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CowboyPoetry.com

This is an interim blog for CowboyPoetry.com, maintained while a new site is being built. All of the old site remains available at CowboyPoetry.com. This blog includes news, events, poetry, and more.

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This photo, taken in Dodson, Montana, is by Stan Howe, Montana singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, writer, radio host, auctioneer, and fiddle expert.

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News Bits and Links

readingnews“Reading the News,” by Erwin E. Smith, c. 1908 from The Library of Congress

We receive and come across all sorts of interesting information from a wide range of sources. Below, we gather some quick links to news stories, web features, and other items of interest gathered from the web, social media, and from you, the most recent posted first.

Your suggestions for consideration of inclusion are welcome (as well as your comments). Email us.

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3
Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018
Eighteenth annual: April 21-27, 2019

Cowboy Poetry Week News

 

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Just 14-years-old, this cowboy poet holds his own on the national stage,” by JaNae Francis, Standard-Examiner, April 21, 2018

Winter Blues,” by Frank Gleeson (poem), Williams Lake Tribune, April 20, 2018

A sign of the future in Morris: Cows + solar panels + fast electric car charger,” by Elizabeth Dunbar, mprnews.org,  April 20, 2018

A Cowboy’s Artist,” (on Bill Owen),  Western Horseman, archived article posted April 20, 2018

Flashback: Will Rogers’ Short Maguey,” by Dick Spencer III, Western Horseman, as written in April 1975, posted April 20, 2018

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The Dude Wrangler,” by Dave Stamey, Facebook, April 19, 2018

Dom Flemons Is Rewriting the American Songbook,” by Sriram Gopal, Washington City Paper, April 19, 2018

Western Folklife Center presents Texas songster Andy Hedges,” Elko Daily Free Press, April 18, 2018

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Ashley: Cowboy poet with Hill Country roots,” by Lindy Segall, Fredericksburg Standard, April 18, 2018

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Q&A: Dom Flemons” (with video), by Kristin Brown, Cowboys & Indians, April 16, 2018

For Nebraska cowboy poet R.P. Smith, the spirit of the West lives on in rhyme,” by Blake Ursch, Omaha World-Herald, April 16, 2018

I Was Only Trying to Help,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 16, 2018

“Lies They Tell Writers, Part 44: Anyone can learn to write,” by Rod Miller, blog, April 16, 2018

Al Jackson, a living legend,” by Cynthia Delaney, Elko Daily Free Press, April 14, 2018

Bovines online: Farmers are using AI to help monitor cows,” by Ryan Nakashima, Yahoo! News, April 13, 2018

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Dom Flemons,” (audio) by Ann Powers, World Cafe, April 12, 2018

A Devastating Fall Couldn’t Keep This Rodeo ‘Rider’ Off Wild Horses,” by Terry
Gross, Fresh Air, April 10, 2018

The New Head Catch,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 10, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Jerry Brooks (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, April 10, 2018

Husband-and-Wife Work Crew,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, April 9, 2018

The Last Cowboys  (forthcoming book)

The Ranch at the End of the West,” by Mike Coppock, Cowboys & Indians, March 27,
2018

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Neighbor Kelly,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch (blog), April 9,
2018

Cowboy poet masters skill of storytelling,” by Ryan Soderlin, KMTV, April 9, 2018

Quiet Pride” (about Shawn Cameron), by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman, undated

A Nevada Legacy,” (video) by John Wright, J.M. Capriola, undated

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Western Folklife Center seeks Programs Manager April 6, 2018

Alaskan cowboys bring local beef to the table,” by Jennifer Tarnacki, Homer News, April 5, 2018

Remembering the Queen of Cowboy Poetry,” by Chynna Lockett, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, April 5, 2018

Drovers of the Chisholm Trail,” (video), Western Horseman, April 5, 2018

A Love Story,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 4, 2018

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April Events at the Dayton Library,” Waitsburg Times, April 5, 2018

Poetry reading at Kingman library,” by Vanessa Espinoza, Daily Miner, April
5, 2018

Cowboy poet releases new album,” by Tammy Rollie, Western Wheel, April 4, 2018

On New Album, D.C. Musician Dom Flemons Shares the Lesser-Known History of
African American Cowboys,” by Stephanie Williams, dcmusicdownload.com, April 4,
2018

Genoa celebrates Western Heritage April 27-29,” Record-Courier, April 3, 2018

Herd of wild horses blocks Arizona road,” by Ben Hooper, upi.com, April 3, 2018

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Hail and Farewell: Elizabeth Ebert, ‘Grand Dame of Cowboy Poetry,’ 1925-2018,”
by Simon Reichley, Melville House, April 4, 2018

The Days When Cattle Were King and Barns Were Round,” by Jessica Hedges,
Branded in Ink, April 3, 2018

For Cowboy Poets, One Topic is Taboo,” by Carson Vaughan, In These Times,
April 3, 2018

Misty Morning Gathers,” Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, April 3, 2018

GPS finds home on the range,” by Tyler Harris, Nebraska Farmer, March 29, 2018

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Elizabeth Ebert, ‘Grand Dame of Cowboy Poetry,’ Dies at 93,” by Carson Vaughan, New York Times, April 1, 2018

William S. Hart Park 2018 Events, ” by Johnathan Sanchez, The Signal, March 31, 2018

Dude ranches of the Wild West,” by Jim Winnerman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 2018

For the Compton Cowboys, Horseback Riding Is a Legacy, and Protection,” by  Walter
Thompson-Hernández, New York Times, March 31, 2018

In the Battle for the American West, the Cowboys Are Losing,” by Jim Carlton, Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2018

6 artists added to the official Kansas Touring Roster,”  The Emporia Gazette, March 30, 2018

Glen Hollenbeck: Still riding for the G2 brand,” by Hannah Johlman, Tri-State Livestock News, March 29, 2018

Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Celebrating Our Western Past,” The Magazine of Santa Clarita, March 29, 2018

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Smooth to the Chute,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, March 28, 2018

“A Celebration Among the Saguaros,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 28, 2018

Cowboy Poetry Named Advocate of the Arts 2018,” Wasatch Wave, March 28, 2018

Ranchers Get More Grazing Flexibility With New Program,” by Amanda Peacher, Wyoming Public Media, March 27, 2018

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To live in these moments,” by Jessie Veeder, Back at the Ranch blog, March
26, 2018

