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CowboyPoetry.com    Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Joseph City, Arizona
Paul Hatch
Paul Hatch's web site


Recognized as one of

Lariat Laureate Runner Up
for his poem, Vern 'n Virg...



Vern 'n Virg'...

      They'ze within a nickel, they'd finish I think soon.
      At dawn is when they started, now it was well past noon.

      The object was an' ol' milk cow that Virgil had for sale.
      "Two bits a pound," Vern offered, she's nothin' but a shell."

      But Virg' was stuck on thirty, a deal may not be made.
      His wife brought beans an' melon an' a glass of lemonade.

      They sat there in the milkin' shed, the heat was real intense.
      That ol' bag's tongue was hangin' out, she's leanin' on the fence.

      Vern spoke of her defects an' Virg' sang her acclaim.
      He'd like to get the best of Vern, -- a trader of some fame.

      The sun was disappearin' when Vern stood up to leave.
      "Run 'er on the scales my friend, you've beat me I believe".

      "Tell me Vern, Virg' queried, when she'ze weighed an' paid.
      "Why didn't you buy her early on, -- why all the serenade?"

      Vern put away his checkbook, grinned an' then he said.
      "I got ta buy 'er by the pound an' sell 'er by the head."

      The answer failed to ring a bell. "But why'd you wait all day?"
      "Well, I enjoy yer company Virg', -- an' yer wife's buffet."

      "I glanced in yer water trough, that ol' hide had naught to drink."
      "So I kept the trade a goin' to make up that nickel on the shrink."

        © 2004, Paul D. Hatch
        This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

We asked Paul what inspired this poem, and he told us:  

My dad was Vern Hatch, a cattle trader who knew the art of the trade. I used to enjoy watching my dad trade cattle with the local folks. One guy he bought from at times was Virgil, a local farmer/dairyman. (Dad always said Virgil hated the thought of leaving any profit in a cow.)  My Dad and Mr. Virgil Bushman have both passed away, but I like to think that wherever they are, they would get a kick out of this poem.

We asked Paul why he thinks Cowboy Poetry is important, and he responded

While I know that the real poetry purists think that Cowboy Poetry just don't measure up, it is my deeply held feeling that it is a most unique way to put one's deepest feelings to paper. I doubt that anyone can attempt to scribble a few lines of Cowboy Poetry without feeling a bit of kinship to a way of life that is fast disappearing.  Having performed my poetry in front of folks in three piece suits, in tuxedos, as well as those in Wranglers and Stetsons, I find Cowboy Poetry to be a great equalizer in communication. I think that it is perhaps the only true American poetry which can trace its roots to the soil of the West.


The Ol' 7X Bull

    It won't take too long when cowmen gather 'round,
    ta start braggin' 'bout stock that they own.
    It may be a steer er a heifer perhaps,
    er a bay, er a strawberry roan.

    But fer reasons unknown, perhaps it's male ego,
    one thing'll come up ya can trust.
    The performance an' grandeur uv their favorite bull
    will in detail be thurly discussed.

    The bull ta cow ratio an' the size uv his calves,
    an' the quality a the stock that he sires.
    The truth'll hold sway fer the first round a stories,
    then those cowmen'll all become liars.

    "One bull I owned", ol' Roy exclaimed,
    "could cover my entire spread".
    "He could get all my cows pregnant in a month an' a half",
    "I run 'bout eighty nine head".

    "Well, he'd work nite an' day ta get the job done",
    "never stoppin' fer rain er fer cold".
    "Oh yeah", Roy added, "I pert near fergot",
    "his calves were all born neatly polled".

    "Now that sounds like a fairly decent ol' bull",
    ol' Jack said in a right doubtful voice.
    "But some bulls is fair an' some bulls is good",
    "my Angus bull, he's downright choice."

    "In this here day a scientific ranchin',
    when computers is a ranchers' main tool",
    "there-on are kept calf gender records",
    "they'ze more profit ta be made on a bull."

    The truth wuz the victim uv Jacks' next remark,
    He know'd his tale had ta top Roys.
    "That ol' Angus", he said's, "the best bull in the county,
    "His children is one hundred percent boys"!

    Now, ol' Stump'd been listnin', takin' it all in.
    Fer his tale he pulled out all a the stops.
    "So if yer' a wearin' yer boots, as ya otta be doin',
    make sure ya have yer high tops".

    "I bought me this bull", he said without flinchin',
    "frum that ol' 7x mother outfit".
    "'cuz among his offspring weren't found any bulls,
    'ner a single calf with a tit".

    The silence wuz deafnin', the cowmen befuddled,
    ya could hear their brain gears a spinnin'.
    in bull story tellin', they'd shore placed an' showed,
    but wuz plain ol' Stump wuz a winnin'.

    "We ain't heard such a thing", the two cowmen said,
    "in all our ranchin' careers".
    "lt's easy; sald Stump "my ol' 7x bull,
    just never fathered nuthin' but steers"!!

