I put him out to pasture, old Sam had served me well..
If he could only speak, what stories he could tell..

Of long hot days at round-up, of snowy frigid rides.
When Sam had took me there and back, in sure and steady strides.

In early days hed fought me some, Ize forced to use the spurs.
Seems hed wake up every morning, with a blanket full of burrs..

Oft times Id fork the old McLellan, and pull my Stetson snug.
Old Sam would turn his head around, and give a horsley shrug..

Ize tensed up like a fat hog, at a sausage seminar.
Then hed line out and Id relax, but not for very far.

Cause bye and bye as sure as sin, old Sam would come un-glued.
Id recite his genealogy, in terms profane and crude.

Then the days turned into months, the months turned into years.
Sam turned into a cow horse, surpassing all his peers.

You ought not think he softened much, there werent no mush in Sam.
Hes always like a spring thaw creek, against a beaver dam.

But thru the years wed built a truce, we never wrote it down.
Ize dumb myself, and Sam,- couldnt tell a verb from a proper noun.

But neither Jocoby nor Myers, with all their legalese.
Including "where-ofs" and "where-fores" dotted Is and well crossed Ts.

Ever built a contract, with more of binding force,
than this agreement made between, a cowboy and his horse.

I promised him Id feed him good, and although some may scoff,
he promised if the feed was good, that hed not poop me off.

Well, hes now reached his grandpa stage, hes two score years plus three.
But age has been right kind to him, like an imported rare chablis.

Some have urged I trade him off. They just dont understand.
Hes not just another common horse, Sam rode fer the brand.

Sides, Im a hopin bye and bye, when all my vigors fled.
The Man upstairs wont trade me off, But perhaps, instead,----

Hell look down here and pity me, Hell see I aint much good.
But perhaps Hell see like my horse Sam, I done the best I could!!

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


Well, I've got myself a Texas spread, down in the Eastern part.
It hardly ever rains down there, it's drier'n a popcorn fart.

I got myself some special stock, they're unique without a doubt.
A cross 'tween cows and camels, they can weather any drought.

I bred em up and placed em here, cause I knowed the place was dry.
I could hold em through the droughty times, sell when the price was high.

Well, the wife and I were happy there, so I tell you what we did.
We added on an extra room, then we had ourselves a kid.

She growed into a happy child with not a drop of fear.
She could ride and rope as good as me, and she never shed a tear.

She had her shares of scrapes and bumps in her thirteen years of livin'.
But she never once complained or cried bout the lot that she'd been given.

I sent her off to school at times to learn of things in books.
'bout snow and clouds and sparklin' lakes, and bout somethin' they call brooks.

She learned also of curves and graphs, of colored charts and such.
So when the county agent came she helped me keep in touch--

with what he said in four-bit words, as he spoke with schoolbook reason.
'Bout how it rains in cycles here, how all things come in their season.

Accordin' to the charts he showed, it should rain 'bout twice a year.
But the only drops I'd seen in years had been an ol' nag's tear.

So life went on for several months, then the clouds came rollin' in.
The lightnin' flashed across the sky, followed by the thunder's din.

The wife and I ran for the house, as did our only kid.
The two of us stopped on the porch, but the kid went in and hid.

The wife went in to find her, the way a Mother ought.
She looked for her both high and low, then found her 'neath a cot.

Her ma and I, we helt her close, we wiped away her tears.
We couldn't figger why she wept, she'd never had no fears.

We sat around, the three of us, she had to talk it out.
I found then what had shook her up and what she'd bawled about.

She told me how, as she growed up and rode out on the range.
She'd seen some things both scarce and odd, and others downright strange.

She'd seen snakes and lizards some, and a near white armadillo.
There was once a scorpion on her bed, and a spider on her pillow.

Her books at school had taught her that some things in life are rare.
Like an honest politician, and a frog with curly hair.

I figgered I'd prepared my child, that she never would be scared.
I hoped that fear and tremblin', was somethin' she'd be spared.

I should have spoke about this thing that caused her so much dread.
But I'd only seen it twice myself in the years I'd run this spread.

