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My  Cowboy  Poetry
Cowboy, Indian, Western, Western whatever!

Cowboy’s Worth Tamed Meander  Muckleshoot Tribe  Hero Rider
Frontier Dream Frontier Chief Flagstaff Road
Last updated November, 2008   -   Request to use Materials
Note: These are not "Cowboy Poems" perse'.  What else would I call them?
"Western" brings to mind Western Music and Western Movies.
Though they are not "Cowboy Poems" they are MY Cowboy Poems.

Cowboy’s Worth
                      by Roger W Hancock

Upon the saddle,
above the barren brush,
rimmed crown upon his head.
Toughened by the rough,
harsh is the life.
Day ride through summer's torch,
chill of winter freeze.
Evening rest on tundra ground,
sun beyond horizon set.
Glowing coals to warm,
star studded sky his roof.

Drifts into a cowboy’s dream,
awakened by sun's warmth.
First light on morning dew,
newborn day to ride the rough.
Herding cattle, mending fences,
dusty paths forged storm wallows.
muddy wallows by storm.
Tipping rim to shade,
brightness of low morning sun.
First day's mount, thoughts drift,
man’s job, man’s worth,
still belongs in a woman’s arms.

© Roger W Hancock 11-26-08


Tamed Meander
by Roger W Hancock

Small creek among hills,
rolling, flowing with out will.
Fed by glacier mounts,
rain of thunder clouds.
Salmon home in calm,
species driven spawn.
Meandering eroding,
joining other brooks.
Far down greater cascade,
beyond next valley’s shade.
White roar warns of rapids,
womb of life or death.
Canoes once traveled,
natives paddled wake.
White way roped ferry,
traverse a great divide.
Native worshiped,
whiteman harnessed;
power of mass water,
river force to tame.

© June 7, 2007, Roger W Hancock,


Flagstaff Road

               by Roger W Hancock 

On the road again,

hiking interstate highway,

southward to Phoenix.

Nights lit with no comfort,

leftover day into the dark.

Morning comes with promise,

dry scalding blistering sun.

Along highway assuming stance,

silent sign of hikers pitch,

thumb’s plea extended.

Nice town from freeway see,

Flagstaff’s highway known.

Pickup truck to side of road,

running to catch that ride.

You must first know that,

Washington’s where I’m from;

higher humidity of Northwest pine.

where any breeze cools the day.

I did not know of any else,

so… rush to catch the open truck.

Into the bed I tossed my sack,

“Thanks!” to driver I called aloud.

Truck pulls onto the asphalt road,

anticipation of a cool blue ride.

But, No! …  no cool to cool,

dry scalding blistering wind,

Flagstaff’s furnace blast.

Shock, surprise, escape a must,

mind’s logic reprimands.

What did I expect of such heat?

Should have known but didn’t think.

No mist to cool that day,

first stop I bid my “Thanks,”

lessen learned, Flagstaff’s heat.


ÓCopyright June 9, 2003 Roger W Hancock 



Author's Note:

I took a hitchhiking trip between my Junior and Senior years of High School.  An experience that helped me grow as a person but would not recommend it, especially in this day and time.  I was so overjoyed by the thought of cool air in my face from the back of the truck I ran.  Then the blast of mid-west reality.











  The Muckleshoot Tribe

by Roger W Hancock


Coastal Indian culture of the Pacific Northwest,

before the white man came, before the Muckleshoot tribe.

Various tribes roamed the land, Skopamish, Stkamish, Smulkamish,

the Duwamish, Snoqualmie and Suquamish.

Tribal structure; nobility inherited, the middle class and descendents,

also the lower class of slaves, their captives of war.

The wealthy begat their leaders, wise to acquire, wise to lead.

From the land the resources used, their ceremonies observe,

the Salmon for food, the Western Red Cedar provided for much.

From the cedar came supplies for shelter, cooking and carvings,

the bark in strips to make clothing, mats and furnishings.


Today now joined, under the white man’s rule,

the many now one, the Muckleshoot Tribe.

For many years, they lost their resolve,

some became drunks and hoodlums, dishonoring the rest.

From among them selves, some leadership sprang,

leading the tribe into the white man’s world.

Much more money of the Gambling came.

Many services now, by the tribe to its own,

dental, medical, and dependency rehab.

Jobs now provided, the children to learn,

responsible initiative, to excel in this new world white.


Once rogues of South King County,

becoming the rule of their tribal destiny.

Pride resumed, to show the white world,

contributions to make, the Indian has much.

Differences between the White and the Red,

now are settled in the Court of Law.

Once long ago many tribes, now just one,

two heritages of the red and white now joined.

The two may not agree but together they’ll talk,

brothers together, together, Americans all.

Remember the new pride, of the Muckleshoot Tribe.

© Copyright 4 3-2002   Roger W Hancock










Hero Rider

by Roger W Hancock


Long lonely road, Wyoming’s nowhere land,

two directions beyond horizon stretch.

the last small town, behind me now,

daylong walk no turning back.

Somewhere ahead Glenwood Springs.

Colorado is also, too far a trek.

Sun blisters down, no trees to shade,

the asphalt soft, still, I dare not stand.


Prairie barren, dried grass, and weed,

no single bird to evidence life.

Relatively still, no breeze to cool,

no wind to roll the tumbleweeds.


Some hours time past, from behind a sound.

Thumb assuming, hitchhikers stance,

a car drives past through nowhere land.

Sun’s glare ahead, memories conjure,

western movies; nowhere near a hero rider.


