Badlands Stampede

Source
from original painting by Gean Smith
from original painting by Gean Smith | Source

Bad Lands Stampede

by John Hansen (c) 2014

The crack of gunfire fills the hills,

The cattle stir in fright.

Quickly turning from the sound,

500 head take flight.


A thousand hoofbeats shake the earth,

A dust storm trails behind.

At the sound, I mount my horse,

Stampeding herd to find.


As gunfire signals rustlers,

Intent to steal my cattle.

My trusty dog runs close behind,

As we go off to battle.


With laso on my saddle,

And Winchester at my side,

I urge my horse towards the dust

And frantic do I ride.

Source
Source

I circle the stampeding steers,

To cross their path is folly.

In case my horse should stumble,

And I widow my sweet Polly.


I reach the pass before the herd,

My dog Buck drives them through.

I drag some branches across the gap,

They all are trapped, bar two.


I send old Buck to round them up,

As I wait with rifle cocked.

Then watch two cowboys slow their steeds,

As they see the pass is blocked.


The canyon echos with my shots,

As I fire a warning round.

The rustlers tug their horses' reins

And turn them back around.

Source

They can't see where I'm shooting from,

I'm hidden in the rocks.

One fires his revolver back

But wayward are his shots.


A bullet hits the other's arm,

He yells in angry pain.

This time my ambush foiled their plans

But they'll be back again.


They turn tail at a frantic speed,

Between the canyon walls.

I pat my stock horse on the neck,

As a lone coyote calls.


As I herd the steers back to the ranch,

I decide to hire more hands.

Cattle rustlers make life hard,

Within these wild "Badlands".

Source

Cattle Rustling, Raiding, Duffing

Cattle raiding is the act of stealing cattle.

In Australia such stealing is often referred to as duffing, and the perpetrator as a duffer. In North America, especially in cowboy culture, cattle theft is dubbed rustling and an individual who engages in it is a rustler.

In the American Old West rustling was considered a serious offense, and it did frequently result in lynching (hanging) by vigilantes.

Historically, the act of cattle rustling is quite ancient, with the first suspected raids conducted over seven thousand years ago

(source: wikipedia)

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Comments 83 comments

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

This is awesome. I love the photos you paired with your poem.


ocfireflies 2 years ago

A true cowboy song written in true John Hansen tradition.

Even your lines captured the rhythms one might hear.

VOTED WAY UP MY FRIEND!

Even though I do not have any experience riding horses, I sure do love my cowgirl boots.

~Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Crafty, and for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Kim. I always appreciate you reading my hubs, and your kind comments humble me. Kick up your heals in those cowgirl boots. Thank you also for the vote up my friend.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I don't know much about thievery, don't know much about poetry.

But I have spent some good time on a horse looking after cattle. And you done real fine here!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Pardner....much appreciated.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I felt like i was watching a clint Eastwood movie. Great narrative poetry. Loved it...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Ruby, I always like a good old Western too.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Tough times....tough people....you had to be hardy to live that life, and you captured it perfectly. Well done, John!


Ghaelach 2 years ago

Afternoon John.

Rowdy Yates rises again. Cor´ I was in the middle of "Rawhide" riding with you there John.

I'm a big follower of Will Starr and his western stories and although I'm not a big poetry fan, you got me hooked with some old fashion poetry about the west.

Voted up and sharing.

Take care and have a great Easter.

Ghaelach


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Jodah, is there a subject you can't write about? This poem reads like a story and I felt as if I was there. Awesome job!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

That was a fun ride Jodah-You done real good on this cowboy story. Voting up and hit many buttons. Sharing this fun poem too.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

I used to live in Great Falls Montana where the CM Russell museum is and the town that Russel lived in after spending years painting out in the plains. Not only is the middle painting a Russell classic, but your poetry takes into those years of the old wild west. Thank you. Jamie


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

I see and enjoy the action. I hear the stampede and the bullets. Great job, Jodah.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago from Arkansas

What a wonderful story in poetry. I like it, but then I always was a fan of westerns.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 2 years ago from Southern Clime

I was once a cowboy in the mid-1900s. If I wanted to keep riding neck-and-neck with my brothers, I had to be a rough cowboy, not a cowgirl. Because they often did not have enough boys around to play with them, they had to accept me as a tough rider, and I was tough, so I thought. The only problem was that they often required me to get shot and die for a few minutes. Yet, I loved the thrill.

I enjoyed this poems. It brought back memories of the westerns of the 50's and 60's that taught us kids to be faithful cowboys. The picture of the cowboys running ahead and one being shot by another one chasing looks as if it had been snatched right out of your poem.

You wrote,

"This time my ambush foiled their plans

But they'll be back again."

