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Tucson, Arizona
About Ken Whitecotton
Ken Whitecotton's web site






Riding Bull Durham

Yep,  got hung up comin' outta the chute no doubt.
The meetin' of the crossbar and my head, knocked me out.
'Twas all that bull needed to gain the upper hand.
He twisted, turned, aimed, and launched me right at the concession stand.
So now, incapable of reasoned thought, what was I to do?
'Twas like I'd sprouted wings, and through the air I flew.
Didn't ever make it to that cotton candy stand,
'Cuz I had eight foot of riggin' rope tangled 'round my  hand.
When I hit the end of that tether to which I was bound,
It jerked short my flight with  mighty force, and  slammed me to the ground.
Now, that blasted bull, he figured he'd earned a second chance.
So bellerin' and blowin', he lowered his head, and with his horn, impaled my pants.
With muscled neck and shoulders as big as a giant redwood tree,
He jerked up his head, and once again, sent me sailing free.
The rodeo clown, who's duty bound to protect my scrawny hide,
Came chargin' out, wavin' that skirt he wore with shameless pride.
Peerin' down from the top of my lofty flight, he looked like an ant in size,
As I rapidly closed the gap, 'fore he turned to run, I saw terror in his eyes.
Now I didn't plan that meetin' of my torn britches and that oversized rowel of his left spur.
But I know for life, I'm gonna have an ugly scar, in a private place for sure.
Thankfully, by now, that union bull had heard the mercy-whistle blow.
So slowly I gained my feet as the spinnin' world began to slow.
That bull was chased into the corral. Bozo pulled back on his boot.
And the 'nouncer called the next rider to go into his chute.
The ride was 'no score' for me, but I didn't fret.
I just painfully hobbled away . . . as I rolled a cigarette.

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


When we asked Ken how he came to write this poem, he told us "In my younger days I recall this little white pouch with the round pull tab from the Durham Tobacco Company that I grew up knowing only as "Bull Durham."  Many of my friends today only associate that name with the baseball movie.  I wanted to write something catchy about the real Bull Durham."


A Dyin’ Cowboy’s Love Poem

Choosin' to be a cowboy,
'Twas easy, the choice was right.
Ridin' and wranglin' all day,
Sleeping under stars at night.

Ridin' 'cross Colorado,
An' most Arizona, too,
Livin' a great life of freedom,
Eatin' beans, bacon and stew.

Star-roweled steel 'pon my boots,
Astride a good, decent horse,
This was truly my life's dream,
Figger'd I'd ne'er change my course.

Was pushin' cows down country,
Ta where thar weren't no snow.
When I got blindsided,
Gol' darn, how was I ta know?

Course, I knew she was a dude,
But she was one darn purdy sight.
An' after she smiled at me,
Love had taken its first bite.

God bless, could she ever cook,
I ne'er 'fore ate grub so fine.
Yep, it wasn't very long,
'Till she owned this heart o' mine.

I could hardly believe it,
I gave up my cowboy days,
Settled down ta married life,
An' enjoyed her lovin' ways.

My reckless youth is now long gone,
An' I'm approachin' my dyin' day.
But 'fore they plant me 'neath the sod,
I've jist this one last thing ta say.

Though I enjoy'd every day
Of my ol' time cowboy life.
I'd trade 'em all 'fore I go,
Fer jist one more day, with my lovin' wife.

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

This poem is included in our Cowboy Love Poetry collection


Crossin' the Bridge

A very old cowpoke
Saddled his hoss one day.
Rode into the mountains.
'Twas there he planned ta stay.

He knew his time was short,
His cowboyin' days were gone.
But he jist had ta see
One more mountain mornin' dawn.

He cleared out a small camp spot
An' built hisself a little fire.
He fixed some beans an' bacon
Then settled down ta retire.

With his head on his saddle
An' ol' Cisco hobbled nearby,
He slowly stretched hisself out
An' gazed up at Heaven's sky.

Sleep soon overtook him
Lyin' there on that hard groun'
He drifted into a sweet dream
'Bout a gal in an ol' cowboy town.

Then he was awakened
By that ol' chatty jay
Perched in that pinon pine.
'Nouncin' 'twas the break o' day.

He rose an' stirred his fire,
An' in a rusty ol' can
Made a cup o' coffee,
The last fer that ol' man.

He saddled up ol' Cisco
Rode to the top o' the ridge
Whilst watchin' the sun come up
Alone, he crossed o'er that bridge.

He had jist left this earth
'Zactly as he had planned,
A lonesome ol' puncher
Who loved this western land.

I went out ta that ridge
An' visited his grave today.
Knelt with tears in my eyes
An' bowed my head ta pray.

My dear Lord, bless this man,
An' all his simple fame.
Give me the strength and fortitude
Ta live my life 'zactly the same.

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

 See Ken Whitecotton's poem The Class, written for all of the participants in our Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur and The Stable, posted with 2005 Christmas poems.



