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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
22927 Cow Tracks on the Land Lona Tankersley Burkhart FC 11 B-66 127 Walt Wilhelm Bronk Stomping Lady Let me tlell you about a wrangler, Little Lona was her name. Down in Owens Valley, is where this lady won her fame She started with a black stud hoss, two calves and a pig
22928 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 129 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Cowman and His God Prose: To me, religion is a very personal thing and I don't go much to manmade churhces. But that is my choice. I see God every day in the most beautiful church of all, His land.
22929 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 130 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Cowboys Prayer Dear God, You made Your heaven, up above, so I'm told. With pearly gates, heavenly harps, and streets of god. And after this life, in that heaven we'll dwell.
22930 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 131 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Cowboys Eulogy To say goodbye, my God, it sure is hard. But so long ol' Pal, adios, ol Pard. We rode many trails together, in that far distant past. But now, we've come to the end of the trail, at last.
22931 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 133 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Cowman's Prayer Dear God, on this THy starry night. I thank Thee Lord, for all things right. For the grass and water, the rain and snow.
22932 Cow Tracks on the Land Lona Tankersley Burkhart FC 11 B-66 134 Leon Flick Spring of Eighty Eight They died like flies in eighty eight They trod a path through Heavens gate And there they found aplace to graze
22933 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 135 Lona Tankersley Burkhart When You Ride the Ridges When you ride the high ridges, where the air is pure and sweet. your heads in the clouds, and the whole world lies at your feet.
22934 Cow Tracks on the Land Lona Tankersley Burkhart FC 11 B-66 137 Bob Schild Please Lord Now, I ain't much fer prayin, and cows ain't worth a dam. It seems like less and less of them, is packin' my old arn. Our Mr. Smith, the banker, is bearin' quite a load.
22935 Cow Tracks on the Land FC 11 B-66 138 Lona Tankersley Burkhart Three Sets of Tracks in the Sand On a cold and windy Christmas Night, three weary cowboys saw the light. Shining in theEastern sky, Herald of our Lord on high.
22936 Old Stories FC 11 K-26 72 Jo Lynne Kirkwood Red Neck Fishin' Newt and Ernie weren't avid sportsmen. So, when Ernie came up with the plan That they slip off and go fishin' Ol' Newt was pure stumped.
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.