Barbed wire

The Willies and the Mortensens,
the Millers and old Ted McGraw.
The Jacksons and young Bill DeWitt,
who was Ted McGraws in-law.

First set foot in the valley,
in the spring of sixty eight.
They staked their claims and all agreed,
to call it Heaven's Gate.

Oh, not because it looked Celestial,
it was a rough and untamed land.
Was named not for what it was,
it was named for what was planned..

The Mortensens and the Willies,
who were ranch folks all by trade.
Agreed to take the west most part,
their ranch the Double Spade.

The Jackson's Conestoga busted,
right at the Canyon's mouth.
They settled there while Ted McGraw,
took the range that lay down South.

The Millers, they were farmin' folks,
and staked some fertile bottomland.
Young DeWitt, moved North a piece,
to build the ranch he'd planned.

Their friendship never wavered,
and if the occasion should ever arise.
They'd get together to work or to play,
of just to socialize.

Despite the name, this newfound land,
gave nothing without a price.
Like a crooked dry goods merchant,
oft times you paid it twice.

But this ragged band of pioneers,
with blood and sweat and tears.
Wrenched from this land prosperity,
through a dozen back breaking years.

The Millers ran from Miller Ridge,
north to mount McGraw.
East from Harper Springs,
then west to Devil's Draw.

A river here, a piney knoll,
defined each ranchers feed.
A hogback ridge, and Simpson creek,
compiled a "Gentlemen's deed".

Then DeWitt, began to notice,
there on his Hereford spread.
His cows was dropping alien calves,
they showed black instead of red!

Well, the Double Spade ran Angus,
the volunteer was identified.
They too had some mixed breed calves,
and though both ranchers tried--

to separate the Angus bulls,
from the hereford female flock.
Or vice versa as the case may be,
to stop this roving stock.

And it seemed both breeds, from time to time,
strayed to Miller's farm.
And Miller's stand of Iowa Chief,
often came to major harm.

The Jackson clan from North a bit,
had a straying problem too.
Yet to remedy this dilemna,
not a soul knew what to do.

Then in the Fall of eighty one,
a merchantile posted flyer.
Touted the merits of a nasty invention,
aptly named Barbed Wire!!

A quadruple strand fence it stated,
was a rancher's straying cure.
Just string 'er up tight, wire in some stays,
you'll be bovine secure.

Well, now the valleys' all "bobwired",
the livestock no longer roams.
The farmers in the valley as well,
in their newly fenced in homes,--

Don't fret ner fuss nor worry,
about cattle in their crops.
'Cause where the barbed wire barrier is,
that's where the straying stops.

They'ze kind of a correlation though,
'tween sociability and the fence.
From that first day the wire was strung,
they'ze been no parties since.

Well, that barbed wire shore is a doozie,
it's a two edged sword, no doubt.
"Cause while it keeps the cattle locked in,
it seems to keep your neighbors out.

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Of all of the places you'd least expect,
a research lab to be.
Would be in central Afganistan,
El Houdin University.

Gene bending study was front burner stuff,
their lab was a horrible place.
Full of mutations, cells disarranged,
like a zoo from outer space.

A cow with 3 legs, a horse with a pouch,
hops around on his hind legs.
A sheep with feathers an' a stub of a beak,
in the corner hatchin' some eggs.

Kinda like a scene from an Alien movie,
an' I don't mean Sigorney Weaver.
Looked like those middle east gene splitters,
wuz usin' a dull meat cleaver.

Of all of the mutants constructed therein,
they'ze one with a pre-eminant place.
Nasty an' smelly, a slimy cell mass,
like the Grinch, except without grace.

Those bed sheet wrapped eggheads made a decision,
to use up all the spare DNA.
Some from a pig, a goat an' a camel,
and from a hound, - a mangy ol' stray.

They'd hit horror perfection in this animation,
each donor was evidenced there.
The stink from the camel, an' a bit from the pig,
the hooves from an ol' sway back mare.

The goats scraggly whiskers, the nose of badger,
on a face like ol' Barbara Striesand.
Fangs from a rattler, ears like Darth Vader,
this wasn't quite what they had planned.

The skin on this thing was scaley and rough,
from a Horney toad too long in the sun.
An' claws that wuz bent just the right angle,
to clutch tightly a Kalashnikov gun.

But 'sides his exterior which was ugly as sin,
His nasty temper was hard to explain.
Then it was learned that his brain cell DNA,
was some scraps from ol' Sadaam Hussein.