The challenges of nature against man was bad enough without man against man being a problem, too. Yes, life must have been very tough on the badlands trails.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

Interesting poem... I fell in love with the photos!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Bill, I've never written anything even vaguely in the 'Western' vein before. Glad I was able to pull it off. Thanks for your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ghaelach, thanks for reading my attempt at a 'Western'. I just wrote this for fun, didn't really expect it to make the publishing cut, but I was pleased with the final poem. I'm a Will Starr fan too so thought I'd try something different. Thanks for your vote up and share too. happy Easter to you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Shauna. Yes there are still a few subjects I haven't attempted yet, but I'm working on them...lol. Glad this poem felt realistc to you, Thanks for your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yee Ha! Minnetonka, glad you enjoyed ths. Thanks for the vote up and sare too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the info about the CM Russell painting Jamie and for your generous comment.Glad this poem took you back to those days of the wild west.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I'm pleased the poem made you feel as though you were part of the action MsDora. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and your kind comment MizBejabbers. I enjoy westerns too, but had neer written one before.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Levertis, thank you for sharing that interesting comment....wow, a real cowboy! I'm glad this brought back memories and that the photos fit the poem well. Much appreciated/


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Monis Mas. Glad you liked the photos and found the poem interesting.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi John…

I like the tone of the poem very much…it fits the subject perfectly, and tells the story, beautifully, in a way that carries us right into those dusty plains. Well done! Love that last photo as well.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Wow...The man from Snowy river, I presume! :) An awesome write, it has everything, beauty, drama and so much more.

Nice!!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This is impressive. You are a terrific writer, John, capturing all the intensity and drama of the wild, wild West.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Genna, I'm glad you found this an enjoyable read and let you imagine yourself there in the scene. thank you for the kind comment. Happy Easter.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Jo, actually this is set in the wild west USA with a touch of Aussie stockman thrown in because I couldn't help it...lol. Glad you enjoyed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Flourish, I am glad I succeeded in capturing the wild west. I wasn't sure if I could.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

My goodness, Jodah, I was there! What great rhythm and flow, just a truly awesome write here. Love your imagery and, of course, Bruce.

I arrived home late this night and sorry commenting so late on this brilliant piece. I needed to read this one early this morning to get my blood pumping for the day.

Up and more, pinning, tweeting and sharing

Blessings


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Ah, soon, soon I'll be back ridin' horses without the gun, of course but with my nice ridin' pair of boots and hat in a muddy bad lands.

Tough and rough ride beautifully captured and expressed. Great images as well. I enjoyed it!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 2 years ago

this is perfect Sir J - I absolutely adored and loved this immensely and it told a narrative story in poetic form (something that I always try to do) - I could visualize this in the cinema in my head and it was because of your perfectly chosen tense tight use of evocative words. Perfect, I say, and a hub-wow from me my friend - voted up up and AWAYYYYYY

- reminds me of a Fredrick Remington painting and also a fine film from 1972 called Culpepper Cattle Co.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

Jodah, I loved the poem and the pictures you chose it took me back to the western movies I love to watch on t.v. it was very descriptive


TotalHealth profile image

TotalHealth 2 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

I very much enjoyed your "Bad Land Stampeded" poem. It reminded me of the predicate going on currently in Nevada between the Bundy's and the Fed's. - Thumbs up!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Faith. It sounds like you really enjoyed this little journey into the Wild West. Thank you for your kind comment, no need to apologise for being late to read it. Every comment is important to me. Thank you for the vote up, pin, tweet and share.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Cris. Glad you enjoyed this. Good luck with getting back in the saddle, boots and hat and all.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I do like westerns a few nights ago I watched Joe Kidd from 1972 your way of writing is beautiful and always surprising to me.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for such a generous comment epigramman. I am glad I was successful in portraying the scene so that you were able to visualise it. I can vaguely recall Culpepper Cattle Co. Who were the actors may I ask? Thank you also for the vote up, I am always grateful.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Dana, thanks for reading and for your kind comment. I appreciate you comparing it to the western movies too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your kind comment TotalHealth. I am not aware of what is going on in Nevada between the Bundys and the Feds but glad you could connect it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much Devika. I enjoy watching western movies too. I try to make my writing different and versatile. I don't like being restricted to one genre or type of writing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

wow this was just awesome!!!!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Frank, always great to get your comment. Glad you liked it.


raymondphilippe profile image

raymondphilippe 2 years ago from The Netherlands

Absolutely loved your hub. The combination of pictures and poem. 1+1=3


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you raymondphilippe. Your kind comment is much appreciated as is your math...lol


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

What a poem about courage, thrill and tough surroundings ! John, everything you penned here came alive like movie scenes. I got to know the exact meaning of cowboy for the first time who I previously thought as some smart strong person. The word " rustler " was also new to me. A fantastic poem with so vivid imagery ! I thoroughly enjoyed this poem. Voted up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Harish, I am so glad that I brought some new things to your knowledge and you enjoyed this adventure. It was fun to write a poem in the style of a cowboy movie. Thank you for your generous comment and vote up.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Ooh, far out Jodah. I am glad that the lone cowboy saved his cattle. It was skillful the way that you wrote that. I voted it up and more.

