What is Cowboy Poetry

~ What is Cowboy Poetry ~
A friend and I had a rousing argument
around the supper table the other day
He said when them old fashioned poet would write
twas hard to understand what they had to say

I told him it wasn’t about what they said
but how their words danced with meter and rhyme
The art of words is like painting a picture
stead of a museum it hangs in your mind

I’ll tell y’all that my friend is a true cowboy
he prefers actions instead of using words
thinks people should tell the true worth of a man
from just watching the way he handles his herd

Says he’s pretty sure that any ole nimrod
can scratch pretty words on some paper with ink
If you’re trying to tell a cowboy something
just get on down to the meat of what you think

Stop prancin’ and dancin’ all your words around
Just come right on out and tell me what you mean
don’t dress it up like it’s going two steppin’
it don’t need to be all gussied up and preened

That was the day I truly understood
how poetry was really meant to be
Words written down simple and straight to the point
is the way to write good Cowboy Poetry


~ Prairie Time ~

Alone on the prairie, time will gently slip

till minutes and hours begin to lose their grip

Can’t measure the day by a clock’s turning hands

you use the sun, the stars, the clouds and the land


By how long it takes for a cloud to float by

or a hawk to soar across the open sky

a black thunderstorm to roll across the plain

or a groundhog to pop up after the rain


By how long it takes a deer to bounce away

or watching two eagles in the sky at play

or bison to graze, or an elk take a drink

Seems the prairie can change as quick as a wink


But you’ll soon realize the land didn’t change

Still a sea of green ‘cross a wide open range

speckled with wildflowers that dance with the breeze

and the sound it makes blowing through Aspen leaves


Yeah, on the prairie you can lose track of time

but the Pronghorn and Sage Grouse don’t seem to mind

Robins and meadowlarks will sing you their tune

while you watch as the sun turns into the moon

~ Barney ~

He was a fancy farm rooster always
a prunin’ and preenin’ his feathers just for show
But man could that rooster wake up the dead
when he puffed up and let out a crow
He was definitely the king of the barnyard
Struttin’ around just like he owned the place
any time a critter would get too close
Barney would take off after them in a chase
He’d peck at the legs of the big critters
and poke the small ones right on the head
If’n other young roosters try to challenge him
then them spurs of his might leave them dead
Well, all them ole hens would go scratchin’ and cacklin’
as they went sashaying all about the farm
cause each one of them knew as did the other
animals too, that Barney won’t let them come to no harm
One morning my wife was out gathering eggs
when I heard such a ruckus I couldn’t believe
I saw Barney chasing my wife across the yard
was bout the funniest thing I’d ever see’d
Yea, old Barney was a mighty good rooster
never one better for taking care of the coup
but I do have to tell y’all something
Barney made a mighty fine chicken soup
So let that be a lesson to all you struttin cowboys
You might think that you’re a running the land
But step out of line and you’re gonna find
who’s really holding the rules in their hand
Jerry Brotherton
Excerpt from “A Wanna be Cowboy in a Farmer’s Hat”
copyright 2020

~ He is Getting Tired Now ~

He is getting tired now

of the suffering and pain

the injustice caused by

hatred and shame

He is getting tired now

fearing that each cop he meets

just might be the one

to lay him down in the street

He is getting tired now

does that white man

walking behind him

have a gun in his hand

He is getting tired now

when he goes out at night

not knowing if it will be

the last time he’ll see the light

He is getting tired now

He knows he don’t want to be

a martyr to a cause

He just wants to be free

Speed Poetry

A wonderfully talented singer song writer friend of mine David Johnson and I decided to see what would happen if we melded our (we’ll call it unique) styles.  Without talking to each other we collaborated on a poem over the internet. I started with the first line, then he the second, and here is the result of about 15 minutes worth of work. Speed poetry.

your breath slipped into the cool night air
surrounding our kiss with a foggy flair
eternity frozen within a single pulse of time
Standing jointly with your palm warming mine
My life’s journey is held within your eyes
On an obscure path filled with joyous cry’s
From this lover’s embrace our hearts entwine
Mine loving yours and yours loving mine

Not bad for two people that are thousands of miles apart.