I suppose because of the prairie dog cells,
it liked to hang out in a cave.
And maybe because of lab rat influence,
it hardly ever indulged in a shave.

The Afgani lab boys, not given to smarts,
tried to categorize this thing they'd created.
Homo Erectus was the scientific name,
though I'd say that would be highly over-rated.

It liked to break things and talk really tough,
walked and talked just like a human.
"Cause of his locale, he found kindred enough,
an' persuaded 'em with his infernal fumin'.

Well, he's still over there just North of Kabul,
workin' out his devious plan.
To blow up the world, kill the infidel sorts,
aided by the Taliban.

Even though they've tried hard to pass him off
as a member of the human race.
I'll leave it to you to make that judgement call,
when you look him in the face.

He wrapped hisself in a religious cloth,
claimed Allah was a pullin' his chain.
But Allah wouldn't know this piece of trash,
who'ze causin' the world so much pain.

Osama bin Laden is the creature's name,
Skunks hold their noses 'round him.
There ain't no deed that's too evil or vile,
no swamp in which he won't swim.

This here is a creation that's custom made,
like Hitler in a bit different shell.
And with a one way ticket from the USA,
this one too will shortly end up in Hell.

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



I wrote this one in the final year of my Father's life. My Dad was Vern Hatch, the best cowman who ever lived, and for my money, the best Dad who ever wore that title!
While my dad never was the "front row", preachy type Latter Day Saint, he had a solid and true testimony that Jesus was his Savior.

My old Dad now rides a Berkline chair,
and he does er mighty well.- -
He'd do it even better if
it had a mane and tail.

He's been hogtied to that old chair
by the long years of his life,
To be cared for like a dogied calf
by a sweet and lovin' wife.

This old cowman that sets there now,
near blind and almost deaf,
has had his share of troubles here,
with flood and drought and grief.

He wasn't always thus you know,
he once was young and bold.
But like us all his choices were
to die young or just grow old.

Since he was born have come and gone
purt near a hundred years,
and through them all he's struggled with
lifes' many hopes and fears.

My Dad he didn't spend much time
in church while in his youth,
But he growed into a right fine man
who always spoke the truth.

He played a real good hand of cards,
and he was handy with the dice.
A few men have outplayed him once,
near none have done it twice.

He'd tended stock since just a lad,
once he even herded sheep.
and through his life it's been livestock
that's helped him earn his keep.

Now no man knowed 'bout cattle
any better than he did.
He knew just when to buy and sell,
and about how much to bid.

Dad raised some cows, and ranched some too,
but mostly he just traded.
He made a right good livin' too,
'cept when rustlers raided.

He traded tough for anything,
for a horse, a cow, or hogs.
Why once I heard 'bout how he made
a few bucks on some dogs.

It was never very difficult
this old stockman for to please.
Just give him a piece of range to ride,
and a horse between his knees.

He'd muse about the cattle some,
to his horse he'd cuss the weather.
The only reply, perhaps a snort,
and the squeak of saddle leather.

He'd note to his old pony
the dryness of the plain...
"There's not a cloud up in the sky,
ya think it's gonna rain?"

Well his old horse seemed to savvy,
though he never did reply.
I've wondered if he couldn't talk,
or if his throat was just too dry.

Well now Dad's done hung his saddle up,
his old horse has passed away.
But he still gets to ride him some
in dreams of yesterday.

Dad'll soon be re-located
to a range up in the sky.
Where it rains pert near every day,
and the grass is belly high.

He'll first ask for his old Levis,
for his Stetson and his boots.
What he'll want to do up there
ain't done in Sunday suits.

He'll go up to the big ranch house
to check in with the Lord.
He'll want to know what he can do,
to earn his room and board.

"Well, I've got some stray ones out there Vern,
will ya help me bring 'em back?"
"The Gospel can be your lasso rope,
My Word can be your tack."

"Take this here stamp iron too,
curved S to brand the stock."
"Just mark 'em good as Saints now Vern,
and return 'em to the flock."

Then he'll mosey down to see his friends,
hug his Mom and Dad of course.
Then I think he'll slip out to the barn
and saddle up his horse.....

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

This is a picture of my Father in the last years of his life and one of few photos of him without his hat.
My dad was from the old cowman school who put on their stetson before they put on their pants. A great man!

