Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Bunkhouse Blog: An Old Cowboy

The Bunkhouse Blog: An Old Cowboy: Memories (c) The rocker's legs creaked against the wooden porch floor While the old man pondered of days gone by sittin' near...

An Old Cowboy

Memories (c)

The rocker's legs creaked against the wooden porch floor
While the old man pondered of days gone by sittin' near the open door.

His dusty saddle, rope and worn out spurs were hung up long ago.
He no longer rode. He could barely walk. He was bent and movin' slow.

His wrinkles lifted upward from a smile and he had a twinkle in his eye
Thinkin' about ropin' and ridin' in days gone by.

He heard the campfire pop and the coyote sing.
He saw a million stars and felt the wind do its thing.

He appeared to be talkin' to his creator, though not a word was said.
It was his way of prayin' with thoughts there in his head.

The radio inside was playing his favorite tune. It was "Amazing Grace."
The old man rocked one final time and died with a smile on his face.

I wrote "Memories" as a tribute to people everywhere who have the opportunity to say good-bye to themselves before they die.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker

The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker: "Trixie" Bumps Her Head I know each of you has done this before. It's where you say something out of line and wish right aw...

The Bunkhouse Blog: The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker

The Bunkhouse Blog: The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker: The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker : "Trixie" Bumps Her Head I know each of you has done this before. It's where you...

"My Boys Are Gone"

"Gone, but not forgotten"

Well, folks it's with a sad heart I share with you that my three boys are gone, but not forgotten. Trixie doesn't understand how I feel because they weren't hers in the first place. Their mother was out of the picture for a long time. So basically I was left to raise and care for 'em.

I was the one who planted the seed - so to speak and felt responsible. I nurtured them along the way and I guess a fella might say I gave them life. I made certain they got plenty of exercises in the sun so they could be happy later and have off-spring of their own. I protected them from harm. I fed 'em everyday. Trixie didn't want them exercising in the front yard nor in the side yard, so I put up a fence of sorts out back.

Like all teenagers, they started to fight and tangle for space so I had to separate them to avoid problems. I called it time-out. As time progressed they began to grow and even had fruit of their own begin to develop (If ya know what I mean). Then one day tragedy struck. It just made me sick.

They were gone. I thought at first they ran off. I saw no signs of them anywhere. I stood over the spot where I last saw them and felt sick. Then is when I discovered the tragedy.

I sat at the kitchen table and watched Trixie pour a cup of coffee for me. She could tell something was wrong. She put the coffee pot back in its place. "What's wrong? You look almost sick."

I rubbed my forehead and set the coffee cup down on the coaster. "My boys are gone. I think they're dead. I don't know what to do."

Trixie took her hand away from her mouth. "Come with me."

I followed her out to the back yard and the place where I last saw 'em. I looked down at the empty spot. There was nothing but dirt. Trixie pointed over to the scrap pile of weeds. "Does that look like them over there?"

My jaw dropped, my eyes popped out and my posture collapsed like a balloon with all the air gone. Yep, Trixie had pulled out all my tomato plants that I raised from seeds. That was the first and will be the last time I try having a garden. I started with twenty-five seeds and ended up with three plants. After all, I'm a cowboy - not a farmer.


A necessary part of ranchin' is puttin' on a brand.


Some Vegetarians say that's the most cruel thing heard of in our land.


They'll say things like, "You hurt those helpless creatures and that's what I hate."


Well, my botany courses back in college taught me something and I'd like to set the record straight.


Those plants, them folks have been 'a eatin' have all got feelings. Why, all God's creatures do.


They live and breathe and propagate just like me and you. 


Now people don't hold the market for cryin' on a pillow.


Plants can also drop a tear - just ask a weepin' willow.


Those folks eat the hearts out of lettuce and rip cabbage heads from the ground.


They'll pick an ear of corn so the stalk can't hear a sound.


They blind a helpless 'tater by cuttin' out its eyes. Then they smash his brain.


They peel the skin off live bananas and oranges. Oh God, what pain.


Mushrooms and tomatoes are tortured 'cause they're still breathin' when they fry.


And when they whack a helpless onion in two, a tear dro comes to my eye.


The cute little coconut that's nothin' more than a fuzzy ball,


Gets chopped in half. They drink his fluids and eat his meat. There's nothin' left at all.


I've barely started about their cruelty to plants, and fruits and nuts.


So I don't think they should complain when I tattoo my cows' butts!



*Poem taken from my book: "The Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry"


All my books are available at my web site or download through Amazon or Smashwords.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker

The Bunkhouse Blog: John Deere Corn Picker: "Trixie" Bumps Her Head I know each of you has done this before. It's where you say something out of line and wish right aw...

John Deere Corn Picker

"Trixie" Bumps Her Head

I know each of you has done this before. It's where you say something out of line and wish right away you could take it back! That dern thing happened to me this weekend.

