Cowboy Poetry and the Story of Jonah

As I began this post, I realized I have posted several cowboy references in my blog posts lately. Cowboy book review. Cowboy soup recipe. And now cowboy poetry.

Cowboy poetry doesn’t have to be written by cowboys. Authors usually have some connection to the cowboy life to at least know a little bit about what they are writing, though. Veterinarian Baxter Black might be one of the most well-known writers of the genre. Pilot appreciates Baxter Black’s poetry so much, he named our last dog, Baxter, after the poet.

The following poem, The Lost Ranch Revival, is written by Brad Curtis. It tells the story of a cowboy, similar to the prophet Jonah, who runs from his boss’ assignment. You can find this and other poems in his book of Christian cowboy poems, He Holds the Reins.

The Last Ranch Revival


Sittin’ in the bunkhouse,

Boss came walkin’ in.

Said, Jon your horse is saddled,

Waitin’ in the pen.

Ride over to the Lost Ranch,

We need help gatherin’ cows.

Jon said, You know them boys,

All they do is carouse.

As Jon walked out thinkin’,

Hope that hoss is slow

To ride over,

I sure don’t want to go.

The Lost Ranch was the worst,

Nothin’ but sorry hands.

Only thing they were good for,

Was changin’ cow’s brands.

Rustlers and cutthroats,

Every last one.

They’re all at the Lost Ranch,

Because they’re on the run.

Jon rode out of the gate,

Over the first mountaintop.

Out of the Boss’s sight,

He wasn’t going to stop.

The Lost Ranch was west,

Turned his pony east on the trail.

As hard as he could ride,

Givin’ the spurs to his ol’ broomtail.

Then the  storm hit,

Sand blowin’ from the east.

Felt like he was in the belly,

Of some giant wild beast.

This storm was blindin’,

The trail was a haze.

Seemed to last for weeks,

But it was only three days.

When the storm was over,

Jon’s pony came apart.

Thrown to the ground,

He had a change of heart.

Climbed back in the saddle,

Started headin’ west.

After all when it came to hands,

The Boss knew what was best.

Got to the Lost Ranch,

What a sorry spread.

No grass or water,

Everything was dead.

Lookin’ at them boys said,

My Boss is gatherin’ strays.

If you’ll ride for The Brand,

He’ll forgive your sinful ways.

One by one they saddled up.

Said, Jon we’re tired of this place.

We’d like to meet your Boss

And thank Him for His grace.

Brad Curtis

Jonah 3:1-2

If we remember the story of Jonah, we remember Jonah ran the opposite direction when God told him to go to Ninevah, that wicked capital of the Assyrians, and preach repentance.

After spending three days in the belly of a large fish, however, Jonah realized there is nowhere we can run from God’s presence. Once the fish spewed Jonah ashore, the prophet headed to Ninevah.

Like Jonah, we sometimes run from the assignments God gives us. There are as many different reasons for our disobedience as there are different people. Jonah’s main reason for running was because he didn’t want the Ninevahites to be saved. They were wicked. In his limited selfish human mind, Jonah believed they deserved God’s wrath.

Just as that is not a decision for us to make, it wasn’t a decision for Jonah to make either. God eventually punished Ninevah, but in his timing. Not Jonah’s.

Thankfully, God is in the business of grace, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. I am eternally grateful for his mercies, which are new every morning.

All of us deserve God’s wrath. Apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, we each face separation from God.

Do you have a favorite cowboy poem, or is this your first introduction to the form?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai:  “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”

 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish. Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT)

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Cowboy Poetry and the Story of Jonah

  1. My husband and I used to love listening to Baxter Black when he read poems on NPR, and I love that your last dog was named for him! this cowboy poem is such a great modern retelling of Jonah’s flight from God and God’s grace in forgiving Jonah and us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kathy. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem, and know who Baxter Black is. 🙂 I think the fact our dog, Baxter, was black had a little to do with the naming. Even our vet commented on the connection.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.