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Talkin' Dog

It happened one day about three summers ago when I'ze headin' to a rodeo.
It was listed on the brochure as a "quaint little town" in upstate New Mexico.
Didn't show up on my map nor on my Tom Tom, an' I couldn't get cell phone connections.
But like any feller I figgers I can find it, I ain't about to stop an' ask fer directions.

So I drives back an' forth, crossed my path several times, frustration was settin' in.
I'ze talkin' to myself, I'ze answering some, an' my patience was wearin' thin.
So I'ze on this two track back road, a short cut I'ze thinkin' though to where I didn't know.
I'd become convinced that wherever I went that it was some better than the status quo.

I'd been drinkin' Bud Light since daybreak, I'ze just two swallers shy of a full six pack.
So I'ze havin' to stop from time to time, how many times I ain't keepin' track.
I spots a fence post up the road just a bit that seemed to be callin' my name.
They'ze no civilization in sight so to relieve myself there carried no shame.

I'd hardly begun when out of the trees comes a dog just like he'd been called.
I admit to you now he startled me some an' my mission was temporarily stalled.
"Hi feller" I offered, "hows yer day goin'", - you think talkin' to dogs is odd?
I'ze 'bout to continue my task, when the pooch say's "just fine" with a nod.

Well, folks I lost all interest in what I'd begun, cause that hound dog further declared.
"I couldn't help notice yer truck's got a miss" he offered as I swallered and stared.
"I'd bet it's carburation or maybe a spark plug is bad", he offered as he wiggled his snout.
Then he turned back in the trees an' left me standin' there with my tongue an stuff hangin' out.

I crawls back in my old truck, heads on down the road, the rodeo was completely forgot.
I mutters, "takes more than twelve beers to make talkin' dogs", or at least that was my thought.
"Bout a mile or two more an' I sees this old feller just a wanderin' to and fro.
I'ze needin' to share but I knew talkin' dogs were right up there with a UFO.

It entered my mind that it was some sort of trick, perhaps wuz robotics involved.
Some kid with a science experiment, this pooch puzzle I'ze sure could be solved.
I ain't no greenhorn that buys into a scam, -- 'cept that one time I bought an Emu.
But I knowed all I needed was someone to bounce off of, just needed to talk it through.

I related to that stranger my meeting canninus, tho I'ze afeared that he'd think me daft.
"Maybe old Allen Funt had a candid camera" , he just nodded and quietly laughed.
"Oh" says the old feller, "I wouldn't worry too much, I'm sure it caught you by surprise".
"But before you get further concerned, there's something that you should realize".

Probably just some local prankster thought I, you see I knowed I weren't goin' insane.
But to meet talkin' dogs can cause one to question, or heaven forbid - to even abstain!
"Was it a big old off colored Shepherd who's momma may have been scared by a Shar Pei"?
"That's him"
I nodded in assent, "resembled a badger with a real bad toupee ."

"He's mine" offered my new found friend in reply, " I know that old dog like the back of my hand"
. "If yer really frettin' 'bout yer old Dodge truck, they'ze somthin' 'bout my mutt you should understand".
"I think his gray matter leaked out of his ears, you know kinda like them Obama voters".
"Cause that old hound knows all 'bout transmissions, but just ignore him when he talks 'bout motors"!

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Now I ain't no skeptic, but I shore do believe,
they'ze things we ain't supposed to know.
Things that is secret, shrouded in mystery,
like what is it that makes the wind blow?

Or, why'ze a cat furry, an why'ze the sky blue,
or why'ze a fish got a fin?
More important perhaps, why'ze one gal so purty,
an' another as ugly as sin??

What about lint? Does it come from yer sweater,
or is yer bellybutton where the lint grows?
Is that wax in yer ears just brains meltin' down?
And whence came that stuff 'tween yer toes?

Why does old ladies have Hamsters fer pets,
when they'ze scared to death of a rat?
Why is it everyone loves a cute kitten,
when hardly no one cares fer a cat?

These is some of life's mysteries, important and deep,
like, what good is eyes in a 'tato?
These questions has bothered all the deep thinkers,
like me, and Socrates, an' Plato.

Schoolin' don't help, take my Algebra professor.
Full a poop as a Christmas Goose.
He told me 'bout Pie an' though I really did try,
I ain't yet figgered the Hipatonoose!

But all that aside, let me tap in yer wisdom,
'specially you with anatomy trainin'.
Theze three questions I got on parts of livestock,
which fer years has kept my brain drainin'.