Hot, dry, lips chafe, too little water,

to quench imagination’s thirst.

Walking this scorching ribbon of black,

action taken, yet seemingly a futile act.

With road and rock to hot to touch,

not a place to rest, just relax.

Plodding on to boost morale,

avoiding thoughts, impending fate.


few more hours past, too many gone.

Finally… escape, from this nowhere land.

Another car to pass, stops, reverse,

Back to me this hero rider.


© Copyright 6-10-2002   Roger W Hancock


Author's Note:

I took a hitchhiking trip between my Junior and Senior years of High School.  An experience that helped me grow as a person but would not recommend it, especially in this day and time.

This was between Wyoming and Colorado. Wyoming did not allow hitchhiking on the interstate and Colorado police required hitchhikers to be on the opposite side of the interstate to thumb. 












Frontier Dream

by Roger W Hancock


Pilgrimage to frontier,

hoping new better life.

Westward bound promises,

land’s opportunity.


Families, friends, and home,

belongings large and many,

left behind for future dream.

Just belongings essential,

for starting frontier home.

Loved ones farewells expressed,

morning final parting,

painful, future bittersweet.


Westward Journey endure,

driving o’r prairie land,

weather and wild unknown,

one by one trav’ling on.


Mountains past, arrival plane,

differing challenges,

the weak return... defeated.

Morale grows ever thin,

fortitude must prevail.

River canyons crossing,

dangerous, treacherous,

perseverance endures.


Wagon train’s day end,

time to circle wagons,

aches, fatigue, rest time near.

Prepare for frontier meal.


Rocks placed in circle form,

from faggot band kindling placed,

readied logs stacked near by.

Match struck on near stone,

new flame, kindling birthed.

Gently laid a single log,

upon the flickering flame,

foundation of cook’s fire. 


Wagons circle viewed,

from far wooded hill-side,

the scouts sent out ahead,

returning with reports. 


Brief town meeting held,

Mayor Wagon Master,

discuss each grievance made.

Scouts recommendation,

decide which route to take.

Neighbors front and back.

close knit family now,

together survival sure.



Round band , spokes and hub,

uphold the wooden crate,

covered with canvas cloth,

now stained with ageless use.


Pioneer lady in long dress

poised on wooden chair,

adept both to talk and toil.

Her feet clad in leather boots

working pedal up and down.

Round and round spinning wheel,

guiding wool through hands,

forming yarn on wheel’s spool. 


Women join cooking feast,

communal sharing tasks.

Bedded coals, campfire,

centered, circled wagons.


Turkey tom’s last gobble,

sacrificed for meal feast,

fresh live ‘til slaughtered.

Wild boar and turkey tom,

corn and other fixin’s.

Pig and turkey racked,

o’r glowing coals to cook,

game wild, turned ‘till tender.


Guards posted with their meal,

the first defense each aware,

primed for unexpected,

allow others gaiety.


Taste over-rides day’s dust,

feast’s aroma prevails o’r,

livestock poignancy.

Enjoined about the flame,

fellowship ends the day.

Blazing fire gathered ‘round,

old cowboy stories told,

others to sing new songs.


Day dusk’s as sky grows dark,

oil wicks light the wagons,

illuminated circle,

fire left of its own to die.


Pioneer cowboy sits,

upon a short log round,

whittling, whistling a tune.

Day’s work just about done,

‘cept night’s sentry duty.

Evening’s relaxation,

full night’s sleep, future dream,

beyond tomorrow’s claim.


©Copyright 7-7-2002  Roger W Hancock  











by Roger W Hancock


Frontier means excitement.

Frontier means adventure.

  Europe’s population boundary.

Frontier means wilderness.

Frontier means cowboys.

Indians had no concept boundary.

Frontier means land for grab.

Frontier means Indians.

Civilization, wilderness meet,

entering frontier.


©Copyright 7-9-2002  Roger W Hancock


Author's Note:

In Europe 'frontier' is the point where populated areas and wilderness meet.

In the United States 'frontier' is the wilderness.





Back to Index 



by Roger W Hancock


Chief Talk-a-lot’ in jest he’s called,

old stories ‘round the fire to tell.

Strength of youth now exchanged,

for frailty and old man’s wisdom.
From beneath tan cowboy hat,
thick braids of hair on shoulders fall.
Wrinkles few deny true age,
slow deliberate walk betrays.
Red vest, over plaid dress shirt, wear,

black jeans with boots… no, they’re tennis shoes.
Talks a few between struggled breaths,

Tank, on lap, delivers life through tubes.

Among the several ‘round the evening fire,
quietly listening, to cowboy songs.
A few deep breaths, oxygen provide,
needed wind through harp play.
One would not think such frailty,
for stamina on the harmonica.
Jested insult to cowboy Indian,
on beat of a breath he calls one back.

This old frail man still is solid,

a bid well I hear, to this man called Rocky.


© Copyright 7-9-2002 Roger W Hancock


Author's Note:

     I observed the man called Rocky at a 2002 July Forth Celebration, in Cle Elum, Washington, around a campfire (Pioneer Days).  Rocky died six months later.  Five months after his death I met his wife who appreciated the poem considering it a tribute to her husband. She then informed me he was not Indian.  Rocky was half Bohemian and half Irish and his wife often would outfit him for whatever occasion he was to attend.  Rocky once posed for a painting of an Indian as he looked so much the part.  The stamina and whit was genuinely his but the hat and vest was just part of the costume and the braids... a wig.









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