     © Paul D. Hatch
     This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Barbed Wire

 The Willies and the Mortensens,
 the Millers and old Ted McGraw.
 The Jacksons and young Bill DeWitt,
 who was Ted McGraws in-law.

 First set foot in the valley,
 in the spring of eighty eight.
 They staked their claims and all agreed,
 to call it Heaven's Gate.

 Oh, not because it looked Celestial,
 it was a rough and untamed land.
 Was named not for what it was,
 it was named for what was planned..

 The Mortensens and the Willies,
 who were ranch folks all by trade.
 Agreed to take the west most part,
 their ranch the Double Spade.

 The Jackson's Conestoga busted,
 right at the Canyon's mouth.
 They settled there while Ted McGraw,
 took the range that lay down South.

 The Millers, they were farmin' folks,
 and staked some fertile bottomland.
 Young DeWitt, moved North a piece,
 to build the ranch he'd planned.

 Their friendship never wavered,
 and if the occasion should ever arise.
 They'd get together to work or to play,
 of just to socialize.

 Despite the name, this newfound land,
 gave nothing without a price.
 Like a crooked dry goods merchant,
 oft times you paid it twice.

 But this ragged band of pioneers,
 with blood and sweat and tears.
 Wrenched from this land prosperity,
 through a dozen back breaking years.

 The Millers ran from Miller Ridge,
 north to mount McGraw.
 East from Harper Springs,
 then west to Devil's Draw.

 A river here, a piney knoll,
 defined each ranchers feed.
 A hogback ridge, and Simpson creek,
 compiled a "Gentlemen's deed".

 Then DeWitt, began to notice,
 there on his Hereford spread.
 His cows was dropping alien calves,
 they showed black instead of red!

 Well, the Double Spade ran Angus,
 the volunteer was identified.
 They too had some mixed breed calves,
 and though both ranchers tried--

 to separate the Angus bulls,
 from the hereford female flock.
 Or vice versa as the case may be,
 to stop this roving stock.

 And it seemed both breeds, from time to time,
 strayed to Miller's farm.
 And Miller's stand of Iowa Chief,
 often came to major harm.

 The Jackson clan from North a bit,
 had a straying problem too.
 Yet to remedy this dilemma,
 not a soul knew what to do.

 Then in the Fall of ninety one,
 a mercantile posted flyer.
 Touted the merits of a nasty invention,
 aptly named Barbed Wire!!

 A quadruple strand fence it stated,
 was a rancher's straying cure.
 Just string 'er up tight, wire in some stays,
 you'll be bovine secure.

 Well, now the valley all "bobwired",
 the livestock no longer roam.
 The farmers in the valley as well,
 in their newly fenced in homes,--

 Don't fret ner fuss nor worry,
 about cattle in their crops.
 'Cause where the barbed wire barrier is,
 that's where the straying stops.

 They'ze kind of a correlation though,
 'tween sociability and the fence.
 From the day the first wire was strung,
 they'ze been no parties since.

 That barbed wire shore is a doozie,
 it's a two edged sword, no doubt.
 "Cause while it keeps the cattle locked in,
 it seems to keep your neighbors out.

 © Paul D. Hatch
  This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Bob's Belated Bill

The Undertaker's clothes were dirty,
the hearse had tires that were bald.
The casket was an old display model,
without the handles installed.

The service wuz long, boring and dry,
the choir wuz mostly off key.
The preacher, a weathered old Baptist type,
was making an impassioned plea.

He listed the virtues of the newly deceased,
his kindness and love he extolled.
He told of Bob's deeds he'd daily performed,
was a sermon to truly behold!

"Our departed brother", the sermon continued,
"was kind and gentle to all".
"Nary an unkind deed or deed,
least none that I can recall".

"He was sober and sweet, a saintly soul,
he left us pert near without fault".
"In God's Kingdom he now resides,
no savor has leached from his salt".

Now I knew old Bob, we'd been pals fer years,
shared not a few Friday nights.
We'd chased a few wimmen, drank lots a beer,
got into some hair raisin' fights.

I'd last seen old Bob late Tuesday nite,
the card game at the Dew Drop Saloon.
I held the note fer the fifty he'd lost,
he'd promised to pay me real soon.

I had me a dilemma as I sat there a listenin',
the preacher commended ol' Bob to St. Pete.
Though I couldn't see it, if the sermon was true,
he'z already on Heaven's gold street.

Then I had me a thought, how I could collect,
on this straight flush derived I.O.U..
I'd find me a Xerox, make the preacher a copy,
in case what he'z a preachin' wuz true.

When he got to Heaven, he could look up ol' Bob,
collect the note and send me the cash.
If'n old Bob wasn't there, no problem still,
he could just throw the note in the trash.