"Trixie" was down on all fours cleaning the oven with them yellow gloves and that stuff that stunk up the whole house. She looked liked she was part of those police units when they decontaminate a house making meth. She had on a hood, a plastic gown, and was using my C-PAP Breathing machine from my side of the bed!

I poured my fresh coffee into my official cup from NASCAR (Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks)!  I lifted my legs real high to step over her behind! I said out loud, "Trixie, your rump is gettin' bigger than a six row John Deere Corn Picker!"

Well as soon as I said it, she sprang up, hittin' her little head on the top of the oven where that 'figure eight burner' is located. She didn't mind the blood running into her mask, but oh my, she was ticked! I sure did wish I could take that back!

I continued 'supervising' that oven cleaning business from my chair while finishing up my coffee. Things weren't all bad as I had thought, because I already had the bucket, hose, soap, sponge, and rags out by the truck. I knew when she was finished here she would fer certain want to wash my truck!

Later that night I was still feeling kinda low, you know with a dirty pick-up and all! So I snuggled over to her and was wantin' to make it up. I pulled her in real close.

She said, "Hold it right there, Cowboy! Don't think for a minute I'm starting up this two million dollar piece of machinery for one thing little ear of corn, do you?"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tribute to America's Veterans

This Land

The Veteran returned to his ranch and was collecting strays a few thousand feet high up on a mountain plateau.

 He could see a hundred miles or more at the valley far below.


The fire popped and crackled around his pot of brew

He watched the sparks disappear above while finishin' up his stew.


The breeze was pushin' on his 'stache and was cool upon his face.

He said outloud, "Thanks ya, God, for this here station & this majestic place."


He continued talkin' to his creator, though not a word was said.

It was his way of prayin', I guess, with thoughts there in his head.


"Thank, ya, God for givin' us this country, not just here, but all of our land.

Like the corn fields there in Iowa & the coast of Maine with its black sand.


It's a shame they don't teach geography in school today, and I ani't traveled 'round all that much,

But I learned 'bout places as a kid back in class, readin' books and such.


I sometimes think about those places to visit while ridin' on my pony.

Like seeing sawgrass in the Everglades, Minnesota's lakes, and the great redwoods. These thoughts keep me from gettin' lonely."


He was thinkin' about the great Southwest desert, the mighty Missipp, and the land they call Big Sky,

When colorful lights exploded in a town down below and happened to catch his eye.


He realized it was city folk celebrating the birth of this here nation.

How many of them have seen our land and all of God's creation?


Now ain't it funny how some folks will throw a party just once a year to celebrate the past?

I think we need to always remember where we've been so the next generation can last,


To take its place to do what was wanted when they wrote that Democratic Rule.

And that there paper signed in '76 was nothin' more than a tool.


Maybe, if people thought about America more than one day in a year, things could once again be good.

People might help each other out, take care of the old, and live true brotherhood.


We could throw away them contracts and go back to the shake of a hand.

Families might be rock solid rather than blowin' like the sand.


People might work harder at the job they is a-doin',

And they might be kinder and stop this ridiculous suin'.


Greed could be replaced by simply gettin' by.

And listenin' to our anthem might put a tear drop in the eye.


While thinkin' of what made this country the best,

He noticed a light flickerin' way out in the west.


What the heck can that be down there in the dark?

I know it's more than a cowpuncher's campfire spark.


It seems to be movin', but ever so slow.

Whatever it is, it's sure puttin' off a glow."


He watched it for a while more & lay down with contentment on his face.

And before he fell asleep he thanked God again for his life & this here place.


The veteran is a hero who can teach us a thing or two.

And each of us is a hero. Me. And also you.


The light he saw that night movin' west to east might give us a second chance. We can make things better and not be so lame.


If we follow the principles of Brotherhood, and the Heroes who carried the '96 Atlanta Olympic Flame! 


* I wrote this poem and it can be found in my book, The Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry. I had the honor to carry the Olympic Torch on its way to the Atlanta Games in 1996. Even though I wrote for the 4th of July, it also applies to this Memorial Holiday. My book can be found on my web site or through Amazon.


Some of my friends and classmates served in the military. Many fought in the Vietnam War. You will know who you are. I want to thank you for your service to America and for your friendship.

* Chris C. * Tom P. *Whitey P. *Eddie W. *Bryan M. *Gene H. *Eddie W. *Jim F.

*Carson C. *Columbus H. *Leonard M. *Rex A. *Dennis C. Rick K. *Ron K. 

*Leo H. *Frank D. *Ted S. *Ken M. *Jack S. *George S. *Mike K. *Jack P. *Bob D.

*Jerry B. (My sincere apologies to anyone I missed)

In Memorial*Ellis Mihalakis *Mike Clemens

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trixie's Job at the Newspaper!