Flashback: An Old Ranch Custom,” by Luis B. Ortega, written February 1951,
Western Horseman, March 25, 2018

…National Cowboy Museum showcases rarely seen oddities and outliers with
exhibit ‘Unlocking the Vault’,” by Brandy McDonnell, NewsOK, March 25, 2018

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2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering photos by Jessica Lifland, posted March
22, 2018

“My Favorite Book, Part 13,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 22, 2018

The Top 10 indications spring is officially here,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk,
March 20, 2018

Experience Old Florida Folk Fest at Summer Crush Gary Roberts,” TCPalm, March
19, 2018

Ranch Life: Dirty Boots and Hands,” by Wyatt Bechtel, drovers.com, March 17, 2018

Western Oklahoma drought intensifying,” by Derrell S. Peel, Progressive Cattleman, March 14, 2018

Writers present scholarship,” Payson Roundup, March 16, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Riders in the Sky (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, March 20, 2018

A Pox on this Column,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 20, 2018

Top Two Houston Steers Sell for $776,000; Reserve Sets World Record,” by Greg Henderson, agweb.com, March 19, 2018

Paul Zarzyski.com and “Butte”

Academy of Western Artists’ awards  March 18, 2018

Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest

Ranching on the Rocks,” Western Horseman (from 2012), March 19, 2018

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Gads, gut hooks, and grapplin’ irons,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 13, 2018

The Top 10 items you probably won’t find in town folks’ homes,” by Mark Parker, Farm Talk, March 13, 2018

Lorraine,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 12, 2018

A Time To Stay, A Time To Go” (video), by Baxter Black, drovers.com, March 12, 2018

The Tragedy of Cattle Kate,” by Eliza McGraw, Smithsonian, March 12, 2018

Spirit of the West Radio with Hugh McLennan

Western Writers of America, Spur Award winners and finalists

Crews continue work to contain wildfires that have burned more than 1.4
million acres across four states,” by Josh Wallace, newsok.com,  March 10, 2017

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Western Writers of America Announces 2018 Spur Award Winnersprnewswire, March 9, 2018

Elko, Nevada, Cowboy Poetry Festival brings out the best in all of us,” by Nadine Bailey, redding.com, March 9, 2018

Cowboy Festival returning to the River City,” by Sean Brady, kamloopsthisweek.com,  March 8, 2018 0

The Faces of the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,  Western Foklife Center

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Cowculations,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, March 7, 2018

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Moapa Valley Days Events Planned For This Weekend,” by Maggie McMurray, Moapa Valley Progress, March 7, 2018

Jekyll & Hide Cattle Company,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 6, 2018

The Top 10 farm and ranch rarities,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalknewspaper.com,
March 6, 2018

A year later, ranchers are healing after Kansas’ largest wildfire,” by Amy Bickel, hpj.com, March 5, 2018

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Cowboys sold out the show,” by Teri Nehrenz, Mesquite Local News, March 2,
2018

As Washington state looks for cleaner power, a Montana coal town faces an
uncertain future,” by Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, March 1, 2018

Cowboy Poetry Festival a hit with families,” by David Nystrom, Prescott Valley
Tribune, February 28, 2018

Eureka County 4-H Youth Share Journey Through Cowboy Poetry,” by Joelle Mackay, Eureka Sentinel, February 28, 2018|

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Fractious Freight,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, February 28, 2018

Advice Column,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 27, 2018

Wisdom from Down Under,” by Rod Miller (blog), February 26, 2018

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EquiFest draws thousands of horse lovers to Kansas Expocentre,” by By Katie Moore, cjonline.com, February 25, 2018

Ancient DNA rules out archeologists’ best bet for horse domestication,” by Cathleen O’Grady, arstechnica, February 25, 2018

Watch what you pray for,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News,
February 23, 2018

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Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival,” The Glendale Star, February 22, 2018

Pitching a wearable to make cattle farming more sustainable…,” by Jonathan Shiever, Yahoo! Finance, February 22, 2018

Elko Basques teach us a lesson,” by Monika Madinabeitia, Elko Daily, February 22, 2018

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Land lover,” by Josie Glassberg, Reno News, February 22, 2018

Tunes on the Trail,” by Gene Fowler, TexasCoopPower.com, March 2018

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Heifer’s Hood Ornament,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 20, 2018

Rifters return to Society Hall,” Alamosa News, February 20, 2018

Humor, Western zeal part of Spirit of the West,” by Daisy Perez, citizentribune.com, February 19, 2018

At 21, FisherPoets comes of age,” Daily Astorian, February 19, 2018

Teddy Roosevelt’s Saddle,” by Dick Spencer III, written January 1958, Western Horseman, February, 2018

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 43: Read Aloud What You’ve Written,” by Rod Miller
(blog), February 17, 2018

How a coalition of caretakers is keeping Wyoming’s ghost towns alive,” by Elise Schmelzer and Christine Peterson, Star-Tribune, February 17, 2018

BC Cowboy Heritage Society Newsletter February, 2018

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed it,” by Brendan Kyle, 100milefreepress.net, February 16, 2018

What Do Gender Relations Look Like in Rural America?,” by Kyle Young, thisisreno.com, February 16, 2018

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Quick Q and A with Dom Flemons,” by Kathy Sands-Boehmer, Everything Sundry (blog), February 15, 2018

Cowboy spirit to come alive in Ellensburg this weekend,” by Daisy Perez, Daily Record, February 15, 2018

Western Fest,” Tacoma Weekly, February 15, 2018

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Save American Poetry, Read a Cowboy,” by Max Ufberg, Pacific Standard, February 14, 2018

Dom Flemons announces a double release,” by Pamm Tucker, Bluegrasstoday.com, February 14, 2018

Enjoy an evening of cowboy poetry, music,” pvtrib.com, February 14, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Andy Wilkinson (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, February 13, 2018

The Mountain,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 13, 2018

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Gathering Hangover- Cochise Cowboy Poetry Gathering 2018,” by Jessica Hedges, Branded in Ink (blog), February 7, 2018

Kentrollins.com,  blog, recipies, and more

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Guy William Logsdon
, tulsaworld.com, February 8, 2018

Cowboy Poetry with Pickles,” by Rod Miller, blog, February 8, 2018

Pig Tales,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 6, 2018

Woody Guthrie Expert, Educator Guy Logsdon Dies,” newson6.com, February 6, 2018

One More Time,” by TJ Casey & Jim Reader;  in honor of late Bill Stearns, Wyoming cowboy and Senior World Champion Bronc Rider, YouTube, February 4, 2018

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering YouTube channel.

