Folks' Poems

Back to Lariat Laureate Contest
Back on home
Back to the list of Folks' Poems

Temple, Texas
About Tony Blisard

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of



The Bull Rider

Sittin the chute, waitin to pull the gate
This bull's gonna buck, I'm ridin for eight
Pull on the rope, warm it up slight
Adjust the riggin, give it a twist to the right

Got to make a check, to get down the road
Takes a lot of fuel, to carry my load
Traveling the circuit, riding here today
Be gone tomorrow, no time to play

Contractor says, "You bout ready to go"
For the bull's a pawing, he already knows
Turn out them toes, pull my hat down tight
Got to stay in the middle of this one tonight

With a nod of my head, and a pull of the gate
I have to keep up, can't afford to be late
The clown is ready, looking for a fight
Need to ride this bull in the bright arena light

With a leap and a spin, the crowd starts to cheer
I'm counting and counting, is eight seconds near
Got to get up and run, when I hit the ground
I surely thank GOD, for that rodeo clown.


Riding at night by the light of the moon
Racing the day, I hope its not soon
Dragging two mules with the gear I need
Not a light in sight can these eyes see

Picking the way along the trail he goes
We've been here before I'm sure he knows
The ridge we climb weaving back and forth
We're headed straight up I'm sure its north

He slips a foot on the rocks that startles me
I'm afraid on the ground is where I'll soon be
His muscles tighten up as his hooves dig in
He's pretty sure footed from where we've been
Back in the middle and a tug of the line
Forgot about the mules thought I left them behind

The trail is getting lighter from the dawn I can see
The crest of the ridge, where I'll soon be
The trees up ahead I've been hoping to find
Unsaddle the mules, hobble them to a line

Time to go on up to the top of the pass
I'll hobble the horse and let him eat grass
As I round the rocks, a glimmer catches my eye
The shine of the water for which I made this ride

I go to the lake on my way to the top
The beauty that surrounds me has made me stop
The calm pool reflecting the snow covered peak
This is the refuge I have come here to seek

The picture i see when I take my first glance
The mirror of the water, is this me by chance
I've rode many miles for the reflection I see
To be close to GOD and the wonders around me.


A Go To The Gates

The horses come in lined up in a row
With numbered places each one will go
The fella dressed up, with a smile on his face
Checking the numbers, putting them in place

While the trainer is working adjusting the tack
A tug of the irons to take up the slack
Up hops the rider with a quirt in his hand
Makes this one step lightly with his feet in the sand

Front legs are wrapped up, and a saddle full of weights
With its ears perked forward, time to head to the gates
The pony horse is working with a tug of the rein
The rider digs in three fingers in the mane

The tracks not to deep, wet down just right
Gonna make a fast time, for the winner tonight
One by one they ride up and they wait
For one of the gatemen to pull them in straight

The steward, he waves for the starter to see
When the last one is loaded, this is the key
With a flip of the switch and a ring of the bell
This go is history as they race for the rail.


Cutting Hay

Riding this tractor by the light of the moon
The whole 50 acres I'll have it cut soon

The rats they run like a wave in the grass
Acting like one but moving in mass

The lights are getting dim as the sun will soon rise
The birds start to fly in the ever lighting skies

The dew will dry quickly when the sun shows his face
Top off the fuel and prepare for the race

Time to rake it up and put it in rows
Run the tractor wide open the faster it goes

The sun will burn hot just after noon
Go take a nap I will be back soon

The grass has dried as the sun starts to fade
The moving shadows and the fingers of shade

The baler is wore out and the going real slow
Still have to finish with the moon rising low

The last bale is tied with the moon once again
With the daylight to come the hard work will begin

The people are lined up when I get to the field
From the bales I can see its a pretty good yield

I help to load what each one will buy
Not a breeze will blow nor a cloud in the sky

The last one is loaded and well on their way
Get hooked to the trailer to pick up my hay

The bales that are stacked on the trailer 5 high
Enough for the winter so the horses get by

Stacked in the barn and asleep for the day
Dreaming about horses, cutting grass and hauling hay.

The Round Pen

The cowboys stand tall as they lean on the post
Each one laughs as the other ones boast

The pen it goes round like the stories it could tell
Remembering each bronc and each cowboy's yell

The gate swings wide open as another one comes in
This ones full of buck and circles wildly in the pen

The saddle is wore out for this colt to throw
A wish to have it on before the sun sets too low

Which one will take the first ride in the seat
With their toes turned out to get a hold with their feet

He'll start to learn after a couple of goes
The cowboys don't quit, they enjoy the show

All wore out, ridden hard til he's tired
Starting to become broken but his spirit still admired

The learning comes quickly and the show of good sense
This will be a fine one for riding herd and fixing fence

The stories to be told about life on the range
The horses are only the cowboys that change.


