Cowboy Poems Free
"Texas Dust"

Here in Texas where everything comes bigger
My panhandle home was hit harder than the rest
If the wind blows one way, we get the dark dust of Oklahoma
From the north it's grey, and the brown is from the west

Rolling black, rolling black
I saw her drop to her knees and pray out loud
"Another chance, another chance"
I heard her say in the street

Most of our friends are gone, they've left and become Okies
The desert scares me, I'll take my chances here
I get 9 cents a pound for my sour cream in town
We scratch and save to live

Night in day, night in day
The sun was blocked, people cried "Our time has come"
The wind came on, the wind came on
We and our misery were covered then gone

"Human Lottery"

We bought into the promise of a better, greener day
That 7 years would buy us a piece of tomorrow's dream
We took it all for granted we were always to be rich
We could own what we made but owe more than we make
So, brother, could you spare a dime
For a cup of coffee or a smoke to pass the time
While I'm waiting in this God-forsaken line
Of human lottery to shine, just shine

Mad with the impossible - out of chaos is our dream
Too heavy for wings - we will sink beneath its weight

Used to be important in a white collar job
Used to make good money, now I'm lucky getting by
My wife is almost frantic, I'm too old for other work
If you can't do something for me, I'm bound to kill myself
Brother, it's not like me to ask
But I'm running short of everything
And nothing coming fast
When work is all I really need
From this God-forsaken line to shine, just shine

God forsaken humany lottery

Sacrifice everything

Sing for the corpses, "Happy Days Are Here Again"

"Grey Flannel Suits"

I'm pleased as punch with my new house in New Canaan, Connecticut
At night the street lights shine off my other new things...
Like a lime-green Ford coupe, pink flamingoes
Martini glasses that shimmer all weekend

But it's gray in suburbia

See my fresh-painted homestead for me and my homemaking wife
She's the luckiest girl around because of what I provide...
Like hi-fis and a modern kitchen
We keep in the swim with all of our neighbors

But it's gray in suburbia

Working for 10 or 12 hours flat
I got a look-alike hat, and I don't care
Working for 10 or 12 hours to boot
I got a look-alike suit, and I don't care

Sloan Wilson said it best
"We're all men in grey flannel suits"
Looking like soldiers we line up to climb aboard our daily trains...
Aspiring young workers with college diplomas
Your prospects are great and excellent for success
Excellent for success

But it's gray in suburbia

"High As Pride"

We had crossed our lines and dug in
On fields that were once green
Rushing and falling, our conscience in our ears

We won the war and floated
High as pride can climb
Home across the ocean to find all our gods were dead

In our eyes shine nothing
But youth and all its flame
Feeding on itself as if the devil may care

In an axiom is religion
"To eat, drink, and be merry"
We danced on the altar "for tomorrow we die"

Everything's been figured, but figured wrong
The good time rags are all gone
Everything's been figured, but figured wrong
My "Oxford Bags" are all worn

"At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look
At 45 they're caves into which we hide"

I was high as pride can climb
Climbing to salvation
No one was saved and no one born again

"American Vacation Tune"

I went a long way to find the lost hill
I walked the whole way after Knoxville
I paid a thin man who held a nice sign
I paid a cash toll to cross the state line

How many miles to the capitol
How far must I go
How many miles to the capitol
How far must I...

You should see the mountains
You should see the skies
I'm wild in America
Wild in my eyes

I went a long way to catch the sunset
I read some old news I'll never forget
I dug a hole in the dead highway sand
Hoping to get free from the tax free land

"After crossing a modest creek, over which lay planks, I entered a group of backyards and driveways where plenty of men drifted about their interests. Some men had whiskers - some had whisky. Some stood still holding pictures of the things they bought. From beneath a crooked porch, an uninhibited dog ran to my side. The dog stayed with me for a spell, yipping and panting, then fell back not wanting to wander too far from his bowl. I beckoned him to come with me further, as it is nice to travel with a friend, but the dog could not come and I had to keep moving, 'less I be tied by his liable agreement."