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Trail gone cold: Dusty Richards, Rod Miller (blog),  January 23, 2018

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Cowby Arts and Gear Museum

Moving the Remuda,” by Ross Hecox (photo blog), Western Horseman, January 22, 2018

Country Artist and Cowboy Poet Receives National Golden Spur Award,” by Mary Beth Holm, Daily Toreador, January 22, 2018

New brochure will highlight Elko art,” by Adella Harding, Elko Daily, January 22, 2018

Time machine: Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum restores G.S. Garcia’s shop,” by Toni R. Milano, Elko Daily,  January 20, 2018

Cowboy poetry set to come to Payson with symposium, program,” by Shelby Slade, Daily Herald, January 19, 2018

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Dennis Cassinelli, Mesquite Local News,

Quirky places to eat on your next trip…,” by Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Time, January 19, 2018

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Writing in My Sleep,”  by Rod Miller, blog,  January 17, 2018

Braymer Bait,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 16, 2018

Corb Lund and Ian Tyson: The Last cowboys,” by Mike Ross, gigcity.ca, January 14, 2018

Red Steagall chosen for National Golden Spur Award,” by Ray Westbroom, lubbockonline.com, January 13, 2018

Small Towns, Cowboy Charm,” Western Horseman, undated

Trailing Cattle in the Snow,” Western Horseman, January 2018

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Ranching by the signs,” by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, tsln.com, January 11, 2018

Women Writing About the Wild: 25 Essential Authors,” Kathryn Aalto, outsideonline.com, January 9, 2018

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Singer Ian Tyson on his early folk days and being inspired by Bob Dylan,” by Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail, January 8, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Gary McMahan (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, January 9, 2018

Things You Can Count On,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 8, 2018

The Birth of the American Cowboy,” Christopher Knowlton excerpt, Delanceyplace.com,
January 8, 2018

My Favorite Book, Part 12,” by Rod Miller, blog,  January 8, 2018

Cowboy Poets Ramble Back To Golden,” by Jean Lotus, patch.com, January 8, 2018

Man arrested after allegedly stealing more than $8 million in cattle,” cbs7.com, January
8, 2018

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NCBA Cowboy Poetry Contest Finalists’ videos, vote through January 15, 2018

Visiting Kansas’ Iconic ‘Home On The Range,’” by C.J. Janovy, Here and Now, January 3,
2018

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21st Century Working Horses,” by William Reynolds, Western Horseman, January 2, 2018

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2017 – A Year to Forget,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 1, 2018

Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 19-21, 2018

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Kazakhstan Prizes Its Cowboys, but Few Want to Saddle Up for Harsh Life,” by Andrew Higgins, New York Times, December 30, 2017

‘The Tabasco Man,’ cowboy poet Stan Tixier, dies at 85,” by Janae Francis, Standard-
Examiner, December 30, 2017

Arizona rancher on Mexico border uses science to breed sustainable cattle,” by Shayla
Hyde, Cronkite News, December 27, 2017

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John Stanley Tixier, 1932-2017,” Legacy.com, December 27, 2017 and more

Down on the Farm,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 26, 2017

South Dakota Quarter Horse Association celebrates breeding legacies,” farmforum.net, December 26, 2017

Coyotes Are Colonizing Cities. Step Forward the Urban Hunter,” by Simon Romero, New York Times, December 26, 2017

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Christmas at the BAR-D

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Cowboy Poets To Return To New Hampton,” by Bob Fenske, nhtrib.com, December 22, 2017

Mike Beck’s world of music and horses,” by Beth Peerless, Monterey Herald, December 21, 2017

Horse Talk: Baxter Black shops for gifts,” by Kathy Young, vvdailypress.com, December 21, 2017

Western Horseman and Cowboy Artists of America announce 2017 Youth Art Contest winners, Western Horseman, December 2017

Cattlemen’s dinner is January 6,” Alamosa News, December 21, 2017

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Complete daily schedule for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, December 20, 2017

What’s Christmas to a Cow?,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 19, 2017

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Another dispatch from the saddlebag,” by Rod Miller, blog, December 18, 2017

Saddlebag Dispatches Autumn/Winter 2017

Photos: Cowboy Christmas Concert hosted by Dakota Western Heritage Festival,”
Capital Journal, December 16, 2017

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Calling all cowboy poets,” Agrinews, December 17, 2017

Custer State Park fire mop-up begins,” by Traci Eatherton, Tri-State Livestock News,
December 15, 2017

Young cattleman has found his way,” by Kylene Scott, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal,
December 12, 2017

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Roy ‘Cow Gal’ poet’s book named best in nation,” by Janae Frances, Standard-Examiner, December 16, 2017

Rescue horse’s incredible reaction to seeing snow for the first time goes viral,” by Alex Lasker, AOL.com, December 15, 2017

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A Night of Cowboy Poetry — Poems, Songs, and Cowpunchers,” by Megan Willome, tweetspeakpoetry.com, December 15, 2017

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Riders in the Sky Plot 40th Anniversary Album, 2018 Tour,” by Stephen L. Betts, rollingstone.com, December 15, 2017

The Braun Boys – All Grown Up,” by the Western Folklife Center, blog, December 14, 2017

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Black Hills Cowboy Christmas,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck,  Tri-State Livestock News, December 14, 2017

Free and Easy: Dave Stamey’s Occasional Newsletter,” Facebook, December 14, 2017

[Australian] National Folk Festival…,” broadwayworld.com,  December 13, 2017

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The Godless Democrat Who Loves Cowboy Poetry,” by Carson Vaughan, The Paris Review, December 13, 2017

Legion Lake Fire grows to 35,000 acres,” Black Hills FOX, December 13, 2017

The Top 10 North Pole reindeer management issues,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, December 12, 2017

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The Dog and the Rabbit,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 11, 2017

Massive ranch formerly owned by Mars candy heir sells; asking price was $64.8M,” by
Brett French, Casper Star-Tribune, December 12, 2017

Hitting a wall, halfway to way way-away,” by Don Stuart, Rushville Republican, December 12, 2017

Court Sides with New Mexico Cattle Ranchers in Water Dispute,” by Tiffany Dowell, agrilife.org, December 11, 2017

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 42: Know (and Follow) the Rules,” by  Rod Miller, blog, December 8, 2017

Spirit of the West poster art submissions

Drovers of the Chisholm Trail,” (video) Western Horseman, December 5, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” The Moth, wbez.org, December 5, 2017

Painting spirits bright,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, November 29, 2017

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Hunting Camp Cook,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 4, 2017

Nominations sought for Oregon’s next poet laureate,” by Barney Lerten, ktvz.com, December 1, 2017

Training Cattle to Follow – Part 1” by John Marble, On Pasture, November 27, 2017

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news12   BAR-D general newsletter, December 1, 2017  Subscribe here.

