Phantom Rider

Phantom Rider
Phantom Rider
Phantom Rider
The rain was relentless, one dark and thundery night,
Posse had killed my friend, forcing me into flight.
Pushing my mare hard, she faltered, almost went down,
Six deputies were on my trail, with no place to turn around.
When lightning lit the sky, I took the muddy draw,
Lightning flashed; Phantom Canyon was the only thing I saw.
With the law close behind me, I chose the canyon and its ghost,
Recalled the Phantom Rider tale, as I passed the canyon post.
Steep granite canyon walls were wet with the torrent of rain.
Must have caught a bullet, for my side was screaming with pain.
My horse, exhausted, stumbled and threw me to the ground.
Rolling to my feet, Colt pistol in hand, thunder was the only sound.
Ready to fight, but only darkness, pounding rain, nothing else, just me,
Phantom Rider, and the tales, had seemed to make the deputies flee.
Saddle bags full of the bank’s money, all of it was now mine,
The storm and the rain had drawn me to the canyon, as if by design.
Yelling, “Take that you son of a bitch” as I fired once into the air,
Thunder roared, and I saw the Phantom Rider in the lightning flare.
His red-eyed horse was black as night as he rode along the canyon rim,
Phantom Rider, rain slicker was dark and shiny, and I knew it to be him.
The tales of the Phantom, I now knew, to be true,
Phantom Rider of the canyon was one of the Devil’s crew.
Phantom turned and looked at me, eyes were ebony of the night.
The Rider rode the canyon trail down, keeping me in his sight.
Rider looked like the specter of death as he came near,
Close enough now, the rider smelled of death, as I trembled with fear.
The mare wore Satan’s brand, and her hooves were made of fiery steel,
The horse’s mane was black and shiny, and her hot breath I could feel.
My eyes blurred, my body burned, and my shirt soaked with blood and sweat,
Phantom Rider said, “You are already dead, son, and you just don’t know it yet.
You murdered, robbed, and raped, you never tried, to change your ways.
You are now a Phantom Rider for eternity. In this Devils Canyon you will stay.”
By Kurt James
Kurt James © 2022
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With family roots in western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographer’s through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. His poetry has been featured in the Denver Post, PM Magazine and on 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 7 novels all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand Kurt has also released a poetry collection called the wandering man collection - Poetry and Thoughts of a Wandering Man - (Uniquely Colorado edition) and now this collection - Poetry and Reflections of a Wandering Man (Random Thoughts edition). Kurt has also published 3 historical reference books, and one humor book. All are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt is working on his 9th Colorado adventure tale novel “Rocky Mountain Moonshiner”.

8 thoughts on “Phantom Rider

  • March 24, 2022 at 12:00 AM

    A good western verse with a touch of the supernatural thrown in. An enjoyable read, Kurt.

    • March 25, 2022 at 3:15 PM

      Thanks, John, for stopping by my campfire for this tale. Much appreciated.

    • March 28, 2022 at 6:27 PM

      Thank you, Phyllis, for stopping by my campfire for a haunting tale.

  • March 28, 2022 at 7:26 AM

    Awe inspiring. I just got back from vacation to Colorado and passed by Elko Nevada on the way home. I pointed out the my teenager that the biggest cowboy poetry conference in America is in Elko once a year. I think I am going to go next chance I have and bring my son with me. Good job Kurt. Jamie

    • March 28, 2022 at 6:29 PM

      I have been to Elko a couple of times for the cowboy poetry – it is a lot of fun. You will love it. Thanks for your wonderful comment on this piece.

  • March 28, 2022 at 2:39 PM

    Whoa…Excellent Poem Tale. Man…I was getting worried while reading along about horse and rider through their escape through “Phantom Canyon”! Had a surprise ending in there as both met up with the “Phantom Rider”, but won’t give it away in the Comment Section. Only to say…all readers of this Tale will enjoy their Journey through the Canyon while “On-the-Run.” This would make a great tale to be put into a Western Movie.

    • March 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM

      Thank you, Steve. it was a lot of fun doing this piece –


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