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More Cowboy Poetry
By Hilma (Volcano) Volk


I don't like long poems.
I believe that if you are going to write or tell a bad poem,
you should be merciful to your audience and keep it short.

MARY'S LITTLE LAMB
by Hilma (Volcano) Volk

Mary bought a little lamb Whose fleece was white as snow. She put it in her fenced in yard So she wouldn't have to mow.

She petted it and talked to it. Her boyfriend came and heard her. Then he left in a stormy huff, "I ain't datin' no sheepherder."

See what I mean?


Unfortunately, however, the rest of the poems on this page are long.



I got to thinking about how the bad guys in those TV Western shoot-em-ups
didn't have to deal with modern inconveniences. So I wrote this updated version.

INCIDENT AT SMILEY'S BAR
by Hilma (Volcano) Volk

We were playin' pool, a feelin' cool In the back of Smiley's Bar It was Friday night and the mood was right For drinkin' Coors Beer from a jar.

The local crowd was gettin' loud 'Til gunshots fired outside. The shooting stopped and our jaws dropped As the doors burst open wide.

Horses hooves inscribed their grooves In the slippery barroom floor, As three men rode in who reeked of gin And looked like old West lore.

Someone said, "Why that's Crazy Ed. He's been ten years in jail. That's his brothers Moe and Cactus Joe. They'd left town without a trail."

They were tall and lean and lookin' mean With a six gun in each hand. Crazy Ed frowned as he looked around As though he didn't understand.

He cried out, deranged, "This place has changed. But I'm back here anyway To get that snake by the name of Jake Who stole my Ellie Mae."

Our silence was broke, a happenstance stroke, As a cellular phone gave a whine. Thirty hands picked up, but Luther Rupp Sheepishly said, "It's mine."

"You answer that, I'll lay you flat" You all lay your phones on the table. Dial 911, I'll take my gun An' jest see who I'll disable."

A motorized rendition of a bronze edition Of Ghost Riders in the Sky On a ceiling track, gave Ed's head a whack - Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yi!

That made him drop from his horse with a plop But he came up just as quick He'd lost a gun but he still had one That he waved like a lunatic.

Then came the horrid scream of a fax machine On the bartender's speaker phone. The horses reared, their minds were geared To head out for parts unknown.

And Joe and Moe were yellin' "Whoa!" Just barely hangin' on. Someone gave a pull on the mechanical bull. Man, what a phenomenon!

Them horses bucked like thunder strucked - Joe was drug around by the foot. Moe landed with grace in the fireplace And came up black with soot.

The horses dashed, Joe was gettin' thrashed Against chairs and table legs His ride would abort with a mighty snort As he slammed through a pile of kegs.

Crazy Ed raged, his wrath engaged - Then a cel phone chirped like a bird. He was about to smash it into trash When he heard the dreaded word.

"POLICE! Freeze. Stop, you Sleaze." No one called Ed by that name. Around he sped and pumped some lead Through the heart of a video game.

Moe didn't feel good, but he played Eastwood And hollered, "Make my day!" But cute little blonde, playing James Bond, Nailed his face with pepper spray.

She said, "This'll be fun," as she used her stun gun. Moe jolted, then doubled in half. The poor man writhed and agonized; Heh, that gal could sure tie a calf.

Ed, down to one shot, fired the lot You see, that man was loaded. In a blinding flash and a deafening crash The big screen TV exploded.

Talk about panic, those horses were manic Upturning everything they came near. They stampeded Ed who dove in dread And got plowed by the mechanical steer.

Joe was bruised and a bit confused And barely able to crawl To the electronic shotguns, you know the ones, For that duck hunting game on the wall.

Joe aimed and fired at the man who was hired To be the so-called host. When he failed to kill, Joe felt rather ill As the bouncer declared, "I'm a ghost."

By then Ed was nabbed and being jabbed By an old lady with a cue stick Who'd sprayed his face with a can of mace. And planted a Karate kick.

The horses redirected, were intercepted. And quietly led out the door. Things started to cool, we resumed shooting pool Avoiding the turds on the floor.

The Police appear in riot gear Expecting to find the worst. Their timing weren't bad, but its kinda sad That the lawyers got there first.

In front of the judge, the boys wouldn't budge - Pleaded innocent, wouldn't you know. But they changed their tune as the entire courtroom Watched the whole thing on video.

They'll be in the pen 'til I don't know when. Ed said to his brothers, "Aw heck. A barroom brawl ain't no fun at all Since the West done turned high tech."

copyright 1999

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CRIME DOESN'T PAY

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The following is 100% true (mostly), it just all happened at different times.
The Black River is a fictional river, not to be confused with non-fictional Black Rivers, although
this Black River is a conglomeration of several real and vicious ones.

You see I have these friends who like to try things first and figure out how to do them later.


RAFTIN' DOWN THE BLACK RIVER 
by Hilma (Volcano) Volk

Bill wheeled his pickup to my house. George and Susie rode in the back Sittin' on this blue rubber thing. "Come on, we're gonna raft the Black."

I asked, "You ever done this before?" George spit, "Heck, what's to know? Gotta be easier than ridin' a bull." "A bull's only eight seconds though."

"Shoot we see them city folks On them big rapids ride, An' they ain't near as tough as us." Said I, "They go down with a guide."

Bill asked "Gal, you in or not?" "Heck I ain't missin' the thrill." Grabbed warm clothes and a rain coat, Then climbed in the cab with Bill.