I'd keep the original and take it with me,
case the preacher's sermon should fail.
No problem still, I'd just collect 'er myself,
when I look up old Bob down in HELL!!

© Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




He's an ornery old cuss, ain't never been rode,
fact  we've nicknamed him old three point five.
That ain't exactly his grade average tho,
but the longest a ride stayed alive.

Fifteen hundred pounsd of downright rotten,
he stood there just a snottin' and blowin'.
His right horn aimed east, the left one west,
he'd get you a comin' and a goin'..

From his flabby old hump to his stubby pig tail,
this here was a bull to behold.
So when Tom drawed his number, he knowed that 8 seconds,
would surely win him the Gold.

Two horses, three cowboys and a thousand volt hot-shot,
loaded him in chute number two.
Tom slipped on the rope, burned in the rosin,
and prayed before giving the cue.

"Help me, Oh Lord, as I make this attempt,
to ride this rank old bull."
"Whatever you do, if I ride or I don't,
bless me to look real cool."

Well, the ride went right good, right up to the point,
that old Tom bravely hollered "OUT".
Then the clouds built up quick, and thunder crashed,
and Tom began to doubt,---

that he could survive this dreadful experience,
he knowed that he weren't no match,
for three quarter tons of loose hided nasty,
his shirt hung on the gate latch.

Then it got serious, that old bull started twistin',
backed Tom off of his string.
He forgot right then about winnin' the money,
survival became the prime thing..

Tom alternately rode from bull stem to stern,
and purt near every part in between.
The older hands at the show later reported,
this was the wildest they'd ever seen.

The ride ended abruptly when old Tom went off,
but his hung up hand broke his fall.
Then it was time for the rag doll show,
Tom played the part of the doll..

The clowns joined in to help this bull jock,
keep hisself attached to his arm.
Kinda like goldfish pesterin' a whale,
or a mosquito mini-swarm.

Tom flopped back and forth 'tween cranky bull legs,
like Bob Ross a cleanin' his brush.
Then he finally broke loose, lay there in the arena,
like a puddle of cracked wheat mush.

The ambulance came in and hauled him away,
to the clinic fer bull rider patchin'.
The team of sawbones had to view a schematic,
to aid in the re-attachin'.

Three ribs had been broke, his whip had been lashed,
his spleen and his kidney swapped places.
They hooked up every part the ambulance delivered,
but still they's some vacant spaces.

X-rays and probin', and consulting some colleagues,
Then to the old M.R.I.
The brain scan showed a grey matter deficit,
The surgeons was stumped as to why.

Then they compared the brain bulk of old Tom,
with the R.C.A. average cowhand.
Turned out that Tom was about three IQ points higher,
than the rest out in rodeo land.

It looked fer awhile that Kervorkian was needed,
then the medics announced he'd survive.
Tom's wife came to visit what remained of her man,
she's so happy to have him alive.

She told him she loved him and he motioned her close,
he's too weak to speak out loud.
'Sides, Tom was too macho, and his wife knew he'd not say,
such mushiness while they'ze a crowd.

She expected endearments from what's left of her man,
as she leaned down to catch every sound.
"They'ze a big bull-o-rama in Willcox next week,
sign me up fer the go-around."

©  Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



God's Cathedral

No walls of wood to resonate,--
no ceilings with reflective vanes.
Nor floors with thick, plush carpets,
no stained glass window panes.

There are no padded, form fit seats,
no balconies high above.
No ticket booths with waiting lines,
nor ushers in starched white gloves.

Yet on the stage of this grand hall,
with curtains open wide,
with plains and verdant valleys,
and mountains on every side,------

are staged such great and grand events,
produced by God's own hand.
Admission free to all who'll come,
to natures great grandstand.

Each season brings a different stage,
each day a different scene.
There's birth and death throughout,
with real living in between..

Those God blessed souls who spend their time,
in this cathedral grand.---
Often fail to fully appreciate,
that all of this was planned....

Not by men in tailored suits,
in fancy limousines..
Not by great financial backers,
not by Kings nor Queens.

This showplace, this grand cathedral,
where all are welcomed in.
With no regard for dress codes,
nor asking where you've been.

Was place here by our Maker,
a thoughtful birthday present.
He built the sets, provides the lights,
all to make life pleasant..

So, next time you hear it said,
that you just don't have class.
Your friends are opera goers,
they have an annual pass.

You're oft considered lacking couth,
you have no savoir faire.
Their trips to see the Phantom,
are trips that you don't share.

Invite them some warm spring day,
to take a trip with you.
Just a ways in any direction,
most anywhere will do.

Just walk to find some privacy,
where none will interrupt.
You're now in God's Cathedral,
the curtain's going up!!!!

© Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



When Pigs Fly
 (A Christmas poem)

Twas Christmas day night,
when out by the tack shed.
A ruckus was raised,
that would wake up the dead!

Though  stripped to my long johns,
getting ready to nap.
I streaked out the front door,
with just my long johns and my cap.

