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


About Shane Queener


His Trail of Tears

The hum of the diesel, a drone drum roar.
A song of the past, silenced and heard no more.
It's their world, their way, a violent machine.
Caught up in the rhythm, lukewarm and lean.
No sweet grass growing, no sage in bloom.
technological turmoil, with lawns to groom.
A bear trapped, in a sprung jaw clamp.
Caged without hope, like a songbird tramp.

He's a raven soul in a black crow world,
Muscles tight and tense, knuckles knotted and knurled.
Rolling down 40, the big city nears.
Parallel to history, his trail of tears.

They travelled this path, also against will.
A people robbed of mission, sullen, silent, still.
Decades ago, yet a slave to the curse.
Same song, modern music, who knows what verse.
They all have tunnel vision, traveling in a fog.
Magpies scavenging through soot, smut, and smog.
The candle is dim. yet the flame still burns.
This path he'll travel, for the west he yearns.

He's a raven soul in a black crow world,
muscles tight and tense, knuckles knotted and knurled.
Rolling down 40, the big city nears.
Parallel to history, his trail of tears.

© 2014, Shane Queener
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.


Shane comments: Being a bit "displaced," a longing for the West is consistently capturing my thoughts. Words, although sometimes hard to find, are an important venue for me to make an attempt to express the emotions associated with the daily reminders that, "this isn't Wyoming." Thankfully, happiness isn't relegated to whatever state I am in. But, the longing, the passion, and the deepest desire to stay connected to the West, and its way of life, are certainly at the core of who I am.



The Muddy Smile

I was there to watch a friend hide in a barrel with makeup on his face,
And to hear his recitations of humor, with much poise and grace.
It wasn’t the first of such events where I was a spectator on the side,
But this night was different. By God, I wanted to ride.
This was brought to the attention of my friend in the pink boots,
To the boss he went, and like magic, I was behind the chutes.

It was a po-dunk arena atop a Tennessee mountain,
And it was soup, thanks to 28 days of a heavenly fountain.
The grand entry was an absolute mess,
All the ropers frowning, they were pissed I guess.
I stood proud and lidless for the anthem and prayer,
Shaking like a leaf, looking at that bronc right there.

Well now what? I don’t have any gear,
I would have ridden with bailing twine to hear that crowd cheer.
With two bareback riders, and only one rig,
We had to move quickly, as to not slow this gig.
The first cowboy rode, and exerted all his try,
But halfway down the muddy slop, that bronc slung him high.

Holy crap! I think it’s now my turn,
The yelling of the chute boss made my stomach churn.
They stripped that bronc with a vengeful speed,
Cinched it down on my ol’ haint, what more did I need?
I was handed a glove large enough to fit Sasquatch,
And before I knew it, I had a bucking horse in my crotch.

A bind was useless in this old worn out riggin’,
I just grabbed a hold, nodded my head, and set my heels to diggin’.
The gate flung open, and from my tailbone to my neck,
With a snap crackle pop, my spine was in check.
The second buck sent me straight out the back door,
I then realized I wasn’t holding the riggin’ anymore.

I tried to bail with each and every jump,
But I couldn’t prevent myself from landing on her rump.
I was like a rubber ball attached to a wooden paddle,
I’m certain this wouldn’t have happened with a saddle.
I managed to lean to my side, and out to space I flung,
Landing face down in the mud….or was that cattle dung?

The momentary pause was an evaluation for pain,
When I looked up a little boy said, “Way to go Shane!”
The announcer encouraged my consolation prize,
All I could think of was a riggin’ and glove my size.
I guess I was hooked, and not too concerned about my style,
For it took an hour to remove my muddy smile.

© 2014, Shane Queener
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.


Shane comments: This poem was birthed in an attempt to capture the follies of a, unprepared, first ride. There are a plethora of emotions surrounding such an event. Fear, pride, anxiousness, anticipation, respect and nausea all culminate to form an adrenaline rush. A few moments in time, forever etched in the memory. All of the characters in this story are real, and the facts are 110% embellishment free. No animals were harmed in the penning of this poem.




  About Shane Queener
        provided 2014

Born to a protestant minister whose position was similar to that of a "circuit preacher," Shane's upbringing found him being reared in areas with the backdrops of Denali in Alaska, the wheat fields of North Dakota, The Gallatin Valley in Montana, and the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. It was inevitable that a connection to, and love for, the West would become a defining factor to life. Although not raised with all things agricultural, it wasn't uncommon to find a young Shane tagging along on a combine during harvest season, or participating in the events of an Angus operation in Western North Dakota. And it wasn't long before being horseback in the Rockies and on the plains became a passion.

Shane is a former bareback rider, and has managed a small Red Brangus and Belgian Horse operation in Middle Tennessee. He also spent two and half years as the bassist for Wylie & The Wild West. Shane presently works residential construction in Tennessee where he resides with his wife of 21 years and their small string of American Paint Horses.



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