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HAROLD ROY MILLER
Stagecoach, Nevada
About Harold Roy Miller

 

 

 

 


A Filly I Could Not Tame

My mind was all in a muddle
as my horse skirted a puddle,
from the new fresh fallen rain.
I was all day in the saddle
pushin' in the cattle
that dotted the rocky plain.
My thoughts were just a blank,
gloomy dark and dank,
as your memory made me brood.
My work was automatic;
your goodbye was emphatic,
the reason for my mood.
The coyotees are aprowlin'
setting up a restless howlin'
as I push on thru the sage.
My mount is getting jumpy.
This ride is getting bumpy
and it's jostling my rib cage.
The wind is blowing the panic grass.
There is snow up on Donner Pass;
more rain will probably start.
But I have to move these old horns
no matter how love's thorns
are stickin in my heart.
I knew I was a chancin'
when I lured you into dancin'
and stole you from Big Red.
But how in the world could I know
that down the road you'd go
with the owner of the Bar-H spread.
Now it's days and nights of remorse,
just me and my old cow horse
and I have only myself to blame.
I guess I've learned my lesson.
I never should have been messin'
with a filly I can't tame!

2003, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

I Must Find That Herd

My horse had no desire to slosh,
across the tepid river wash.
He lowered his head and barely drank,
Then moved on up the slippery bank.

A profusion of willows and alder trees,
were grouped together, thick as fleas.
Somewhere up this furcated bed,
were all my cattle, fifteen head.

Acute mosquitoes siphoned blood,
as we traversed the sticky mud.
The frogs croaked incessantly clear,
a warning, I was not welcome here.

The reason for my gnarly state,
some greenhorn forgot to shut the gate.
It is unfortunate that this occurred;
but I must find my little herd.

When I get back I will see about,
whipping the dude that let them out.
But tonight before I climb out of the saddle,
I must find my poor lost cattle.

The dumb ol' bovines, are probably scared
and from predators, unprepared.
Illusions form in the fading light.
The timberline is obscure tonight.

I'm hoping none of them are dead,
as wrinkles increase in my forehead.
The impending dark enhances my fears.
I must find my missing steers!

The trailing is painstakingly slow,
following tracks made hours ago.
But before the wolves send up their howls,
I must find those wandering cows.

2003, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Delbert

Delbert was new, almost a dude,
with a careless, cocky attitude.
I tried to teach him to ride the herd
but it's doubtful that he grasped a word

We were rounding up in Schreiber's Valley.
The fattened hooves were prone to dally.
Delbert did not help that much,
his lack of skill being as such.

Now, one huge ol' bull had drifted from the rest
and likely wandered over the crest.
So I told Delbert, "Ride that ridge over yonder
and find that bull we call 'Ol' Thunder.'"

I told him, "Do not try to rope that bull.
He's an ornery critter, a real hand-full."
But Delbert, he had a real hard head
and totally ignored every word I said.

I was settin my horse, watching the cattle mill.
Ol' Delbert traversed the rocky hill.
Then he made a serious blunder -
he rode right up on Ol' Thunder.

Now Thunder is a sight to behold.
He's at least 20 years old.
He gave his massive head a toss
and tipped horns that measure 6 feet across.

But cocky Delbert went and threw his rawhide
even though his horse was terrified.
The rope fell at least 2 feet short
as the agitated bull started to snort.

Then the beast charged horse and man
as only a 2000-pound longhorn can.
The horse was smart enough to dump
Delbert into a cactus clump.

Then the frightened cayuse bolted down the slope
and broke into a frenzied lope.
The huge longhorn was bearing down
as Delbert literally flew up off the ground.

Lickity split down the rough terrain
both Delbert and the horse they came.
I have to say they were making tracks.
That longhorn was breathing down their backs!

I watched old Delbert keeping pace
a look of terror on his face.
He was neck and neck with his frightened steed
and he gradually took the lead.

He beat that horse down the hill
and he's probably running still.
I saw him jump a split-rail fence
and nobody's seen Ol' Delbert since.

2003, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

The Buck Stops Here

This barn sour horse of mammoth design,
has tossed me for the very last time.
The warning signals I did not heed
have landed me in this tumbleweed.

