Honored Guest

Photo by Erin Smith

About Peggy Godfrey
Books, CD, DVD
Cowboy Poetry: A Woman Ranching the Rockies DVD
Contacting Peggy Godfrey


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About Peggy Godfrey 

Peggy Godfrey has been ranching in the high desert next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado for decades. In this country "cowboy" is a verb. Since 1991 she has been performing for a wide variety of audiences, composting disasters into poems and stories is her version of value-added agriculture.



Country Graft

Old Vogal

Perfect Wife

Elko Reflections (separate page, in our feature about Cowboy Poetry, The Reunion)


Country Graft

Babies needing mamas or the longing for a child
It happens here in Moffat, it happens in the wild.

Animal adoption on a ranch is called a graft
There's not a baby shower for the little lamb or calf.

For the best in bovine chemistry, take a cow whose calf has died
If she stands around and moos, you skin the little hide.

Then take an orphan baby or a lonesome starving tyke
You drape the skin and tie it snug, so the calves will smell alike.

I've hung black skins on red calves, a tiny red skin on a tan
Hereford's red and white on black, you do the best you can.

Some legs fit through like jackets, and I tie with baling twine
Those orange knots hanging front and back on this bovine Frankenstein.

The cow sniffs out this critter sporting funny wisps of twine
That little hide will help decide both futures on the line.

Sometimes it won't seem worth it, 'cause this grafting makes a mess
But when those mother instincts win, it's mighty sweet success.

The mother gets a grateful child, the baby gets a mother
And this rancher won't have to bottle-feed, unless she gets another.

© Peggy Godfrey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Old Vogal

Told me I was lucky
When I went to cut his hay
A bloom or two means lots of leaves
'Course it's best that way.

He assured me I was lucky
That my bales were done up tight
Lucky that I caught the dew
And chanced to bale it right.

Oh yes, and I was lucky
When storm clouds came around
All my hay was in a stack
Not layin' on the ground.

I clenched my jaw and held my tongue
Red anger 'round me swirled
If I was a man, he'd say I was good,
But "lucky" 'cuz I'm a girl.

© Peggy Godfrey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Perfect Wife

George and I been thinkin'
'Bout tryin' to find a wife
A sweet and gentle martyr
Who'd like the ranchin' life.

Ya know, someone to stay at home
To mop the floors and dust
Tidy up around the house
And never show disgust.

Not the horse-back ridin' sort
But one who'd stay indoors
Whose interests won't emerge until
She's done with all the chores.

We'd have fresh coffee in the pot
She'd back us cookies and pies
Wash the dishes, answer the phone
And swat the dad-burned flies.

She'd write the checks to pay the bills
And file the ranch receipts
Store away our winter clothes
Occasionally change the sheets.

She'd wash and dry and fold our clothes
Mend the ones with holes
Then comply with all our goals.

Supposin' she gets uppity
We'll holler, pout, and whine.
Guilt will work her over
Shame her back in line.

Her schedule would revolve on ours
So she can run to town

Leave us warm lunch on the stove

When machinery breaks down.

When we're sortin' cattle
In a typical short-handed bind
She'd know which pairs to separate
By simply reading my mind.

We'd always be stocked with groceries
Have shelves of home-canned food
She'd freeze fresh fruit in season
Be tired, never rude.

Homemade bread and jam we'd eat
Perhaps she'd milk a cow
Make butter and lots of ice cream
I'd even teach her how.

We ought to have a garden
Homegrown veggies taste so good
If she can run a chain saw
We'd let her cut our wood.

I've chopped away her personhood
To get this "perfect wife"
It makes me sick to realize
This joke was once my life.

© Peggy Godfrey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Books and CD


Peggy Godfrey Live: Write 'Em Cowboy CD

Peggy Godfrey Live: Write 'Em Cowboy, is a recording of poetry from her first published collection, Write 'Em Cowboy, including introductory stories and two unpublished poems. 


Real Wealth
I Tried
Old Vogal
In 45 Years
Hey Cowboy
First Year Cleanin' Ditches
The Cowboy's Gone
Today's Troubadour
Time Honored Ways
Ditch Fever
The Vigil of 559
I Need Help
Team Calving
Why Ranching
Out West/Definition
Cattle Work
Selling Postholes
Die Hard/Necessities
Listen (story)/Coyote (story)
Word Wrangling
For Pete
Perfect Wife
Green Horse Hash
Aspen Tax
Two Eagles
High Country Summer

$15 plus $2 postage from:

Peggy Godfrey
19157 County Road 60
Moffat, CO 81143-9708

  For orders
of two or more items, additional postage is free.

Stretch Marks

$15 plus $2 postage from:

Peggy Godfrey
19157 County Road 60
Moffat, CO 81143-9708

  For orders
of two or more items, additional postage is free.


Extra 'n' Ordinary

$15 plus $2 postage from:

Peggy Godfrey
19157 County Road 60
Moffat, CO 81143-9708

  For orders
of two or more items, additional postage is free.


Write Tough!
Write 'Em Cowboy 
Write 'Em Roughshod

Write 'Em Cowboy (out of print, not available)

Write Tough!
Write 'Em Roughshod

$15 each, plus $2 postage from:

Peggy Godfrey
19157 County Road 60
Moffat, CO 81143-9708

  For orders
of two or more items, additional postage is free.

The Ranching Way of Life DVD


   The Ranching Way of Life is an impressive documentary created by Colorado rancher and poet Peggy Godfrey and ScSeed, a local non-profit grassroots organization, with support from the Colorado Council on the Arts and other organizations.

Written and narrated by Peggy Godfrey, the captivating and informative film was four years in making. It presents the rancher's world, season-by-season, giving a close-up, thoughtful look at the work, risks, and rewards of ranching life in the rugged and beautiful San Luis Valley. The film includes commentaries by area ranchers and impressive still and film footage, including extraordinary calving scenes. Poetry by Peggy Godfrey and others and music appear, naturally, throughout the film.

