ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Trail-Dust Thirst

Updated on December 15, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

That old water canteen is runnin’ mighty low

Nothin’ in sight; miles and miles yet to go

Water-holes are rare in this hard-scrabble land

No much here but rattlesnakes and miles of sand

My pony, Dan, sips some water from my hand

I have to keep him up to get across this land

The sun is baking both of us a little by the minute

This place is an oven and we’re both cookin’ in it

Centipedes and sand lizards scurrying all around

Stinging Scorpions and Sand Fleas seem to abound

This ain’t no place for the livin;’ no good place to die

We gotta get out of this hard country, my pony and I

I quit riding my pony and let him follow along behind

I can’t bear to wear him down just to get me out of a bind

He’s been a might good horse, a loyal one and true

If I save my neck, I’ll save his too; it’s the least I can do

The water is all gone now and the sun is hotter still

I’d like to rest but I must move while I have the will

It can’t be too much farther; we’ve come all this way

Surely we’ll find the lights of town by the end of day

My throat is dry; my mouth is caked with desert dust

Ol’ Dan follows along behind me; I still have his trust

The sun is setting, day is done; night’s chill to the bone

The pony and me, we can’t stop, we keep trudging on

My pony snorts; the smells water nearby somewhere

A glow over the next ridge, could a town be out there?

We quicken our step; head for the glow driven by thirst

Dan and I might just make it if we don’t drop dead first

From up the ridge we see the town; my thirsty pony nickers

Light of the coal-oil fueled lamps against the night sky flickers

We struggle to run that final short distance, my pony and me

To get to the water in that wood trough by the old Oak tree

We reach the trough and drink from it deep, me and my roan

Lots of curious folks gather about wonderin’ what’s going on

I get up off my knees and wipe the excess water from my chin

Look back at the trough and for a moment think of divin’ in

I say nothing; the folks all stare, like they ain’t seen thirst before

I rein Ol’ Dan and head him in the direction of the livery door

We’ll bed down for the night and get some much needed rest

Then tomorrow we’ll gather our wits and keep on headin’ west

©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.

19 April 2012


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Dim Flaxenwick...This one was fun to write and a bit tedious to register the strife and still find a likeable ending for the characters. So glad you liked it. Thanks so much. WB

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      6 years ago from Great Britain

      Oh Boy! That was brilliant. The cowboy and his horse... best friends.... So glad they reached water in time.

      Lovely poem, the imagery was vivid.. Thank you so much. I loved this ..

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Senoritaa...Thank you...glad that I can paint the imagery to entertain you with my words. WB

      @BeyondMax...Thanks much...I'll try humming it for you! LOL! Glad you liked it. WB

    • BeyondMax profile image


      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a beautiful expressive poem! I swear, I can hear music while reading it, it's like a song!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      6 years ago

      Simply brilliant! You've got your way with words Wayne. I felt the maddening thirst with every verse!!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      The Frog Prince...Make that a half-gallon Jim and you got a deal! LOL! Thanks much! WB

      @breakfastpop....Thank ya, thank ya very much! WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      6 years ago

      I swear you are the ultimate cowboy. Up and awesome.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Wayne - If you ever wrote anything less than an "A" I might have to administer you a teaspoon of wine. LMBO

      The Frog

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Vellur...When A subject line comes to me, it normally comes pretty quickly from there on. I just let it flow and do not tinker with it too much. So glad you liked it. WB

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      This is awesome. Your poetry is so spontaneous and you paint a vivid picture. It was like watching a movie. Love the way you write. Awesome. Voted up.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @drbj...You called it right, Doc...a nice Mint Julip while you enjoy the pain. I really hope your dreams come true and they contact me! LOL! WB

      @teaches12345...So glad you could pick up on the imagery. I love writing about the old west but I want it to be as real as I can make it. Thanks much for the great comments. Cash is one of my Icons! Yes, it was the Sons of The Pioneers...I almost used their version. WB

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      You painted a good picture through words of how it must feel out in the desert. Water is something that you don't really think about until you are in such a place as this. I am drinking a cool glass of water right now. The song Cash sings is one I used to hear as a child. I think the Sons of The Pioneers sung this, I think. Thanks for the great read on the west.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Had to stop reading in the middle of your poem, Wayne, while I went and fetched a cold, cold drink. Man, you made me thirsty. Maybe you coul get a cola company or a beer producer to finance this poem as a commercial. Just wonderin'.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Gypsy Rose Lee...This is one that requires a nice cool glass of iced tea near at hand! Thanks much! WB

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. You got me so hot and thirsty following you out there in the desert.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @rahul0324...Glad I could conjure up those images for you. I love writing of the old west when I can find a new angle. Thanks much for the great comments. WB

      @writer20..Thanks much, Joyce. So glad you enjoyed it. WB

      @Becky Katz...The cowboy and the old west are my favorite subjects...I love when i can find an angle to write about. Thanks so much. WB

      @Hypenbird...I didn't want to leave that cowboy and Ol' Dan out there for the buzzards...too cruel! Thanks much. WB

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This story poem is wonderful and I love the ending very much. This cowboy is loyal, committed and determined. That is my kind of man.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      A wonderful narrative poem. I really like these that you do. This tells such a wonderful story. I have been out there but I made sure to take gallons of water when I went.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Enjoyed this one to no end. Voted up and awesome, Joyce.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      An interesting short story in form of verse... Amazing imagery used... felt Like I was walkin in the Desert alongside Ol'Dan!

      Amazing story telling! Hat's off!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)