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


Buckley, Washington
About Michael Whitaker




A Song in the Wind

Sometimes late at night by an ol' smoky fire,
I'll lay back and gaze at the stars.
That warm ol' night breeze will grab hold of me
And I'll sing out a few ol' time bars.

I'll think of the times when the cowboys would sing
To the cattle a ballin' beyond.
Sometimes late at night when the day has retired,
I can hear those ol' cowboy songs.

The cowboys a punchin' the cattle all day
With the dust billowin' up to the sky.
The horses a draggin' and cowboy's shoulders a saggin'
I could hear those sweet lullabies.

The cowboys would sing as they meandered along
To see the day to its end.
Ridin' alone just recitin' their poems,
I can still her them in the night wind.

Out on night guard with cattle and time,
Tired and wore to the bone.
They'd sing quiet tunes in the light of the moon
And dream of the ol' folks back home.

When lonely comes 'round with nary a sound,
I too will sing an ol' song.
I'll recite some ol' rhyme just to fill in the time,
A good way to meander along.

I'll dream of their ways, the ol' cowboy days
And the nights beneath the bright stars.
The day to day grind of that ol' cattle drive
And that trail that runs a bit far.

So give me a song that will last all day long
And a horse that can make its own way.
A campfire at night beneath the moon light,
Oh give me those ol' cattle days.

So drift back in time to hear ol' cowboy rhymes
And listen to every word.
A song in the wind, the cowboys back then
Just a singin' a song to the herd.

2004, Michael Whitaker 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Michael told us:  I for some time now have had thoughts of creating something that would depict the singing cowboy from the time of the cattle drives. I realized that when I'm riding or when I have time to myself, I have a tendency to sing or recite, probably just to fill in the time. I also live in the past and truly enjoy exploring the middle 1800s. So with that said "A Song in the Wind" came out quite naturally. I could just imagine being on Night Guard after you just spent the day in the saddle, tired and not wanting to lose herd. I'm sure the songs calmed the cattle and I'm sure singing would help keep a tired cowboy awake.

About Michael Whitaker:

I'm from a small town in the foothill of the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington State. I been writing poetry most of my life and find that writing is a nice way to save those special moments or just explore a thought or two. I perform all around the Great Northwest and sure enjoy all of the folks that come to the gatherings. I enjoy being one on one with them and also enjoy them after the shows when we have a moment just to talk.

In the summers my Uncle Bill Gallion and his wife Lauri run Rockin' Diamond G Outfitters.  On Fridays and Saturdays they offer a dinner ride which includes a nice ride in the Cascade Mountains, a steak dinner and an evening full of cowboy poetry and western song around the campfire, which is performed by my pard' Alan Halvorson and yours truly.

I have also published a book called The Gathering with Janice Coggin who is the editor of Cowboy Miner Productions. The book is getting a great response. Janice and crew are the nicest bunch of folks that I have ever met. It was simply a pleasure working with them.

The Gravel Road (CD)

Includes 17 original poems:

Song in the Wind
Mornin' Bells
An Afternoon Fire
Swallerin' Pride
Torn Beneath the Mountains
There's Somethin'
Hillside Serenade
Fills and Kerr Jars
Belle of Lexington - Emmet Lundy Performed by Skip Gorman
Once Again
Somethin' about Mornin'
Ranch Hand Classified
Let 'er Buck
Belly Dust
An Ol Six String
The Long Gravel Road


Cowboy Poetry: The Gathering

Most artists draw a picture with pen and ink or paint you a picture with brushes. Mike does the same thing, only with words.   Jesse Smith, Cowboy and Poet


Written by Michael Whitaker
Edited by Janice Coggin
Forward by Alan Halvorson

When I first had thoughts of putting a book together, the last thing on my mind was the title. Through the process of the book, I found myself gathering photos, poems, ideas and old stories from my family and friends.
During the same time period of gathering such things I was busy heading off to one gathering after another. The Gatherings were full of folks that just finished a long ride, a steak dinner and now were settled in around the campfire to listen to me recite cowboy poetry under the bright summer stars. It really didn't take a long time for the title The Gathering to sink in. Seems I've been gathering all my life.

The Gathering

Chapter 1 - "Old Saddles"  This chapter is simply cowboy. Old friends, people I know and a few I just conjured up. In this chapter I dream of the old days and the men and the women that lived back then.

I've even tell of a few Windies on a friend or two.

Chapter 2 - "Idaho"  This chapter is dedicated to the people and the landscape of Idaho. Idaho is a vast and untouched land which simply makes me take pause when I'm there for a stay in the back country.

The country and people are the reasons that I spend so much time there.

Chapter 3 - "Montana"  I enjoy Montana so much that when I visit there, I truly hate to leave. The Buttes, rolling wheat fields and of course the people are what makes Montana so special. I know quite a few folks that live and ranch there and enjoy every minute when I'm there with them. Montana is more then just a state; it is a way of life.

Chapter 4 - "Home Fire"   This chapter is about my friends and family. I've truly enjoyed putting this chapter together. The old photos I found simply took me back to a time long ago. It was a discovery in every sense of the word. I found an old wooden box of my grandmother's and from that box and it contents, I have written several poems that are included in this book. I hope this chapter makes you reflect and think of your family and the old days back when.




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