Folks' Poems

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Lexington, Kentucky
About J. K. Reese

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Why I Love Cowgirls

 I've been around a long time, boys
 An' I know a thing 'r two
 An' I got somethin' on my mind
 I'm gonna share with you

 I'm gonna show y' how to tell
 The flowers from the weeds
 'Cause cowgirls is the kind of women
 Ever' cowboy needs

 Cowgirls never play the games
 Some other women play
 They're fer real an' you c'n tell
 They don't know no other way

 A cowgirl looks you in th' eye
 Not tryin' to evade
 She'd ruther die than tell a lie
 That's jist the way she's made

 They got some ways about 'em that're
 Hard to understand
 They'll meddle, but,if you let 'em
 They'll make you a better man

 Now you c'd try another kind
 But they jist ain't no use
 If the Lord made anything better, He shore
 Never turned it loose

 So if you've got a woman
 Who looks out after you
 Who's tough, but kind an' lovin'
 Always treats you true

 A woman who means what she says
 An' says just what she means
 An angel walkin' here on earth
 In a pair o' wore out jeans

 Who fusses at y' when you're wrong
 An' tends you when you're hurt
 Who keeps herself neat 'n' clean
 But ain't afraid of dirt

 Who'll walk with you in the rain
 Holdin' to yer hand
 Who ain't ashamed to tell the world
 You're her only man

 She'll bake a pie, comfort a child
 Go muck out a stall
 Then sew a button on yer shirt
 Why, feller, you got it all

 An' you'll do ever' thing you can
 To keep her if yer smart
 She's more than jist a woman
 Them cowgirls, they got Heart

  2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Bad Pete's Comin' to Town

I 'uz in the town of Rattler's Gulch
In th' Cut an' Shoot Saloon
The borin'est place in the world to be
That Saturday afternoon

When this feller busted through the doors
Shoutin' an' jumpin' around
Said "Folks, we's in for a heap o' trouble,
Bad Pete is headin' for town"

Now none of us had ever seen Bad Pete
But if half we'd heard was true
They wasn't really many folks
That ever wanted to

But me, I was curi'us I wanted to see
If this yahoo was really bad
So I didn' leave, but afore too long
I was shore wishin' I had

'Cause they come a blood curdlin' yell
You could hear fur an' wide
An' a big wild Brahma bull slid in
To a screechin' halt outside

Off jumped this feller 'bout 8 foot tall
With a cannon on his hip
Spurs as big as wagon wheels
A live rattlesnake fer a whip

A cougar leaped down to the ground
Yowlin', hissin', an' spittin'
He give it a look an' it laid down
An' purred jist like a kitten

He led that bull to the hitchin' post
An' after it was tied
He coiled up that rattlesnake
An' hung it on his side

He come stalkin' in the door
Big, an' mean, an' wide
Had a grizzly bear skin 'round his neck
An' the bear was still usin' the hide

His eyes they was like burnin' coals
They looked around so sharp
You knowed shore if you messed with him
You'd soon be playin' a harp

He bellied up to the bar 'n' said
"The best rye whiskey ya got
An' don't be givin' me no sass
I'm tired, thirsty, 'n' hot"

The bartender tried to pour him a drink
He grabbed it an' said, "aw heck!"
Broke off the top agin the end of the bar
'N' drunk it right from the neck

He wiped his mouth on that grizzly bear's fur
Grabbed another bottle of rye
Then he broke off the top of it
An' he drank that one dry

He got quiet fer a minit 'r two
We all set there real still
We figgered he'uz tryin to make up his mind
Which one of us he'uz gonna kill

The bartender said in a shaky voice
"Sir, would you like another round?"
He said, "I would, but I gotta git,
Bad Pete's comin' to town"

2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Faded Rose

We buried her this mornin'
On th' hillside over there
Half th' town don't know shes gone
Th' other half don't care

They warn't another soul around
Just me an' Marshall Bill
We dug her grave an' laid her there
In that place so still

A tear rolled down the Marshal's face
As we turned to walk away
Then he set in to talkin'
Here's what he had to say,

"They say she was a bad girl
But I've got a price to pay
F'r, you see, it wuz me
Caused her to be that way

I was young back then, and foolish too
The wild and crazy kind
I thought I wanted me a wife
But then I changed my mind

