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New Mexico
About Trampas McWhorter
Trampas McWhorter's web site




He don't know what he's doing
When he climbs up on a horse
Clumsy and unstable
And just plain dumb of course
He don't like my cowboy coffee
He claims it's "just too strong"
And when I dump some more in
He thinks it's just plain wrong
He's scared to go down steep trails
And just as scared to go up 'em
With every move his horse makes
He thinks it's gonna dump 'im
He pays me good to take him
To the places I like to go
And then he cries and whimpers
When the horse steps on his toe
When he ropes he catches his own head
And just can't roll his wrist
But I try to be patient
As he tries to get the jist
He steps into the saddle wrong
And gets off just the same
When he goes home he thinks he's a cowboy
But he's still just really lame
Only one way to explain him
This awkward boob
The only way I can explain him
Is simply: as a dude

© 2005, Trampas McWhorter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


My Job

Fences are frosted over
The grounds covered in snow
It's only zero degrees out there
But it feels like thirty below
The winds icy fingers
Pry their way through warm clothes
They say I'm crazy for livin' this way
Maybe I am, who knows?
I'm just tryin' to make a livin'
Where a livin's almost gone
Off in the distance there
A coyote sings his lonesome song
There's a sick dogie out in the back pasture
And to find it is my job
There, I think I see him
Yep, I hear his bawling sob
Curled up there next to a tree
And shaking from the cold
Poor little booger out here all alone
And he's only about a month old
I wrap him in a blanket
And throw him across my saddle
Am I really crazy? Who knows?
But the job is to take care of cattle
I love my job for the freedom
For the honesty and respect
There ain't a better job out there
But the pay could improve I expect
Despite the low pay, I do my job
Because it's my duty, I'll never run
But I figure I'd better get the good jobs
Before the cowboyin' jobs are done

© 2006, Trampas McWhorter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Trampas told us: How this poem came to be... well I began to think about what makes a cowboy a cowboy, and came up with the fact that he loves his job and is hell bent for leather to keep on doing what he loves. The changing of the times and the lack of cowboy jobs were my inspiration for this. The cowboying jobs are slowly fading into the past and I believe that it is important to at least keep the dream alive

From a Cowboy to a Soldier

I once wore a pair of Justins
I once wore a Rodeo King
Now I’m sporting a beret
And my clothes are colored green
Getting paid to learn
And to improve on my physique
Taking life here in the Army
Week by week by week
Basic is all over with
And it’s on to AIT
I’m a trained, proficient soldier
A lean mean killing machine
Living the Army Values
Every day and every night
Flying low under the radar
Always doing what is right
From a Cowboy to a Soldier
Yet a Cowboy still at heart
It was time to do my duty
To perform my rightful part
9 weeks with out a chew
And 9 more still to go
2 months without Copenhagen
Made the time go pretty slow

But I made it through
Of course I knew I would
And now I can do things
I never thought I could
2 miles in 13 minutes
62 pushups in two
Keeping my bunk made tight
Always on the move
From a Cowboy to a Soldier
It’s been a big change
From breaking ice on tanks
To firing M-16’s on the range
The pay here is steady
And better than I once made
From branding calves all day
To tossing live grenades
Packing a rucksack 10 miles
And cleaning my combat boots
Oh LORD how I miss my horses
And all my Cowboy roots
After I’m all through with this
And my enlistment is all done
I’ll don my Cowboy gear again
And continue to have fun
From a Cowboy to a Soldier
For eight more years to come
Then a Soldier to a Cowboy
So come and get ya some!