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BeefUSA Cowboy Poetry contest

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Colorado’s Renowned and Under the Radar Festivals Not to Be Missed in 2018,”
digitaljournal.com, November 30, 2017

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival trucks on – with verve – at Golden State,” by Adam Joseph, Monterey County Weekly, November 30, 2017

Unplugging in the Texas Hill Country River Region,” by Shannah Compton Game and Jeff Game, huffingtonpost.com, November 30, 2017

Christmas bustle hits Wickenburg,” The Wickenburg Sun, November 29, 2017

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Ordinary Skin: Essays from Willow Springs,” (review) by Kim Kankiewicz, Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University, November 28, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” (audio) The Moth, November 28, 2017

These Montana Ranchers are Helping Grizzlies, Wolves and Cattle Coexist,” by Kristina
Johnson, ensia.com, November 28, 2017

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The Right Tool for the Job,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 27, 2017

A Cowboy Kind of Party,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, November 27, 2017

The British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society (BCCHS) latest newsletter, November 25, 2017

My Favorite Book, Part 11,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 25, 2017

Ranching, Kauai Style,” by Duane McCartney, Canadian Cattleman, November 24, 2017

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Paul Zarzyski on the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, December 2, 2017

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Thanksgiving,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 20, 2017

Look Him in the Eye,” by Kate Bradley, Western Horseman, November 20, 2017

Reaching Neighbors in need from Mandalay Bay,” by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, Tri-State Livestock News, November 17, 2017

Toe-tapping Western music at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center,” by Allie Haddicam, kwso.com, November 17, 2017

Duncan’s Chisholm Trail Heritage Center hosting Campfires, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering
benefit…,” by Brandy McDonnell, newsok.com, November 17, 2017

Back in the saddle at a historic Saskatchewan ranch,” by Tom Johnson, thestar.com, November 16, 2017

Rare photo of Billy the Kid bought at flea market could sell for millions,” CBS News, Yahoo.com, November 16, 2017

Were people in the Old West better than now?,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 15, 2017

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Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West December 3-March 11, 2018, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah

Out of respect for the angels,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch blog, November 13, 2017

Cold Feet,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 13, 2017

Sights and Sounds From the Spade Ranch,” (video), Western Horseman, November 14, 2017

Can You Read Brands?,” Written by By Jay Mack, February 1951, Western Horseman, November 13, 2017

Vaqueros ride and rope again in Santa Ynez,” Santa Ynez Valley News, November 11, 2017

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Western Music Association 2017 Award winners

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Most people meet in a cattle market, this couple got married in one,” by Mark Duell, Daily Mail, November 9, 2017

Free concert at Luna Rossa Winery,” The Deming Headlight, November 9, 2017

They Were Salty: A story of old-time cowboys and the names, or no-names, they made for themselves,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, November 9, 2017

Theft of instruments unites Western music community,” by Ollie Reed Jr., Albuquerque Journal, November 7, 2017

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Moose Alert,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 6, 2017

Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs,” Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

New Day, Old Ways,” by Ross Hexcox (photo blog), Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

Cultured Cowboy,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 5, 2017

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Singer, Arizona activist Katie Lee dies at 98,” by Corina Vanek, Arizona Daily Sun, November 1, 2017

Katie Lee, ‘Goddess of Glen Canyon,’ Dies at Age 98,” by Gillian Ferris, knau.org, November 1, 2017

Amber Cross Brings the Full Picture on ‘Savage on the Downhill,” by Trevor Christian, Glide Magazine, October 31, 2017

Tradition and Patriotism Show their Colors at Red Steagall’s 27th Annual Cowboy Gathering,” RFD-TV, October 31, 2017

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Remembering Paps, My Grandfather,” by Justin L. Stewart, blog, October 29, 2017

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Publisher Gibbs Smith, who reinvented Western stories from his Utah barn, dies at 77,”
By Ellen Fagg Weist, Salt Lake Tribune, October 30, 2017

Photos: Visitors flock to Heber for one of largest cowboy poetry gatherings in US,” by Grant Olsen, KSL.com, October 30, 2017

Cowboy Christmas concert – a new Pierre area tradition starting this year?, “by Dave Askins, Capital Journal, October 30, 2017

Learn how the historic Empire Ranch survived a raging wildfire,” by Doug Kreutz-Arizona Daily Star, Half Moon Bay Review, October 28, 2017

Outspoken Corb Lund says he’s done talking politics: ‘Put it in your song’,” by Theresa Tayler, Calgary Herald, October 28, 2017

Red Steagall interview, wfaa.com, October 27, 2017

Cowboy Up (Youtube) Episode 1  Episode 2

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Cowboy Crossroads of Lubbock, TX: ‘Telling the authentic story’,” by Kelly Moffitt, Flyover Podcast, October 27, 2017

Camera Crew Meets Cowboy Family,” by Jolyn Young, Desolate Ranch Wife blog, October 26, 2017

Re-Ride Stories,” by Rod Miller, blog, October 26, 2017

Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival features Sheep Parade,” by The Independent, October 26, 2017

Lowell Jaeger: A Poetry Conversation,” by Mary Cloud Taylor, dailyinterlake.com, )ctober 24, 2017

Fall is here, time to panic,” by Amy Kirk, agupdate.com, October 20, 2017

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Mountain Remuda,” Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, October 25, 2017

2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Spotify playlist

Branded…and That’s a Good Thing,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, October 24, 2017

Festus and the Coon,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 23, 2017

Yep…You Might Be A Rancher,” by Sara Brown, Drovers, October 19, 2017

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Wanted: Cowboy,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 16, 2017

Charlie Russell,” by John Mariani, January 1951, Western Horseman, October 16, 2017