I had already wrote back east
Sent money for th' fare
So I didn' know what I'  'ud do
When fin'ly she got there

She wrote the day when she would be
Arrivin' in the town
I watched 'er climb down fr'm the Stage
An' stand thar lookin' 'round

I still see her standing there
So scared and all alone
Her little bag o' clothes wuz all
She had to call her own

A Mail Order Bride come out west
To find a better life
To start a bran' new fam'ly
To make a man a wife

I stood there lookin' at 'er
Lord, I still feel my shame
No one knowed she wuz f'r me
I'd used another name

Big Lil come over to 'er
Said ' I see yer all alone
This town's a mighty tough place
F'r a woman on 'er own

Looks like yer man ain't made it
Shore, he'll show up soon
Meantime, I been needin' he'p
Over thar at th' saloon '

As Big Lil took her away
My insides drawed up tight
I knowed I'd never have the nerve
To ever set it right

The next few days I hung around
Hopin' I could see
Some way to git rid o' th' guilt
Lord, how it tortured me

I tried to justify myself
But in my heart I'd know
She went with Lil 'cause she had
No other place to go

F'r a time, I tried th' bottle
T' wash away my sin
I got so down I like t' never
Sobered up ag'in

Fin'ly, I took up the law
Livin' by my gun
In that saloon, Rose made b'lieve
That she 'uz havin' fun

Twenty years I saw 'er thar
Bearin' that life o' shame
Twenty years of knowin' that
I wuz the one to blame

A thousand times it choked me
T' git it off my chest
Ever' time I'd tell m'self
That keepin' quiet was best

Last night when Doc Brown told me
That she was fadin' fast
I forced m'self t' go t' her
An' tell it all, at last

She said,' Bill, y' know that you
Have alw'ys been my friend
An' thar ain't no use in cryin' now
F'r things that mighta  been

I f'give y'  fer it all and hope
That you'll find yore peace
Mine's comin' any time now
In death's sweet release.'

And son, it purely breaks my heart
Th' hurt I caused that dove
Yeah, I've got 'er f'givness
But I coulda had 'er love"

2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Th' Rest o' th' Story

It hadn' been real long since
Thet big man rode away
Wh'n another stranger come along
Later thet same day

We 'uz standin' 'round 'n' talkin'
As he come in off'n th' trail
A leetle feller 'bout five foot high
An' skinny as a rail

He tied  'is nag t' th' hitchin' post
Walked inta th' Cut 'n' Shoot
He sez, " Boys I'm tellin' y'
I'm one thirsty galoot! "

Wal, our baddies had come back t' town
Since th' big man took out aridin'
They's all feelin' a li'l sheepish
'Bout runnin' off  'n' hidin'

An' you know how all bullies is
You c'n figger how it went
They all looked at thet little man
An' they cou'dn' be content

'Til they h'd took t' raggin' 'im,
In a merc'less kinda way
They's slappin' ther knees an' alaffin'
I heerd one of 'em say,

"Sonny, does yore mommy know
Th't yore out hyar on th' loose?
An does yore pappy know 'at
Yer ridin' his cayuse?

Don't y' know th't this here place
Ain't one f'r li'l boys?
An' don't you be acryin' now
'Cause you ain't got no toys!

You's hyar among th' growedups now
An' boy you better mind
Else I'll jist tarn y' crost m' knee
An' paddle yore behind! "

Th' little feller looked at Booker
( He 'uz th' biggest one )
An' he sez, " Alright boys, now
I know yer havin' fun

But if y' think y've had enuff
Tell y' what I think
I think I'll mosey t' th' bar
An git m'se'f a drink"

Booker jumped up to 'is feet
An sez, "Now little man
You ain't agittin' nothin' atall
Less'n we all says y' can."

