Sampson Moss: Cowboy & Cowboy Poet

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to publish a few poems from the talented horseman and hat maker, Sampson Moss. He’s an Albertan who was featured on this podcast episode here. Sampson writes:

The first time I started playing around with felt hats was in 2015 when I began reshaping them for myself and friends in my college dorm kitchen. This eventually developed into rebuilding hats for folks all around North America. 

Sampson Moss

At the start of 2020, I drove down to Newcastle, Utah, to apprenticed under Chaz Mitchell, who runs Chaz Mitchell Custom Hatz. It took me about a year to get my ducks in a row with tools, suppliers, and materials. In January of 2021, I produced Number One of Prairie Wind Hat Works. Since then, each hat I make has an accompanying serial number and my client’s name stamped into a goatskin sweatband. 

Aside from being a hatmaker, I’m also I’m also a dayworking cowboy, cowboy poet, a musician, and heavy duty mechanic. I majored in agribusiness in college. I was raised in southern Alberta and am currently situated near Pincher Creek.

For information on ordering a custom hat, head over to Prairie Wind Hat Works.

To hear Heirlooms read by Moss, click here for BHP podcast episode 19 (It is at about 20 minutes.)


It’s been said once or twice

“Respect ain’t given, but earned.”

Sampson Moss

Well, I find it eminently underpriced,

Of that, I’m fairly assurned

However more,

Provided to the right hand

Heritability, although sometimes a chore,

Is what’s protecting this land.

You can see it in the eager eyes

Of a restless kid learning to rope

And the way his daddy tries

To provide a hungry sense of hope.

Or in a young girl’s prized steer

She so lovingly raised

Turning her passion into a career;

From her folks, came no lack of praise.

Sure, it’s been overused

“Passed down through generations”

Sampson Moss

But respect ain’t something to abuse,

It’s the backbone of our nation.

Yet, turmoil and turbulence

Unfortunately take credit

For instilling diligence

In our youngsters, if we let it.

See? We can’t truly appreciate cheer

Without knowing first of pain.

Like tagging a healthy calves ear

After the markets rebounded again.

Now, set a high standard

In the eyes of the beginner

So we may continue to answer,

“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.”


The Silver under the Rust

Tonight I shined some silver

While she sat and kept me company

I didn’t have much to give her

But the shape of her hat should be satisfactory

I found some people are just like

An old silver bit

They work hard hard through life

Seldom throwing a fit

Sampson Moss

Y’know I take pleasure from discovering that silver inlaid

Hidden beneath all that tarnish and rust

Similar to her oak brown braids

Tucked underneath her hat, covered in dust

You’ve heard the term

“Diamond in the rough”

Well I’m fairly assurn

that that ain’t no guff

It ain’t in the age,

But the miles they’ve rode

The country they’ve seen

And how many times they’ve been throwed

Be it a Mona Lisa,

half breed or spade

San Joaquin, Salinas

And by whom they’re made

If we take the time to appreciate

Each line carved shallow and deep

Sampson Moss

We may begin to concentrate

On the scars our bodies indefinitely keep

From bits to spurs to flesh

It’s our marks that tell our stories

We all have one we fancy the best,

One we relate to some kind of humble glory

I find it somewhat intriguing

How we buy sell and trade

We seem to be consistently hunting,

Til we find one that’s here to stay

Perhaps someday I’ll find mine

Who knows? Friends we may already be

And I’ll pop the question sometime

“Will you come ride with me”?

Fixin’ Fence

Well I was out fixin’ fence this afternoon

So I figured I’d write up a poem relative to what I’s doin…

“Fixin fence”

If you were to compare

Your life to your fence

Would you look at it with pride?

Does it display confidence?

Are your braces secure?

Posts pounded straight?

Or so they zig zag

T’wards a down gate?

Are you missing staples?

Have your wires come loose?

Are your angles right?

Or slightly obtuse?

Do you use sharp barbed wire?

Number 9 or electric?

Are your pastures square?

Or shapes rather eccentric?

Will it keep in a herd of longhorns?

Does it hold up to a heavy ol bull?

Or has it been bent over

From a chinooks windy pull?

Would you trust it to deter trespassers?

Can it guide a big ol stubborn steer?

Or is it graciously mocked

By pesty mule deer?

Is it regularly checked?

Responsibly maintained?

Or does it only receive attention

When your cows get out again?

So when you go ‘bout checkin

Be it your life, or your fence,

Take the initiative

And avoid the consequence.


Posted in Horsemen & Women.

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