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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
26091 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 143 George Rhoades Our Time Deep within us, Buried in our DNA, Something holds Reality at bay. We know it, But we ignore it, Try not to remember, Or to admit it. love, truth, grief, temporary
26092 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 144 George Rhoades Our Town Your town is dull, ugly, depressing, The big-city writer said. It's isolated, boring and soulless, Empty, simple, colorless and dead. To which we could only say: beholder, vision, stunted
26093 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 145 George Rhoades Prairie Night On my porch, As night falls, Darkness spreads, Nihtbird calls. Yellow moon Floats on high, Wispy clouds Drifting by. Winds die down To gentle breeze, fireflies, coyotes, work
26094 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 147 George Rhoades Pursuit of Happiness Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, Our American rights, Spelled out in the Declaration, Guide our days and nights. All that is certainly well and good, free, pursuit, kill
26095 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 148 George Rhoades Religion Why do you Keep asking me About my religion So angrily? The church I go to, If I go at all, Is my business- It's my call. Mine and yours Are not the same, porclaim, punish, illogical
26096 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 149 George Rhoades Symbols How amazing for humans That one thing can stand For something else. A symbol can mean Whatever the mind conceives; Words, pictures, sounds, gestures, plan, love, hate, communicate, experiences
26097 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 150 George Rhoades This Abyss What is this Deep abyss Staring at me So mournfully? Who can know what's below? Some say bliss, Some nothingness. I hope when I enter in That mystery place, I go with grace. bliss, nothing, grace
26098 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 151 George Rhoades Time We tinker with Time, Change the clocks From Daylight to Standard And back again, But Time tinkers With you and me And brings us down Eventually. tinker, daylight, clock
26099 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 152 George Rhoades Unintended Consequences Five young poeple in the restaurant At a table nearby, All with iPhones or iPads, No talk and no reply; All silently staring and punching On their i-device, auto, cigarette, face-to-face, communicate
26100 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 154 George Rhoades Why? Greatest question of the day, Scientists, philosophers say: Why is there something Instead of nothing? Other say what a waste, Speculation, bee, butterfly, stars, grasses, clue, mystery
26101 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 155 George Rhoades Without You Without you, What would be? Lonely nights Cold and empty. Without you, Days would drag And sorrows fill My tortured mind. Without you, Weariness, despair, desolate, dreary
26102 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 156 George Rhoades Yes Say Yes To seeing the world As others see it. Say yes To not giving in to failure, Misfortune, hate or misery. Say yes To hope, dreams, imagination, wisdom, joy, laughter, life, creativity
26103 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 1 Linda Hussa Before Dawn And my dogs howl as night draws back its dark hair. They hold eyes of blue chill rapt listening until it comes again. Coyote pups smell the bitch coming through the brush. freedom, distance, heart
26104 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 2 Linda Hussa Swans I let the swans float gently on the blue gray sheen of the lake though my secret wish is to be among them grooming my own slim feathers. The water is beneath. web, air, trees, water, lake
26105 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 3 Linda Hussa Gold Mustard Oh! we were in a hurry that day the list was long I rushed beside you in silence Chores before dawn horses saddle standing tied in the old barn, ready Trucks squatted, smile, doe, fawn, womb
26106 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 5 Linda Hussa Fall Fall hardened quickly this year. One day was summer and the next sun rising had a calling that touched a place within where seasons are known. Groves of aspen wind gold, geese, air, mountains
26107 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 6 Linda Hussa Moon Of The Season In the night there is only one star so bright is the moon so full and rounded out and easy in its trace driving direct across time's vapor. Beyond its radiance this new star pure, light, shine, wane
26112 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 11 Linda Hussa Drought In the midnight she woke. It was not the window rattling against dry putty or wind sucking and giving the back door or the thump of the stove cooling. Deeper. ache, dry, rain, dark
26108 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 7 Linda Hussa The Landsmen Across the field we rode once more to check the fence as we would eye the slim true legs of a horse that is to be sold and paused again along the sight ridge where dragline, soil, labor, water
26109 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 8 Linda Hussa The Field Of The Owls Today we gathered the heifers from the hot spring field. Only a few hundred acres, but a maze of hot bogs the cows have charted. Owls flew up from the thatch soundlessly, hay, calf, trailer, snow
26111 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 9 Linda Hussa Homing Someone's pigeons are lost. A storm pushed them out of the sky. They peck bitter rye seed beneath cracks in the feed trough flutter up, circle in graceful sweeps and down again. dead, wind, gold, Idaho
26113 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 12 Linda Hussa Checking On The Old Saddle Horses Crossing the field on new snow that deepens in each grove of trees and slides off the creek banks the foot of my horse steps on a ghostly track of horses in line snow, track, fog, corrals, ghost
26114 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 13 Linda Hussa Playing At Doctor Poor old broken legged ewe, the flop of it wrings my stomach, the grate climbs my spine like a stair. Three strong legs are tied so I can mend the one that snapped breath, muscles, fingers, feet, pain
26115 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 14 Linda Hussa On The Raft Of This Day Sometimes I come up against it flattened like a moth outside a window wanting in where the light is. My palms press the questions smutty with sweat and focus, dusck, geese, feather
26116 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 15 Linda Hussa In The Evening Autumn As I rode out to check cows calving the light came across the meadow low soft and in it I could see a shimmering blanket of cobwebs moving in the breeze like the surface of water. meadow, life, army, spider