Stories that begin on the back of a horse,” by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, October 13, 2017

Artisans team to boost poetry program,” by Eve Marx, Seaside Signal, October 13, 2017

Local Volunteers Gear Up For Annual Heritage Days,” by Anita Campbell, Benton County
Enterprise, October 13, 2017

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The 1,000-year-old man: The remarkable story of author Max Evans,” by Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 13, 2017

Alzada show draws large crowd,” by Chris Maupin, Ekalaka Eagle, October 13, 2017

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Trade-offs, but never satisfied,” by Laura Nelson, blackinkwithcab.com, October 11, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Hal Cannon (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, October 10, 2017

José and the Hoodoo Cow,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 9, 2017

2nd ‘Campout on the Comanche’ slated next weekend,” Big Spring Herald, October 7, 2017

Florida Ranchers Lose $238 Million to Irma,” by Greg Henderson, Drovers, October 6, 2017

__________

Get your ‘cowboy on’ and celebrate our western heritage,” by Pam Jacobs, The Durango Herald, October 6, 2017

Gathering Tickets Now Available,” Elko Daily Free Press, October 5, 2017

Beef Is Back for Dinner as Marketers Woo Nostalgic Millennials,” by Alexandra Bruell, Progressive Farmer, October 5, 2017

Western merriment meets modern-day fun at Agua Fria Festival,” by Sue Tone, Prescott Valley Tribune, October 4, 2017

Does Media Coverage of Wildfires Probe Deeply Enough?,” by Adrianne Kroepsch, Daily Yonder, October 3, 2017

Cowboy trends: Then and now,” by Tayler Teichert,  Progressive Cattleman, October 2, 2017

__________

Political Correctness,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 2, 2017

Plenty of singing Sunday morning (from livestock and people) during NILE,” by Sarah Brown, The Prairie Star, September 29, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to focus on cowboy humor this year,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 28, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to celebrate 29th year,” by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill, Durango Herald, September 27, 2017

__________

Requiem for a Cowboy Poet,” by Peggy Sanders, Wild West Magazine, September 28, 2017

Cowboy poetry draws 80,” by Thomas Garcia, Quay County Sun, September 27, 2017

Love that Cactus Bread,” by Gary Heintz, capjournal.com, September 27, 2017

28th Annual Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art Show,” by Chris Maupin, Butte County Post,  September 27, 2017

__________

They Were Salty,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, September 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ft. Pierre: cowtown celebrates the old-fashioned way,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, September 21, 2017

__________

Stress,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 25, 2017

__________

Badger Clark Festival Headlines Busy Day In Hot Springs,” by John Axtell, chadrad.com, September 23, 2017

Writing songs as honest as Wyoming dirt,” by Lance Nixon, pinedaleroundup.com, September 22, 2017

Gambling, Rambling, Ranching and Rehab Are six bred heifers a herd?,” by Bill Jones, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Cowboy Hat Etiquette: What You Should Already Know But Probably Don’t,” by Terry Sullivan, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Music Times: Engage in Southern Utah’s creative symposium,”  The Spectrum, September 22, 2017

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society newsletter, September

Western Slope Cowboy Gathering November 3-4, 2017, Grand Junction, Colorado

__________

From Space Cowboy to Montana Rancher,”by Russell Nemetz, northernag.net, September 21, 2017

Four Sixes Through the Lens of Scott Slusher,” by Bob Welch, September 20, 2017

Dallas County poet says she is just recording the life rhythms,” by Penny Warner,
BuffaloReflex.com, September 20, 2017

Authentic, Genuine, & the Integrity of Songwriting Debate,” by Thomas Mooney, New Slang, September 20, 2017

Embrace cowboy culture and humor at Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 21, 2017

Hugs: a song that has a real message,” by Gary Heintz, Capital Journal, September 19, 2017

Murphey Western Institute  Michael Martin Murphey’s “Center for the Education, Preservation and Perpetuation of the Arts, Culture, History and Legacy of the American West”

__________

Angus way out there,” by Laura, BlackInk, September 20, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Mike Beck, part 2 (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, September 19, 2017

The Top 10 signs of autumn,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 19, 2017

This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free,” by Kirk Johnson, New York Times, September 16, 2017

Montana residents are desperate for clean air, and they’re calling me,” Washington Post, by Sarah Coefield, September 15, 2017

Perhaps You’d Like to Purchase Art Sculpted by a Cow,” by Cara Giaimo,  atlasobscura.com, September 15, 2017

__________

Dog Days in the Feedlot,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 18, 2017

Western Music Association 2017 nominees, September 18, 2017

Heritage Festival continues to build community connections,” by McKayla Helm, The Missourian, September 16, 2017

Longmire’s creator explains why we’re so fascinated with the American West,” by Craig Johnson, Washington Post, September 15

Cowboy poetry gathering welcomes attendees,” by Kevin Rushworth, High River Times,
September 15, 2017

Cattle drive brings history alive,” by Ryan Miller, Enid News & Eagle, September 15, 2017

Cowgirls are naturals at pen riding duties,” by Jeff Rice, Journal-Advocate, September 13, 2017

__________

AABP: The Baxter Black Perspective,” by Geni Wren, AABP, September 14, 2017

Ranchers blame exploding shell for grass fire that killed 160 head of cattle,” by Jackie Irwin, Calgary Herald, September 14, 2017

This Seventeen-Year-Old Rescued Cattle by Helicopter During Harvey,” by Charley Locke, Texas Monthly, September 12, 2017

A Visit with Western Folklife’s Kristin Windbigler,” by Maddy Butcher, Nicker News, September 6, 2017

__________

Cowboy poets and musicians will perform in Shoshone,” by Julie Wootton, magicvalley.com, September 13, 2017

Family History Expo To Be Held In St. George,” by V. Robison, Moapa Valley Progress,
September 13, 2017

Change of Venue for Campfire,” Dickinson Press, September 13, 2017

The Top 10 things farmers find in the pockets of jackets they haven’t worn since last spring,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 12, 2017

__________

Coyote Cowboy Observations,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 11, 2017

Cowboy Country Nevada,” The Hans India, September 9, 2017

‘The Lungs of Our Region Are on Fire:’ Wildfires Exact a Punishing Toll on the West,” by Nancy Wartik, New York Times, September 8, 2017

