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The Lincoln County War

by Christopher Herald 2 months ago in surreal poetry

the legend of Billy the Kid in rhyme

Once upon the history books

within the ‘land of enchantment’

An Englishman’s execution

would give rise to THIS dissident 

Henry McCarty or Antrim

Or is it William H. Bonney

THIS legend would begin to kindle

with those bullets that took Johnny

He was already a criminal 

when our victim first took pity

John Tunstall brought Billy in

and cleaned him up nice and pretty

Gave him a job and a purpose

along with the rest of John’s staff

Young guns who were in the same boat

all welcoming on his behalf

John had set himself up in Lincoln

where he’d run a storefront and ranch

The Santa Fe Ring ruled the land

never lending the olive branch

Politics was dirty business 

on the streets of New Mexico

Sheriff Brady was dirty too

and men could be DICKS long ago

The police back then were killers

and HE was on someone’s payroll

The largest county’s not for grabs

where THIS villain is on patrol

Braid sent deputies to murder

as a benefit to “The House”

Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan

whose both aspirations espouse

There were plans for John’s property

that may come off rather berserk?

The henchmen on horseback WORE badges

and mustaches to hide their smirk

The crime scene was left pretty grim

traumatic for the faint of heart

Violence begets violence

Lincoln County’s conflict can start

Tunstall’s old crew formed “The Regulators”

and they set off on a mission

Vigilantes with scores to settle

without the proper permission 

Our young man took it personal

as did the rest of John’s fellas

They’d find out who the culprits were

and make the Grim Reaper jealous

Brady wound up April Fools Day

with several holes in his back

A Winchester ‘73

opened up in an attack 

Lever actions between each blast

and the element of surprise

Blood and smoke mashed with loud echoes

and anyone on THAT end dies

Round after round in little time

With some empty casings to fling

The smoke settled on fugitives

Law of the land dictates “they” string

The hispanics helped the hurried flee

accepting Billy as their own

He spoke the native language well

and displayed the techniques they’ve known

He was half raised by Vaquero

after his mother bit the dust

Conceived by Irish immigrants

which I find is rarely discussed

Alex McSween starts this next plot

and the need to retaliate?

That’s John Tunstall’s business partner

would be the next they’d ventilate

Urgent news reached the boys, hiding

the villains were finishing the job

Alex McSween’s days were numbered

by this spaghetti western mob

The Regulators would assist

still wanted by authorities

Surrounded in an adobe house

365 degrees

Five whole days of returning fire

Still Alexander lost his fight

A gatling gun had done the trick

and the The Dolan House won that night

Now… The law tried to smoke ‘em all out

when Billy the Kid first took the reigns

He was younger than his colleagues

but possessed the whit and the brains 

They’d escape this armed escapade

only to battle further on

All to rally behind justice

Some say eighteen kills where they’d gone

As time progresses and more cowboys fell

and the President took notice

Excuse the turn by turn run down

I’ve no idea who knows this

PAT GARRET captured Billy the Kid

In December 1880

Out of the six shooters involved

the kid would be hanged for Brady

Somebody  who’d been aquatinted

would manage to get the collar 

Way back in the frontier days

and Garret would have been taller

One of “The House” goons was a guard

Bob Olinger who’ll meet his end

He’d brutalize his prisoners

and settle his hash and offend

With no proper containment cell

chains to the floor would suffice

Billy would bide his time planning

and slipping out of his device

From that second story office 

while he’s manacled limb for limb

He asked to use the loo outside

that would end for two, pretty grim

Slipping out of a wrist shackle

and beating one over the head

Billy grabbed a holstered pistol

and we know the first guy’s dead

Our jailbird from the second floor 

as Bob was on the street below

“Hi Bob!” “Bye Bob!” through the window

then dropped that Olinger fellow

Two barrels full of hot buckshot 

and the legend was born that day

And of course Bill rode toward the dusk

singing graciously the whole way

surreal poetry

Christopher Herald

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