She was agitated when she made her pitch,
depositing me in a weed -filled ditch.
She ran on home, terminating our ride
while I gathered up my cowboy pride.

Lots of folks with common horse sense
gave good advice, but I was dense.
They were all correct, it would appear
so it's back to basics, "The buck stops here!"

2003, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Memories of Love

As I ride my horse through the emerald grass,
my mind wanders back to a time that's past.
It was the first time that you and I met,
a beautiful memory I won't ever forget.

We both attended the western cowboy ball.
You saw me leaning against the wall.
I was sporting my new Stetson hat,
and holding in my gut, so I didn't look fat.

Your beauty had me so entranced,
as you walked on over and asked me to dance.
Your tight wranglers were stacked over your boots,
and our bodies melted in total cahoots.

We did the two step and the cowboy waltz.
I tried to impress you and hide my faults.
At this western ball you were the belle,
I loved it there being under your spell.

Later we went for some fresh air.
I was so surprised you were still there.
That first kiss was a sweet delight,
It shore enough made this cowboy's night.

My life became surreal like a dream from above.
My heart was warmed by your passionate love.
Why I even put aside my cowboy pride,
and asked you repeatedly, to be my bride.

Through the years we have seen some change,
but baby I got you that "Home on the range."
I'm sure glad you took a chance,
and lured me on that floor to dance.

Yes I am thinking of you my lovely wife,
and how the Lord has blessed our life.
As I ride in and see you on our front porch,
my love is burning, -- I still carry a torch.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This poem is included with our collection of Cowboy Love Poems

 

Inside Fences

The horse corrals I'm fixin'.
The cement she is mixin'.
Her mood, it is somber.
As I try to level the fence rails
I snap, "I need bigger nails!"
and complain about the crooked lumber.

Her enthusiasm is not the same
as it was right after the horses came.
Maybe she needs a little understanding.
Perhaps I should try the soft touch;
not order her around so much
and not be so demanding.

She stands by me faithfully
for reasons I cannot see.
May she never come to her senses!
So tonight, when I go into the house
I'll cuddle up with my sweet spouse
and mend my inside fences.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Harold says: This poem is my wife's favorite, of all that I have written. It is also a true story of my wife's patience and understanding. We raise horses and it seem like there is always something to repair...and I can be pretty bossy as I am a prison guard at the state prison."

 

 

Cowboy Dream
                                               
      Seven years ago come September
      I bought five acres of desert land.
      Now standing here, I fondly remember
      my Arizona cowboy plan.

      I was going to run some cattle
      and plant a few cottonwood trees.
      I would get me a horse and a saddle
      and live a life of carefree ease.

      A good feeling would always well up inside
      when I thought of this place of my own.
      I'd walk the length and width with great pride.
      I loved every cactus and stone.

      So with the help of my elderly dad,
      we put up a fence and corrals.
      It didn't look too awful bad,
      and I was anxious to buy me some cows.

      But my life was about to change.
      My future wife I chanced to meet.
      My cowpoke dream of ridin' the range,
      to romance, took a back seat.

      My Wickenburg ranch would just have to wait
      as love procured center stage.
      We moved away to a different state
      and my life turned another page.

      Today we drove down and had a look
      at the fantasy I'd left behind.
      I had no regrets at the trail that I took,
      but was curious to see what I'd find.

      I'd always had the crazy thought
      my wife would take a likin' to the place.
      But as she forced a brave smile, I caught
      a concerned look upon her sweet face.

      I saw the broken down old fence,
      as my dream emerged from slumber.
      The picture it projected sure made me wince
      as I stared at the weather-beaten lumber.

      I came to realize, as I reminisced,
      that this ranch would never be.
      I had prospered so much better than this,
      it would have been a trade down for me!

      So I put on a happy face
      and we headed back to the car.
      We wouldn't often visit this place -
      the distance was just way too far.

      I know the parcel ain't worth all that much
      and my hopes for it fell apart.
      But my cowboy dream, nothing can touch,
      cuz I still carry it in my heart.

        2004, Harold Roy Miller
        This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Red Rider

      I went down to the old paddock
      to saddle a red roan called Painted Rock.
      This outlaw had been known to toss.
      It was time to show him who was boss.