Real cowboys play for buckaroos-to-be at Napa school,” by Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register, September 8, 2017

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’: Chuck wagon cooking,” Molly Boyle, Santa Fe New Mexican, September 8, 2017

__________

Thousands of Texas cattle may have died in wake of Harvey,” Associated Press, September 8, 2017

Ranchers pay it forward to Montana fire victims,” by Amy Bickel, The Hutch News, September 8, 2017

Harvey roundup: Ranchers tally impact on soggy herds,” by Andrea Rumbaugh September 7, 2017

__________

Montana fires: Here’s what the nation hasn’t seen,” (video) Agdaily, September 6, 2017

Ash falls like snow in Seattle as wildfires rage in Pacific Northwest,” by Evan Bush and Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, September 6, 2017

Behind the Scenes Shipping Cattle in the Flint Hills,” by Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers, September 6, 2017

Vets Fight To Save Horses In Harvey Aftermath,” by David Lohr, huffingtonpost.com, September 4, 2017

The Yellow Ribbon,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 4, 2017

Cowgirl Camp helps build skills, network among women ranchers,” by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, September 1, 2017

__________

As Human Rescues Wind Down, Helicopters Drop Hay To Stranded Cattle,” by Brian Mann, Morning Edition, September 5, 2017

Devastation for Montana’s ranchers only just beginning,” by Taylor Chase,  kfbb.com,
September 4, 2017

Texas ranchers battle to save cattle from Harvey’s wrath,” by Meridith Edwards, CNN,
September 4, 2017

________

A Flying Cowboy Rides to Rescue Cattle Stranded in Harvey’s Floods,” by John Schwartz and Livia Albeck-Ripka, New York Times, September 3, 2017

Map: Large Wildfires In Montana,” by David Sherman, MTN News, September 2, 2017

More than half a million acres lost to Montana wildfires so far this summer,” by Steele Stephen,  MTN News, September 2, 2017

Cowboy way honored in museum in Gordon,” by Steve Frederick, starherald.com, September 1, 2017

Roots Run Deep TV special to premiere Sept. 4,” Douglas Dispatch, September 1, 2017

Good Things Happen at Peach Days,” by Jenny Chamberlain, hvtimes.com, September 1, 2017

__________

Cowboy Poetry Event” (S. Omar Barker show), Las Vegas Optic, September 1, 2017

Who is cowboy legend Myrtis Dightman?,” by Matthew Thibodeaux, easttexasmatters.com, September 1, 2017

__________

The Lives & Works of S. Omar & Elsa Barker show, September 2, 2017, Las Vegas, New Mexico

Cloud Rider,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, August 31, 2017

Great Plains Fire Information, gpfireinfo.blogspot.com, August 30, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Chuck Hawthorne (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 29, 2017

Texas Ranchers Scramble To Get Cattle Out Of Flooded Areas,” by Ailsa Chang, NPR, August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: How you can help ranchers affected,” Tri-State Livestock News, August 29, 2017

Cattle on feed, drought and floods,” by Derrell S. Peel, FarmTalk, August 2, 2017

Is Poetry the New Adult Coloring Book?,” by Jason Boog, Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2017

 

COW BOY DAYS by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

cowboydays

 

COW BOY DAYS
by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

Can you recollect the country
That we knew in days gone by?
Where the prairie met the sunrise
And the mountains met the sky.
Where you rode through rugged canyons
And o’er rolling mesas wide
Or you crossed the wind swept prairie
On a long and lonely ride.

How your bits and spurs would jingle
And the only other sound
Was the creaking of your saddle
And the hoof beats on the ground.
Almost any where you landed
There was something you could do
You were happy in that country
With the people that you knew.

No the people wasn’t plenty
In the good old days of yore
But you always found a welcome
At most any cabin door.
You would get off of your pony
And you’d stretch and stomp your feet
When you got that invitation
“Better light a spell and eat.”

That was one of the traditions
Of the easy going West
You were just a drifting cow boy
But you were an honored guest.
No it wasn’t always funny
In them early days old pard
You was often out of money
And the work was plenty hard.

How you rode with Death behind you
When you milled the wild stampede
And you felt the lightning blind you
As you fought to bend the lead.
How you drifted with the blizzard
Till you got a fire lit
You was froze plum to the gizzard
By the time the storm had quit.

No you hadn’t no bay window.
Fact is you was soter lean
You had coffee and some biscuits
And some salty pork and beans
You could tell there had been cattle
In the water that you drank
And you swallered bugs and wigglers
At some muddy old ground tank.

When you landed at a bunk house
You was welcomed by the crew
But you have some recollections
How the bed bugs met you too
When you went to meet the round up
You can recollect some day
When you couldn’t find the wagon
Or your hosses got away.

When you went out greasy sackin’
In the summer in the hills
You was shoein’ brandin’ packin’
Cookin’ workin’ fit to kill
For there wasn’t any wagon
And you hadn’t any bunk.
Packed your bed on sweaty hosses
Lord the way them blankets stunk.

Now you tell it with a snicker
But it griped you then I’ll bet
Standing’ all night in a slicker
‘Cause your bed was wringin’ wet.
You was young and you was happy
You was never really sick
But you often travelled limpin’
When a leg got jammed or kicked.

Now old hurts come back and pain you
And you have some tender toes
That date back some forty winters
To the time your feet was froze.
You’ve a scar upon your forehead
That for years you packed around
Where some cranky tricky pony
Throwed you on the frozen ground.

Your eyes are dim and bleary
From the wind and dust and sun
And the time you got snow blinded
Didn’t seem to help ’em none.
Almost any old cow puncher
Has some fingers or a wrist
Busted when he tried to dally
And the saddle got his fist.

Things are not the way they once was
There has been a lot of change
Since the days of drives and roundups
When we worked the open range.
In the wide and grassy valleys
Where the cattle used to roam
There are irrigation ditches
And there’s farms and barns and homes.

Now there’s signals and there’s sign boards
Where we bedded cattle down
Where we met with other outfits
There are villages and towns.
Neon signs are blazin’ brightly
Where our camp fires glowed dim
Concrete bridges span the rivers
Where our hosses used to swim.

No, you haven’t made a fortune
And your hair is white. You’re old
But you wouldn’t trade your memories
Not for heaps of shinin’ gold.
And whenever you get lonely
You just hold a grand review
Of the places and the hosses
And the people that you knew.
You can hear the songs and stories
You can see the camp fires blaze
As you live again the glories
Of your grand old cow boy days.