The stranger drawed 'is shootin' iron
Handed it t' th' barkeep
"Don't reckon I'll be needin' this"
And then he made a leap

Thet li'l feller moved th' fastes'
Thet I ever see
He jumped up an' he kicked ol' Booker
Plum' square in th' knee

Booker yelled 'n' keeled right over
Fallin' t'  th' floor
Th' little man lit inta him
An' kicked on 'im some more

He started up one side of 'im
An' come back down t'other
Booker looked like he'uz ready
T' holler' f'r 'is mother

He walked right up ol' Booker's chest
His spurs amakin' tracks
Booker rolled an' th' li'l man
Clumb over on 'is back

He rode 'im like a buckin' bronc
Chewin on 'is ear
Ol' Booker wuz ascreamin' so
It give me chills t' hear

Th' little man, he dropped off
An' Booker hit  th' door
He'd had 'nuff o' that feller, an'
Shore did'n' want no more

Th' rest seemed awful inter'sted
In studyin' th' floor
Th' little man c'd see he did'n'
Need t' fight no more

Then he sez, "All this playin' makes y'
Thirsty, I'll allow
An' I'm awantin' me a drink
An' awantin' it right now"

Th' barman sez, "Who are you Pard?
Yer shore fast on yore feet! "
Th' li'l feller grinned an' sez,
"Aw, jest call me Pete."

2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



My Cowboy Dreams

Sometime in another life
Cowpunchin' was my lot
But this life that I'm livin' now
Ain't really all that hot

Fate decreed that I be born
Far from that storied land
Of which I have these mem'ries
I scarce can understand

I used to dream someday somehow
That I would go and find
Again those wondrous places, burned
So deeply in my mind

In younger days I made my plans
For things that I would do
But life has ways of messin' up
Your fondest dreams for you

Through the years I've tried to find
That narrow, hidden trail
To bring me to my natural home
Somehow I'd always fail

Every time the road would fork
I'd wander more astray
The more I'd try the more I'd see
I'd never find the way

I've had to make do where I was
But lookin' back, I find
That I've always been a cowboy
In my heart and in my mind

Though dreamin' just can't satisfy
My ache, I must go on
I cannot ride with my old pards
Alas those days are gone

Oh, I wear jeans an' boots, an' hats
But it just ain't the same
Unless you're livin' it for real
It's just a grown-up game

The only thing I'm herdin' now
Is my old Chevrolet
That ol' pickup's wore out like me
We've both seen better days

But I still have dreams of campfires
And nights along the trail
Ridin' slow around the herd
And watchin' that big moon sail

Across a sky so full of stars
It aches your heart to see
And feelin' you're where you belong
That's Paradise to me

Ol' St. Pete's got my spurs 'n' chaps
An' rope, an' by 'n' by,
I know someday I'll ride again,
In that round up in the sky.

2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


About J. K. Reese:

Currently livin' in Lexington, KY, Heart o' the Bluegrass, and Hoss Heaven. I write cowboy poetry 'cause I love it, and it gives me a way to express the deep longin' inside to be a cowboy. Oh, I know that the Old West has been glamorized to some degree, but the authentic history bears out the fact that this era truly had a lot of legitimate glamour and romance of its own. I feel that sometime, in a past life,  I may have lived there. Are these memories? Dim perceptions risin' through my consciousness, to be passed along, and shared with others? If so, I cherish 'em, and wish I had a lot more of 'em. I believe that cowboys were the prime example of the "Right Stuff." I'll love the Old West 'til I die. After that?  Who knows? Maybe I can go 'round again. The followin' poem tells more about me than I can say in any other way.


My Story

I am a  man, born out of his time
Seemingly  miscast
With my body in the Present
But my heart stuck in the past

Weaned on Zane, teethed on London
Raised on Louis L'Amour
Always wishin' deep inside
That I could've lived before

Back in times when any man
Would look you in the eye
And promise you he'd do somethin'
You knew he'd do it or die

Times were tough, and sometimes
Just gettin' by was hard
But two things you could always trust
Your cayuse and your pard

Coming down a mountain pass
Pausing for a breath
Nothing stirrin' but the wind
Silence still as death

You'd feel a clutching at the heart
Your spirit soaring high
Seeing God's great Wonderland
Stretched out to meet the sky

Big trees and mighty rivers
Dappled hills and plains
Dear God, would, that I could
Bring it back again

The magic of that time and place
That I can only know
Through stories that I've read and heard
Oh,  what I'd give to go

Alas, I know time's pages
I'm not allowed to turn
So I must hold 'em in my heart
These for which I yearn

Strength, honor, open spaces
Cowboys with the herds
I'll re create 'em best I can
With my humble words

2001, J. K. Reese 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



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