I've done some researchin' on question number one,
in an ol' John Wayne picture show.
An' in my old Funk and Wagnell, Volume A-B,
looked up and read 'bout buffalo.

It say's they can run, fast as the wind,
that ya can hardly build a corral that'll hold 'em.
'Sides, if they had what I'ze lookin' fer,
just where in heck would they fold 'em?

But my query's unanswered, so help me out folks,
you who know 'bout such things.
Where, oh where does yer local KFC,
secure their Buffalo Wings?

Part number two is equally perplexin',
tho the source a the question's the same.
Maybe, perhaps if the Colonel was present,
he could tell me from whence this part came.

Most a my research was on my kids 'ol pet hen,
while he most tenderly hugged it.
Though I looked as I might, used a flashlight,
I found nary a single "Chicken Nugget"!

But, my final inquiry has bothered me most,
as a cowman I know 'bout "cow stuff".
Though I shorely don't know everything 'bout livestock,
always figgered that I knowed enough.

I've birthed 'em and wormed 'em, de-horned an' burned 'em,
and, I've butchered a few in my days.
I've studied bull innards frum their stem to their stern,
ate their steaks, their roasts and fillets.

I've used most ever' part that's in a bull's hide,
in a dish we call mulligan stew.
And those brandin' time treats we call "Mountain Oysters",
I've laboriously chewed quite a few.

Well, with the inside parts tallied, I stabled our ol' bull,
we kept in the pasture at home.
I carefully inspected ever' square inch a that beast,
with a fine toothed horse curry comb.

Now, with research complete, I've now concluded,
they,ze one cut a beef that's a phoney.
Though I've looked inside an' out of bulls now fer years,
I ain't yet located his bulloney!!..

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


This sign made by Mr. BO LEE as an Eagle Scout project!!

(I wrote this poem for the 125th celebration of the founding of the little town of which I'm a part. They wanted something to keep the celebration from getting too serious. To understand the ending of this one you'd have to try the stuff they refer to as water in Jo City.)
Ditty of Jo City

Like some old cowhide scraped in haste, and left unstretched to cure.
This sunbaked valley burst into view, devoid of all allure.

Was this some grand celestial joke by God in silence spoken.
Or was the map just slightly off? Or was the compass broken?

Unspoken questions, yet evident in every settler's face.
No Prophet's voice to reassure, that this really was the place.

In later years it would be said, "was faith that began this town!"
A better guess may well be their wagons just broke down.

They easily could have traveled on to lands more lush and green.
Their prayers for help implored their God that he would intervene.

To help them make this barren spot a place with roots of love.
And when all looked lost and futile they'd find help from above.

So they stayed and built a town with blood, with sweat and tears.
Now we look back and honor them, those Saints of early years.

The menfolk plowed and planted, the drought and wind fought back.
They built a score of washed out dams 'fore they finally got the knack.

Two steps forward and then one back, they couldn't catch a break!
The quiet question spoken oft,- "why did we leave Salt Lake?"

Honor earned by men and women who themselves honored God.
And placed the hands of we who follow upon the iron rod.

They fought the fights which were theirs, hardships they embraced.
Thoughts often drifted to earlier homes where the water had no taste.

Well, now a century's come and gone, as has each early pioneer.
Yet there's building to be done by those of us left here.

What have we done, it may be asked,- is their legacy intact?
Have the dreams that they envisioned now become a fact?

Or do we rest upon their laurels Like the Jews with Abraham?
Do we as well need stern rebuke by the Great I AM?

I certainly didn't mean to rain on our little hometown parade.
Or conjure up a batch of guilt for mistakes we may have made.

Just wondering if we measure up to those folks of days gone by?
In fact, with things so easy now, do we really even try?

I just suspect, if you're like me,- And pray to God, you ain't.
A day in those good folks footsteps would leave you weak and faint.

In fact, that's enough, I'm all pooped out just from writing this little ditty.
I'll set back and sip some bottled water delivered to Jo City.

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


This is a little poem I wrote for the funeral of my Father in Law, Ross Adams.
A good and decent man who treated me like his own son and who loved his daughter completely.
It is gramatically poor and will mean little to the reader unless they knew him.
Have a few of the family who wanted me to put it online so they could take a look.

An Ordinary Man

His life wasn't the spectacular kind,
with pomp and circumstance.
Fact is, he'd take the back row seat,
if he's given half a chance.

They ain't many mortal accolades,
Hanging framed on Ross's wall.
No college degrees, nor fancy titles,
nor trophies short or tall.

