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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
26066 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 109 George Rhoades Sky The sun like a red-hot penny Drifts across the burning sky; We pray for rain, Yearn for rain, Wait and watch The great vault above us. Red sky at sunset, stars, clouds, thunder, songs, time
26067 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 110 George Rhoades Talkin' Turkey I must have been about five, But I remember the scene well; 'Twas along the country road By our farm as twilight fell. My granny raised turkey then, nest, Turk, belong. hens
26068 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 112 George Rhoades The Snake and the Doorknob Four years old on the farm, Cows, turkeys, squealin' pigs, Lots and lots of chickens And chores gatherin' eggs. A snake has been gettin' Our eggs and slippin' out. porcelain, doorknob, dumb
26069 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 113 George Rhoades This Land We buried him today In a corner of the cemetery Where the wind blew from Texas Across the sunbaked prairie. He always said that's where He'd finally come to rest, adapt, landscape, countryside, paradise, town
26070 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 115 George Rhoades This Old House Did Its Job The old house stands forlorn On the windy hill, Deserted, ruined, weatherworn, Despite all, abiding still. It did its work back then, guard, roof, farmhouses, cheer
26071 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 117 George Rhoades Windmill Plow, barb wire, windmill, Essentials, they say, For settling the plains. Our old windmill rattled, Squeaked, creaked clattered, Moaned and groaned, metallic, blades, repair, grease
26072 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 118 George Rhoades Winter Wheat Winter's icy frosts and freezes Leave field, pasture, meadow Brown, yellow and dreary drab In the day's pale, fading glow. Hillsides empty and windswept; sadness, lonely, rebirth, seasons
26073 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 122 George Rhoades Best for Thinkin' Best for thinkin'- Some say drinkin', But not for me, drinkin' muddles me. Some say walkin' Or high-brow talkin'; Walkin's not for me, Too much to see; meditation, cane pole, fishing, bore
26074 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 123 George Rhoades Cemetery In the Fog A crow calls from the entrance gate, Mournful wind whispers in the trees, Fog hugs the ground, drifts slowly past Tombstones, dampens the fallen leaves. gloom, bloom, peacefully, shadows, lost
26075 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 124 George Rhoades Class of '53 Deceased list grows longer and longer, Their numbers fall precariously; Born during dusty Depression days, The class of '53. Grayer, slower, more cautious now, fortune, dreams, wisdom
26076 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 125 George Rhoades Cold Rain From my front porch on the hill, Below the trees barren in November, Winds wailing and a cold rain falls, I huddle in my coat and remember. Sunnier times, times of laughter, thunder, lightning, chilly
26077 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 126 George Rhoades End Is Near? Have you noticed there's More ways for the human race to expire? The question used to be- A bang or a whimper, or ice or fire. Now we've got space alien invasion, ozone, nuclear war, global warming, pandemic, doom
26078 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 127 George Rhoades Everybody In a land where Everybody is somebody, And nobody is nobody, Freedom and liberty, Prosperity and happiness Can come to anybody. somebody, nobody, liberty, anybody.
26079 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 128 George Rhoades Fear And Empathy The pendulum swings Between fear and empathy- Fear of loss, Loss of rights, property, Wealth, peace of mind, Fear of others- Sympathy, caring, Generosity, pity, empathy, feelings, relating
26080 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 129 George Rhoades Good Intention You know what they say, With some apprehension, About the road to hell and good intention. I don't know about hell, But I get a bit of a chill, treadmill, hell, dusty
26081 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 130 George Rhoades Greed Greed came down The raod today, Fat and bloated With this to say: "I grow best On fertile ground, Where rank, wealth, Privilege abound. "I'm driven by ego, selfish, riches, poverty, More
26082 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 131 George Rhoades Hope Green tinge on the mesquite, Winecups and buttercups in the field, Grass shoots popping up, Prickly pear's yellow flowers, Scissortails in the air, warm, spring, prairie, south
26083 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 132 George Rhoades Last Newspaper Grandpa, Grandpa, what's that In the glass case Back of the museum In a dark and dusty place? Why, the one man told the boy, That's the last newspaper Ever printed in this town, information, entertainment, yesterday, tomorrow
26084 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 134 George Rhoades Leaves In The Stream Meandering stream, Bubbling, gurgling, rippling, Swirling eddies- Leaves slowly falling, Drifting into the water, Floating along- Some caught in tiny pools Nestle close to shore, current, agitation, downstream
26085 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 135 George Rhoades Less Than One Percent They're less than one percent, The ones who sacrifice, Who fight the nation's wars, Pay the ultimate price. The rest of us bear no burden, Endure no joint hardship, uniform, military, enemy
26086 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 136 George Rhoades Little Coffins, Little Graves Little coffins, little graves; Tiny girl with auburn hair Asking Santa for a pretty hat, A bright ribbon to fasten there. Boy learning to ride a horse, Playing catch with Dad; fireman, painter, school, joyful
26087 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 138 George Rhoades Mockingbird World I watched a pair of mockingbirds Build a nest in my red oak tree, Foundation of twigs, walls of leaves, String, ribbon, sturdy as can be. I wondered what they thought of me, labor, sing, parade, guide
26088 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 139 George Rhoades Modern Art I stood before the painting In the modern art gallery, Colors, lines, forms all a jumble Of splotches, swirls, streaks Of many hues-red and green, Sea of Nudes, provoke, beauty
26089 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 140 George Rhoades Modern Poem I want to write a poem, And I want to write it now. This is what the teacher said When I went to ask him how: "Don't bother with a rhyme, 'Cause rhymes are out of date, second rate, dim, obscure, oddball, meaning
26090 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 141 George Rhoades Moonlight Armadillo Restless late at night, Out my rear window In the pale moonlight, I saw a tiny shadow. A digging armadillo, Shaped by nature's hands, Toiling in the lunar glow, turtle-rabbit, ancient, strange