Stormy Nights

Thunder rolls across angry skies with a deafening boom
Lightning fingers strike the night from where the darkness looms
Howling winds surround, rain stings like needle of pain
No way to tell where its going or from which direction it came

Shadowed figures approach with their slickers hanging down
Hats are tipped forward to let rain run to the ground
An empty stare is seen when looked straight into the eye
Exploding bolts electrify to feed a maddened sky

Horses wildly jump, restraining riders stand them still
Terror fills the eye to make the skin crawl with a chill
Looking back to find the ones riding stormy trails at night
Knowing not where they went, seeing nothing in the blinding light

Race for trails they make to find an easier way
Tracks swallowed by storms have to wait til the break of day
Overhung rock for shelter, another place to lay the head
Try to catch some sleep and not dream about your bed

The sun slowly rises over a tortured sleepless night
Eyes are tearfully blinded when the sun shows its first light
Horses groan as you take to the seat, they had a bad night ,too
Find the way they went that's what's left now to do

Empty trails reveal no trace of where they rode last night
Was it the imagination of a cowboy overcome by fright
Every time it storms slickered riders cross the mind
Haunting are the dreams of never finding any sign

Suite Kitten

Gray is the mare who has withered away
Foaling many champions in her earlier day
No weight at all holds up her skin
Every bone is showing, she's poor and thin

The colt she lost has taken her soul
Fight for her heart to forget the foal
Loving arms around her and all she can eat
Begging and praying for help as I weep

Next to the stallion is where she will stay
A turn at romance could bring her back our way
Good colts are born when given a chance
Singing Cowboy will whirl and show her his dance

Finding another to take away the pain
She should recover with a little weight gain
Remembering always, in the blink of an eye
Even a young one can lay down and die

First Kiss

Strolling hand in hand through blue shadowed mist
Begging with eyes for that first kiss
Love and laughter abounds through the night
Overflowing a soul teaming with life

Passion consumes when eyes first meet
Lips are pursed and craving their feast
Yet nothing happens, something's amiss
Never getting to share that first kiss

Standing alone, reign in hand
Watching the herd, surveying the land
Remembering the girl from way back when
Dreaming of where I might of stayed then

Nudged in the back to tighten the cinch
The one I love is ready to ride fence
Wore out boots and a pocket full of change
The love of a life on the wide open range

Making the choice to ride and roam
Never knowing the love of a wife and home
Sitting a saddle twelve hours a day
Choosing to live the cowboy way

If ever again walking through mist
Chancing to share that first kiss
Hang up the spurs, put the saddle in the barn
I'll take the girl and start my own farm

Tony Blisard


Words of rhyme that never end
Stories of where this cowboy's been
Writing down lines with aching hand
Sore from handling horses and working land

Words written with twig, scratched in soil
Sharing the life from where I toil
Whether setting a saddle or tending the herd
Always finding time for a line or a word

Sometimes making not a whole lot of sense
Who's ever heard of tamping post or electric fence
Pink horizons wink a slow setting sun
Horses are fed, lines written, chores done

Tony Blisard

First Performance

Sauntering along cobbled walkways
Giggling spur rowel touching the ear
Oil-tanned duster dancing upon stirring breezes
Black conchoed hat shading sultry eyes
Putting all aside for traditions sake
A cowboy has come to perform

Stepping on stage, scared to death
Microphone's poignant smell of cigarette smoke
Lights blinding glare exciting the moment
Sweats profuse presence, gorged on emotion
Body tingling with electric current
A trembling voice begins to speak

Soulful pouring upon anxious ears
Welling tears streaming down her face
A woman has started to cry
Almost stopping, humbled by the thought
Inspired too hold nothing back
Words echo exact meter and time

Stepping down exhausted, everything left behind
Wandering through aisles of applause
Reluctant that this is real
Collapsing into a familiar chair
The overwhelming reality, I touched a tear

2001, Tony Blisard

My Old Hat  

Old wore out black hat that's seen a better day
Stained with sweat from breaking horses and throwing hay
Run over flat more than one time
Its awfully comfortable and its mine

Branded with time some fifteen years
It could tell stories of blood, sweat and tears
Stuck in a tree with a hole in the crown
Seeming to laugh whenever I hit the ground

Pick it up, dust it off, back on my head
Even wearing it to shave and going to bed
Blown to the bottom from the top of a bluff
Six hour ride to get it, that was tuff

Always my companion wherever we go
Protecting my face from sun, rain or snow
My best friend is my hat, you see
When time to ride, it's waiting on me

