Some Dope Cowboy Haikus

Announcing the Results of the Cowboy Haiku Contest!

We did a Cowboy Haiku Contest.

If you entered, you should have gotten an email from me by now with your code or else asking if you want it on GOG or Desura (your pick!)

So everybody is a winner but also I am going to pick some of my favorites.

The Top Five

Here are my personal faves (in order that they were submitted, not in order of favorites) with some editorializing (since hey that's how you improve poetry isn't it) by yours truly:

Man walks into bar.

Spurs chime softly at his heels.

Punchline is a gun.

-- Del Angharad (@WelshPixie)

[N.B. Del sorta nailed it with this, which was the first Haiku submitted. Perfect! She submitted a lot more, too, so check ‘em out below.]

Cattle man comin'

Gonna bring justice to 'em

Wanted: Dead Or Al-

-- George Hufnagl (@grhufnagl)

[N.B. This one is really excellent, with subtle and “meta” use of the last line. Here is how I see it: in traditional Haiku the last line is supposed to put a new twist on the scene set up in the first two lines. The other aspect is the 5/7/5 syllable-structure, which is what most people think of when you say “Haiku”. Some (more enlightened than myself) have suggested, however, the the syllable-structure is the least important aspect of Haiku. This pulls everything together brilliantly; the Cowboy is entering town, and in his mind he thinks: I will shoot these bandits. But he hasn’t the time to finish his last thought, instead his life is cut short, in a surprising twist: but was it cut short by a bandit, or by the syllable structure of the Haiku describing the scene he is (unknowingly) in. Whoah... deep.]

The sound of the wind

whistles like ghosts through canyons.

Oh wait, that's a ghost.

-- Berkley Staite (@berv_)

[N.B. Berkley suggested the idea of a Cowboy Haiku competition, so I’ll admit I feel predisposed to selecting his poem. However this one deserves a special award, because it’s legit funny.]

Hat's brim drawn down low

Double holsters just aren't enough

Against this madness

-- Tanya Short (@tanyaxshort)

[N.B. This one is perfect, because I think it captures the spirit of the game perfectly, on a few levels.]

Don't mess with Texas

it says on the coffee mug

and made in China

-- Rod Gillespie (@rodgillespie)

[N.B. Again, just excellent. ]

All Cowboy Haiku Here For Your Pleasure

Again these are just in the order they were submitted. Enjoy!

Del Angharad (@WelshPixie) was the most prolific of Cowboy Haiku Submitters:

Man walks into bar.

Spurs chime softly at his heels.

Punchline is a gun.

Ten gallons of ale

in his hat, but he don't drink;

goes straight to his hips.

Once I lost my horse

In a maze of prickly gorse

I was drunk, of course.

Wild wild west Wirral.

Wrangler wanders with witches

which weave webbed whoppers.

Mammon was his name.

Greed like oil slick through pig veins,

black as coal-pitch night.

"I can haz taco?"

Real Texas announces

Lolcat edition.

Cowboy in high heels

Pistol matches pretty frock

still deadly at dawn

[N.B. bonus points for cross-dressing]


Fellow Tigsourcer Poe (@poe__) was getting right to the point, Cowboy-style, with this one:

The vagrants roll into town

They pay no mind to the law

We settle it at noon


Brandon Boyer (@brandonnn) ?who you may know as an all-round cool guy in the Indie scene who I think lives in Austin so he knows what he's talking about, unlike myself who has never really even been near to Texas yet made an entire game about it, only not, sent these ones:

I can tell it's Spring

the wind carries green seedlings

into my coffee. :-/

[N.B. Technically this Haiku was not written for this but Brandon submitted it so I'm including it because it's great!]

the air was real still

a dying man's final words


[N.B. Whoah. Also I added the quotes for him around @juegosrancheros as he indicated it was an intended correction.]


Berkley Staite ?(@berv_) had the idea to make the competition about Haiku was also prolific:

The sunset glowers

One more day of bloodied dust

The sunrise forgives.

Harmonica dusk.

Wails fade; all's silent until

desert night begins.


Scott Greig ?(@gspawn) made me cry a bit because I do in fact see myself as a bit of a cowboy albeit one who rides his bicycle instead of a horse proper:

Cowboys seldom cry.

'Cept when dust stings at their eyes.

In the Real Texas.


The super-nice Nich Emmerlich (@seorin) deserves your thanks since he actually donated some codes (!) to get this competition started, so if you are reading this why not send him a "thank you":

The sweltering sun

Wind whistling between wood shacks

There's dust in my boots.




[N.B. I know the last three characters are one, two and three but that's about as far as it goes, and even there I'm not actually sure...]

[N.B. (2): Seorin has submitted a translation: I grip my gun/Trembling/One, Two, Three...]


Opentrain (@opentrain) is probably right:

I've never been there

But I bet Texas has lots

of awesome tacos.


Never Was (@notelibrody) is obv a programmer too but he needs to fix his haiku generator:



error: out of syl


lil romney mane (@howtodieright) steel feels shame about his instrumental role in the Republican Primaries:

I am from Texas

Sorry about Rick Perry

From all of us here


Derek Ledoux (@sugarbeard) of Ottawa gaming collective Dirty Rectangles knows the value of drama in the American West:

Southern grass grew green

The cacti reached towards the sun

And then shit got real


Snapman (@Snapman_I_Am) got kind of meta by writing about The Real Texas but in terms of the hardware layer. I think:

Thousands of bright dots

coalesce on this black square

"Monitors aren't square"

[N.B. Snapman elucidated a bit on twitter: "Fun fact: my haiku is about a town square on a clear night, but the listener interrupts, wrongly thinking he noticed a factual error" Whoah, that is deeper than I thought.]


Color Printer (@ColorPrinterSA) is actually from Texas and he loves it! Texas is awesome! Wooo! Come to texas! I think:

lived here all my life

been pretty awesome so far



Dirk (@gammaburst) finished off nicely for everyone's enjoyment:

A gun at my side

Hot sweat dripping down my face

The last stroke rings out


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