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A Western Star

As a writer, one of the many things I have learned about the writing process is that my creative mind will occasionally take a detour. I may be focusing on a lengthy project when––POOF!––a totally different inspiration intervenes. The options at that point are to: 1) attempt to ignore the idea and forge ahead, or 2) stop and follow the detour to see where it leads. Option 2 most often results in an enjoyable meandering that provides a much-needed break while allowing my creativity remain active. Sometimes, however, the outcome justifies the interruption.  You just never know.

This week I was once again pestered by the aforementioned writers’ roadblock, prompted by a recent visit with one of my favorite authors, Craig Johnson. One of the most personable folks I’ve ever met, Craig had stopped by St. Louis to speak and promote Depth of Winter, the latest novel in his Longmire series. To catch up on my Longmire reading, I purchased his latest novel, plus the previous two.  After completing all three tomes, the connection between Craig’s last two novels encouraged a rhyme to percolate in my head. I’ve posted the consequential brew below.

Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.


Now let me relate a raucous tale

that I learned from a friend of mine

’bout a troop of Wyoming sheriffs

aboard a Union Pacific line

The lawmen were on an excursion

they looked forward to once each year

to share ‘You ain’t heard nothin’ stories

and plenty of––well, good cheer

A four-eight-four steam locomotive

powered the train called The Western Star

Cheyenne to Evanston and back again

towing a string of fine Pullman cars

As the engine steamed toward the Rockies

it bellowed plumes of smoke and soot

on what would be the Star’s final run

but there also was murder afoot

Two seasoned sheriffs had disappeared

one found dead beside the railroad tracks

the remaining lawmen now had to ponder

who among them was behind the attack?


As the sheriffs sought out the culprit

a new troop came under strong fire

the Absaroka county deputy

also known as Walter Longmire

But Walt’s not a man to run and hide

Regardless of his opposition

no knock on the head or unruly weather

keeps Longmire from the case’s fruition

To find out who dunnit read The Western Star

the novel that shares the train’s name

 it’s filled with backstory, mystery, and twists

and the reasons the killer’s to blame

I’m halting this tale though there’s plenty more to tell

yep, I know that my rhyme’s just a splinter

check out the book scribed by another western star

it will take you to the Depth of Winter

5 thoughts on “A Western Star

    1. Thank you, Donald. sorry for the delayed reply. I met Craig Johnson in 2008, at the Tony Hillerman writers’ conference. Been a fan ever since. Although the TV series was excellent, and I’m disappointed that it wasn’t renewed, the books shed a bit different light on the characters and are well worth reading.
      Take care. Thanks for viewing my weekly blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Longview not renewed? Ruined my day. Thanks up there with when my sister told me there was no Santa Clause. Oh well.


  1. How coincidental, I just finished watching the last episode of Longmier on Netflix. When they took it off regular TV I was heartbroken. I just now got Netflix and have been binge watching my favorite sheriff. Now that I know there are novels…..well I’m thrilled. My obsession won’t have to end. Thanks for the poem and the info.


    1. Thanks Stephanie. Yep, Longmire is the only TV series that my wife and I purchased the DVDs as a reminder as to how great that show was. The books shed a slightly different light on the characters, but they are the originals, and, if you liked the TV series, well worth reading.


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