Cowboys and Witches

Inside the Stanley Hotel

Here is an excerpt from the novella Foster’s Fall, found on page 47.

“My name is Chas, Mr. Tennenbaum told me to expect you.”

“Foster Everwinter.”

“You are our house detective, in charge of security?”

“Yes, at your service.”

“He has told you about the black peacocks?”

“Yes, he has.”

“Dreadful business. The entire staff is just sick over it. We are all very fond of them.”

“Who do you think is responsible?”

“A madman. It couldn’t be an animal.”

“Why not?”

“Don’t you know? They are locked up every night. Someone would have to unlock their barn and take them up into the woods.”

“An animal couldn’t manage it?”

“Not unless he has a key and walks upright.”

“It’s a riddle, I admit, but who would want to do such a thing?”

“Like I said, a madman.”

Cowboys and Witches, along with my other books are found on

Cowboys and Witches by John K Bucher

I wrote this book, or I guess parts of it from 2006-2008. It was published in 2010. The short story was a continuation of one of the characters in my first novel – The Suicide Cowboys. It was during this period I moved from Denver to Ft Collins and about once a week, my son Josh and I would drive up into the mountains to Estes Park and spend the day. We would park in town and walk up a nature trail past pools of trout and grazing elk to the the Stanley Hotel. The old hotel was where Stephen King got the story for The Shinning. We would have a drink at the bar and talk to the employees about their own supernatural experiences while they were on duty. Later we would retreat down the trail again and eat lunch at Lonigans Saloon, and Irish pub. I would go home with a car full of ideas and stories. This book holds some of them.

Just Me and the Night

Go away loneliness I want to drink Vodka

perverse drunken logic beckons me to the party

walk straight damn it the cops are watching I think

oh my God why, such a waste of the moment,

just then I girl asks me “what am I doing?”

we walk and she takes me someplace as sparks shoot from

her ass while she lies to me, what a performance!

4 am and I am at a 7-11 buying milk as a vast array of people lie

sleeping in old brick apartments. I hear a scream,

“Don’t call the cops!” I trudge home behind a black cat and let

myself in. Lying down I feel the rhythm of the night and wait

for the sleep fairies to close the gate of my mind.

Evening Street Lights

Walking along the busy sidewalks of the life soaked day

Autumn winds catches my collar and thumps my thoughts

My eyes go up to the third floor window and no lights shine

Loneliness shakes me


I walk all this way and she is not home- Darker now

I shuffle around and go

To a corner bar and sit down

Blonde whore


She wants a drink

I buy her one

Now what?

Her tale of woe, God

I pay

Walk out the door

Still no light

Where is she?

Cold, I stumble

What now?

The dull yellow street lights

They mock me and tell me to go home

I go as the street lights keep watch

On the third floor window

These and many more poems and stories are in Cowboys and Witches. This and all my books at K Bucher

Rainy Days and Coffee

Denver cloudburst

rusty chain

Soaked to the skin

hung over brain

Parked and shivered

old brick alley

Familiar jazz window

’bout a gal named Sally

Pedaled down Eighth

corners flooded

Sedan out of nowhere

comical but sudden

Pushed her hard

both tires went flat

Found the java

there I sat

Safe and dryer

window glazed

Sheets of rain

lightning blazed

Mountains in the distance

blurred by the storm

Flecks of snow

winter born

Piles of books

known and unknown

Stories of desires

under the stones

Thomas Wolfe speaks to me

faded cover

Turn the page

plot discover

Rain declined

remarks toward the night

Pushing up Broadway

faded street light…

This poem is found on page 35-37 in Old Photographs and Wild Dreams by

John K Bucher Sr. The hardcover version is available on


Fresh from the road end of the day

Nickel words were exchanged and had their say

Heard of its myth and aim to destroy

Ginger ale was administered for a chemical joy

Burned the tongue and some memories almost too much

Fires were lit so I sent for a crutch

The mind was flushed and ready for more

New thoughts tumbled forward into the floor

and the oopps…trigger guns fire hard to the gut and the nifty music plays louder until dancing Chinese ladies with their protracted grins and orange pumkins swoop by the leave- stand up! it’s late!

Another round or three and a new bottle is found

Cheers to the flag and those can still hear its sound

and…the sounds of raindrops pouring down in the alley outside and the coming of armed troops carrying swords and singing…

some old song of love


The first of the first…cold and forbidding

resolutions a plenty – mostly just kidding

afternoons in deep thought…another year already

wary of the prospects ….shadows make the path unsteady

blood in my veins ….teeth in my head

love the winter…especially the bed

sail boats at dawn….seals in the surf

exposing the myths…some from our birth

hard hearts seek joy…but find none anywhere

judgemental pricks…eaten by grizzly bears

cold as the winters…memories of stone

dead in the life….down to the bone

humanity suffers….generosity dies

hard hearted beings….used to telling lies

and…and…and whispers of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ghost decoded bewtween gulps of Scotch whiskey

rumors of more wretched war never learning “thou shalt not kill” because politically its too risky

give peace a chance or at least shut the fuck up for a while and read a book and go for a walk and see what God hath wrought

tears at Christmas from a man who knows gratitude and who he is in this world and seeks what most of us have never sought