…from Kiskaddon’s 1924 version in Rhymes of the Ranges

We wind up a great Cowboy Poetry Week with a lesser-known poem by the master, Bruce Kiskaddon. Kiskaddon’s ten years of cowboying informs many of his works. He published short stories and nearly 500 poems.

Much of what is known about Kiskaddon and his work comes from Open Range, Bill Siems’ monumental collection of Kiskaddon’s poetry. Bill Siems also collected Bruce Kiskaddon’s short stories in a book called “Shorty’s Yarns.” Find more in the Kiskaddon features at CowboyPoetry.com.

In Open Range, Bill Siems includes a later poem by Kiskaddon, “Looking Backward,” which is nearly identical to “Cow Boy Days.” You can view both at CowboyPoetry.com.

Randy Rieman includes the poem, which he calls, “Looking Back,” on his Where the Ponies Come to Drink CD. That recording is also on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six from CowboyPoetry.com.

This c. 1904 photograph by W. D. Harper “…shows fourteen cowboys from the F.D.W. Ranch in New Mexico posed on a tree trunk.” It’s from The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Find more about it here.

Thanks to all who participated in this 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week by sharing poems and posts, commenting, planning and taking part in events, obtaining recognition from governors, writing an Art Spur poem, being a part of the new MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD, supporting the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, and more.

Next year, the 18th annual Cowboy Poetry Week will be celebrated April 21-27, 2019. It’s not too early to start planning your involvement.

(This poem and photograph are in the public domain.)

Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur: “Out to Pasture” by Clara Smith

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© Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture,” ClaraSmithArt.com
Request the artist’s permission for any use of this image

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know many that are worthy of a poem or a song. In Art Spur, we invite poets and songwriters to let selections of Western art inspire their poetry and songs.

Our 48th piece offered to “spur” the imagination is a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur, a painting by artist Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture.” The painting is selected as the poster art for the 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week. Find selected poems below.

 CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

Find more in our feature here and visit ClaraSmithArt.com.

SUBMISSIONS

Submissions were welcome from all, through Thursday, April 12, 2018. Selected poems are posted below.

Thanks to all who participated.

Find previous Art Spur subjects here and at CowboyPoetry.com.

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© Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture,” ClaraSmithArt.com
Request the artist’s permission for any use of this image

POEMS:

“Out to Pasture,” by Marleen Bussma of Utah
“In the Shadow of Tree Line,” by Tom Swearingen of Oregon
“My String,” by Kay Kelley Nowell of Texas
“Gettin’ Along,” by Don Hilmer of South Dakota
“At Season’s End,” by Ol’ Jim Cathey of Texas
“The ‘Old Cowboy’ Ranch,” by Terry Hynes of British Columbia
“Out to Pasture,” by David Carlton of Texas
“My Little Piece of Heaven,” by Jeff Campbell of Texas
“Prancing Down the Street,” by Jean Mathisen Haugen of Wyoming
“If Wishes Were Horses,”  by Rodney “Butch” Bailey of Arkansas

 

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OUT TO PASTURE
by Marleen Bussma

The aspen leaves shake heads and gossip as the herd moves by.
A V of geese cries out its caution from the sullen sky.
The mountains doze beneath a frosted blanket woven tight
that hides the summer’s festive mood and brings the winter’s bite.

The cowhands yell and whistle urging cattle down the trail.
They ride their horses easy as they sit back and inhale
the scent of pine and smell of moisture in the seasoned air.
The roundup’s almost over and the horses are aware

they’ll soon be furloughed, turned out for a well-earned winter’s rest.
The shorter days have triggered shaggy coats and they are dressed
in hairy hides that hold the air that traps their body heat
in shiv’ry weather boasting of its stinging snow and sleet.

The countryside gets gent’ler as corral gates gape and stare.
The wind-carved canyon stays behind with smooth walls red and bare.
The pine trees fade to junipers while sage brush spreads and creeps.
The feeble creek winds down in peaceful silence as it weeps.

The last cinch is unfastened and the well-worn tack is hung.
Fatigued and weary cowhands wish the supper bell had rung.
They loiter and they visit as the ev’ning settles in.
Some gaze towards the corral and watch the horses with a grin.

The paint is kicking up his heels and racing ’round a bay
whose ears are laid back on his head not int’rested in play.
The gray is pacing in a circle snuffling at the earth.
He kneels then lies and starts to roll and scratch for all he’s worth.

He writhes and wriggles wrinkling patterns in the dusty ground
then rises for a robust shake as dust flies all around.
He jumps and bucks hard like a saddle bronc that’s scoring high.
His show-off antics advertise that he’s still fit and spry.

A few hands will stay on through winter doing basic chores.
When weather gets too raw outside they’ll tackle jobs indoors.
They’ll mend worn saddles, bridles, chaps, and even darn their socks
as bunkhouse walls creak, cry, and cringe from wind that roars and rocks.

The tempo of the ranch will slow into a quiet beat.
The music of the ranching rituals will be replete—
as horses neigh, the cattle bawl, and coyotes howl and sing.
The chorus will start over with new calves born in the spring.

© 2018, Marleen Bussma
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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IN THE SHADOW OF TREE LINE
by Tom Swearingen

The gray was first to hear it,
With the bay not far behind.
The others quickly turning
To discover what they’d find

Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.
They look for any movement,
Or some other kind of sign

To tell them if it’s danger,
Or if something more benign.
Something that they’ve seen before,
That their memories can align

With instinct and behavior
When familiar, something known
To not be predatory
That will leave them all alone.

Until then they are fearful
Of the sound they can’t define
Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.

On the edge of fight or flight,
They sense something isn’t right.
So ’til they know for certain
They will stand with ears upright,

Their eyes and nostrils scanning
For some motion or a scent
That will tell them in an instant
If to run or be content

With dropping guard and grazing,
Knowing everything is fine
Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.

© 2018, Tom Swearingen
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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MY STRING
by Kay Kelley Nowell

To be a top cow horse takes many skills
And a good one learns to do them all well
Depending on his mind, heart and speed
There’ll be jobs at which a horse will excel.
If I know what the day’s work will bring.
Then, because I’m “horse poor”,  —I can decide
Like a golfer picks the best club to play
I can choose the pony I want to ride.