"Swingin' The Ax"

Underground - undercoats
The underworld is down your throat
Backs turned with open hands
Can't stop the speaks from pushing

Everybody's making something
A little hooch or a brick of wine
That bathtub ain't for bathing
That tub's for good times

Greasing the palm of your left hand
Swing the ax with your right
We all got rich in the meantime
I say let's all drink to that
Holding the moon in your left hand
Swingin' the ax with your right
Hoover said we should all dry out
I say let's all drink to that

Steal a truck of medicine
Cut it down 3 to 1 friend
Drink up, there's plenty more
Can't shut the speaks down

"1729 Broadway"

Mame, I send you kisses for my boys
Tell them pappa's well, but misses them to death
How could I forget those little curls
Dew-Drop be good for pop and he'll surprise you girls

Mame, you're right there is no place like home
These have been the longest days I've lived
I wish this was my last week here
At least your letters help this place to disappear

I feel so lonesome
I would give a year of my life to see the children

Tell Furey, Ned, and Billy Knox I asked for them
Billy wants me to come home
There's work with him again
I don't like this place, can't call it home without you
There's an empty space in my heart without you

Mame, I send you my heart with all its aches
It's too weak to hold up, too proud to break
I wish I had one of you here
This place would turn around, this place would disappear

"67 Degrees"

How the sun sets this far out at sea
Nothing but the stars to light
This Caribbean night
By morning we should reach Martinique
Following the sea and fairwind

From Leido Beach
To the north of Africa spent my Christmas in Oran
February '45
Took Mary for my bride
Back to sea again thru Panama

Fair wind deceive us as we roll
Release our ship from your hold
Violent wave spits us back upright
In its wake we ride
We were damn fools for what we tried
Left the crew sick and tied
Dipped my hand into the sea
At 67 degrees

Back to sea again
Now we're back to sea again

You were right
I miss you more now I've gone
We'll be home
When the lights come on again
All over the world

Back to sea again
Now we're back to sea again


Mother and father say the homefront's doing fine
You're still the talk of the table and the toast at suppertime
Still held in the highest regard, you always had your way
Even little Tuckie looked up from his bowl when he heard your name today
We usher life along, with a handshake and a smile
You and brother carry on, we'll be OK for a while

When the whole world is another world away
You live your life waiting for words from yesterday
Ball and chained to a cause that keeps us free
You live your life waiting at blessed Brittany

Your Model-T is safe
Stan stored it at Adam's place
4 new tires and a cover top
Rations for gas are all in place
Walt writes to say he's alive
He's been driving Little Willie's "Peep,"
And a Diamond T with wind brakes
Pacific life just can't be beat!
Brother to brother, one soldier to another
We hope you'll stay in touch 'cause the family's losing sleep...

I miss you soldier boy, yes I really do
And the whole damn family misses you, too!

Show 'em what you got Reub
You can take it on the chin
We've got the winning edge
We're red-blooded Americans
Take care of your health Reub
You'll come back a better man
Only 2 more tours to go
Just follow the master plan
At 18 you've already seen enough to pass life's test
So stay in your foxhole Reub
the battle's bulging at Brest...

"Poem #4"

Beyond the parapet is smoke and wire
Twisted earth marked from shell fire
I've seen waves of men rush in to this hell
And return with the weight of what they saw

Home across the ocean...

"Too Late For Everything"

I write this in "18"
The sky is red and the gas is burning yellow
The daisy cutters fly
My feet are rotting, the trench is just mean and wet
I wish I was home

I was talking to a friend for a minute
In a second he lay dead, still and silent on the ground
I swear he never knew what hit him
He was telling me of a girl and getting married as soon as he was home

Home across the ocean
Too late for everything

I keep myself alive and awake
By sharing my flask of whisky and rum
I never drank much before
But I picked up some habits that I never had at home

Home across the ocean
Too late for everything

100 Abdullah Egyptians
...a treasure I had found
By the body of a fallen soldier
He won't be needing them
I smoke them in silence and dream of being home

Top of Page | Back to Discography Entry