I guess you've all surmised by now the sight that caused this scare,
is something hardly ever seen, a sight that's truly rare.

What was this curious thing you say that caused my kid this pain?
Was nothin' more nor less you see, than an Eastern Texas rain............

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


Rodeo Chediski      

It was on a gentle ridge just a bit north of Cibecue.
where this thing known just as Rodeo made her cruel debut.
It's infant tongue licked upward, and it's breath was hot and dry.
but before it was a juvenile, it had already gone awry.

They now say it was started with just a single arsons act,
but I submit, in retrospect that just ain't exactly fact.
Oh, the match was struck for sure, but would have fallen short,
if not for a Godless judge in a San Franciso court.

I suppose that the politics of this criminal neglect,
ought to be left for future verse for maximum effect.
regardless who first struck the match or how the fire was lighted,
those Hollywood Sierra Club types should be co-indicted.

God has His way of calling due a debt of careless stewardship.
And the fare is often paid by those who didn't sign up for the trip.
Like any garden gone to weed, this stand of Ponderosa pine,
Unlogged, unkempt, and overgrown, would now become a shrine.

And so this thing called Rodeo, rolled North at record pace.
Her fiery talons stretching forth their napalm like embrace.
It swept through abandoned cabins and then spared a Robins nest,
it's angry plume rose up to heaven, then fell back in mock protest.

She scattered fiery embers like a million June snowflakes,
to set at naught the efforts of the manmade fire line breaks.
It came alive and challenged, but there just weren't any takers,
though Pinedale and to Linden, then west to Timberlin' acres.

It's thermostat was stuck on high, it howled in perfect pitch.
Folks prayed for God to turn it off, but no man could find the switch.
People fled her awful wrath, with only their pickups full of stuff.
But a convoy of eighteen wheelers wouldn't have been enough.

It sounded like a wounded alien, carried on winds from Mexico,
it drove the folks from Showlow, and then began to slow..
Men who by comparison were mostly an ineffectual lot,
made just that bit of difference, as they dug in and fought.

Misery they say loves company, and nasty fires need an ally,
so west a bit an ignorant lady fired up Chediski.
Like Romeo and Juliet, these two seemed by fate destined,
All nature seemed to cooperate to see these two combined.

Like on cue from ol' Rodeo, the western fire went wild,
Chediski flew into an angry rage, like a nasty spoiled child.
Perhaps at times outdoing her senior counterpart,
she burned right through Overguard, aimed at Hebers' heart.

But like an old west gunman, folks drew a line there in the sand,
not sure what would be their fate, they took a last ditch stand.
They fought to save their homes, -NO, -- to save their way of life,
they partnered up with Deity and like a surgeons knife, --

the fire carved out a line around the folks in that small spot,
though taking pride in all their efforts, their God won't be forgot.
Against the wind and common sense, and slithering like a snake,
Chediski traveled west some more, to nip at Forest Lake.

Like some supernatural things now in satan's grip,
these now conjoined ugly twins hooked up at the hip.
They're now officially a Monster, and I think it most apropos.
We don't know if it's RodeoChediski, or ChediskiRodeo.

Man fought with trucks and dozers, pushing brush and trees aside.
With axe and spade they fought the beast, to try to turn the tide.
Some pundits would later say that they'ze too timid with the attack...
It must be really hot and tiring work, to be an armchair quarterback!!

Just in the nick of time it seems, the human force come front,
or was it simply that Nature had grown tired of punishment?
And then we started hearing that man was gaining some control,
I wondered if that was the case or we'ze just granted a parole?

Oh I suppose we'll never know the thinking of these beasts,
what caused these two leviathons to pick and choose their feasts.
A woodsy cabin here untouched, the block house next door gone,
A four point buck gone up in smoke, and left - a spindly fawn.

A single squirrel glanced backward, made one last furtive dash,
but like a mindless crematorium, Rodeo turned 'im into ash.
A soaring eagle on the wildfire front, dove like a great banshee,
to pluck a fleeing rabbit and in that moment, both ceased to be!