"Whose raft is that?" I queried. "Mine, got it at a garage sale. Only fifty bucks: got a pump, four paddles and a bailing pail."

The take out was by Wolf Fang Bridge. George's pickup was parked there. We drove on up the canyon; The swollen river churned a dare.

"You got lifejackets?" I feared. "Heck no! Them's sissy stuff. 'Sides, the river ain't all that deep." I replied, "For drownin' there's enough."

We put in at Poker Point The raft looked kind of squishy. George kicked it, "There's a slow leak - You know that price was kind of fishy."

"No big deal, we'll take the pump." We set out rather fearless. Four cowpolks on a buckin' raft, On a river that could care less.

Sue yelled, "I went down here years ago, An' I just remember this, Through rapids you keep paddlin' hard Or an icy bath you'll kiss."

We rode them rollers just like pros. George hollered, "Piece of Cake!" We yee-hawed through the second set. Those waves formed a bigger break.

By the third rapids we were drenched, Our raft was ridin' low. We beached and dumped the water out And pumped it up some mo'.

The rapids got bigger, too many to count. We were hurtled down a hefty dip. Then a monster wave crashed on us. We felt the whole world flip.

I fought to keep my head up, Bein' battered and hurled about - Coughin', spittin', and sputterin', Tryin' to figure some way out.

In a quieter stretch I struggled to shore Scannin' the river for my friends, Shiverin', chatterin', chilled to the core, Hoping this wasn't how it ends.

They came on down with the upturned raft. The rocks had beat up on them too. George's leg was bleeding, Sue's head was bumped; Bill was every shade of blue.

A miserable crew, we bailed the raft. Our bodies were growing numb. We were down to just two paddles left. This trip was no longer fun.

We crawled in, gave a limp "Heave ho!" And down the river rushed. Like a little blob in a toilet That some unseen hand had flushed.

Then it all seemed like slow motion - Headed for a big rock wall. Missed - we all breathed relief - Till the nine foot waterfall.

Then things happened way too fast. A mound of water crashed. I'm pulled around in a torrent. As they say, my whole life flashed.

I'll spare you all the horror stuff But we all reached the shore. Completely drained, cold and pale Clear we couldn't take no more.

The four of us now zombied Trudged our way by land A long steep trek up to the road, Half-inflated raft abandoned.

We got a ride in a pig truck. Anyways we made it back. Took four hours to get warm again - Nearly killed by that River Black.

Next Friday night at the Firemen's Dance They picked the door prize slip. I actually won, wouldn't you know, A Black River raftin' trip.

From the book, "Manure Happens".

IF AT FIRST YOU SUCCEED
IT'S A FLUKE


Although some of my poem that I thought were funny have actually made people cry (they were that bad), now and then I'll write a serious poem. Seriously, this is one or them.
 
                TWISTS OF FATE
    by Hilma (Volcano) Volk

He lay there not knowing if He was going to live or die. And if he lived, for what? His prayer was, "Why God, why?"

His leg was amputated. What good was this cowboy now? His head fuzzy from anesthesia, He tried to remember how.

In and out of consciousness, It was all one bad dream. And when the drugs wore off He'd awake to his own scream.

The doctors saved his mangled hand, But it might not work any more. His waking hours were filled with fear Of what the future had in store.

He had no family and few friends. His boss had called to say He'd try to visit if he could But they had to harvest the hay.

The ranch was short-handed now And it was taking quite an effort. Of course the cowboy understood - He was the hand that they were short.

An occupational therapist came And started talking about computers. Man, if he was allowed to drink He'd drown himself in shooters.

He'd been married and had a son Till they were killed three years ago On a road trip to visit her mom. He just couldn't tell her "No",

But he had a bad feeling then -- He didn't want her to think he was nuts. He felt the same 'bout that old baler -- He should have listened to his guts.

When he was keeping busy He wasn't near so lonesome; And though ranch housing wasn't much At least he called it home.

But where would he go now? Was this some life's cruel lesson? When he got back he'd end it all With one click from Smith and Wesson.

He kept the hospital TV on And it woke him with a start When special program came on About a ranch called the Flying Heart

Where handicapped children were taught How to ride and care for horses Some were in wheelchairs, one was blind But they were using new resources.

He asked the therapist when she came, Now that his life had hit the skids, Did she think a crippled cowboy Could work with crippled kids?

He told her about the show he'd seen. She said that ranch wasn't far away. It sure surprised the heck out of him To have visitors that next day.

Broken children with happy faces Put wild flowers on his shelf. Then and there he vowed that never again Would he feel sorry for himself.

They came to visit every day Bringing homemade cards. They got to know each other well You might say they were pards.

His condition kept improving The hospital let him depart This physically challenged cowboy Went to work for the Flying Heart

It was owned by a widow, Mary Lou She became his best friend. In the evening by the fireplace They'd talk for hours on end.

All that was quite a while back His hand almost works like new And at the Flying Heart, his heart Went flying in love with Mary Lou.

They've been married 'bout a year now Her two boys, they call him dad. He marvels how the twists of fate Made this the best life he'd ever had.

Now he smiles all the time. And although there was a cost He gives thanks to the Lord above For the day his leg was lost.

Not from the book.


HE WHO LIVES
BY THE CLOCK
DIES
BY THE CLOCK

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