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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
25939 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 42 Linda Hussa Hide Trader Arthur Dunn and I crawl into the haymow of our old barn pulling flint deer hides down from the rafters, cobwebs stringing from our hair, dust. Hussy, butcher shops, wienies, Avis
25940 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 44 Linda Hussa Things You Pick Up at the Post Office Your dad taught me to cook steaks, John. Walter was always there cookin steaks for FFA or everywhere. I helped him at the barbeques. Dan Mesa, medium, well, rare, happy
25941 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 45 Linda Hussa Day Work In Modoc-1971 The flower shop advertised for an imaginative, talented, co-operative part-time employee. They hired me instead. After-here's your station, keep all costs under 50% of value funeral florals, boss, cumtomer, policy, flower
25942 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 47 Linda Hussa Working the Grass The coyote hangs still as sunlight above the golden grass divining the tremble of a mole from the crisp unwrapping of oat seeds. Across the ditch a pair of kestrels hover insects, crown, ditch, seeds
25943 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 48 Linda Hussa Rhinestone Angel Rhinestone boots on her kitchen counter she laughed as my wide eyes lapped over the surprising power of the glittering stones. Juanita Townsend McGowan, shoes, feet, Heaven
25944 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 49 Linda Hussa The Un-doing of Heaven's Match She's returning books borrowed against the echo of an empty house. Never read them, I bet. Doesn't taste the coffee I set before her, doesn't feel the pick-me-up of its intention. marriage, sorrow, rancher, God, love
25945 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 51 Linda Hussa Ice Breaker In The Tiki Lounge Since the divorce her sister's been hanging at home with the kids. She hires a babysitter, brings her sparkly makeup, a perfume of discreet allure drags her to the Tiki Lounge. Christina Morgan, beer, handsome woman
25946 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 52 Linda Hussa One Paiute, One Not Two ten-year-old boys done with roping chickens, and dogs and men walking by, roped calves, and talked ropes, nothing more, just ropes. One edged ahead, then the other. rancher, dollars, loops
25947 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 54 Linda Hussa One Blade of Grass There must be a seed a bit of sweet earth frost for rest light rain on a spring afternoon a leggy ant to cultivate the soil a killdeer to lay her marbled eggs nearby so the grass can sway and listen. seed, earth, rain, spring, soil
25948 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 55 Linda Hussa Surprise Valley Is Where, Exactly? We look up at the sky like we're thinking, trying to translate the answer into their urban idea of home. They look up, too, expecting to see a star-map. They say, "I know where Yreka is." Denio, No pollution, No gang, No crime
25949 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 63 Linda Hussa Cutthroat Trout Belly fat with eggs she looks up through the limits of her world. Infinity changes with the season. egg, season, world
25950 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 64 Linda Hussa In 1908 Billy McCluskey half-breed half -horse hired on with Miller and Lux at Soldier Meadows to break horses. He just stayed right there at the corrals. That's all he did was break horses. Lige Langston, saddle, ride
25951 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 66 Linda Hussa The Staff of Life One of the buckaroos high-graded a jug of wine and brought it into camp. He filled everybody's cup. He handed one to Billy McCluskey. Billy took a big swig and shuddered, Pete Crystal, coffee, cup
25952 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 67 Linda Hussa Badger Mountain Beyond Chinatown sand, bitterbrush, horse brush, shad scale, and a shout of hissing chilled me. I knew no desert beast of such an open-mouthed warning until a four-cornered pillow raced across the broken ground roward my horse. fetlock, brush, hole, eyes peered
25953 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 68 Linda Hussa An Unexpected Visitor at the Indian School Those teachers were strict with us little kids. No talking. Tend to your work. One winter day we were practicing penman-ship when all of the sudden someone came running down the hall. Randy Townsend, Santa Claus, Christmas, candy
25954 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 69 Linda Hussa Neck 'n' Neck Jimmie Washoe was born in a sagebrush camp near Plush, Oregon about the turn of the century but that didn't slow him down. Neva Lowell was born in 1894 with a silver spoon in her mouth but that didn't slow her down. half-Chinese, cancer, Black Rock Desert
25955 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 71 Linda Hussa Jimmie Washoe Being Hospitable, a cowboy at the rodeo laced Jimmie's coffee with whiskey. He didn't know until blood twisted in his stomach. "It poisons me," violet, saddle horses, dream
25956 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 73 Linda Hussa The Only Good Indian Early in the 1800s, wagons began to crawl across the deserts of the Great Basin on shimmering heat like a string of ants following a deadly sweet trail. Paiute camp, snowmelt, rifles, survivor, baby
25957 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 77 Linda Hussa A Friend Spoke At Jimmie Washoe's Graveside Jimmie came up and stayed with me, more as he got older. He'd get cranky and Marie'd call, "Come and get him!" He and I talked about old days, old friends. I took him places he wanted to see again. antelope, half-Chinese, Wild meat, Wild men
25958 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 78 Linda Hussa The Weir Tonight I open the ditch through the calf lot. Ice breaks into puzzle pieces That will freeze down-never again with this smooth skin. Calves stand at a distance watching. Geese, hawks, winter
25959 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 81 Linda Hussa Burk, Edsel, Jimmy, and Arthur Brown For the Brown kids the path from the Cedarville Rancheria to the elementary school took a short-cut through Hussa's yard to Johnny's sand pile with trucks and a loader, bicycle and wagon noses, Kool-aid, baseball, bat
25960 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 82 Linda Hussa Class Reunion Burk was the Paiute action hero. When Johnny complained about having to wear suspenders Burk threw them under the lawn mower and lickety-split cut them into a million pieces. money, classmate, phone, limb, sheriff, drug
25961 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 84 Linda Hussa Counting Coup While Burk and Edsel and Jimmy were in the front yard running over Johnny's suspenders with the lawn mower Johnny's mom Kay was on the back stoop cutting the Brown girl's hair. haircut, blind Indian, hospital
25962 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 87 Linda Hussa Drawing Names In Surprise Valley - second grade kids drew names for Christmas by reaching into a pickle jar and pulling out a folded piece of paper. Maxine Pete drew Johnny Hussa's name. doll, Polio, deer, knife, T.H. Johnstone, gloves, Maxine Pete
25963 Tokens in an Indian Graveyard FC 11 H-57 92 Linda Hussa Imago A doe drinks at the edge of a creek in the shade of the canyon. Beyond, where the creek goes underground to raise further on, does her reflection carry with the water rushing to surface again floating like a sheen of oil? water, floating, oil