Why Clay Springs was spared the blaze and Showlow left as well,
why some folks mourn their loss while others just cuss the smell.
I know it just aint real PC to bring up the name of God,
but answers that are politically correct just seem a grand faade.

God had his hand in this travail, both Merciful and Just,
His power leaves we mortals aghast and all nonplussed.
I'll be content to think the Man upstairs, to be completely fair,
has got to let some hurt and pain be an answer to our prayer.

So, let's thank Him for the time we had in forests lush and green,
and just for life and loved ones, and a million things unseen.
And for the chance that many had amongst the burning trees,
to live out the admonition, -"done unto the least of these"!

    Paul D. Hatch
This poem written about the devastating forest fire in Arizona in June of 2002. These fires were set by humans, but the fuel was in abundance because of constant legal roadblocks thrown up by the courts when actions are brought by radical environmental groups. While the Sierra Club may not be the instigator of many of the suits, they bring their might and power to bear by joining most of the suits brought by fringe clubs and groups. Most of these organizations are ANTI-MAN, and believe that a tree is more important than a human. If you think I'm stretching, please check out such groups as EARTH FIRST and the NATURE CONSERVANCY and see if you feel welcome on earth. These left over hippies and liberal college types are complicit in the pain and suffering inflicted by this fire and most other wildfires!!! In fact, perhaps the political person most guilty in this whole fiasco is an old Arizona boy who ain't got the common sense of a deck of cards. None other than BRUCE BABBITT!! You might enjoy a poem I wrote about this loser right HERE!

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


~~Ropin' math~~
I'ze hanging around the ropin' pens on a warm october day,
Just watching some overaged cowboys, who'd come out there to play.

Old Billy Joe McVain, a roper known far and wide,
said he wanted to visit a spell, and so we stepped aside.

Politics was on his mind, More specific the National debt!
That he disagreed with the status Quo, was a sure enough safe bet.

"Them SOBs in Washington, ain't got the sense af a bag of sand".
"If I'ze their boss, - an I'm supposed to be, I'd have the whole lot canned".

"Slow down," said I, "now tell me something, that I don't already know".
"But I'd suggest their financial model, is based on the rodeo".

He looked at me all crosseyeyed, like a badger on lemon juice.
"Whatca mean by that" he growled, as he spit a wad of snoose.

"Well Joe", I said, "just take yourself, you're a man with rodeo skills".
"an' I'll wager your financials, is a lot like Hillary and Bills"!

"Lets do a little CPA'in, to determine your "bottom Line".
"See if yer profit/loss statement, ain't just about the same as mine".

"That pigeontoed geilding you're ridin', cost you twenty four hundred bucks".
Three thousand plus change for the goosneck. An' twenty grand a head fer our trucks."

"Your tab at the feedstore, fer hay an' grain, runs right around a hundred an' fifty."
"I'm guessin' 'bout 12 bills for your saddle, maybe a thousand if you're real thrifty"!

"If we lump together the miscellaneous, the shoeer, the vet and the tack".
"Another two hundred monthly, and that's cuttin' ya' some major slack".

"Then you come to a jackpot ropin', pay a hundred plus in entry fees".
"A couple six-packs, an' other such things, is fifty more in a breeze".

"Now I know what you're a thinkin', but didn't I hit it close?"
"Let me ask you a simple question, you ever heard of "Net an' Gross?"

Old Billy Joe puffed up a bit, 'though he didn't question my math.
I figured I better tie this together, before I really incurred his wrath!

"I'll tell you how your ropin' accounting, ain't much different than that in D.C.".
"'Cept they ain't near as many zeros, and course, you ain't a taxin' me".

"On occasion at one of those ropins, you'll cash a check or two".
"Like Saturday last you and old Bill, each lucked out on a few".

"And split a check for four hundred bucks, An' I recall the celebration"!
"Cause I'ze just a tenth behind your time, so chalk me up for the donation."

"But all told if I'm right, that Saturday night, as you boys fired your trucks".
I heard you say as you'ze pullin'' away," -- "I'm up now two hundred bucks"!!!!

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.