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"Dusty's Poem"

Updated on April 8, 2016
Dusty Tibb's avatar. Dusty's pen name here on HubPages was "50 Caliber."
Dusty Tibb's avatar. Dusty's pen name here on HubPages was "50 Caliber."

Some time back, 50-Caliber and I had a small discussion about some of the poems I was putting out onto HubPages. He told me that he enjoyed reading the things, but that I would never be able to put a poem together “about” him. He came close to being correct about that. As it turned out, I wrote one “for” Dusty – not “about” Dusty.

All the same, it could easily be mistaken for a poem about him. Back in the Vietnam War he served as a “door gunner” on one of those Huey helicopters. That was when he was injured.

He liked “his” poem a lot. That made me almost as happy as it seemed to make Dusty.

Here it is for those who might want to share it. I am going to unpublish the original hub so that this tribute to our friend, 50-Caliber doesn't cause a ruckus for its duplication of the original.

Great big 50-cal rifle (before the barrel got bent)
Great big 50-cal rifle (before the barrel got bent)
The imaginary sortie by the cattails
The imaginary sortie by the cattails
cook it in the pot until it's hot
cook it in the pot until it's hot

For 50-Caliber

"Nothing boring here"

"Well, here’s my rifle -
nice big bore –
just the thing
to start a war,
or put a roast
into the pot
to let it cook
until it's hot.

Bought this cannon
at a sale.
Hundred bucks,
smack on the nail.
Caliber’s 50 –
very huge –
Shootin' this ain’t

Took it out
to my back 40.
Pretended I was
on a sortie.
Pulled the trigger.
"Boom" it went.
Shoulder broke
and barrel bent.

I’m heading to
the patenting place.
Hurry, hurry –
gotta race –
‘cause now my rifle’s
not just ornery.
Crazy thing shoots

"This one's for our HubPages friend, "50 Caliber" (Dusty), over there in Arizona with his dogs and that sofa with the big bullet hole in its middle. Just think, Dusty, with this wonderful rifle you could shoot around corners without even having to look in that direction."


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    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hello Vincent Moore - As did our friend, Dusty, most folks who encountered them enjoyed reading the words of "The Saddlerider."

      Dusty was no kind of Shakespeare, but what he told to people with whom he went back and forth stuck rather firmly to their memories. The words he used were not always spelled perfectly, but no one failed to understand the things Dusty told to them. Unfortunately you and I are at an age wherein we can look up to see a buddy and, instead, find that we are looking at empty space instead. It's the way things are. So we take our blessings of having had a good friend, borrowing him or her from eternity for a while. It's the way things are.

      Gus :-)))

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Ed (ahorseback) - Dusty was fun to go back and forth with. He'd tell you about his little donkeys, his mangy old hound dogs, making chilie with tons of jalapenos in it, and, of course, that old couch with the bullet hole in its middle. He was adamant in his belief that no one could possibly write a poem about him. If someone had tried to do that, they would have started way back then and would be writing still today.

      Gus :-)))

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      6 years ago

      Another fitting tribute to a giant of a man. You know hes smiling up yonder every time he reads this little ditty. And I agree with drbj you should patent that Kitty-Cornery, loved it:-)) Dusty was a friend and comrade hanging out with many of us when he was up to it. I've read most of his hubs and your correct, this poet would never make a poet out of Dusty, yet he enjoyed my work he often said. Thank you for resharing this beauty mate.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Gus , How appropriote a writing for Dusty ! I know he would take this one with him in his ditty bag !++++Ed

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Charlyn June -

      That poem was the result of Dusty's belief that a poem could not be written "about" him - and that would have been difficult - so one was written "for" his enjoyment instead.

      Poems come from inside the writer of poems. One day you will be sitting there, thinking of your parents, and a poem will pop out.

      Your comment shows that you are right on the edge of the poem you want to write. Good luck and happy writing.

      Gus :-)))

    • charlynjune profile image

      Charlyn June 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Wow, I was touched.. Nice poem up there.. I wish I could write one before my father will leave me.. I just pray, he'll be here longer.. He's still strong anyway, still have time to create the best poem in the world for him and for my mom too..

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hello Audrey (vocalcoach) -

      It has become very clear to me that it is the really special ones who are missed the most.


    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thank you for this. Dusty was very special to me and I know he would love this. I miss him...


    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      "epi" - Me, too.

      Gus :-)))

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ......I know I'm a screwball but I hope I not one of them - lol.

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      "epi" - One of the few things that our desert-dwelling Renaissance-man, Rusty Tibbs, did not do was to piddle with poetry (like two screwballs I could mention). Had you only had about one more year to work on him, he'd have come around. That's the problem with all young and independent thinkers like 50 Caliber. They light up our world and are gone too soon.