2001, Tony Blisard

Cattleyard Cowboy

Learning like a yearling, riding like a man
Getting a job at twelve because I can
Riding my colt since he turned two
He and I know just what to do

Fancy side step to open the gate
Patience to shut it, he can't wait
Both of us bred to ride a herd
A touch of the rein, without a word

Into the crowded pen with 200 head
Most are bawling from wanting to be fed
Pretty unnerving with all the noise
Me and Domino, we keep our poise

Nudging them around culling out sick
Those with runny nose, eyes or no licks
Rope around the neck, take a quick dally
Guided to the gate where they wait in the ally

Pushed up front for a shot or a pill
With a couple of treatments, each one should heal
Hospital pens with fresh water and feed
Shelter from the weather is what they need

Riding those pens for six good years
Learning to "cowboy up," forget all my fears
Ready to ride for any brand I name
Just wanting to cowboy, not fortune or fame

7/3/01, Tony Blisard 



Getting Short Changed

Never wanted to ride on openin night
Like to see a few scores so I'd put up more fight
Got an easy bull spinnin into my hand
When I bail out on my feet I land

Tippin my hat to a cheerin crowd
There's not many here but I'm still proud
Loud speaker booms score sixty-eight
Should of spurred more when they pulled that gate

Squattin to watch the rest of the round
They all buck off and hit the ground
Glad at least I got a score
Maybe tomorrow the bulls will throw more

Up in the booth to have a quick look
Makin sure of sixty-eight in the book
She smiles and says with pencil in hand
"You might get paid, come back if you can"

Drivin my old truck and arriving late
So I don't have to pay to get in the gate
Bulls are the last event of the night
I hope to get paid before they turn out the lights

Seventy-four and seventy-two make a good score
I'm sitting in third, I hope there's no more
The sixty out last barely held on
I thought he touched, I may be wrong

I'll take third, it's better than none
Now to collect the money I won
Finding the bookkeeper to see what to do
She says "Wait at the concession, I'll be there in a few"

Everyone is leavin and closin up for the night
The concession stand just turned out it's light
Seems to me it was all arranged
I'm the one that just got short changed

2001, Tony Blisard 




I was asked if I'm a real cowboy
When I went to the feed store today
Except for needing a load of oats
I'd of never happened in this way

While stopping to get a cold drink
A pretty young lass walked my way
Speaking as not from around these parts
"Are you the real cowboy of today"

I looked up to eyes that were twinkling
And a sly impish grin
Tipping my hat and saying "Howdy"
Ma'am, where shall I begin

Fingers held by screw and pin
Barely work to pick anything up
Seems as though she wasn't with me
When I really needed lady luck

Seven surgeries on a blown out knee
I claimed it never really hurt
Until the night that raging bull
Ground me into the arena dirt

When I got up this morning
I could barely crawl out of bed
Pained by a weathered, wore out body
From the lifestyle that I've led

So asked if I'm a real cowboy
I really don't know what to say
Since I woke up this morning
I've been giving it my best all day

2002, Tony Blisard  

Early Morn

Out in the morn while dawn still sleeps
Filling up buckets for the horses to eat
Time alone to focus on forward direction
Trying to find that winning connection

Breeding horses is the easy part to do
Finding a winner is accomplished by few
Brought back to time by nickers in the pasture
They're cold and hungry, looking for the master

The stallion, always first when I feed everyday
He's the one buying the oats and hay
Running as if riding a tropical gale
Wind blowing thru swirling mane and tail

Waddling mare's walk with bellies big and round
Each one is ready to lay a foal on the ground
An old friend stops by to give me a hand
Jack, turned dew to frost across the land

The sun shows its smile as birds start to sing
A soaring hawk carries my dreams on its wings
Proud and part of this land I was born
Cradled in the beauty of this frosty early morn

2002, Tony Blisard  


Read Tony Blisard's Cowboy Christmas, posted with other Holiday 2001 poems.

"This Hard Wind," the poetry section of Electronic Writing Group Presents  proudly published Tony Blisard's Swallow-Tail Ballet, Suite Kitten, Cutting Hay, and Bull Rider in the August 2001 issue.


About Tony Blisard

When we asked Tony to tell us about himself, he replied:  I live in Temple, TX. I have a small Thoroughbred race horse farm.  I own and breed the #3 juvenile stallion in the state. I rode bulls for better than 5 years, spent a lot of time in the mountains of Colorado. Now I race my stock hoping one day to win a Breeders Cup event. The writings I sent are very personal and I am brand new at sharing them with others.  Life with the horses has been good to me I hope my poetry is as good.




 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

Site copyright information