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to the
2018 Cowboy and Cowgirl Poetry Contest Winners!

Sponsored by the Foundation for Monterey County Free Libraries and the California Rodeo Salinas.


The Place I Call Home by Elise Dunton, age 8

I am a Song of America by David Diaz, age 11

Draw by Isabella Jackson, age 12

Honorable Mentions

Cowboys by By Riley Garnett, age 6

The Hare and the Bear by S.N. Sims, age 16

The West by Austin Cook, age 11

The Wild West by Ansam Qureshi, age 11

Wild Horse by Jocelyn Isidro, age 10


2018 Winning Poems


The Place I Call Home

By Elise Dunton, age 8

Through the tall, golden grass
Through the wide open river
This is the place I call home.
I take off my boots
And wade through the wide open river
To the place I call home.
I get on my horse
And ride through the tall, golden grass
To the place I call home.
I run like the wind
To the place I call home.
I greet with open arms
The place I call home.
(Tularcitos School)

I am a Song of America

By David Diaz, age 11

Based on the poem: I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes

I am a Song of America.
I am the Hispanic brother,
They send my abuela to the fields,
              Is dangerous with snakes and tarantulas
Is blistering hot sun,
              Is exposure to toxic chemicals,
Is painful and back-breaking,
              Is chilling, unfriendly rain
Is long hours with little pay.
Our familia feeds America
                  Cherry tomatoes,
But others see our kind
And look down at us.
But their stores and dinner tables are full
Of grapes, broccoli and cherries that abuela got for them.
And picks for me.

Not to eat, but to have a better life.

Because I,
          am a Song of America.
(Oak Avenue School)


By Isabella Jackson, age 12

The sun bears down on the two men
They stand, facing each other,
Hands quivering on the trigger.
Frightened people hide behind dirty and broken windows
Looking, Watching, Murmuring
The Town clock towers above the showdown, as if it was observing the scene that was about to unfold.
The two men stare intensely at each other
A lone Cactus stands rigid against the blue horizon, dozens of tiny pricks can be seen.
Long grass scratches the legs of the cattle, as they lazily feed off the green shoots
A small tumbleweed rolls across the dusty and unpaved road.
All is quiet; the two men’s eyes bore into one another, trying to map out their opponent’s next move.
The older of the two men, who wore a rusted and tarnished sheriff badge, glances at the clock.
The elder man rips his gun of his holster, but he was too slow,
A single shot echoes through the town.
Slowly, the older man slumps to the ground, a pool of crimson surrounds his head.
The Victor tucks the gun away and turns around with a smirk on his face.
The sun goes down and the sky darkens to a deep orange,
The last hints of the warm golden sun disappear,
And coyotes come out to hunt, and the scorching sands turn into a freezing terrain.
Finally, the young man pulls himself on his horse, and gives the animal a small kick, spurring it forward.
A single child races out to meet the victor before he rides away.
“Sir, please tell us, what’s your name?” The child asks.
The man turns around and stares at them with gleaming green eyes, which stand out against
The dull red bandanna he was wearing.
“My name is Gunner. Gunner West”
And with that, the cowboy and his steed vanish quicker than the sun that melted away over the rocky mountains,
Even after the many months came to pass, the Gunner’s spirit was there,
The spirit of a cowboy, who freed the town of its strict and tyrant sheriff.
And the Spirit of the West.


 Honorable Mentions



By Riley Garnett, age 6

Out in the
Wild West with their
Boots and their
Old horse in the hot
Yellow sun
(Graves Elementary School)


The Hare and the Bear

By S.N. Sims, age 16

There once was a hare with no hair a ’tall, and a bear incredibly bare. All of their cares carried no care a ‘tall, and all of their dealings were fair. One day the hare took care of his cares and of bareness of hairness was spared. And the bear who was bare thought “Hey, that’s not fair!” and sulked in his chair in his lair.

With a flair the hairy hare intruded on the bare bear, and the bear took a flare and applied it to the hare whose hair was immediately seared. Cried the hare, “Bear, take care! That’s my hair that your flare has impaired!” Hare, take care what air you wear when you enter my lair!” declared the bear, throwing out the hare on his derriere.

The hare realized his err and climbed a stair to speak to the mare mayor. “Ne’er,” said the mare, “have I seen such a pair as rare as the hare and the bear. Now listen hare; you take this snare and this éclair and you give that bear a scare!”

“How will I fare?” the hare asked, munching a pear.

“Be’er beware,” replied the mayor. “if your snare becomes impaired – c’est la guerre!”

“Oh, I declare!” exclaimed the hare, and off he went to scare the bear. The bear was aware of this affair, having stared at the hare since he exited the bear’s lair, and was so angered he took his own snare and decided to capture the hare.

Now where the hare and the bear are now is trapped in two snares with an éclair and a pear. They make quite a pair, but if ever you stare be sure to take care; I, for one, daren’t dare.

(Benjamin Todd Christian Academy)


The West

By Austin Cook, age 11

Home of the lost
Land of the found
Rusty, jagged, spurs click on the porch
As I walk outside.
The blazing heat rushes at me like a tidal wave

My plaid bandana rustles against my neck
The cattle clump together under the hill
Then comes in a pack of coyotes

Starving with hunger,
The coyotes close in

A sheepdog rushes in
The cattle are saved

The sun lowers down
Pink, purple, blue streaks
Attempting to cover the sky
A sign of that time to rest

But the time of night
Isn’t time to be sad

After all

The west is
Home of the lost
Land of the found

(All Saints’ Day School)


The Wild West

By Ansam Qureshi, age 11

The Wild West.
My Home.
Where I can watch the red sun go to sleep.
I can play with my lasso all day.
I watch the lazy tumbleweed blow away.

The Wild West.
My friend.
Where I can listen to the wind talking at my shoulder.
I can play with the donkey when I’m sad.
I watch my parents dance and sing at dinner.

The Wild West.
My music.
Where I can listen to Kenny Rogers’ songs.
I can find people playing the guitar on the street.
I can watch the birds singing in perfect unison.

The Wild West.
My life.
Where I grow up.
I can stay here my whole life.
I watch as the sunrise goes down.
And as I sleep,
All I dream about is the Wild West.

(All Saints’ Day School)

Wild Horse

By Jocelyn Isidro, age 10

Hello my friend,
I am ready to ride with you
Always thinking about your Free spirit
Although, your wild heart belongs to you
I’ll be there for you and you’ll be there for me
My dreams come true, when I ride with you
Goodbye my friend
You have to go
To see the sunset alone
It’s time to go home,
My wild friend
I’ll see you soon

(Oak Avenue Elementary)


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