Purple….gray… jazz… Notes

Whiskey dreams……….ghostly screams

paper dolls floating in the rain

Witch heart trails……..lamp post fails

midnight dancers die in vain

Purple and gray …brain waves stray

the hot club cools at dawn

Colored notes ….across the sky

youthful dreams almost gone

dance hall shoes…electric blues

hips sway wide across the floor

Purple and gray …wires do fray

the organ pumps through the door

On the Road…Bible in code

dope and sex in the heavy air

another day of winter gloom and memories of sandy beaches where the blue waves did lap and seduce our hearts-up and down the worn out shocks bounce across the freeway as the trucks roar and heave-hunger pains long for another In N Out burger or a Tommy’s breakfast burrito of 2,000 calories- my heart burns for another chance- calendar on the wall solemnly says “no”- tee shirt days and Birkenstock afternoons are just around the corner and then the sun sets just right- I hear a Charley Mingus horn accompanied by a snare drum roll with brushes- when my mind finally settles then the PURPLE AND GRAY JAZZ NOTES BLAST LOUD IN MY HEAD AND ALL IS RIGHT

Soul Market

Tip Toe Tip Toe past the crying girl at the dirty bar with the meter maid vibe and the dog catcher karma

And the god damned world at large where people live on a garbaged street pile and politicians sell Trump-flavored shit to big Pharma

Find find find please find a market where some soul is still living and principles are more valuable than the lies we hear

It may be found on a street corner bar where sorrow is met with the generosity of a nondescript kind stranger buying you a beer

Or a beach cove tent where waves pop loud in the middle of a thunderstorm of love making and passion

London London London public house with dark oak corners and a tattered copy of Dylan Thomas while sporting a late ’60’s fashion

Calling out the past in a sea of strangers and finding yourself alone with just you and your soul and its secret ways and means

In the middle of a hot summer baseball game when you don’t care they are losing and the flat warm beer tastes like an American Mark Twain dream

And once you find “it”, that “it” that is you, on a Dostoevsky page, or in a cold leaky tent in a wilderness area, or flat on your ass

Or a million other days or places or people- you want to explore more of “it” and when you are in one of those places not built of brass

You know that life is here and is so fleeting like a rain drop or a the way light reflects off a face as the ice cream cone disappears

And the day is a setting sun, a soulful sound of a long time spinning lost in the wind aging sphere

Baker Street Boys

Baker Street Boys

Some days …I awaken to still being

a Baker Street boy

A Texas fog of childhood


Old run-down house …slowly remodeled

basement shared with brother David

Tree house construction – injuries

paper route days

Rock and roll came to town

Dallas concert

Shot guns by the railroad tracks

black bass dinners

Cousins next door…funny fence stories


Growing pains…Daniel’s asthma pump

James playing under the Christmas tree

Transformative time in our childhood…personalities

….likes and dislikes…longing again for Amsden

Mrs. Cook’s History class and trips to Colorado

Funerals to remember and riding the bus

Bicycle Saturdays at the Rialto…six Pepsi caps

Mowing grass at Tanglewood…one dollar per hour

Fifty hours a week…chiggers all over…sulfur tablets

Hot summers and cold winters…sleet

Leaning to drive…drivers’ ed…license

Thinking and planning…dreams

Memories of Baker Street …boys

page 95 – 96 Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

only available in hardcover on Amazon- order yours today!

The Notorious MLG

Melrose Larry Green on Hollywood Boulevard

Old Photographs and Wild Dreams – Page 177


Year after year he smiles and sells

orange vest and winter shorts

Greenblatt kid from Brooklyn ….Melrose Avenue

sandwich board life

Talent out the ass from piano to singing – comic


Howard Stern’s WACKPACK spitfire mouthpiece …pot stirrer

Bobo & Mary Ann

No stranger to conflict…village town crier…MBA Cornell

Celebrity accountant

In spite of all the bluster, the sandpaper beliefs – heart of pure gold

gifted entertainer

Larry inspires me when I see that smile – that GRIN

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Riding the Katy

The first time was special, remembering the cold

funeral in Dallas, for someone not so old

Fresh from the round house, engines did race

Denison station, big scary place

Mounting wrought iron steps to find the right seat

train car so full strange rendezvous meet

Shiny steel sculpted with curtains and wood

ladies in hosiery swishing a lilac good

Hearts beat as one when the whistle blew loud

feeling the movement riding a steel cloud

Sherman came fast fields of black dirt

gentlemen in their newspapers starchy white shirts

Gathering speed across empty winter grounds

foxes dance in the sunlight scatter at the sound

So elegant a world on heavy round wheels

windows in the dinning car table cloth meals

McKinney came next and then Dallas station

husbands and wives foreign relations

Riding the Katy a distant recall

dead rusty cars behind a rotting wall

A sweet dream of Texas gone for the time

only in dreams can you ride the Katy line

Page nine – Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

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