      There were wranglers leaning on the fence,
      giving me an unwanted audience.
      I had foolishly made the brag
      about how I was gonna bust this nag.

      This horse was big, tough and crude
      and he had a surly attitude.
      I got the roughout on him real snug
      and gave the cinch an extra tug.

      I got my International helmet on
      and mentally prepared to brace this roan.
      I knew if I cut him any slack
      he'd dump me right off his back.

      The horse was furiously starting to jerk.
      The saddle's weight had him going berserk.
      I had the snub line nice and tight
      but he was aching for a fight.

      I got the message he was sending:
      there was definitely a rough ride pending.
      The truth just could not be denied -
      he was warning me not to take this ride.

      He was snorting and doing some powerful kickin'
      and I knew by then I was a big chicken.
      I must have been out of my mind
      to get myself in this kind of bind.

      Fear advised me it would be a grievous error
      to try to make this ride of terror.
      So I quickly made a feeble excuse
      just why I couldn't ride this wild cayuse.

      The cowboys laughed and said I was green,
      that Painted Rock was way too mean.
      I  had to agree with everything they said,
      except for my face, which was crimson red!

       2004, Harold Roy Miller
       This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Harold says this poem "was inspired by seeing that a lot of times people bite off more than they can chew but when it comes right down to the real action they fall short.  I see myself in there too."

 

What It's Worth

      My best friend Slim is a shiftless cowboy
      who would rather count sheep than cows.
      When dodging a task, he uses every ploy
      to work no more than the law allows.

      We were drinkin it up at the Silver Star,
      out of a job with no real plans,
      when we heard the owner of the Triple C Bar
      needed a couple of full-time hands.

      This man had a temper and was easily annoyed.
      He had no patience for a shirker.
      If you expected to be gainfully employed,
      you best be a dependable worker.

      He was a hard-nosed, no-nonsense man
      whose whole life involved his steers.
      He expected his help to ride for the brand,
      like the cowboys of former years.

      He hired us on and said "Get unpacked.
      We have lots of work to do.
      There's hay to be bucked and stacked
      and some horses we have to shoe.

      "And there's other chores to attend to,
      like branding mavericks and such.
      Fact is, I had to fire my last crew
      for goofing off too much."

      Slim listened to the ever growing work list,
      then said " Before I start with that hay,
      I have one question.  Let me ask you this:
      how much does this job pay?"

      The boss looked intently at Slim,
      and said "There ain't no use to fret."
      I guess he was trying to motivate him.
      He said, "What yer worth, you'll get!"

      Shocked disbelief spread over Slim's face,
      "You're paying me what I'm worth?" he spat.
      "Well boss, I'm sorry, but if that's the case,
      I just can't live on that!"

     2004, Harold Roy Miller
        This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Educated Cowboy

The new hand Lyle had a Masters Degree
in English, science and trigonometry.
We figured he was just an educated nerd
and wouldn't know nothin' about working a herd.

We were setting there arguing the price of beef
when Lyle rode up and said he was the night relief.
Lyle pointed to some steers on the grassy hill
and started to converse with my partner Bill.

What the dude was saying didn't make much sense
but neither one of us wanted to show ourselves dense.
I kept quiet; I knew ignorance was bliss,
but their conversation went something like this:

Lyle: "These nigrescent bovines have gramnivorous ways."
Bill: "Naw, them's just Black Angus and they like to graze."
Lyle: "Are there any carnivorous feline predators here?"
Bill: "No, but every now and then a cougar pulls down a steer."

Lyle: "Those westerly cumulonimbus are a needed drought cure."
Bill: "Them dark clouds yonder mean it's gonna rain fer sure."
This talk went on for five minutes or so
and then Bill decided it was time for us to go.

As we rode away Bill scratched his head
and I had to laugh at what he said.
He mumbled "That college feller sure likes to prattle
but he don't know diddly about ranching or cattle."

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Ranch Wife

I sometimes think my lovely wife
is not cut out for ranching life.
She gets upset, quite perturbed
over normal  stuff, I've observed.

A garden snake or tiny field mouse
can terrify my loving spouse.
These crawly things give her the jitters
until I crush the little critters.

