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FOLK COLLECTION 11: The Skaggs Foundation Cowboy Poetry Collection

Date of Items: 1890-present
Register Prepared by: Randy Williams and Susan Gross, April 2004
Register Updated by: Randy Williams, 23 December 2009
Excel database transfered to MYSQL and uploaded (replacing PHP data): Colin Jackson, Fall 2010
MYSQL database updated: Randy Williams, January 2012
Linear Feet:20

Historical Note & Provenance

Folk Coll 11 is Utah State University's cowboy poetry collection. The collection, originally created by a generation donation by the L. J. and Mary Skaggs Foundation, includes books gathered during a fieldwork project in the early 1980s to document cowboy poetry in the U.S. west (see Folk Coll 11f). From this important fieldwork project came the impetus for the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering held in January 1985 in Elko, Nevada. Since that time, each January, the Fife Folklore Archives staff take the collection and Access database (that details each book, poem, author, first line and key words), to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for offsite use. Through University purchases and generation donations from poets and collectors, this collection continues to grow.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 20 linear feet of books on cowboy poetry, including press and self published works. The collection can be accessed through USU Libraries online catalog.

As well, poem titles and keywords found in each book in the collection are included in the database below. To use, type in the search term. Tip: Try and use an uncommon word from the poem to ensure less "hits." For instance, if you enter "boots" you will get many hits; but if you enter "bones" you will most liley get fewer "hits" or poems and find the item you seek faster. To return to the search page, click "home" at the bottom of the page.


Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
22937 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 74 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Merle's Opus Merle was known to be frugal. He had a conservative way. He'd wear out his jeans plumb to rivets and strings whilst saving for some rainy day.
22938 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 76 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Hard Times Come Again... Last winter the fuel in Spencer's tractor gelled up. I'd drive by at least once every day, And for a week there'd be Spence, crankin' the starter.
22939 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 78 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Administerin' Angel (Or... Why Some Men Prefer Levi's over Wranglers...) Floyd slammed shut the door of his truck and walked a ways in the wood, turning his back on his wife left inside like a well-brought up gentleman should.
22940 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 79 Jo Lynne Kirkwood The Debate Rages There are men who choose to ride on mules, And those who mount a horse. Others prefer a pick-up truck, and will speak with no remorse.
22941 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 83 Jo Lynne Kirkwood We, the Living... Suckered again By those flowering displays, Verdant, botanical racks and stacks I bought my tomatoes too early.
22942 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 84 Jo Lynne Kirkwood She, After We Visited the Department Store Makeover Counter Who would have imagined such a thing, a bit of fluff on a lark, on a whim, would result in such insurgency?
22943 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 85 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Upon His Son's Leaving for College He stands at the edge of the drive. A scant quarter mile of dirt, connected unannounced to the state road his mouth grim.
22944 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 86 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Another Old Woman After so many years of habit she could not imagine wiping another man's rust from her bathtub.
22945 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 87 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Ilene The old woman sits, doing peaches, Thin skins slipping like gloves From the firm, yellow flesh of the peaches. Each movement a lesson in love.
22946 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 89 Jo Lynne Kirkwood The Pheasant Dream In the September night walls become heavy and push inward. Stars begin to call my name. They pull me.
22947 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 90 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Irrigating the Cornfield by Moonlight Huddled one against another My children sleep. They do not sense the moving waters. In the cornfield, the streams wet the soil, nurture the stems.
22948 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 91 Jo Lynne Kirkwood A Thing Accomplished I sense you once knew what shadows could be cast from a stained glass window And the colors transparent in an eggshell.
22949 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 92 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Water like Voices In the night waters will stretch with quicksilver hands to tunnel beneath the roadbed.
22950 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 93 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Death, Disguised as a Flower In the bent afternoon light of late October a thin petal, marking slow, distant time free-falls.
22951 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 94 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Rio Madre Colorado River, rio madre, running like time running like life from the Rockies.
22952 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 96 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Colorado On the walls of Toroweap, above white waters of Lava Falls I watched you seek the Colorado, try to escape to the sea.
22953 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 98 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Kanab Creek Red clay like cracked mosaic Shards with missing grout a slash across this sandstone desert.
22954 The Ballad of Gutless Ditch FC 11 L-36 1 Katie Lee Matalot (Summer 1888) The town is splattered on the hills as if birds had dumped their load Among the rocks and cactus quills since time began.
22955 The Ballad of Gutless Ditch FC 11 L-36 23 Katie Lee Danielle (Fall 1879) Matt had total recall about his meeting with Danielle. She came to Gutless in the fall of '79, at the age of twenty-three.
22956 The Ballad of Gutless Ditch FC 11 L-36 37 Katie Lee Sangre Glade (Winter 1879-Spring 1880) That Christmas in the desert night, Matthew and the French schoolmarm rode out on the hills of darkness 'neath the crescent light of a waning moon.
22957 The Ballad of Gutless Ditch FC 11 L-36 53 Katie Lee Satan's Gut (Summer 1888) As Matalot and new-found father, Matt Kinkade emerged astride Portero from the Glade, Matt told his son to point the horse Toward the gape of Satan's Gut.
22958 The Ballad of Gutless Ditch FC 11 L-36 65 Katie Lee Kinkade & Sons (Summer 1908) Twenty years have slipped way, yet none in Gutless, to this day nor in the miles of country 'round, can say Why Satan's gut caved in its walls.
22959 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 139 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Christmas Prayer From the Mountian Country Dear God, who made these mountians, to which, in reverence we thrill. You, who filled the midnite sky with stars, please, make us to understand Your Will.
22960 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 140 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Cow Country Christmas Thoughts The price of hay sure gone sky high. The water trough has sprung a leak. The price of cows makes you sigh. Now that mud holes belly deep.
22961 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 142 Lona Tankersley Burkhart We are not Alone Love thy God, thy Father, and for thy sins atone. Love thy neighbor, you shall not be alone. As He suffered upon the cross, from our sins, us to save.