Fact is that to most observers,
He's just an ordinary guy.
Kinda plain, and kinda regular,
seemingly sort of shy.

If you'd ask Kings and presidents,
they wouldn't have a clue.
Nor would Ross be listed at all,
in an issue of "WHO's WHO.

Honest, truthful, fair, and decent,
may be outdated attributes.
He always thought old fashioned,
could use some new recruits.

Oh, he didn't cure no rare disease,
nor rid the world of pain.
He didn't remedy global warming,
didn't even believe in Acid rain.

I suppose you could call him ordinary,
if you didn't know him like I do.
I've know a number of really good men,
but I've known very few,--

who cold hold a candle to this old boy,
when the measuring is done correct.
He's got from me what I don't give often,
my full and complete respect..

I'll bet that this "ordinary" man,
now freed from his tired old body.
Just got a celestial PHD.
graduating summa cum laude.

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



When I was a young boy, my dad sold the circus which had come into Holbrook a sick old steer we had been doctoring for days. I'm convinced that steer wouldn't have lasted for another day, but must have made decent lion feed. Dad got a bit of cash and circus tickets for all the family. That experience prompted this poem, though there is nothing similiar to the real event depicted here!

"I'll move that old boy I said",
Old Tom just grinned and spit.
He knowed when I'd tried that trick before,
we'd had to retrofit.

The tailgate on the gooseneck trailer,
an' the Powder River panels.
This fellers' horror film material,
an' I wanted to flip the channels.

I got this hide 'bout three years past,
just goin' to feed him out.
But like a divorced inlaw,
or a case of the flaming Gout.

I couldn't get that old boy gone,
he'd put his roots down here.
This cranky, ornery, nasty, no good,
inbred Satanic steer!

I'd sooner pee on a sparkplug,
or eat a mess of deep fried Rat,
if'n it'd help get this demon gone,
I'd even vote fer a Democrat!

I still had me a steer hoof tatoo,
in a spot better left unseen.
where that old cuss vaulted the pasture fence,
usin' my butt as a trampoline.

My plan this year was foolproof,
after hearin' old Tom agreed.
The circus had just come to town,
an I contracted fer the Lions feed.

We drove that old steer to the Big Top,
his grizzly fate sure and certain.
We herded him into the Lion's cage,
and didn't raise the curtain.

I had me a feeling that those old cats,
would earn their supper tonite.
I knew that old crossbred well,
he'd surely put up a fight.

It sounded a lot like a Rock Concert,
both in decibel and in tone.
The bellerin' and roarin' reminiscent
of a night with the "rollin' stone".

Then it all fell silent,
an' I'ze a cuttin' myself some slack.
'Cause like my stock market investments,
that critter ain't a comin' back.

That Lion tamer pulled the curtain,
so's Tom and I could see.
But that old steer stood there unruffled,
the Lions dead as old Elvis P!

Well, the Circus left town on Tuesday,
and, "My Nemesis", you might inquire?
Would I be stuck another winter,
with old Scratch's neutered sire?

The Circus trucks rolled by the ranch,
down my cheek rolled a single tear.
Bold letters on the side of the ex-Lions wagon..

Paul D. Hatch
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Oh well, you get the idea.........

I doubt you'll find much in the way of cowboy poetry that is any better than the stuff that a friend of mine from Snowflake, Arizona puts together. His name is Rolf Flake and he has been writing good rhymes for half a century. Rolf is a real honest to goodness cowman and his stuff comes from real life as well as the occasional fantasy. I'd recommend his new book to anyone wanting to read some good stuff that will help get the taste of mine out of your mouth. His new book is called "Cloud Watchers", and if you are interested, drop me a line and I'll put you onto it.

"Keep astride of the tree, both feet in the stirrups, and far enough back of the horn to maintain your masculinity"...

(You cowgirls figger it out yourselves)


If you like country stuff and cowboy poetry,
you'll love the pages at the

They were kind enough to include me on their pages!


His stuff ain't free, but it's worth the price. If you ever have a chance to catch him in person, I'll guarantee some of the best entertainment you've ever enjoyed! Baxter is also a nice feller who'll take a minute out of his busy schedule to visit and encourage.
He's kinda the "poet hero" of most of us wanna be's..

(928) 586-1077
Coyote Cowboy Company P.O. Box 2190 Benson, Arizona 85602

Tell him you found them from my website if you think of it.