Curtis Gray – Old West “cowboy poem”

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Curtis Gray – Old West “cowboy poem”

Curtis Gray – Old West fantasy poem:  “Curtis Gray” is one of my earliest “cowboy poems” – although at the time I didn’t realize I was writing “cowboy poetry”.  It was just another story.  A really good one — but I never connected it with being a cowboy poem.   However,  beginning in 2022 I began getting a real interest in cowboy poetry, and started writing it in earnest.  The result was a book I self published,  “The Old West & Times Gone By”,  along with several YouTube videos where I narrate some of the cowboy poems in the book along with a video background and music  (Hey — when I do stuff,  I go all the way!), and another web site devoted solely to my new venture in cowboy poetry:   Now,  if you look at any of my more recent cowboy poetry — you’ll notice it is written under the pseudonym of “Marshal T. Justice”.  That was deliberate.  I just didn’t feel right as Jon Gutmacher — and the pseudonym just came out of the blue (like most of my work), and seemed to really fit.  It just makes me really comfortable to write western stories under that name.  In fact,  I finally decided I not only wanted to write these cowboy poems — but I also wanted to perform them.  Bought a cowboy hat. Grew a cowboy mustache.  And, amazingly — without really realizing it until I was in the middle of reciting my first cowboy poem to an audience — that I was doing it in a “western” accent!   Everything was so damn real — I almost wondered if I once was ‘back west’ in a different life???   So,  you can hear good ol Curtis Grey on Youtube if you like.  It was an early attempt at doing video online — and I am getting better at that all the time.  Feel free to take a look — and drop a note after.  I’d love to know what you think — although I think “The Cowgirl” is probably the best of the cowboy poems I currently have up there.   (just go to YouTube and type in “Jon Gutmacher” and they’ll all come up).  Anyway,   I love the story and characters in this cowboy poem.   You’ll find the theme that runs through all my western cowboy poems are : “strong men, and even stronger women”.  Thanks for taking a look!

Curtis Gray – Old West fantasy poem
copyright 2011 by jon gutmacher

Curtis Gray walked in the bar
he’d traveled very, very far
thru the mountains
thru the hills
after panning for gold
for years

He had one horse
he had one mule
and he was for certain
no one’s fool
but it was long
since he took a drink
or saw another man

He plunked a coin right on the bar
they looked at him
from close and far
deciding what kind of man he be
this stranger
from the hills

The barkeep asked him wence he came
and then he asked this stranger’s name
and Curtis Gray looked him in the eyes
and froze him there . . .
like he had died

“I’m Curtis Gray – a mountain man
I pan for gold throughout the land
I’m tough as nails
and twice as strong
but I’m here – just for a drink

And then a man rose from the back
he had a gun sticking from a sack
he approached real slow
and came abreast
and suddenly – punched Curtis
right in the chest

And Curtis looked at him – right in the eyes
and then he smiled
with great surprise
he’d thought him dead
these many years
and that ol’ man almost
wiped some tears

“Oh, brother,
How did you escape?
those injuns had us
at the lake
I saw three of them
take you down
you should be dead, ol’ son!

And Blackjack Sam – that was his name
laughed at that – and life’s great game
and pulled the scalps from deep the bag
that was below his gun

“Oh, Curtis – you old devil, you!
I cannot die – I thought you knew
I took em all
I did em good
and now they’re dead
as dirt!

And then those two brothers
did embrace
both alive
through God and Faith
and drink they did
perhaps too much
and laughed into the night

For things were tough
back in those times
and in the high country
only grit
kept you alive
and some survived against the odds
but they were men
of steel

The background image shows a mountain man in the back country created by the amazing painter, Greg Olson, and is entitled: “TRADER AT THE RENDEZVOUS”. It can be found and purchased at:

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