The DVD includes supplemental themed short features with additional engaging commentary by local ranch people on topics including "Neighbors," "Ethics," "Branding," "Stories" and a "Message for Youth." A shortened "youth version" of the documentary is also included. 

From the official media release:

The film is a cultural heritage and occupational arts project that captures seasonal ranching activities, stories, poems, interviews, and music that celebrate ranching...

Those featured in the documentary are long-time residents of the San Luis Valley. Some represent families who have lived here for more than 100 years. Their arts include storytelling, music, poetry, lyrics and jokes that flow from this ranching way of life. Their arts also include the occupational activities of haying, branding, calving, cattle driving, shearing, and irrigating. Hunting, trapping, antler/bone carving, woodcarving, tanning hides, rawhide braiding and leather work are also artistic skills enjoyed by and useful to ranchers. Ranches are scattered across the vast 30 mile wide and 100-mile long valley and into the side canyons of the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

A total of 37 individuals have been filmed...The agricultural lifestyle, ranching traditions, family farms—all are intrinsic to the heritage of Colorado and all are threatened in today's economy. The threat of exportation of water to urban areas, the power of large agri-business to take control of markets, the drain of traditional knowledge as youth migrate to urban centers: these are a few of the reasons that ranching is becoming an art to be preserved and shared....

The Ranching Way of Life video project addresses the community building, cooperative enterprise, and protection of community character and rural lifestyle that ScSEED aims to foster.

All will appreciate the stories, the honest presentation of ranching life, the stories, and the incisive commentaries on ranching's past and future. And for those who have not lived the ranch life—particularly anyone writing about it or wanting to learn about it—this film about the real working West should not be missed.

See our feature here on a film about the impressive and irrepressible Peggy Godfrey, Cowboy Poetry: A Woman Ranching the Rockies, and read some of her poetry and more about her in a separate feature here. Her poem, "Country Graft," is included on the The BAR-D Roundup, Volume 2 (and is also included in The Ranching Way of Life).

The Ranching Way of Life is available for $11 postpaid from ScSEED, P. O. Box 393, Moffat CO 81143; www.scseed.org.


 Cowboy Poetry: A Woman Ranching the Rockies  DVD

... a single, talented woman working and writing – and playing a part in a real-life miracle – amongst male-dominated Rocky Mountain high country ranches...


Cowboy Poetry: A Woman Ranching the Rockies, is a warm and insightful portrait of Peggy Godfrey at work and reciting her poetry. From the producers:

Follow the legendary cowboy poet and Moffat Wood Chopping Champion, Peggy Godfrey, as she performs twelve of her poems. A WOMAN RANCHING THE ROCKIES offers an insight into life on the high Rocky Mountain ranches. Can this woman do a man’s work? Peg changes perceptions of what roles women can play on ranches in the West. Also included is the Kent Gunnufson documentary, THE MIRACLE OF PEGGY GODFREY, produced for Public Television which has been featured at several film festivals as well as Denver’s Starz Film Center. This beautifully shot and edited film depicts several facets of Peggy’s life and tells the heart warming story of how she saves a life from the male-dominated ranching world.

The documentary includes Peggy Godfrey reciting:

 In 45 Years
First Year Cleaning Ditches
I Need Help
Time Honored Ways
Night Shift
Country Graft
Animal Sounds
Perfect Wife
Why Ranching
Hank Warner’s Lucky Burro
Real Wealth

...and other poems within the film

See our feature about this documentary here.

The DVD is available for $23.95, and available for a limited time for $13.95 to CowboyPoetry.com visitors. Visit the Mountain Magazine web site for more, including on-line ordering information (include the word "Molly" in the ordering instructions to be eligible for the discount).  The DVD is also available by mail from: 

Kent Gunnufson
At Snowstorm Productions
8826 E. Florida Ave., g-6
Denver, CO  80347





  The Fall, 1999 issue of Cowboy Magazine includes a cover story about Peggy Godfrey by the magazine's editor, Darrell Arnold. The profile includes her poem, "Kinda Like Dancing."  


  Graining the Mare : The Poetry of Ranch Women includes Peggy Godfrey's poems "Old Vogal," "Perfect Wife," and "Roland." Peggy is quoted, "I like the seasonal variations of this life, its silence and solitude as well as the sometimes hectic pace. It's a see, hear, touch, smell, taste sort of life, something that lends itself to being savored."

  Cattle, Horses, Sky, and Grass, Cowboy Poetry of the Late Twentieth Century includes "A Country Graft," "Free Verse," "I Tried," "Real Wealth," "The Vigil of 559," "Definition," and "Old Vogal." 

 Cowgirl Poetry, 100 Years of Ridin' and Rhymin' includes "Hank Warner's Lucky Burro" and "Real Wealth."


  Humorous Cowboy Poetry, A Knee Slappin' Gathering includes "Get It Right, Fella!," and "Sellin' Postholes." 


Click to view at Amazon.com Home on the Range, Cowboy Poetry includes "Definition" and "Old Vogal." 

cpreunionbk.jpg (25377 bytes)  Cowboy Poetry, The Reunion includes "Elko Reflections

Peggy Godfrey recites "'Purt Near!'" by S. Omar Barker on the Cowboy Poetry Classics CD

Peggy Godfrey recites her poem, "Real Wealth," on the Elko! A Cowboy's Gathering CD.

There are many articles on the web about Peggy Godfrey, including those in High Country News, Colorado Central Magazine, and The Crestone Visitor.   


Contacting Peggy Godfrey 



Peggy Godfrey
19157 County Road 60
Moffat, CO 81143-9708










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