The light from the sparks,
of a dangling transformer.
Showed damage sustained,
to my east bedroom dormer.

I observed in a flash,
before the scene had been reached.
That the roof of my new barn,
had seriously been breached.

Though I'm reluctant to admit it,
my first onsite suspicion.
Space Shuttle debris.
from a burner out space mission?

When what to my bloodshot eyes,
showed itself.
Muy Muerto Reindeerus,
and a soiled old elf.

He'd hung up on a rafter,
still strapped in his sleigh.
I undid his seat belt,
checked to see if he'ze okay .

This bearded sleigh jock,
was 'bout two axe handles thick.
I weren't no believer,
but this must be old Nick..

While some of the reindeer,
had failed to survive.
Old Donner and Blitzen,
were both still alive.

Prancer bit the big one,
and Cupid had parted.
Rudolph's nose wiring,
apparently had shorted.

All in all I observed,
and of this I'm quite shore.
Half of the A team,
wouldn't fly anymore.

When the rotund one breathed,
his breath was a whistle.
Claimed he'd been shot down,
by a stray Navy Missle.

I suspected the culprit,
was Christmas egg nog.
When I caught old Santa,
doctoring his FAA log.

All of this carnage,
like a scene from MacBeth.
I guessed pilot error,
when I whiffed the elf's breath.

With his sleigh power diminished,
and a half dead consort.
To get him airborne again,
was of utmost import.

That fairy tale drunk,
with a gutsy straight face.
Inquired 'bout flying critters,
his reindeer to replace.

Chalked it up to the liquor,
or a couple of loose cogs.
So, being  gutsy myself,
I said, "I got hogs"!!

So that chubby old feller,
set to work in a flash.
To rework the harness,
tore up in the crash.

He shortened the traces,
he re-strung the reins.
re-fit the sleigh runners,
he tightened the sleigh chains.

With some double A batteries,
retrofit Rudolph's nose.
Cleaned the cow manure,
from off of his clothes.

I knew not his plan,
but this jolly old soul.
Seemed jackass determined,
to get to the North Pole.

I bought him the Hogs,
he hitched them up tight.
The reindeer on the left,
the pigs on the right.

Then he laid him a clothspin,
'cross the end of his nose.
No, it weren't magic,
just the pig smell I suppose.

Now, you may not believe it,
but with a crack of his whip.
The sleigh, pigs, and reindeer,
flew off on their trip.

But life ain't quite the same,
since that Christmas nite.
Fer one thing old Santa's sleigh,
pulls hard to the right.

And my memory flew back,
to when I was a lad.
To be more specific,
a Christmas conversation I had.

I'ze asked about Santa Clause,
and I recall my reply.
"Yea, I'll believe in Santa,
when I see pigs fly"!!!

©  Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Bull 1 - Dude 0

The ol' Brangus Bull was just a standin',
in the auction holdin' pen.
He'z bein' admired on all four sides,
by at least a dozen men.

OI' Shorty'd brung 'im in to sell,
He'd had to snub 'im tight.
To the stock rack in his Ford pickup,
the ol' bull put up a fight.

He'd been Shorty's pride and joy
fer a dozen years or more--
but lately he'd been off his feed,
he'z a gettin' mighty poor.

He'd also turned right cranky,
just old age I would suppose.
The only way ya could handle 'im now,
wuz with the ring that's in his nose.

It seems fer 'bout the past two years,
he'z always on the prod.
He'd stand and shake his mangy head,
he'd beller and paw the sod.

The ol' bull near run old Shorty down,
He almost killed the Vet,--
Who'd bet that he could pet the bull,
the Vet had lost that bet.

Now any cowman worth his salt,
would leave that bull alone,
was plain to see that Brangus bull,
was mean plum' to the bone.

But there at the cattle auction yard,
was a real live city dude.
Was plain that he'd been drinkin' some   ,
fact is the dude was stewed.

Well he just stared at that ol' bull,
then he spoke up loud and bold.
"Now listen gents, I'll make a bet,
that I can grab a hold--

of that there ring in that bull's nose,
and lead 'im 'round the pen".
"Fact I'm so sure I can do this deed,
that yer five'll get ya ten".

He carried on fer quite awhile,
and he had another beer.
He made it plain, of that ol' bull
he had not the slightest fear.

The cowmen couldn't pass the bet,
they all got in the pot.
The dude then stepped into the pen,
there on that auction lot.

He swaggered up to that big beast,
an' he reached to grab the ring.
What happened then was quite a sight,
a truly awful thing.

That bull moved like a yearlin' calf,
the dude let out a holler.
Like Bo-Peeps' sheep, where that dude went,
that bull was sure to foller.

I don't recall in much detail,
it was mostly just a blur.
The bull he won, the dude he lost
but of one thing I am sure.

That feller weren't scared of that ol' bull.
I know that 'cause we wrote it
on the headstone of his grave...

© Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


A Chicken Named ROVER

Bein' a rancher can be a lonely life,
when yer miles from yer nearest neighbor.
It's nice to have a friend at the house,
when you return from yer daily labor.

Some a my friends got so dad gummed lonely,
livin' this reclusive life.
They plum' lost their heads, their freedom as well,--
they went and got 'em a wife!

Most cowmen I know, don't go quite so far,
'stead of a wife they get 'em a mutt.
'Cause a dogs' nice and soft, a sure 'nuff pal,
and if ya want, ya can muzzle him shut.

I've had me some dogs, an' I had me a wife,
the dogs died, and the marriage was over.
Then I found me a pal, she'z some like my "ex",
an ol' leghorn hen I named Rover.

She's a clever ol' hen, has a beak like a eagle,
for awhile I just loved that ol' bird.
She protected my place from man and beast,
seemed that my peace was assured.

When coyotes came a prowlin', or strangers dropped by,
she'd cackle and give me a warnin'.
In deference to gender, she'd perch on the fence,
crow me awake 'bout five in the mornin'.

She'd strut 'round the yard, her head in the air,
your could tell she thought she wuz Queen.
Then as time went along, and age took it's toll,
that sweet ol' hen a mine turned downright mean!

She'd set on the barn, jump down on my cows,
peck 'em till they started stampedin'.
Or perch on the fence, flap her wings like a copter,
she could keep my whole herd from feedin'.

That ol' bird finally done it, she went too dang far.
Was one Sunday when I'ze headin' for church.
As I walked out the door, with my new Stetson on,
ol' Rover attacked from her perch.

She lit right on my head, dug her claws in my hat,
pecked a hole right square in the crown.
Well, I grabbed me some feathers, they'ze attached to my hen,
she clawed me, and I throwed her down.

Now, I missed church that Sunday, somethin' come up,
I know that makes me a sinner!
But it takes lots a work, and careful preparin' ,
when you're havin' roast chicken fer dinner...

©  Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Cowboys Meeting...

Old Tom 'n Jeb and Pooter,
Pals one and all of mine.
Had dropped by to palaver,
ta drink a bit and dine.

They shucked their chaps 'n spurs,
an' settled fer a spell.
Hung their saddles on the fence,
an' hayed their horses well.

We'd sipped a bit of horsehoof wine,
and et some beans an' beef.
Said Jeb, "that there is eatin' boys!",
But then It's been my belief,

That Jeb ain't given much ta smarts,
his old thinkers' in bad repair.
Pooter gave a snort and noted,
"it beats starvin' by just a hair!"

Then just like ever' month before,
when ol' pals gather 'round.
We stacked the plates an' poured some wine,
an' then we come to ground.

Ol' Tom lit on the corner bunk,
an' I'ze sprawled out on the floor.
Jeb n' Pooter took the chairs,
My ol' coon dog by the door.

We commenced ta swap some yarns,
an' share a dream or two.
We'd done the same a hunnert times,
this motley cowboy crew.

Like always we deferred ta Tom,
it wuz kinda like a rule.
After all he's the brainey one,
he'd graduated frum grade school.

The wine had waxed him tender,
said he, "I got a dream!!"
"of love, romance and marriage,"
he's a workin' up some steam.

"I think", he mused, "next week perchance,
er come June er January."
I'm gonna spoon that new school marm!"
"ask 'er if'n she'd like ta marry?"

Then broke in Pooter all atwitter,
"tho that there's a plan fer sure".
"I got myself a layout figgered,
tell me this just ain't plum pure?"

"I'm a gonna go ta ol'  J. Otoole,
down at the Cattleman's Trust".
"Secure myself a long term loan,
on terms of "repay or bust"".

"Then I'll just go saddle up ol' jigger,
mosey on out to the Bar Z spread".
"Buy out the whole kit 'n kabootle,
and all a his three hunnerd head!"

"Good luck", says I, "to both you boys",
"yer chances are little an' none".
"by shrewd plannin', I'll top ya both,
an' have me a barrel a fun".

"Now think a momen a ol' widder Finch,
not a homlier woman about".
"But rich as calf strippins, an' land poor fer sure,
she's the wealthiest about theze no doubt."

"It's plain ta see with my masculine charm,
I could woo 'er ta marry me quick."
"Then she's off to a charm school in Boston,
Now, don't that sound like a lick?"

Old Jeb spoke up, tho it weren't like him,
he'd most normal just listen an' whittle.
But I guess it's the wine and the grub a combinin',
He rared back an' jumped right in the middle.

"I've heard theze stories er some variation,
fer a month a Sundays plus a bit."
"An' I'm a thinkin' the odds fer success,
is 'bout like getting' lightning hit"!

"Datin' the school marm, er ol' widder Finch,
Er getting' cash frum  Otoole"?
"Them dogs won't hunt, won't even bark,
You waddies is daft as a Mule"!

