Home PageArchivesVolume no. 3Issue 3Poetry: Black

The West

Baxter Black

They don’t call it Death Valley for nuthin’
                        And coyotes don’t make a good pet
            But livin’ out here with the griz and the deer
                                    you pretty much take what you get

And the Rockies have shoulders like granite
                        They’re big and they make their own rules
            So take what you need but you better pay heed
                                    ‘Cause the mountain don’t tolerate fools

And the wind is the moan of the prairie
                        That haunts and bedevils the plains
            The soul stealin’ kind that can fray a man’s mind
                                    Till only his whimper remains

You can stand in the canyon’s cathedral
                        Where water and sky never rest
            And you know in your bones that the meek, on their own
                                    Will never inherit the West

It’s wild and it’s wide and it’s lonesome
                        Where the dream of first blood still survives
            And it beckons to those who can bid adios
                                    To the comfort of 8 to 5 lives

So come all you brave caballeros
                        Cinch up and reach down inside
            Till you feel the heat, then take a deep seat
                                    ‘Cause the West, boys, she ain’t broke to ride

The Vanishing Breed!

Baxter Black

They call ‘em a vanishing breed.
They write books and take pictures
and talk like they’re all dyin’ out.
Like dinosaurs goin’ to seed
But that’s my friends yer talkin’ about.

Like Tex from Juniper Mountain.
He carved out a way of life
where only the toughest prevail.
He’s fifty-seven an’ countin’.
His sons now follow his trail.

And Mike who still ain’t got married.
At home in the seat of a saddle,
a sagebrush aristocrat.
I reckon that’s how he’ll be buried;
A’horseback, still wearin’ his hat.

There’s Bryan, Albert and Floyd.
Cowmen as good as the legends
to whom their livelihood’s linked,
Who’d be just a little annoyed
To know they’re considered extinct.

Some say they’re endangered species
Destined to fade into footnotes
like ropes that never get throwed.
To that I reply, “Bull Feces!”
They’re just hard to see from the road.

Baxter Black is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher, former large-animal veterinarian, and radio and television commentator. Black grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. These poems are used with author permission from his book, “A Cowful of Cowboy Poetry,” and column, “On The Edge of Common Sense.”


Coyote Cowboy Company
P.O. Box 2190
Benson, AZ 85602
(800) 654-2550

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  1. flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment – The Flyway Weekly “Web Rove”: First Edition
    [...] “The West” and “The Vanishing Breed!” by: Baxter Black (poetry in Newfound) Baxter Black is reclaiming the rhyming poem…

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