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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
26142 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 47 Linda Hussa Inside Straight He loved her long horse face and yeys cocked bright and waxen. Her mouth fell open to bray out joy and her long legs wrapped him warm like no quilt could. horseman, patient, spurs, love
26143 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 50 Linda Hussa Uncle Ben On The Bench Every afternoon they say trembling with disease, cane tapping, whispering against his rough jeans a code, a message I can't tell. A plain open hillside watches him eye, lightning, husband, kitchen
26144 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 51 Linda Hussa Once In A Blue Moon A cup slips from her hand a glass and pierces the shell where she has stored all things gone wrong. She tries to dam it with both hands clamped to the wound that bleeds her loneliness. awkward, blood, hat, mouse, willows
26145 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 52 Linda Hussa A Rancher We lost the ranch in the 30s. We were flat broke. I ran a trap line for cash. Sold my hides in Gerlach. The man gave me a check. I didn't know if the check was good but I had to take the chance. place, Reno, good, shopping, gentleman
26146 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 54 Linda Hussa Solitary Life you took me to your room to see photographs. There was a scent of a man in there. No hairpins. No jewelry. No bit of lace women of her age sew to the edge of things. cloister, boot, brave, buckaroos, mistake
26147 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 55 Linda Hussa Ride The Silence This land asks for quiet passion. The surface still, beneath a thunderous shake of underground rivers grinding through bed rock of the earth's own form. steady, frozen, power, poor, juice
26148 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 56 Linda Hussa For Forty Years she ranted like a sow when he threw his saddle in the pickup the latigo and cinches lapping over the side followed him down back streets to see who he might visit money, resentment, freedom, tears
26149 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 57 Linda Hussa Death Came Riding down halls green halls, green floors fourteen year old boy used to sagebrush and seeing into far country he would ride fourteen year old shadow along green walls forgetting turns, Lige Langston, hospital, shave, home
26150 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 59 Linda Hussa Arrowhead Raven spy it sailing slow like an owl that skims the milky night. Raven lean down from your sky and touch the bit of molten glass gutted from earth's belch. transparent, blessing, tongue, death, powerless
26151 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 60 Linda Hussa The Man Shoeing A Horse And His Little Girl He whirled those blue eyes on me flat blue eyes bottomless eyes where the pupil had shrunk up so he was only seeing through that pinhole screwing me down x-ray, honey, chimney, run, eyes
26152 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 61 Linda Hussa Fate's Girl Somewhere between the cuff and the hem of life's dark coat there lived a man. Not a man who as example your father comes to mind but a father all true of a girl slight and plain to see. Sid Harris, ambition, opportunity, abandonment, '49 Trail
26153 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 71 Linda Hussa The Flowering Of Birth When it goes right the silent bud slips out on the meadow the miracle happens plain air goes in, every particle shocks to run on new fuel alone. blossom, bridge, kindness, failure, fear
26154 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 72 Linda Hussa A Prayer To Three Coyote Pups Below us sunning on the slope of the pond. Below us scampering in looping circles puppies write in soft dirt. Below us bearing deep reflections that fall to the floor of the water. trot, squirrel, claws, strong
26155 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 73 Linda Hussa On The Waiting Land There is a desert it is mine and it is yours badger Quiet lives there rent free raven Sun comes nearly every day and if it doesn't rock chuck the desert waits quiet, rent free, music, snow, spark
26156 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 76 Linda Hussa Desert Crossing Willows follow the river's twist up the valley. Horse tails blown on south winds brush the sky toward the finish line. The desert turns its endless face to cars Africa, equator, bedrock
26157 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 77 Linda Hussa I Have Spent The Day With Beasts The sun arches against the clouds. A red-tailed hawk glides in its thick color and becomes a twig floating. A rainbow takes up half the sky perfect in its bridge. dog, blood, horse, cattle
26158 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 78 Linda Hussa Without Using His Name I ask you to stop step into the space and walk walk from this home all arranged into the one that waits that does not invite but welcomes. God, teach, vision, playful, silence
26159 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 80 Linda Hussa Lilac A life that left no scent, no color, no sign of joy left you burst forth with they honey of Spring, in the rise of purged earth and warmed sage lost in this desert soil, root, thread, bloom
26160 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 81 Linda Hussa Hays Mountains In Sunset Watch the sunset? Easy. Sunsets are for those who moan if rain comes two days running. Naw. Not for us who know what waiting brings. I don't watch the western rim catch fire. Nevada, fire, heat, red, sky
26161 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 83 Linda Hussa Trust There are some things some people you may never stand before repeating their proper dimensions so high, so pale so wise may never hear their sound inclined toward the center of the earth exist, foal, resist, nostril
26162 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 84 Linda Hussa Did You Forget The sky was startling clear. Only a few stars bright with heat cooled long before we held hands here, before there was such a thing as love. How can it be seen passion, vapor, physics, brilliant
26163 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 85 Linda Hussa You Are My Sunshine The tumble of loving in early light interspersed with the need to hurry into the next moment bursting forward as the sun voids night from the sky, your arms wrap away the darkness. John, oatmeal, wink, wife, partner, smile
26164 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 87 Linda Hussa Great Basin In this space this open-ness where light feels its way along the hills close there is room for knowing The landscape repeated the silence living being just the same light, uncivilized, unmire, bones, sky
26165 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 88 Linda Hussa Border Triangle My father was born by the river but he didn't choose the sea. He rolled an extra shirt and rode his horse inland where winds blow dry and gulls dive for grass hoppers. story, lied, alone, mountain, sunset
26166 Ride The Silence FC 11 H-58 89 Linda Hussa This Land Is Mine but this land is not mine Own the land. Walk the boundary. Stack stones. Stake it out. Mine the footprints speak. Mine. And with the deepest blood not from the fingertip rent, leak, tint, twin, labors, field