© 2007, Trampas McWhorter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Two Track

The two-track road
Just back of the house
Ain’t used much
Except for maybe a mouse
It used to be used
For feeding the cattle
But then came the city
An inevitable battle
The forest service
Is fighting the place
they hire lawyers to bicker
In courts and not face to face
The two-track road
Once was used
Now the cattle are gone
And the two-tracks abused
Wind and rain
Sun and snow
Will quickly fill it in
And the grass will grow
It’s weedy and sorry
An’ rougher n’ hell
But like an old man
It has stories to tell
The two-track days have ended
With highways and gravel
And now the owner
Faces the judge and gavel
What once was a road
Now is trail
For game and rodents
It never fails
The teacher is a hard one
And so is the lesson
Gone are the days
Of good-old Smith & Wesson
The two-track road
Just back of the house
Is seldom used
Save for a mouse

© 2009, Trampas McWhorter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Trampas comments, "After growing up on the Quien Sabe, a ranch that my family didn't own, seeing it sold to land developers and then cut into 160 acre parcels, it really makes you think about how much things change over a short period of time. And with all the legal battles like that of Kit Laney and the Diamond Bar Ranch just a little ways south of us, it really shows how hard it is to keep the traditional way of ranching intact. No matter how solid and well made it was in the beginning, eventually it fades away. As for me, I still remember the old two-track roads on the ranch I grew up on, just as I will always remember the Quien Sabe Ranch."

[Ed. note: Kit Laney was a New Mexico rancher who lost his ranch in a decade-long fight for grazing rights, and who is the subject of Michael Martin Murphey's "Storm Over the Rangeland."] 



The No-Horse Nightmare

In the early mists of dawn
I awoke from dreamy slumber
And towards the coffeepot
I began to lumber

The other hands awakened
And joined me at the table
To discuss the day's event
And to do what we were able

Bill and me set out…afoot?
To the north side of the place
We saw our herd of cattle
And began our little…footrace?

By the time had ‘em rounded up
And had em started in
Both of us were…footsore?
As well as out of wind

We got em headed to the pens
Where the rest of the hands were waitin
Bill and me pushed the cattle in
Boy our feet were…achin?

We started to brand about midday
All on foot of course
The entire time I’m wonderin
Where in the hell’s my horse?

When the day was through
Everyone of us was beat
And we sorefooted it home
To grab a bite to eat

The barn was mysteriously empty
No horses, hay or tack!
About that time I scratched my head
Now why didn’t I have a hat?

Confused and bleary eyed
I struggled to my bunk
None of us had blankets!
Or any other junk!

I sat straight up in bed
Sweat a’runnin down my face
My hat, my clothes and blankets
All seemed to be in place

I dressed in quite a hurry
And rushed out into the night
To check on horses, feed and saddles
And everything seemed right

Bill ran up beside me
Breathless and wide eyed
We looked at each other at last
And turned to go back inside

All the hands were wide awake
All we could do was stare
We’d all experienced the legend
Of the infamous No-Horse Nightmare.

© 2009, Trampas McWhorter
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Trampas told us, "This poem actually came to me while writing another poem.  I thought about what a cowboy's life would be without the tools and animals needed to perform his job, and this is what I came up with: 'A Nightmare.'"


  About Trampas McWhorter:

I live and work on a ranch in west-central New Mexico.  The cowboy life has been a part of me for as far back as I can recall.  

My dad is a cowboy and my grandpa is still out there at 80 years old, working his own small spread. The tradition has been passed down for years and now I'm on the receiving end.  

My dad has always had ideas about life on a ranch; he just never got a chance to write things down. He always encouraged me to write, I guess he figgered that I could start early on a writing career and pick up where he left off.  

Last year [2004], on my sixteenth birthday I received a notepad and pen, my dad told me that it was for putting my thoughts down in, and it's worked.  I keep them in my saddle bags when I ride and whenever a thought pops into my head, I dig em out and put a few words down.  Some of them, like "Dude" formed into a poem and the rest... well they're still there.  But I have never underestimated the power of words and someday they might come of something.  

Many people tell me I have a gift, that this is a special ability.  I tell them no, that writing's not a special ability, anyone can do it.  The only gift I have is that I have experienced a lot of things in my sixteen years, from good days to bad wrecks, and have had the chance to write things down.  In the words of Larry McWhorter, "These poems are things I have seen, done, or heard of, with a few concoctions thrown in."

We asked Trampas if he was related to Larry McWhorter, and he told us, "Larry and I are related though it is very distant... I did get to talk to him a time or two over the phone and we became pretty good friends. He was probably my inspiration to write..."

Find information about Trampas McWhorter's book, Cowboy and Western Poetry, at his web site:



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