"You Ain't From 'Round Here, Are Ya?"

Trixie has had all sorts of jobs over the years. I even helped her get a second job at night after the Christmas holiday season. It was at a Target store exchanging items. For one reason or another, she could not seem to keep all those jobs very long! I guess it was her weak work ethic. I continued to spend the days going through the local classified ads, while having a bourbon and a cigar! I'll tell Y'all it was a lot of work for me underlining those jobs with a yellow marker and filling out applications on-line.

One of her favorite jobs was being a reporter for the local newspaper here in the South. On one particular day she was at the local grocery store loadin' up the truck with vittles that we sure enough needed. About that time, she heard an ungodly scream and turned to look.

It seems there was a Pit Bull dog left alone in the back of a pick-up truck while the owner went inside to shop. Trixie told me later it was the 'Rebel Flag' that first caught her eye when she went running toward that truck. She also noticed the 'Jesus Fish' symbol on the tail gate along with bumper stickers that said, "God is My Co-Pilot"and "I Support the NRA"!

That dog leapt out of the truck bed and was attacking a little girl in the parking lot. He was snarling and chewing on her coat at the shoulder. He was dragging her backwards while twisting his head left and right and growling while the mother screamed for help. People were running from all directions to help the child! Some fella came running with a tire iron that he took from his trunk. He pounded that dog to death! The mother grabbed the girl from the jaws of death while several people were using their cell phones to call for help!  That fella saved the girl and there was quite the commotion with the police and ambulance there in the parking lot. All kinds of folks came a runnin' and wanted to know what happened.

Trixie left her shopping cart next to our pick-up truck and went over to interview the fella. He gave his approval for a photo and exclusive interview. After writing all the who, what, when, and where of the story, she told him she had a few headline ideas.

The first was 'Local Saves Little Girl'.

He said he wasn't from our town. So she blurted out, "County Resident Comes to the Rescue."

He said, "No, I'm from New York."

The next day the headline read, "Yankee Kills Family Pet!"

Cowboy Code

I don't suspect you'll remember all the "Cowboy Rules", but if ya lasso one or two,

And practice 'em each day, why, it'll be good for me and you.

There's grit that's in the "Cowboy Code" & it's shot straight from the heart.

If ya' follow 'em real close you'll have a smile when you part this here earth.

Like, if ya' see a neighbor's gate that's open close it 'till it's tight.

What goes around comes around. This rule is simple and it's right.

Put a 'welcome' sign there on yer porch for weary travelers movin' slow,

Like the fella did for Mary some 2,000 years ago.

When ya' see your reflection in a river or a pond you'll be proud,

When you've done more than is expected and less than is allowed.

If a chore is there that ya' really hate, always do your very best,

'Cause that is nothin' more than a test of your real self.

Thank your friends around you by puttin' out out your hand. Shake it firm!

'Cause you'll never know when it's the last time ya' will see them here upon the land.

Those weak in stature have a character pretty lean.

We should all be strong and tough. But never once be mean to ourselves or to others.

Don't hoard those gifts you have up under your cowboy hat, but pass 'em on so others can easily see

The Spirit is inside all of us. In you and also me. 

Don't get attached to material things, but be thankful day and night for friends, family, and God.

Then you won't lose sight of countin' all your blessings.

When ya' criticize others like you're walkin' in their shoe

And pointin' a finger to blame, remember, there are three fingers pointin' back at you!


The Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry


David "Buffalo Bill" Nelson 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Deer Hunting in Nebraska

I Never Should Have Allowed Trixie to Tag Along

 It was last October when my hunting partner, Will and I were making plans to drive to Nebraska and hunt deer. We always enjoyed the long drive from East Tennessee because it was about the only time we could act like kids again. You know, we did not have to be prim and proper like when our wives were along. Basically, we could fart inside the truck and not have to be called out or nothin'.

About ten days before we were to head out, Trixie comes to me and says she is going along! I asked her, "Why would you want to hunt? You could care less about shooting a deer, and 'sides, you don't know one end of a weapon from another.!"

"I don't care what you say, I'm going with you and Will."

"Why does she want to go? What's going on? You know we won't be able to do the 'Pull my finger trick'!" Will said when I told him.

"I know, I know," I responded. "I don't want her anymore than you. But she's going."

It was a long, quiet and odorless trip all the way out to the middle of Nebraska. We finished our cucumber sandwiches and deviled eggs, but there was no gaseous relief - if ya know what I mean! Once when I was driving and Will was asleep, Trixie and I got into it. We passed a sign that read' LaJuanta 5 Miles'.

Trixie says, "Look LaJUNE-TA 5 miles."

I about drove into the ditch! I reminded her it was pronounced 'La-Whoon-Ta'. I said, "Why you even know how to read and speak Spanish. I can't believe you said that."

"Well, you are wrong and I am right. This case is closed!" She remarks.

