The Legend of Tom Firestone

Tom Firestone is dead but his ghost lives on

He was a gambler who was lucky and always won

Got caught up in some trouble and spilled some blood

A cowboy pulled a gun and figured Tom would run

But Tom Firestone was a good ol’ straight shooter

That means he was bloody good with a gun

Too late for the cowboy who got a bullet in his bum

Not enough to kill the man but he couldn’t then run

So Tom sat by his side and checked the angle of the sun

Whispering, “Ya heard of Swifty Firestone?” while pointing his gun

The cowboy was in pain and could only bite his tongue

“Well listen up then, you slimy worm, I’m Tom, his son”.

Old Swifty had the reputation for being the fastest gun

He’d never been shot in his life, he was number one

So Tom made sure that everyone knew from that day on

The truth behind the old adage: Like father, like son

The incident was over and Tom walked back to the bar

One of his mates Big Jim from the country was playing guitar

Big Jim looked across the room, asking for requests

Tom was a loner although with guns he sure was the best

Here, he was among his friends and they made him feel at home

So he proceeded to request Bob Dylan’s song “Like A Rolling Stone”

Just as the words, “How does it feel, to be on your own," was sung

Who should appear but the cowboy, with a bandage on his bum

This time he had a cop with him who was already armed

The cop shouted to Big Jim “Stop playing that guitar”

At that point Tom made a move to reach for his gun

He wondered if the cop knew he was Swifty’s son

The cop didn’t know and by the time he aimed his gun

Tom had put two bullets in his arm and one in his bum

Reinforcements were quick to come to the scene of the crime

They arrested Tom and read him his rights one last time.

Three days later Tom was taken to the gallows

He was now the fall guy as well as Swifty’s son

The judge declared that he really should be hung

To stop anyone thinking about using a gun.

So now Tom Firestone's grave lies baking in the sun

Big Jim would sometimes visit, though he wasn't the only one

He would reminisce how his best mate always felt at home

When he would play Bob Dylan’s song “Like A Rolling Stone”.

© Copyright Maria D'Alessandro 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 17 comments

Atiyar Rahaman profile image

Atiyar Rahaman 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

good hub

epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

...this is a wonderful cinematic read, Maria of the Old West, with interesting characters and a really nice narrative flow in poetry form and it tells a good story.

And with your pedigree in songwriting I heard music here in my head while reading these lyrical words - you made me think of Marty Robbins and his two greatest songs - Big Iron and El Paso which I shall post for you in our music group at FB.

Love how you took me into a totally different world here

- always the mark of a great writer who is versatile and ever changing in his/her own style - hubbravo to you on this one - lake erie time 9:31am

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Many thanks Atiyar.

I bow reverently to you Epigramman. Your rave review always means a lot to me. It is my hope and my dream to become as versatile and ever changing as my idol Bob Dylan has been over the last 50 years. Expect more surprises from me soon.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago a marriage proposal?

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Now that falls in the category of wishful thinking Colin and you know it. I would like you to propose one thing however - that you will dedicate your next poem to me - your Muse.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

A very interesting verse indeed with a true western legend flair. I like very much the way you tied the character to the song in the telling of the story. Nicely done. I think you will have a wonderful journey here on the Hub. WB

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Wayne for your rave review. You may have noticed a leaning towards English/Australian word usage adopted in my poem interwoven with some typical "dry Aussie humour". Also, because I am a "Dylan Freak" LOL I couldn't resist giving this poem a Dylanesque flavour. Cheers.

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Nice western story. I t always seem to happen like that with the best guns. They are usually deceived by a gal or hanged.

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Yes Cardisa, in Australia we call that "The tall poppy syndrome" - People who excel are often taken down a peg or two by those around them who are essential low achievers and outright mediocre. Thanks for dropping by.

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Vincent Moore 4 years ago

I love legends and blending Bob Dylan's song, Like A Rolling Stone into your verse was beautiful. It fit perfectly. John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were my favorite cowboys and I believe Bob Dylan played a part in one of their movies. Nonetheless this was an epic piece of a legend by the name of Tom Firestone and I loved the shooting in the bum, that was lots of fun.

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Vincent. I see you have picked up on my Aussie English references and dry humour. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my Western style poem. It's a first for me. Never explored this topic before.

Just a bit of trivia:

"Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" was a 1973 Western drama film starring James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, and of course Bob Dylan. Dylan composed several songs for the movie's score and the soundtrack album "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" was released the same year.

Colin (Epigramman)will confess to you that the soundtrack to this movie is his absolute favourite of all Dylan music.

xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

A great legend poem, the song works great with it too. I thought of Marty Robbins songs as well.

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Reminded me of the old romantic legends of cowboys.

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Many thanks xstatic and Gypsy from your comments.

rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

I felt like I was engrossed in a movie or a play... Amazing story telling Maria!


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

This was a fun read. :) I agree with xstatic, very much like Marty Robbins (whom I loved as a child!). :)

scrittobene profile image

scrittobene 4 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

So glad you dropped by rahul and TTombs. Cheers.

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