"Listen up Mi amigos,  an' I'll tell ya,
yer plans fer the comin' up days".
"Pooter'll amble back to the Rafter Y,
spend the month a huntin' up strays".

"Tom'll ease back to his boss's spread,
an' I suppose it won't be no harm",
ta entertain the boys at the bunkhouse,
'bout courtin' that there school marm!".

"And you my ol' pard," said he to me,
"you'll not doubt a tad of what I'm a sayin'."
"Cause manana you'll be a fixin' fence,
stop those mix breed steers frum strayin'."

"I'll wander back to my adobe,
make hay of some mountain grass".
"An' whilst we're all a doin' our thing,
another month'll surely pass".

"Then, sure as sin and camel thorn,
we'll again heed the cowboy call".
"Rondevoo here with dreams afresh,
an' lie ta one an' all."

© 2002, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



I'd Like to Be Like Baxter!!

I purchased myself a glue-on moustache,
one a them full fledged handle bars!
Hooked 'er on so tight with super glue,
I'm afeared it'll probably leave scars.

I bought me a big tan 3X beaver,
with a foot high texican crown.
A handmade Sheplers western blouse,
in kinda a muckeldy dun type brown!

Borrowed a belt from my Uncle Jake,
a trophy buckle he won in Flagstaff.
I'ze getting' 'bout ready for my big debut,
I'ze a goin' ta  make 'em all laugh.

Justin boots with twelve inch tops,
Wranglers with a cowboy cut.
I bought 32 waist to be more like Black,
but they wouldn't go over my ----

but then I decided that I'd wax poetic,
so's I could churn out some heartfelt verse.
tho I chawed on its ear and flanked it too,
it proceeded from bad to worse!

Now, I'd read and I'd studied in minute detail,
most a' the poems Baxter had done.
I'ze hopin' he'd channel just a line or two,
so's I could crank out just this one.

I turned on the PC an' "surfed on the web,"
Outta place as green socks at the prom.
I done me a search fer cowboy rhyme stuff,
even paroosed cowboypoetry.com.

Just one verse says I to myself,
like my poet hero would write.
But I'm startin' ta think that it's barely possible,
that my thinker is touched with the blight.

Though I shy from the thought, see what you think,
now savvy that I'm simply inquiring.
Maybe ol' Baxter has a brain circuit or two,
that's left out of the rest of our wiring?

Day turned to night and the kids went to bed,
I'ze still fightin' to find me a rhyme.
I read from Ol' Waddie an' from S. Omar Barker.
An' from Baxter just one more time.

My brain growed all fuzzy, my eyelids like lead,
I fought it but finally bailed out.
Then I was there in poets' Valhalla,
with all a the big names about.

An' tho' I suppose it was my wife's chili stew,
'er the caffeine frum a dozen cups.
I felt kinda belongin',  all warm an' fuzzy,
We'ze as close as a litter a pups.

Then out of the haze in this paradise,
an apparition rode up at a lope.
He's tall an' lanky, rode light in the saddle,
I assumed twas the poets' Pope.

He spoke to me, just a mortal feller,
who instantly felt plum' out of place.
I scarcely dared to raise my brow,
an' peer upon his face.

But then with pluck frum some deep spot,
I peeked up atop the tack.
An' there sat my stargazed Poet god.
None other than Baxter Black!

A feelin' warm as a brandin' fire,
I'ze sure it'd all be set aright.
Shorely now from Mr. Baxter Black,
I'd be dubbed a poet knight!

But I kinda got the feelin' when,
I saw the look that wuz in his eye.
That knighthood may not be forthcomin',
I weren't sure exactly why?

And then he spoke, I'ze all alisten,
I'ze sure I'd now found my niche.
Said Baxter, "when ya finish this here poem,
you might consider takin' up cross stitch."

© 2002, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Mark him up!!

No one knew where he'd come from,
nor gave him too much heed.
He just rolled into town an' stuck,
like a windblown tumbleweed.

His Porter seat an' hand wove twine,
showed he'd been around.
He got a job at Rafter Y,
for forty bucks and found.

Ol' Trope had once confided,
when we'ze out on cow patrol.
That stackin' up a pile of cash,
just wasn't his life's goal.

"Well, if yer just plumb bent on poverty,
you chose the right career.
I ain't never knowed a rich man
who'd spent his life behind a steer."

Say's he, "I'm plum contented,
to just work an' draw my pay."
"An' just perchance to make my mark,
before I'm laid away."

"Yea, make your mark I thought,
fat chance on cowhand wages."
"The deck is stacked agin' you hoss,
an' has been through the ages."

'Bout the only way us common folk,
can ever make a mark.
Is kinda like a mongrel dog,
does in a tree lined park.

Then July next, around the fourth,
at the rodeo in town.
Ol' Trope wuz workin' on the chutes,
an' I'ze the barrel clown.