We needed gas anyway, and I decided to pull into one of those stations that has a restaurant connected to it. I figured Will needed to walk off a little abdominal discomfort. After filling up the pick-up, I told Trixie to follow me. We went into the restaurant and walked right up to the counter. I said, "Miss, would you very slowly and very distinctly tell my wife where we are?"

The little gal behind the counter says slowly, "BUR-GER KING!"

We called the argument a draw. It was several hours later and Will was driving my truck as we pulled into Burt's place. Burt is the nice fella who always let us hunt on his land. They stayed in the truck while I went in to tell Burt we were here, and to thank him again for his kindness. I fetched a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon and a smoked ham from the back of the truck. We always did give him a little something from our part of the country.

I walked in and said, "Howdy, Burt! How are ya?"

"Oh, OK, I guess," he said kind of depressed like.

"What's the matter?"

"Awe, it's my mule, Bessie. She's old and sick and I just don't have the heart to put her down," He replied while just looking at his kitchen table.

"Why, I'll put her down for ya, Burt! I'll shoot her there in your yard, get a chain from the barn and drag her out of here. You'll never know what happened!" I offered.

"Would Ya? Why that just makes my day! I do appreciate that so much. Let's have a toast to Bessie with this fine Kentucky bourbon you brought!" 

After we swallowed a shot in honor of Bessie, I thanked him again and turned to leave. Going out through the mud-room, an idea hit me. I got into the passenger side of the truck and slammed the door!

"What's wrong with you?" Will asked.

"That old geezer! We drove all the way out here from Tennessee and he won't let us go hunting! Pull the truck up by that mule!" I yelled.

Will pulled the truck up as I rolled down my window and pulled out my pistol! K-BOOM! The sound exploded into the cab, as I killed Bessie. It was overshadowed by Will's pistol. K-BOOOMMM! He turned to me with gun in his hand, blew the smoke away from the barrel's tip and said, "I got his milk cow too!"

It was some two hours later when I got Trixie placed in her tree stand. I told her that 'if' she shot a deer to then fire three times and I would come a runnin'. I was to be just two hundred yards away in a draw. I wasn't fifty yards away and heard, 'Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow!"

I went running up and there was a cowboy standing beneath her tree stand with his arms in the air. She was excited and jumping left and right with her weapon pointed down below at the cowboy.

Then I heard the cowboy say, "Yes, Ma'am, I knows that's your deer. Just let me get my saddle off it and I'll be on my way!"

We don't do anymore deer hunting in Nebraska?

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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Silver Lining

Trixie's Face Cut

Trixie and I had a celebration last week. The doctor claimed her totally healed from her accident. It was about a year ago when it happened out at our camp. She was riding a four-wheeler and went through a barbed wire fence. That darn thing ripped her face from the edge of her mouth all the way up to her her ear!

After one surgeon stitched her up pretty good, she was referred to a plastic surgeon so there would be no scar. I'm not certain if Y'all know about plastic surgery, but they take thousands of pieces of skin from one of two places. One site for donor skin is on the thigh and the other is from the butt cheek. I told the surgeon that Trixie had been through enough and volunteered my butt for her skin transplant.

It was a rough go for me, because my left butt was pretty raw and I could not ride my horse for nearly six weeks. I did not care as long as Trixie would get better. So they transplanted my butt skin to Trixie's face. It was a perfect match. 

I am always looking for a 'Silver Lining' when we have difficult times. One day it hit me! My mother-in-law came to the hospital, bent down, and gave Trixie a kiss on her cheek!

Keep America Beautiful

I was after supplies riding down the mountain along the Rosebud River.

The trail was rough and rocky, but bein' this close to God made me shiver at this here gift.

I stopped to watch the swaying in the riverbed as the current bent many a weed.

I saw a ten-inch trout ripple the water as he snagged a bug for feed.

Both horse and I leaned down to quench ourselves of thirst,

And I knew this here cool morning we were the first to visit Nature's sanctuary.

The water 'bout cracked my teeth as I sipped it from its source.

The rapid's spray misted me and helped to cool my horse.

With the music of the churning water playing at my side,

I didn't mind the thirty-mile ride into town down below.

The closer I got to signs of people I had to stop and think

About why the river changed its color and why it had a stink.

My horse, she blew and snorted. Her fear she couldn't hide.

For she she had never seen a mattress lying by a river's side.

Clogging the flow were soft-drink cans, shards of glass, plastic wrappers, and an old mason jar.

The water licked the sides of an old abandoned car!

They say I'm an endangered species. They say us cowboys are a dying breed.

A cowboy and a rancher would never harm something we all need.

I saw a bumper sticker go floatin' by. It said "KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL."

I dipped my head, lowered my hat, and wiped a teardrop from my eye.


The Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry


David "Buffalo Bill" Nelson