Scorpions and spiders are the pests
that my darlin' sweetie most detests.
She cannot tolerate anything
that tries to bite, stick or sting.

She also thinks that it's a crime
to be covered in dirt and grime.
I tracked in mud - you should have heard her.
She acted like I'd committed murder.

She thinks manure is gross and vile
and appleforking is not her style.
If flies invade or mosquitoes hover,
this does not please my dainty lover.

I'm hoping some day she acclimates
to these adverse things that she  hates.
Then my blushing city bride
will take this Ranch life in stride.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Harold told us he wrote this poem "... from true life experiences. My wife would move a rock and there would be something under it and I had to come running and dispatch it. We live in the desert so there is always something with stingers or pinchers roaming around. She also hates stuff tracked in the house and I take my shoes off before I enter. When I put them back on I have to shake them our because of the scorpions."

 

Orphan Colt

I was out riding on the sagebrush range
when I saw something that struck me as strange.
An orphaned foal was fighting death
and seemed to be nearing his last breath.
 
The tiny colt was a pretty piebald
and my mouth gaped open as I stood appalled. 
His ribs were showing through the saggy skin
and he was lookin' mighty weak and thin.
 
He couldn't have been more than one week old
and he was nearly frozen from the frigid cold.
His mother lay where she had died
and the young foal would not leave her side.
 
It must have been a brutal fight. 
Her mangled body was a pitiful sight.
The mountain lion had made its kill
but never got to eat its fill.
 
The mare had stopped the puma with well-placed kicks
and smashed its head like a ton of bricks.
The poor little baby was left alone,
starving to death since his mother was gone.
 
For five minutes I just stood and stared.
The poor little fella was awfully scared.
Emaciated and feeble, he tried to rise
and looked at me with pleading eyes.
 
So I took the little mottled waif
back to the ranch, where he'd be safe.
I fed him warm milk, grain and hay
and he grew stronger day by day.
 
I watched him grow as the months went by.
He now stands 15 hands high.
He's the prettiest horse here on the place
but I'll always remember his little pleading face

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Ranch Hands

I have two ranch hands I think a lot of;
in fact, they have my undying love.
They're a very important part of my plans.
I couldn't do much without my ranch hands.

If they weren't there I'd be handicapped;
I don't really think I could adapt.
There is no possible way to meet the day's demands
without the help of my two ranch hands.

They have worked in the cold and they've labored hard,
doing ranch chores around the old barnyard.
They've immersed themselves in mud, grease and grime,
and have stood up well to the test of time.

You more than likely think I've been
writing about two hard working men.
But actually the hands to which I attach such worth
are the ones I've had since the day of my birth.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Schreiber Valley

Schreiber Valley is a cowboy's delight.
The gently rolling hills are a beautiful sight.
Little Oak Creek runs clear and cold.
The grass is lush, the trees are old.

The spring branding was about to commence
as I moseyed up to the log corral fence.
I was elated when I first saw the herd
and the cutting horses being spurred.

I was getting paid to rope and ride
and sizzle a maverick's mangy hide.
The job was dirty, rank and rough
but working cowboys relish that stuff.

It seems like I went back 100 years
as we wrestled with those stubborn steers.
It was a day made just for me
and will always live in my memory.

Tomorrow I'll leave this beautiful place
and head back to the hectic city rat race.
The contrast of the two is like day and night
because Schreiber Valley is a cowboy's delight.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Mustang Band

Up in the pinions that cover the high land
I came upon a wild mustang band.
There were six rangy horses grazing out there,
counting the stallion and the lead mare.

I stood and stared at the beautiful sight.
There were four bays, a roan and one mostly white.
The big muscled stallion stood perched on a rise
and he followed my every move with his eyes.

Then somehow he signaled to the lead mare
in a language that only wild horses can share.
She turned and led the herd up a winding trail
and her movement broke my hypnotic spell.

I admired their surefootedness and survival skills
as they followed the boss mare up the rocky hills.
The stallion was last as he brought up the rear;
it was a protective maneuver, and not out of fear.

It was an inspiring scene to watch the band flee
but a wistful, melancholy feeling overwhelmed me
The mustangs, like the cowboy, symbol of the old west,
drifted into the sunset and vanished over the crest.