We'd bucked through the first set-up,
an' the chutes had been restocked.
The lead bull from the Landon string,
was loaded, primed, an' cocked.

That kid that drawed him on that day,
just weren't no match at all.
He'd hadn't even cleared the gate,
when he began to fall.

He went off against his rope,
an' hung up as tight as glue.
I'ze just a novice clown at best,
an' I didn't have a clue.

Ol' Trope bailed into that arena,
like a waltzer to the floor.
An' done a dance with that ol' hide,
like a Mexcan Matador.

When he sashed that bull'd shay,
an' he jerked that ride string loose.
That rider hit the dance floor cold,
an' would a called a truce.

But like a bovine Mafia hit man,
who hadn't filled out his contract.
That critter turned back to finish off,
that load he'd just unpacked.

A batch of finished cowboys watchin',
figgered that feller had no hope.
An' they all agreed he's dead today,
if it weren't fer ol' Trope.

Calm as a summer mornin',
he'd stepped into that melee,
an' throwed hisself on that ol' skull,
like a grand velcro bouquet.

He hung on like a dog treed cat,
an' unsprung that cowboy's noose.
But he didn't even hear 'em,
when they hollered, "turn 'im loose!"

We laid ol' Trope away next day,
an' though he'ze known by but a few.
We couldn't stack 'em in the church,
an' they filled the praisin' pew.

The fire and brimstone preacher,
there at the foursquare I attend.
Said they ain't no greater deed,
than dyin' fer a friend.

In comin' days I'll miss Ol Trope,
like a tree would miss its bark.
But I thought "old pal you measured up,"
"I'd say you made your mark!!"

© 2002, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



The Finger

I couldn't sell 'em by the pound cause they didn't weigh enough.
An' couldn't sell 'em by the piece cause they'ze too dang tough.
I wouldn't sell 'em by the head, my herd was way too small.
They wouldn't sell fer breeders, cause they had no class at all.
The cattle market took a dip, so 'bout the only option open.
Wuz to take the able ones and rent 'em out for ropin'.
They wuz mostly standard fare, 'cept this one little charlois bull.
Who looked a bit like Michael Moore, an' wuz just about as cruel.
We nicknamed him Madussa, you shouldn't look him in the eye.
He had a case of ADD, he'd served with Captain Bligh.
So I went and watched the roping to see how he'd react.
When he jerked the barrier pin, it was bull calf attack.
He peeled a "U" and went headlong just like an off course scud.
Ol' Clint was caught off stride, - and it spooked his sorrel stud.
But Clint was long in tooth, a journeyman with twine.
He slipped a loop around that beast and dallied up right fine.
Then bailed off like a Navy Seal and flanked that rangy critter.
It was like that bull was "beddie bye," an' he's the babysitter.
Clint's piggin' string fairly flew, he's wrapped up triple toe.
I'ze chagrined my little bull had been conquered so.
But 'fore that roper stood up, he'd slipped that piggin' string.
Then he got ticked off by the glint from ol' Clint's wedding ring.
He morphed into Rottweiler and started to pursue it.
Chomped down like a gator, -- bit off the finger right next to it.
Then Clint's ropin' horse got spooked, - raced out the loading gate.
Trolled my raunchy little bull like catfish stinky bait.
Left his rider standin' there, one digit short a fist.
T-boned his caboose into a post, - it's scored as an assist.
That bull hocked a major loogie, like a magnum tater gun.
Then I saw a ghastly knuckle arching past the sun.
It flew by the flagpole, bounced off the judges stand.
Like some displaced cousin searching for a hand.
I jumped to my feet just as that thing landed in my chair.
It caught me by surprise and I couldn't help but stare.
I should have ran, or called someone, -- I couldn't help but linger.
After all, this here is the firstest time a cow gave me the finger!

© 2004, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

The Diagnosis

"An ulcer is what I suspect,
or a hernia perhaps.
I pert near had 'er cured,
but suffered a relapse."

"When I picked up day money,
at the Taylor sweet corn ropin'.
Since then she kicks up reg'lar,
I come here doc a hopin'," ---

"Ya could maybe fix me up,
I'm wantin' some relief.
Snake oil, I'm a thinkin',
would take away my grief."

"A twitch in my ol' gizzard,
rewards me when I set.
Treat me doc I'm beggin'
I'm ever in yer debt."

"A plain an' simple gut knot."
It all seems cut an' dried.
"It's when I fork ol' Jasper,
an' take him fer a ride."

"Bathin' kinda soothes 'er,
straight standin' gives a break.
A sharp pain I get fer bendin',
an' squattin' ain't too jake."

Some scratchin' on that little pad,
that there's why I'm here.
I'm hopin' it's just heartburn,
but a tumor's what I fear."

"Let me diagnose doc says,
I'd rather not debate."
"When you bend to tie yer shoes,
does that irritate?"

