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Mike Logan


The humpbacked beef is all gone now.
His millions all fell to the gun.
The elks all pulled back to the mountains,
No more the high prairies to run.

The wolf and the grizzly’s near memories
From times when they culled the great herds
And Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Shoshone
Ain’t warriors, just old-timey words.

They’ve dammed all the free-rollin’ rivers
That served as the highways, back when.
Gone are the jerk line muleskinners.
Gone are the wild mountain men.

They’ve turned all the sod on the cow trails.
The grass is all under wire.
Gone are the old open ranges
That made the great cattle empire.

The cowboy don’t follow the wagon today.
Camp cooks is a thing of the past.
The old time rep ain’t needed no more.
The nighthawks has sung all their last.

From Men of the Open Range (Buglin’ Bull Press, 1993).
Used here with permission.

Mike Logan (1938 - 2019) grew up in Kansas but adopted Montana as his home state in 1968 and. ultimately, becamse that state's Poet Laureate. A high school teacher for 25 years, a passion for trout fishing eventually led him to a new career as a wildlife photographer. It was writing cowboy poetry, however, that made him famous. Author of numerous books and recognized in 2006 as the Will Rogers Male Cowboy Poet of the Year, Mike traveled the country sharing his enthusiasm for, and creative interpretations of, life in the West.

Post New Comment:
Nostalgic message about a past era movingly and expressively conveyed!
Posted 01/21/2024 09:19 PM
Wilda Morris:
Sad story well told.
Posted 01/21/2024 05:23 PM
Lori Levy:
Great last line (and poem).
Posted 01/21/2024 03:18 PM
Great rhythm and rhyme and content. The ending takes it soaring. It seems this should be or become a classic.
Posted 01/21/2024 12:10 PM
Leslie Hodge:
Wonderful rhyming and I love the "old-timey words."
Posted 01/21/2024 11:44 AM
Tom Sharpe:
Mike was a good man.
Posted 01/21/2024 10:30 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I had the pleasure of not only knowing Mike, but of publishing some of his poems in my COWBOY MAGAZINE. Those old times were interesting and unique. Remnants of many of the things Mike spoke of, including bison, wolves, grizzlies, and camp cooks are still out there, and there are some big ranches, though now under wire. Camp cooking has become a popular competitive art form. But jerk-line muleskinners and un-dammed rivers aren't out there any more. Mike was a treasure. I miss him.
Posted 01/21/2024 08:37 AM
Larry Schug:
I feel badly for you,personally, Mike. What you've lost will never come back, yet you have the ability to carry it and tell all of us about it.
Posted 01/21/2024 07:31 AM

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