltin',
You'd best expect a revolution if folks think you're revoltin'.

Ed Parrish  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Ed read this poem on National Public Radio's Theme and Variations, and it was published on ReadTheWest in October, 2000.


Read Ed Parrish's The Christmas Ejection Saddle posted with other Holiday 2000 poems.

  About Ed Parrish

Ed Parrish is a Wichita, Kansas, galoot who pays the bills by writing magazines and speeches and such at the Cessna Aircraft Company.  He uses poetry in his act as "The Magic Guy," which he performs for benefits, and so far has committed 52 poems to memory, 15 of which are his own.  "That's like having a somewhat cantankerous CD player in my head," Parrish said.  "Poetry and magic fit together in my act like this:  poetry is magic with words, and magic is wordless poetry."

Ed Parrish's web site



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