"Your diet may be suspect."
He asked, "what do you eat?"
"A dab of beans an' taters,
but mostly it's just meat."

"X'ray me doc I'm desperate,
I'm too young to go.
I'm worried 'bout contagion,
an' whether it'll grow?"

"Inhale!", was his instruction,
"an' hold till count of three."
A little mallet he secured,
an pounded on my knee.

Searched within my eardrums,
my nostrils he explored.
Checked fer tonsilitis,
fer swollen nasal cord.

"My paunch I say, not my nose."
"Tests sir I must complete."
I thought, - like goin' to my barber,
an' have him check my feet.

"A dent", said he, "is what I found,
Tucked there in the shade.
Beneath the bellybutton,--
worn an' kinda frayed."

"Your symptoms fit no profile."
"this case has me stumped."
"Just when ya set or bendin' down?"
-- Right then somethin' bumped.

He'd flunked bedside manner.
His look bespoke no answer.
"Is it an ulcer doc, or reflux,
with my luck it's prob'ly cancer?"

"I have my diagnosis sir,
no thanks to my degree.
A cure's what I'll give you.
You got my guarantee."

"Juvenile," described his grin,
transmuted to a chuckle.
"The antidote is simple, --
Just unload that trophy buckle."

© 2004, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Global Warmin'

I use them little twirly bulbs, though they cost five bucks apiece.
I got my FarmAll tractor, burnin' old used burger grease.
To show "I'm there," I hug a tree purt near every day.
Bought me some carbon credits from a feller on eBay.

Built my house of straw and mud, I spayed my old male cat.
I hardly ever exhale,—I purt near voted DEMOCRAT!
Solar Panels dot my ranch, like a carousel in jade.
My Guru is ol Al Gore, I been drinkin' his Kool-aid.

I should have seen it comin', could I just be any dumber?
But when I'ze a kid in Arizona, we just called it summer.
—Now it's Global Warmin', seems the ozone's got a crack.
The icebergs are all meltin' down, Dinosaurs are comin' back.

Humans is the culprit, least that's what Al allows.
But part of the dilemma is flatulence by cows.
So I can make a difference, as I've got a batch of those.
I bought me a case of duct tape, an' some old used garden hose.

I'd tried selective breeding, traded off the gassy shells.
Hung up a bunch of incense strips to dampen out the smells.
We worked on their potty manners, taught them to be more quiet.
The wife suggested Pepto Bismol, I sent her out to buy it.

Experimented usin' diapers, but the laundry was a chore.
I even tried a PVC valve installed in their back door.
But I'm reminded that recycling is the goal by us that's green.
So I just ran that garden hose betwixt and in between—

—the South end and the North end of each and every beast.
To redirect the noxious gas which on occasion is released.
The theory is the second pass will clean up the pollution.
I thought I had it all worked out, a grand cow-poo solution.

I welded up a baffle, built a sorter and a bracket.
To take out all the solid stuff, and also neatly stack it.
I even built a bypass valve to help prevent the bloat.
If they got into clover, I could engage it by remote.

Ain't it just a wonder, this here cow technology?
Just this little gadget'll probably knocked off one degree!
I turned in fer patent rights, built a kit with all the parts.
You can buy 'em on the web, selected Feed Stores and Wal-marts.

Sold some local to my neighbors, they're all earth friendly too.
Installed 'em all pro bono, that's the least that I can do.
But I just put out a recall, I need a bit more R & D.
Perhaps an impact study, after we clean up the debris.

Seems the methane gas built up with each recycle loop.
Then Holsteins wuz the Goodyear blimp, a walkin' "big bang" troupe.
Unnoticed, all them hose connectors had kinda got eroded.
An' when Hank lit up a cigarette, my whole dang herd exploded.

© 2011, Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Read Paul Hatch's An Arizona Christmas posted with other Holiday 2002 poems


  A Christmas Poem?? posted with 
other Holiday 2001 poems.

About Paul Hatch:

I'm the youngest son of the late Vern Hatch, who was a cowman without peer! I could not be rightly accused of being a cowman myself but was immersed in that tradition my whole life. I stand in admiration of the traditional cowmen who struggled and fought to make an honest living against great odds. I am a bit less impressed by many latter-day "cowboys" who's claim to the title is the money to buy a fancy saddle and nice Stetson. I'm 60 years old now and have seen a good bit of change in ranching and stockmen over the years but am happy to note that there are still a goodly number of good men and women plying the trade. I've been writing Cowboy Poetry for many years, mostly for myself and family, but do enjoy sharing it in the hope that someone else might get a laugh or shed a tear. I suppose like many amateur poets, I look at the writings of others and realize I may never be in their class. I enjoy in my clumsy way trying to put feelings to paper through poetry and though my writings don't measure up to many others, it's therapeutic for an old son of a cowman.

You can email Paul Hatch.

Paul has a book of poetry, available from his web site.






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