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

Stanfield, Arizona
About Jim Olson
Jim Olson's web site
Jim Olson's
My Cowboy Heroes blog
 Jim Olson's Cowboy Motivation blog




From the Word Go

Time to time I’m asked a little about me; thought I’d try my hand at cowboy poetry.
Writing words is something I like to do, ‘n I composed a few just to share with you.
Born on the High Plains of New Mexico, yes I’ve been a cowboy from the word go.

Grew up poor without much money, didn’t know about the land of milk and honey.
Learned to work hard and developed my pride, treasures I keep deep down inside.
Raised in high winds, dust storms and driven snow; yes, a cowboy from the word go.

When I was a button—got my first horse, thought it the best in the world of course.
For hours upon hours I’d spend on a ride, covering those High Plains far and wide.
Education as this takes a while don’t you know, so goes a cowboy from the word go.

A-horseback in mountains or down on the flats, is how experience got under this ol’ hat.
Whether in competition or catching wild cattle, I just want to be cowboying in the saddle.
Cheyenne to Tucson I’ve rode the big rodeos; always been a cowboy from the word go.

I like being outside with the sun on my face, riding around cattle on my own place.
Like the smell of the desert right after a rain, it’s the great outdoors that keeps me sane.
Wide open spaces are where I feel at home; I have been a cowboy from the word go.

Some go for riches and some for fame; some chase it too hard creating their own shame.
But when cowboyin’ is all said and done, I’ve had more’n a million dollars worth of fun.
Although it’s never made me much dough, I’ve always been cowboy from the word go.

© 2010, Jim Olson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


Cowboy Night Before Christmas

Onward came the cowboy, came from afar
Curiously following the glow of a star
Arrived at the livery, a place for his horse
Few extra oats on a chilly night of course
Told the stable man, hey, thanks for the light
Lit the desert nicely—such a dark night
The man just grinned and said with a nod
Sir, it ‘twas not me—I believe it was God!

There ‘tween a burro and sheep freshly shorn
Cooed a little baby, not long ago born
Parents huddled, three men gathered round
Gazed lovingly, at a babe on the ground
Well Cowboy was curious as men usually are
& Knew right there, the purpose of the star
No doubt in his mind, that he was on hand,
To witness a miracle—worlds only perfect man

The Babe stared at him, right into his soul
Knew all about him, but how did he know?
Had piercing blue eyes that seemed to speak
Cowboy got a message—knees grew weak
Then a horse rip-snorted, he sat right up in bed
Guess he’d been dreamin’, twas all in his head
Jumped up with a start, realizing the dream
It seemed so real, these things that he’d seen

A voice came to him from somewhere within
Said Cowboy—past is gone, you’re forgiven
Trust your instincts inside—I put ‘em there,
Remember I’m with you, here and everywhere
Tend your horses, cattle and your fellow man
For to do right by me, treat ‘em best as you can
Remember now, to be kind to children
Care for your soul, you must make amends

He pondered a while the message received
Shore enough a miracle, is what he believed
It rattled round in his head loud and clear
Help your fellow man—both far and near
Cowboy resolved to do better, best he could
The world surely needs, a bit more good
Why then he felt warm and fuzzy all over
Like a wild horse herd, running through clover

He sat there a-rubbin’ grog from his eyes
Looks to the window—saw another surprise
Perched on the sill—a snow-white Dove
Knows it has to be, a sign from above
Cowboy smiled, thought man what a night
Dove then nodded and took off in flight
Twas no use a-trying to sleep after that
Got up, got dressed—stuffed on his hat

As he passed the calendar—on the wall
December 25th—well don’t that beat all?
Now out in the barn, it’s time to throw feed
Horse is sweaty, what’s wrong with the steed
Why he’s been ridden, evidence clear showed
Looks in the bin and & oats have been throwed
A cold winter chill went straight down the spine
Knew then I’d encountered—something Divine!

© 2011, Jim Olson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.

This poem is a part of Christmas at the BAR-D, 2011

Team Roper's Lament

Well I know some like to golf, while others play pool
And some play baseball—why they know every rule
A good many watch sports, downtown at the bar
Where they see a large oval, with fast racecars

But me—I’m a cowboy and I like to rope
It’s an addiction you see—it’s kinda like dope
With a truck, a trailer and a brand new saddle
A dog, a horse—and some Corriente cattle

I’ve a mechanical steer—it goes round and round
I rope ‘em all week, in preparation for town
Where I’ll enter up, as much as they’ll allow
Head or heel, no matter—just let me rope a cow

So it’s enter three times and then ya draw nine more
Twelve chances at glory—I believe now I’ll score
But just in case it’s a no—I have all the tricks
The excuses I spew and never miss a lick

‘Twas the header or heeler, my horse’s fault today
Odds were against me, so I did not win the pay
But every so often—the stars they will align
And I win the big prize—and get to call it mine

Will that be today? The Good Lord only knows
Better sooner than later, cause wife’s a-buyin' clothes
From the parking lot vendor, just right over there
While I’m a-ropin’ she shops—says it’s only fair

Seems like today, I’ve been paired up quite well
But I’ve seen it before and time will only tell
First one ran, second ducked, third he was a breeze
My fourth partner turned out—seems he’d lost his keys

Next I ran numbers five—six—seven and then eight
Things didn’t go as planned, it really was not that great
Missed loop here, barrier there and then a darn ol’ leg
Last one now in the first round and Lord I hate to beg…

But we draw a good steer and then rope real quick
And the clock, she stops—on six and just a tick
Winnin’ a go-round check puts me at even again
Takes some pressure off, so I can relax and win

But it’s short round now and the pressure is here
Need to focus on roping—not chokin’ nor fear
We’re in the box—horses and cattle stand ready
Gripin’ my rope real tight to keep my hand steady

Well the rest of the roping—it’s really just a blur
Two more nice runs with our good ones—that much I’m sure
They announce I am first place—and second today
The wife’s still a-shopping, while I go unsaddle the bay

I won a buckle for first—high point was a saddle
The dream of all men, who rope them speckled cattle
Speaking of dreams…the alarm is now a-singin’
Roll over and realize, I guess I’d been a-dreamin’

The wife looks at me with a big smile on her face
Says you must-a won—you’s jumpin’ all over the place
Said honey let’s go, today it’s my turn to win
And if you go shoppin’—well that wouldn’t be a sin

But at the rodeo, things did not go as planned
Roped so bad seems as if—good runs had been banned
So with my head hung low, I return to the truck
Feeling real sad and run plumb outta luck

But then Honey shows up, with a look of satisfaction
‘Stead of shoppin’ today she’d played the Calcutta action
Explained it to me, cause my face musta been blank
Bet on another you see, but now we’ve plenty of bank

Now I’ll tell you what I’ve really learned ‘bout ropin’
It’s better a gamblin’ wife…than to try and win the open!

© 2012, Jim Olson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's permission.


   About Jim Olson
provided 2011

Jim Olson is a ranch-raised cowboy, author, promoter and businessman. Growing up on the high plains of eastern New Mexico he learned to ride young colts, tend to cattle and drive heavy farm equipment at an early age.

Jim spent a few years competing in the calf roping event at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association level, qualifying for the circuit finals a few times. Now he is a weekend team roper. He lives on and operates his own ranch near Stanfield, Arizona, once a part of John Wayne’s Red River Ranch.

These great life experiences Jim now uses in his writing career. He writes stories about interesting and extraordinary people of the west including short stories of both fiction and nonfiction. He writes a monthly column titled “My Cowboy Heroes,” published by several Southwestern and national magazines. Jim currently has three books in print and is constantly working on several other projects as well.





 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

Site copyright information