Kevin


epigramman profile image

epigramman 2 years ago

Gary Grimes was the young cowhand - it's best to google the film's name and go from there - Gary Grimes was also in the Summer of '42


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

As I was reading your poem, I could hear the sounds of running cattle and I could feel the dust choking me during a heat wave. Well done. Your poem had life and great movement.


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 2 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Great piece Jodah; the energy and flow worked in tandem like the horse and rider in the verse. The paintings and daub added realistic value to the era you tried to create/emulate. Enjoyed this one.

All the Best;

R.Q.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Kevin, glad you enjoyed this one. Appreciate your reading it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks mate, I will Google him and the movie. Have a great day/night.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Nadine, that's what I was aiming for but wasn't sure I succeeded. I guess I did. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that kind comment R.Q. I am a little astounded by the response to this poem as I just wrote it while sitting in the car, waiting for my wife. Glad the way it turned out though and the paintings do help set the scene.


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 2 years ago from New Orleans, LA

I love this cowboy poem. Compelling story of adventure and harsh times. The pictures were a nice touch.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Really enjoyed the wild ride and the pictures. Pearling and passing this on.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

truthfornow, your kind comments are much appreciated. I am glad you enjoyed this poem.

Thank you so much Gypsy for the vote up and share. Glad you enjoyed the ride.


PaoloJpm profile image

PaoloJpm 2 years ago from Philippine

Why do I feel I was about to be in a stamped? Good work!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Paolo, great to see a new name reading my hubs. Thanks for you kind comment. Glad it seemed realistic.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Well this was cool! I so enjoyed reading this side of your poetry!


Demi Israel profile image

Demi Israel 2 years ago from North Carolina

the poem is extremely good!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much Audrey, I have many sides, haha.

Hi Demi, thank you for reading and your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much Audrey, I have many sides, haha.

Hi Demi, thank you for reading and your kind comment.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 2 years ago from Australia

this is a great poem that engages the senses and it brings back to my mind the first time i read "the man from snowy river" by Banjo Paterson

this like that great poem easily paints a picture rich with sound and building suspense that ensnares the reader before they even realize what is happening :)

a great cowboy poem ! voted up and up :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for that terrific comment nighthag. It's the first cowboy poem I have ever written. I wanted it to come across a bit like a Western movie, Glad it worked. Thanks for the voted up too.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod

Great job on this Jodah. As a Max Brand, Zane Gray, and Louis Lamour guy, I was thrilled to ride with you and help you round up the beeves and drive off those rounders. That 'pome' of yers shore did butter my biscuits.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Wild Bill, good to see you readin' my cowpoke pome. Thanks for helping me round 'em up. If you like those Western writers you'd probably enjoy Will Star's hubs. Anyway thanks for the kind comment.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod

Thanks. I do like those Western writers and I have not heard of Will Star's hubs, but I am going there right now. Thanks again.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

When looking for Grumpy Grunge I found this poem -- cowboys will stop me every time. Great poem, Jodah. Voted Up and awesome.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well I don't mind which of my hubs you read Phyllis as long as you enjoy them, it's just great to get your comments.

Grunge is in 'Verse for the Young at Heart'.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Wow! you captured this experience in a most amazing way. It felt like I was there. A very interesting use of imagery. Ride on!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Thandi. I was always a fan of western movies so thought I'd try writing a poem in that genre. Glad it worked successfully.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 21 months ago from The Beautiful South

The photos that followed the poem down really made it feel like being there. Really great composition!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed this Jackie, yes I felt the pics added to the story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed this Jackie, yes I felt the pics added to the story.


EsJam profile image

EsJam 16 months ago from Southern California

Happened upon this cool poem. You KNOW this one caught my attention! :0)

Nice poem, love the description of goin' after them thar rustlers. Rustlers were a pain to deal with! Ranchers had to brand their horses as prevention, but sometimes even that didn't always work!

Voting up...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 16 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Essie, I thought this one may fall within your field of interest :) thanks for reading and voting up.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 14 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

Stumbled upon this in your back catalog somehow (think it popped up in your spotlight). I found it interesting that the history of "duffing" or "rustling" goes back as far as 7,000 years ago; further evidence that as much as things change they remain the same. This work did a great job of transporting a city boy into the outback or the western frontier.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for checking out this old hub Eric, it needed some TLC because it had recently lost its featured status. I tried to encapsulate the feel of the west or outback into this poem, a little in the vein of the old western movies or novels. Glad it transported you.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
    267 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.


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