2004, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


 

Hindsight

My wife is one of those complex gals
who's always moving the horse corrals.
She counts on me to supply the brawn
to get this relocation done.

At first, I thought it was kind of funny,
and I was happy to please my honey.
I'd move any enclosure on the place
just to see her satisfied face.

If she spots a board that's apt to splinter
or something's just a little off center,
I guarantee you this type of fence
will never attain true permanence.

She usually gives me a great big kiss,
then says "Honey, you're gonna hate me for this."
I know then what's about to commence
She is gonna ask me to move another fence!

She has 20/20 hindsight vision,
which contributes to her indecision.
I used to take it all in stride
but now I find somewhere to hide.

In fact, it's time to make my escape -
she's walking the porch with a measuring tape.
And I greatly fear my darling spouse
is about to ask me to move the house

2005, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

A Fun Dreary Day

As I went out to do the morning feeding,
the relentless downpour was miserably impeding.
The rainstorm hadn't slowed up one little bit
and I wondered if it was ever going to quit.

I thought to myself "What a waste of a day"
as I fed the horses their morning hay.
The water was dripping off my hat brim
and the overcast skies were gray and grim.

It seems like every time a heavy rain falls
it ends up overflowing into the horses' stalls.
Puddles and streams had already started to form
in the low spots that were filling up from the storm.

This had all the signs of a bonafide flood,
I thought, as I sloshed through the thick, slimy mud.
If the rain continued to come down this hard,
  the water would soon saturate the whole barnyard

I knew we had to do something and do it quick
before our pens became dangerously slick.
So my wife and I put on high rubber boots
and donned our vinyl waterproof suits.

We went back out to the corral as quick as we could
but the water had risen faster than I thought it would.
The raging torrent was following a natural streambed
as it ran across our property, full steam ahead.

If it had kept on rushing through, things would have been fine,
but the puddle was now a pond along our corral fence line.
It was a murky mess of water, manure and mud
and the poor horses were standing hock deep in the crud.

I waded out to the fence line through the quicksand-like muck,
trying to keep my rubber boots from getting firmly stuck.
The water was now at least six inches high
and I watched as my new apple fork went floating by.

We finally broke the dam and the swift current flowed
in a roaring cascade that totally covered our frontage road.
Like kids we sloshed and waded until the job was done
and after we got used to it, the work was more like fun.

When we finished , we were cold, wet and weary,
but at least the day hadn't turned out to be all that dreary.
In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much working out in the downpour,
that afterwards we almost wished that it would rain some more

2005, Harold Roy Miller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Harold Roy Miller writes that this poem, " ... was inspired by a real flash flood at out place. The horses were sloshing around and the water was backing up and it was a muddy mess.  Diana and I were like kids playing in the water."

 

Read Harold Roy Miller's:

Worthwhile Ride n our Art Spur Project

and

Christmas Cap Pistol, posted with 2005 Christmas poems

A Christmas Tall Tale in our Art Spur Project

Western Jollification in our Art Spur project

First Light in our Art Spur project

Cattle Call, in our Art Spur project

and

The Old Cowboy Rhymer in our Art Spur project

and

Christmas Night Ride in our Art Spur project

 

 

 

About Harold Roy Miller:

I have a place in Wickenburg, Arizona I call the Bar RD.  I have a small ranch, the Gait House, in  Stagecoach, Nevada and raise Missouri Fox Trotters.  I was born in Mississippi, raised in Arizona and moved to Nevada 5 years ago.  I spend time traversing the high desert and the hills.

Cowboy poetry is my one of my favorite hobbies, along with metal detecting and trail riding.  If I had been born 150 years ago I would have been a working cowboy or a prospector - or both.

Horse Daze

Harold Roy Miller describes his book, Horse Daze - A Lighter Look at Horses and Cowboys, as "a mostly humorous look at the horses that own us and the cowboys that we all want to be.  Contains 85 poems and many photos."  The book is available for $21.95 postpaid from Harold Roy Miller, 8960 Eugene Court, Stagecoach, NV 89429; (775) 629-0789; handdmiller@pyramid.net.

 

 

 

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