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Trailin' South

Updated on November 11, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

(Writer’s Note: Many cowhands earned their keep herding cows from far south Texas up the Chisholm Trail to Abilene Kansas where they beef was loaded onto the rail. They rode up with a herd and rode back without one glad to be heading home once again. This poem is about one of those cowpokes.)



The herd is calmed and bedded-down now in the pens of old Abilene

The count’s been made, money’s been, split up and put in our old jeans

Us pokes had some whiskey, dancing’ girls, and good food in our mouth

Now it’s time to pack up the chuck and get on that trail headed south




Ol’ Cookie’s got his wagon ridin’ rear, now he’ll be eatin’ our dust

It’s just some pay for the way he cooked those meals we cussed

But when that old sun sets, and us pokes climb down from the saddle

We’ll smile and our stomach will hunger when we hear dishes rattle




The trail is such a pretty place when we don’t have to push a herd

I can see the wildlife running, the snake, brown bear, and the bird

The streams are all clear; water is rollin’ like a babbling brook

This sure is one beautiful place, this trail south that we took



My little darlin’ will be awaitin with the kids right by the door

The hound dog will be there sprawled on the old wood porch floor

And when they see me comin’, they will run with scream and yell

Welcoming me back home from my ride on the Ol’ Chisholm Trail




The winter cold will come but with my family I’ll stay here at home

But then will come the spring round up, back up the trail we’ll roam

Once again we’ll be pushin’ hoofed beef north to that old familiar scene

Once again, we’ll be herdin’ doggies north on the trail to Abilene



But until that time arrives once again and northward we must head

I will keep my family loved and fed here on our ranch homestead

They know I will go again to earn us some money from the sale

They know I make our living riding north and south on the trail.




© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.



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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Me, Steve Walters....glad you like it Steve. I was hoping that I could capture some realism in the verse. Thank you for your nice words. WB

    • Me, Steve Walters profile image

      Me, Steve Walters 

      8 years ago from The Big

      Yeehaa! Great Poem of life wearin' a saddle for a living. Enjoyed this one a lot...and felt like I could relate to the cowpoke at home out on the open range and workin' the ol' Chisolm Trail!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Steele Fields...As I have said time and again, I'm just a Dick n' Jane poetry writer. If I could write poetry like you can Steele, I would be the cat's whiskers! I have never written songs but then again I had never written poetry until a month or so back. I do play guitar poorly so I may have to try my hand at it. Thanks for your comments, Steele! WB

    • Steele Fields profile image

      susan beck 

      8 years ago from drexel hill,pa

      I agree completely with cjv123, Lonesome Dove rocks--I even have it on DVD, lol. And it was the first thing I thought of when I read your post. I really love your writing Wayne, and I think you missed your calling as a country and western songwriter. This has the makings for a hit, don't you think? Or have you already committed it to music one moonlit night, strumming the chords on your trail-dusty guitar?

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @cjv123...thank you Carol..glad it reminded you of a favorite movie! WB

    • cjv123 profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      This must be why Lonesome Dove is one of my all time favorite movies. They brought the Cowboy lifestyle to life on film, you brought it to life in words. You have a gift - keep them coming! Great job Wayne!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @GojiJuiceGoodness....Thank you for the comments,I hope the poem does better than the movie! LOL. Thanks for stopping by and Ihope to see you again soon! WB

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image


      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      This reminds me of the gist of Red River, a movie John Wayne acted in (it wasn't his movie, though). I wouldn't say it was a great movie, but pretty accurate.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Bpop...there's a little cowboy in all of us!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Love the poem. I think sometimes I was a cowgirl in another life!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Ken...if I had included those items you named, it might have been the perfect country and western poem! WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      This congers up visions of the open range, dust bowls, kerchiefs covering the cowboys faces for protection. The blistering sun and dryness of the range. Long days and early risings. Baked beans and cowboy coffee in the mornings. Sleeping under the stars and the full moon. Thinking of your loved ones back at the homestead.

      Pushing on under pouring rain and wind swept ranges watching the tumbleweed blow forever. Singing old country songs and plucking your guitar as you watch the fire go out. This was a hard life for the rangers but I feel I'm a kindred spirit in some ways. I would have loved to experienced it. Good one Wayne, you did the cowboy proud.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @ralwus...pretty much unless the rattle snakes, indians, robbers, thieves, and such don't give you trouble. Oh, and let's not forget the all familiar "Stampede!" WB

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      ahhh, the American Icon. No shoot ups, stampedes or the Elephant show. Just a nice easy journey for cash.


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