      Take care of yourself, "epi."


    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ...well there are two great men here on this page - you, Sir Gus and the awesome Dusty - it was my great pleasure to have met the man himself in the last 3 or 4 months here at the Hub where we finally crossed paths - I was in awe of his writing ability as I am, my friend, of you as well - I will post this fine and witty tribute to the Facebook Hubpages group and alert some other esteemed colleagues including a pretty lady and if her name appears below me Gus - then please go and check her out - her writing is spectacular. Sending you warm wishes and good thoughts from lake erie time ontario canada 3:19pm where winter is on my doorstep and I am telling it to go away -lol

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hello Jo (tobusiness) -

      Thank you for your kind comments. You are correct about Dusty Tibbs. He was special to many people here, and now you are one of them.


    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Hi Gus, a wonderful poem, Dusty must have been a pretty special person, a colourful character indeed. So sorry for the loss of your friend and my very best to you.

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Dear HubPages Friends -

      Everyone said words that would have pleased our buddy, 50-Caliber. Sunnie Day had some "right-on" things to say that would surely have made him smile -

      "I bet he is looking down and smiling really big and possibly thinking..."wonder what they are going to do with my sofa that has a bullet hole in it?"

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Wonderful, Gus -- think Dusty is smiling about it as we speak -- a marvelous tribute to a vcry special hero. Best/Sis

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Enjoyed the poem, Gus. We all honor the man as best we can.



    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      Dear Gus,

      This poem was such a wonderful tribute to Dusty. I bet he is looking down and smiling really big and possibly thinking..."wonder what they are going to do with my sofa that has a bullet hole in it?" :) I really miss him too.

      Thank you for sharing.

      God bless,


    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I'm personally pleased at how many people really did see what a "one of" our Dusty was.

      I think were he really still here....he'd be a bit embarrassed at all the attention, but he isn't here - therefore we really should celebrate a human who'd never really been a part of "the matrix."

      I keep thinking of regrets....and ...everyone knows about the amazing comments Dusty would leave on hubs....well, I've deleted a lot of hubs he'd commented...for having performed poorly..and I just moved them to blogger...wish I'd saved those comments somewhere.

      See? That is exactly how it goes when you take a friend for granted...they get called away, and you realized their presence was really a present....a gift.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I have been saddened very much these past few days after hearing about Dusty's passing. I admired that man so much. I printed out his profile, and that alone would make a wonderful Hub. His words are so profound and meaningful. I thought about doing that but I'm afraid HP would say no can do because of duplication.

      I do want to save his words he wrote. He was always so generous to comment at length on my Hubs (especially the ones I wrote about snakes and wildlift.) I don't think he ever read my stupid poems.

      This is truly beautiful. voted it UP, etc. and will share.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Not many have probably fired the 50 cal and felt the exhilaration of sending one of the most flesh tearing, soul searing rounds down range. May Dusty rest in peace.

      The Frog

    • flashmakeit profile image


      6 years ago from usa

      I enjoyed reading your amusing poem.

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Good Friends - Maybe we should think of "50-Caliber" as having had sufficient loving gunpowder behind him to be more like 2000-Caliber or greater...

      He would be happy that so many Hubbers were his friends.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      Great poem about a great man. It is obvious to all you enjoyed his presence, and he yours. I had a little interaction with him, and it was always enjoyed on my part. Thank you for this tribute to a great American.

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Dusty was a tremendous man and friend. I wish I'd have known him longer. I'm know he enjoys this poem even now. Great Job!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Great poem about Dusty. He has become legendary this past week on HP. Thank you

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 

      6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      great poem! loved it!

    • GusTheRedneck profile imageAUTHOR

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Everybody - Dusty would have enjoyed your enjoyment of "his" little poem. He liked happy folks, and he had a happy and caring way about him that helped make us all a little bit happier, too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dusty was one of a kind and a hell of a man. Great tribute my friend!

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Good on ya Gus! Worthy words I'm sure for a man many of us would have liked to have met in our sorties.. Lest We Forget those who make our lives more bearable and enjoyable... take care mate!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Gus,

      Great poem for Dusty. There certainly wasn't anything boring about him.

      Voted up and sharing

      Take care :)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Isn't it great that you were able to give him a poem he enjoyed. I send my sincerest of sympathies for your dear friend. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but oh how I wish I had.

      Voting up and sharing

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      This poem, Gus, is not only a tender tribute to Dusty which I know he enjoyed to the max, but somehow I missed it the first time around. I think you should patent that kitty-cornery rifle - sounds like a winner to me. Very clever, m'dear.

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image


      6 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      I like it Gus. Especially the kitty - cornery part. I was a 50 cal. gunner on my ship when I was in the Navy. We would mount it on a little sponson on the side of the ship.


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