Nona Kelley Carver – “Chili Pepper Pete”

Thanks to Nona Kelley Carver for sharing this poem with us. Nona was one of our 4 poets and musicians at the KAFM Radio Room event on October 11. She will be with us again for the 2019 Western Slope Cowboy Gathering on November 1 and 2. Find out more here.

Chili Pepper Pete


Chili Pepper Pete was born just down below the border

and as a busy Cow Camp Cook, Ole’ Pete

was made to order.

He did use lots of chilis, of yellow, green and red,

and the cowboys learned to eat them with tortillas

for their bread.


He baked them with his biscuits, and he covered them with cheese.

He seemed to know the right amount to satisfy and please.

He cooked them with ground venison to make great chili soups.

He roasted and he toasted quite enough to feed his troops.


He fried them with potatoes and he cooked them with his eggs;

always fixed enough to fill the boys with hollow legs,

He chopped them with the garlic he added to pot pies…

I really think he truly felt his peppers were a prize!


Jalapenos in the cornbread, cayenne peppers in the stew.

He added chile peppers to each recipe he knew!

But he knew he’d over done it when diarrhea hit the town,

and his toilet paper caught on fire and burned the out house down!


by Nona Kelley Carver