Featured Cowboy Poet

Donna Penley

TH' COWBOY WAY by Donna Penley

They glared at one another, toe to toe. It'd been one hell of a fight; Friends fer years, they'd duked it out -- each thinkin' he was right. Joe a black eye. Tom a fat lip. It looked as though neither had won; Now they stood handcuffed, two old cowboys, feelin' real sheepish and dumb. Th' bookin' desk Sargeant looked at th' cowpoles, turned aside an' grinned; "You fellers have a disagreement? I thought you two was friends. Got t' hold ya till tomorrow. I guess it's jest as well." He called th' jailer in an' said, "Take 'em down t' a holdin' cell." Once there, th' hours passed slowly, so they each had time t' think; t' dwell upon their folly. Joe's eye so swole he couldn't blink. Tom, he finally spoke up. "What we did was sure a bust!" Joe looked at 'im with his good eye. "You're right, ya crusty ol' cuss!" they began t'yell an' holler, to get Sarge's attention; Sarge ignored 'em fer a spell, 'cause that was his intention -- t' let 'em dwell on what they'd done, on that he did intend; Wanted th' cowpokes to remember tghey really was best friends. an' when about four hours had passed, he walked up t' their cell; th' two ol' codgers on th' bunk looked like they'd been through hell. "Have you had time t' think it over, what you two have done? 'Cause from th' looks on yer faces, nobody really won." Ol' Tom, he looked at Joe; Joe looked back at 'im an' grinned; "We jest had a little tussle, but we're still th' best o' friends. Ya see, Sarge, we're from th' ol' school, that's about all we can say -- Ya duke it out, then ya shake hands. That's th' Cowboy Way." Sarge got a key, stepped up t' th' door. "Ya both get outa here^ It juest saves me paperwork", he told 'em with a sneer. They walked out on th' street together, neither had much t' say; But, they stopped on th' corner, an' they shook hands -- IT WAS JEST TH' COWBOY WAY!

by Donna Penley

A cowboy came a'ridin' in one hot an' dusty day; We didn't know where he came from, an' he didn't say. Th' Sheriff watched him from his chair in front o' th' saloon; He set his chair down on all fours -- spit in th' spittoon. then th' cowpoke tied his horse to th' rail in front o' him; "Howdy stranger!," said th' lawman. "How ya doin? Come on in!" But th' cowpoke didn't answer, strolled t' th' rear of his horse; Th' lawman looked on puzzled as he took his backward course. Th' cowpoke picked up th' horse's tail an' planted a big ol' kiss -- Caused th' horse t' pucker, but his lips sure didn't miss! Th' Sheriff said, "Hey, Mister. Did I see what I jest saw?" Th' cowpoke answered nicely. Didn't want t' rile th' law. "Got real chapped lips, Sheriff, an' this'll help 'em out"; Th' lawman looked on dubiously -- of that he had a doubt. "I never heard of a cure like that. Does it really fix 'em?" Th' cowpoke grinned an' answered -- "Nope, but I sure don't lick 'em!!"

TH' BAREBACK RIDE by Donna Penley

He climbed up on th' chute, looked down on th' horse; It looked like a rank one, fer sure! His pardner was standin' beside him -- Said, "comne on, Pard. Let's do 'er." They place th' riggin' on th' Piebald's back, All th' while it snorted an' squealed. You could tell th' crowd was eatin' it up-- Thier eyes an' their ears was peeled. He lowered himself down on th ' broad back; His pard hitched th' riggin' a mite. Jammed his hat down tight on his head -- Snugged his ridin' hand iin real tight. Th' horse was a'fightin', climbin' th' chute; Did not want to let 'im go yet. Th' chute hands was talkin' t'Piebald -- Tryin' to get him all set. It seemed like an eon before th' horse settled, When he did, th' cowpoke slid down; Gave a short not to th' gateman -- Th crowd got silent. Didn't utter a sound. Th' gate flew open an' Piebald got airborne; Like he was aimin' fer th' clouds. Th' cowboy was ridin' an' rakin' -- Not hearin' th' roar of th' crowd. Then he hears th' sound of th' buzzer, That marks th' end of his ride. But, where was his pickup riders? His eyes now opened wide. Where was th' Piebald? Where was his pard? Th' noise of th' crowd in his head? His questions were finally answered --- When he fell outa his bed!!!

About Donna Penley

Donna Penley is a real cowgirl from Kansas. She has raised Quarterhorses and Paints for years and operates her own stables. She is an investigator for the District Court in Kansas, but plans to retire this December to spend fulltime on her horses, poetry and her grandkids. Donna has appeared with Wadie Mitchell; has done shows this year at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, at Boot Hill in Dodge City, Kansas; Century II in Wichita, Ft. Scott College at "Echoes of the Trail", at the Carrie Nation Musuem, also.

Donna has three books in print. Her company, which handles the printing and distribution of the books is Sandhill Sidewinder Company, 6548 S. Osage Street, Wichita, Kansas 67217. The books by title are: "No Preservatives Added", "Letters from a Cowboy" and "Tall Tales and Lessons Learned". The books each contain 23-25 poems each.

Back to the Manure Happens Home Page
Featured Poets