About Ken Whitecotton:

Ken Whitecotton was born in 1948 in Northwest Colorado. He was raised on a small ranch just south of Steamboat Springs. Years later, after deciding it was a mite too cold there for man or beast, he moved to Tucson, Arizona. (One of his works, "The Wood Pile," tells of this).  He worked in law enforcement in Colorado and Arizona for nigh on to 30 years.  He is now retired, and spends his time fixin' up houses, fishin', huntin', and writin' cowboy poetry.

He began his writing in his late teens (one of his works, "Ditties on a Beer Label," explains this).  After a tour in Viet Nam his work began to acquire greater depth.  He experimented in many different genres, and has only recently adopted the Cowboy Poetry approach because, as he says, "it's so much more fun."

Visit Ken Whitecotton's web site:

As Twisted as Bob Wire

As Twisted as Bob Wire, published by Cowboy Miner and available from Ken Whitecotton's web site, book has 104 poems and 3 stories, and 182 pages, and includes illustrations by Ken, his brother Terry Whitecotton, and Cliff Baser. The front cover illustration is by Ken. Included:

As Twisted as Bob-Wire
Letter to Charlie
The Class
A Real Sad Cowboy Poem
Crossin' the Bridge
Quoeth the Cowboy, Forevermore
A Prayer 'Pon Thet Ridge
Ditty on a Label

Snow Memories
Truth Be Told
How Poor?
An Excuse
Once Upon A Time
A Question
A Lotta Lies an' Male Bovine Pies

Lost Love
The Grave
Ponderings of the Heart
Valentine Hearts
Lookin' Fer Love
Ballad of Hack and Annie

That Ol' Fable: "The Stampede"
The Stampede
We Feed the World
When Horses Talk War There's Small Chance of Peace
Tilting at Windmills
The Skunk Hunt
My Good Fortune Ship

Ol' Mita Ben
April 24th, 1994
The Haircut
Range War

The Lady at the Stage Stop
Thanks, Mom
A Perfect World (Through Genetics)
He Doffs His Hat

The Lessons of Country School
Big Rodeo Bucks???
The Grankids' Visit
A Cowboy's Decline
Kiss? Not!

Jackpot Rodeo Buckle
The Buckle
Riding Bull Durham
Fourth of July
Stock Tank
Does It Hurt?

Fightin' Joe Hooker
A Twisted Turn of Events
Goin' Back
The Candy Store
The Last Cowboy's Solution
Texans, Eat Yer Hat!
Too True

The Miracle Worker
The Gate
Thru the Pearly Gates
All's Well
Baxter Who?
The Bronc

The Hero
The Death of a Gunslinger
Special Moments
Of Longhorns and Cowgirls
Halloween Fright
One Too Many Stories

Mornin' Coffee
Beef vs. Lamb
Sad Tale of a New-Fangled Rancher
Thanksgivin' Day Grace, 2004
What Ya' Gonna Catch?

"Merry Christmas ta All . . ."
A Christmas Tale
The Gift of Christmas
Three Wise Cowboys
The Barnwood Door


As Twisted as Bob Wire is available for $18 postpaid from Ken Whitecotton's web site (and available with Tall Tails from the Lazy O for $28 postpaid)



Tall Tales from the Lazy O

Tall Tails from the Lazy O, published by Cowboy Miner and available from Ken Whitecotton's web site,, includes 60 stories and poems:   

The Lazy O
Easter Sunday
Papa, Please Tell Us One More Tonight
From You Know Who
Chicken in the Pot
That One Little Mistake
The Smitty
The Trip
Ridin' Thet Wild Wagon
Brandin' Crew Buckaroo
The Kid
Thanksgiving Day Grace
I'm a Cowpoke's Wife
What Matters Most
A Lesson Learned
Devil's Rope
Ada, Our A'shire
Butcherin' Time
Chasin' Rodeo Buckles and Wrangler Jobs
Breakin' The Dun
Country Music
First Liar
The Stable
A Cowdog at War
Cowboy Grub
Cowboy Poetry with A Grain of Salt
Fixin' Up the Bunkhouse
The Hand I Was Dealt
The Message
Cowboy Camp
The Bet
The Prancin' Bronc
Spring Bath
My Pliers
Ken's Hat
Tied to the Snubbin' Post
Ol' Mouse
The Parting
A Dyin' Cowboy's Love Poem
They Wore the Star
Cowboy Life --Rebuttal
To Ms. Dorothy an'Norman
Cowboy Romance and That Special Dance
Our Cabin
Come Dance With Yer Cowboy Poet
My Foreman
His Last Ride
A Puncher Was Buried Today
The Stallion
Today's American Cowboy
Give Us All Heaven Ta Ride
An Ol' Cowboy's Lament
The Woodpile
Thet Odd Ol' Country Cuss
A Child's Cowboy Dreams
Goin' Through the Gate
Somethin' Good 'Bout Fence
Ken's Country Homecomin'
Ken's Figgerin' fer Why Cowboy Poetry Iz Important

Tall Tails from the Lazy O is available for $18 postpaid from Ken Whitecotton's web site (and available with As Twisted as Bob Wire for $28 postpaid)



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