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West River Waltz, by DW Groethe
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West River Waltz, by DW Groethe


This collection of DW's works (poems and lyrics) has been gathered together for your reading pleasure, and pleasure it will be. He wanted a book that was a sequence of poems that picture life in a place called West River, where DW lives on the extreme northern edge, having spent his life "roaming around it, meeting with, working with, at times having too much fun with, some of the finest people ever put on earth. West River takes its name from the fact that most of it lies west of the Missouri River. It is a land of prairie, badlands, rimrock, cottonwoods, chokecherry, buffalo berry and buckbrush. And grass: grammas, buffalo, bluestem. This is cattle country. It's either too dry, too wet, too windy, too hot or too cold - - but never too boring. so here you go. West River. As real as the beat in your heart." (quote from the Preface.) Includes:

The Poems:

Fifty a Day (Broke, Tired and Blue) * John Goodall, Good Night * Hey Gray. . . Wadda Ya Say? * He's a Cowboy Not a Carpenter * Cows on Mars * Let 'Er Buck * Weekend Jackpot Ropin' * A Little Thing about Creepin' Jenny * Seven Tadpoles * One of Them Kind * When She Speaks * Blue Moon #1 * Bossy Gets Hosed * A Prickly Time Out * Them Four Wheel Steeds * The Bunny Poem * When Hell Comes Knockin' * Midnight, Somewheres in August * There's a Silence * The Point (The Whole Point and Nothin' But the Point) * Some Things Look Better Just Left Where They Are * The Funeral * And From This Hill: A Requiem * At The Timmer Bar * Bent * There's Life in the Ol' Dog Yet * Likely, When That Sun Creeps Up * Same Old Story * Under the Dim and Nodding Sky * When the Old Man Goes (A Poem in Two Voices) * Let Me Tell You 'Bout Weanin' * East Wind-December 4th * She Wore Her Twilight Well * And Now as My Day Settles * The Novice * An Act of Confusion * The Coyotes' Annual Christmas Howl * Winter 1903 * A Charley Creek Christmas * Three Horses Waiting * Out My Window * The Christmas Serenade * Final Prayer * The Great Hay Yard Assault of '04 or The Sad State of Cowboy Job Security * You Know It's a Day * 'Cross the Top of the Butte * The Feed Truck Blues * Notes on the Clipper * Winter Light * Lifting a Glass to Summer * So Here I am Diggin' * Nothing Ryhmes with Lutefisk * Comin' Home * The Passing * ? * Just Like a Chinook * Cracks * Late One Evenin' * I Suppose Some Folks Would Say * Geezer Poem #3 * he Was a Cattleman * When Spring Breaks on the Prairie * If * The Fence * Traeger's Dilemma * Bless * Yearlin' Heifers-Part I * He Rides a Mellow Gelding Anymore * Looks Like Another Hot One * Generations * Little Katy Rose

The Lyrics:
Notes from the Hinterland ~
How it Rolls * Blue (Like in Lonesome) * Ridin' Blue * Missouri Valley Hymn * Heartache #1 * That Ol' Full Moon * Eddie

There's a Place ~
Only Cowgirls Give Cowboys the Blues * Hell to Pay * Song of the Nighthawk * Old Mem'ries * There's a Place * Hard, Wild and Free * A Cowboy's Prayer * In Without Knockin' * I Eat Meat * A Letter Home * Blood is Blood * A West River Tale * Prairie Anthem * Last Dog

Tales From West River ~
Rodeo Sweetheart * The Coffee Song * I Go Ridin' * West River Moon * The Thunderin' Herds * The Carhartt Song * Let 'Er Go * That Ol' Red, White and Blue * When True Love Runs Thin * The Little Things * Bluegrass Lullaby * Ol' Man Coyote * He Was Once a Hero * One for The Workin' Cowboy

What Ever It Takes ~
Give Him a Horse and Saddle * Leavin' It All Behind * Talkin' Windy Blues * Lately (A Phone Call from Home) * When We Get Hitched * Ridin' That Trail * Summer * The One That Got Away * Heartbroke * Long Train Gone * Mendin' Harness * Some Sunny Day * What Ever It Takes

As Hal Cannon, Founding Director of the Western Folklife Center writes, "DW Groethe's poems and songs work both in performance and on the page. It may sound simplistic, but that's rare, that's fine craftmanship, and most of all, that's good magic."

(2006) Published by Cowboy Miner Productions.

LISTEN to "The Coffee Song" on our Ranch Rhymes podcast.


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