Cowboys moving cattle using their horses and dogs.
Cowboy Poetry by Charlotte Thompson
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Charlotte Thompson lives the life she writes about.  She and husband Dave are working at a ranch in Montana right now, but have worked in most of the western states and at a great many of the ranches in those states.  Dave is a classic cowboy...a cowboy is always going someplace else.  Charlotte's poetry is so real and so vivid, I have seen more than one hardened cowboy cry when she recites.
Here are two of her best:
Mirage or Mustang
© By Charlotte Thompson
Mirage or Mustang
Desert sun drives them to water, I hear them coming at full speed,
Blacks and bays, paints, and palominos, and a big roan mare in the lead.

Clouds of dust boil thick around them, this is a sight not many see,
They circle twice, then come in closer, sneak a drink so cautiously.

I’m hid up here behind a boulder; I don’t move or hardly breathe,
If they knew that I was watching, they’d all turn tails and quickly leave.

Some gravel shifts beneath my boot heel, she senses danger in the air,
Whinnies once to warn the others, she can’t see me, but knows I’m there.

Then she snorts to claim her baby, calls him to her inside flank.
Turns away and leads the others right straight up the offside bank.

Heat shimmers off this desert, it’s hard to tell fiction from fact,
It’s hard to tell – mirage or mustangs, in the mud is proof – they left a track.

Mirage or Mustang
110 At The Ropes
© Charlotte Thompson 4-25-04
Every morning after Breakfast,
Come rain or bright sunshine

Cowboys leave the cookhouse,
With a halter, rope or twine,

And they gather at the rope corral,
Horses comin’ on the run.

Call out just what horse they need,
And the cowboss ropes each one.

Snort, Frosty and Lizard,
Tescardo, Guapo, Fox.

Sleepy, Slippers, Willy,
Sourdough and Sox.

File in and take their places
In the ropes there by the barn.

Applejack and Blondie,
Redman, Blue and Far’n.

The cowboss swings his lariat
And lets a hoolihan go.

First horse caught is Preacher
Then Jet, Horn and Chino.

“What else?” Nate yells, Dave calls for Lurch
Another horse loop tossed.

Half-pint nips at Johnny Walker
Lynn calls out for Ross.

Shorty, Bell, and Freight Train,
Festus, Cash and Snip.

Looking Glass, Tuxedo, Silver,
Slash T and Flip.

Are all getting restless,
As Stanley calls for Stretch.

Another loop flies through the air,
And makes a perfect catch.

Blackrock, D Jay, Traveler,
Cocaine, Gunsmoke and Ace.

Have done this many times before,
So stand quietly in their place.

Harley, Peanut and Thunder,
Are right next to the gate.

Spider, Whiskey, Denny,
Cowboy, Deano, Snake.

Are getting pretty edgy,
As Jay gives the gate a fling.

Out runs Eveready then,
Alpo, Bailey, Ring.

Darlene, Mickey, C.P.C.
Leppy, Wally, Slim.

Lope straight down the meadow
‘Til they wrangle them again.

Whistler, David, Lucky,
Skunk, Rocket and Concho

Badger, Blucher, Kelly,
E.T., Doc, and Zero.

Bridle horses, snaffle colts,
and some just pound the ground.

Red Mountain, Pinky, Handsome,
High Roller, Sambo, Clown.

They traded off the bad ones,
Kept the ones that they liked best.

James Bond, Mouse, N.I.C.
PeeWee and T.S.

They rode ‘em on the desert,
They held ‘em in the ropes.

They dressed ‘em up for Elko,
And on them hung their hopes.

Dusty, Tango, Bourbon,
Kojack, Gambler, Doug.

Tabasco, Martin, Louie,
Porky, Peppy, June Bug.

Cody, Tomcat, and Billy,
Quatro, Jimmy, Will.

Cotton, Stub and Rain Drop,
Trot through their stories still.

So here’s to you Buck and Burro
To Ringo, Chief and Ghost.

To the geldings in the cavvy,
We lift a glass and toast.

© Charlotte Thompson 4-25-04
Photos by Charlotte Thompson
 The YP cavvy that is the subject of the poem. 
Click on photos for larger views.


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