I’ll catch Tia for the outside circle
You know that bay mare just never gets tired
And Huey if Gene gets to ride this time
Or he’s good to mount some day hand we’ve hired
Pooh-bear is the best at sortin’ cattle
Gypsy Lady if I get to drag calves
If the country’s real rough, I’ll haul that mule
I’m sure thankful for the partners I have.

Big Bud was a good one, back in his day
I really hate it when he bucks with me
When Foxy’d cut— he’d sure scowl at a cow
At thirty-five she’s now a retiree
And then there’s ‘Stache—he’s a four-year-old bronc
Down the road we’ll learn where his talents lie
When his schooling is done, he’ll join my string
And I’ll find a job he likes by and by.

I’ll catch Tia for the outside circle
You know that bay mare just never gets tired
And Huey if Gene gets to ride this time
Or he’s good to mount some day hand we’ve hired
Pooh-bear is the best at sortin’ cattle
Gypsy Lady if I get to drag calves
If the country’s real rough, I’ll haul that mule
I’m sure thankful for the partners I have.

© 2015, Kay Kelley Nowell
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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GETTIN’ ALONG
by Don Hilmer

When I was young—a growin’ child
…..A long long time ago
I fell in love with every horse
…..I ever came to know

I’d ride till it was Supper time
…..And starlight filled the skies
And when I had to turn’em out
…..Sad tears would fill my eyes

Cause every one was special
…..Each one in their own way
While one might come right to ya
…..The next one “moved away”

The Bay might have good manners
…..And always do things right
The Sorrel might graze the edges
…..Or the Gray would cause a fight

The Paints might stick together
…..Old Buck might be the Master
But they all found ways to “Get Along”
…..When you put’em out to pasture.

© 2018, Don Hilmer
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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AT SEASON’S END
by Ol’ Jim Cathey

He was old an’ wrinkled, an’ sun-burned brown,
From time spent on the range.
The aura of age, he wore like a crown,
His life had shore seen change.

Body needin’ a rest, but spirit strong,
His mem’rys kept him true.
Why he could recollect music from life’s song,
See visions in clear view!

He’d come out on the porch to welcome break o’ day,
An’ watch his ponies graze.
The mornin’ gave a quiet an’ peaceful display,
‘Cept for chatterin’ Jays.

He felt the crisp breeze an’ smelt the mornin’ air,
Sunrise, golden an’ clean.
Soon would come heat of  day, color of autumn there,
Just a glorious scene.

So he reverently thanked Mighty God,
For His bounty an’ grace,
For a wonderful life here on this sod,
An’ the beauty of this place.

The gentle nickerin’ of mares nearby,
As they neared foalin’ time.
Fluffy plumes of fall clouds cluttered the sky,
Birds singin’ in soft chime.

True enough, life had sent its ups an’ downs,
Good as well as the bad.
But the Good Lord would wipe away all frowns,
Make a feller feel glad.

Those mares was about all that kept him goin’,
Well, that an’ the Good Lord’s Grace,
…An’ the rains that kept the creeks a flowin’,
Joys he chose to embrace!

He was mighty blessed, nearin’ season’s end,
While mares would bide their time.
He cherished these blessin’s, like an old friend,
Life in rhythm an’ rhyme.

© 2018, Ol’ Jim Cathey
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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THE “OLD COWBOY” RANCH
by Terry Hynes

There’s a nice old cowboy ranch
down the valley so I’m told,
where the round-up is all over
and the branding is on hold.

Where the mustangs are all saddle broke
and the cattle never stray.
Warm sunsets and an evening fire
put close to every day.

The mules are never stubborn,
they seldom try to bite,
and when you’re packing out on them
the cinches all stay tight.

There are no long hard trails
with rocks, and snakes, and dust.
No fences needin’ mending
or gates froze tight with rust.

The barbed wire never cuts you
or rips your new blue jeans,
and never will you have to eat
dry biscuits and them beans.

There’s springs of pure clean water
to quench your weary thirst,
and every mile you ride out on
feels like your very first.

That ranch is out there waiting,
we’ll all get there some day.
But ‘fore we ride on through those gates,
there’s still some dues to pay.

© 2018, Terry Hynes
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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OUT TO PASTURE
by David Carlton

After the gather and the branding is done
All but a few are turned out to run

The summer was hot and the days have been long
But it’s time to recover and winter pastures to roam

The cold is coming with snow and some sleet
It’s time to get well without shoes on their feet

A time to heal backs and work through the pain
Because before you know it they’ll be working again

When the wagon rolls out at the first signs of spring
Some may not be there to rejoin their old string

But for the ones that have made it and rested up well
They’ll greet the young cowboys and show them some hell

© 2018, David Carlton
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

David Carlton comments, “After a hard year under saddle, most of the ranch string is turned out to rest and mend as best they can. A few might be kept in the barn to take care of winter chores. But those with cracked hooves, strained muscles or strained tendons will be turned out to pasture. Cuts and bruises from a rough way of life heal pretty easy, but those with damaged feet, muscles and tendons can take a long time to heal. But come spring, when the horses are brought in, most will be raring to go. Even some of the old horses will run a wrinkle down their back, but the cowboys won’t mind. They’ll just be happy to get back together and begin the New Year.”

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MY LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN
by Jeff Campbell

Oklahoma lays in shades of January brown
I’m trying to make the state line before sundown

From Fort Smith to Little Rock there’s a place in between
For these travelers on I Forty it’s seldom seen

A little piece of heaven that my family owns
A patch of Ozark acres that we call our home

Come morning I’ll wake beside my cherished bride
We’ll saddle up the horses, take a sunrise ride

Close to the foothills, along the property line
Knowin’ the mud on the horses’ hooves is mine

Not a spread that stretches as far as you can see
But this little piece of heaven means the world to me

© 2018,  Jeff Campbell
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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PRANCING DOWN THE STREET
by Jean Mathisen Haugen

He was an appaloosey,
spotted all over his hide.
Vinegar was what he was called
and Tex looked at him with pride.

Vinegar’s pal was another appy
all white with just one spot—
I can’t recall his name right now—
but one spot was all he’d got!

Tex had just retired
from 40 years in the oil fields;
enjoying the time he had on the ranch,
though the hay didn’t provide many yields.

His brother-in-law Bob asked if he could ride Vinegar
in the Sheriff’s Posse in the parade.
“Why, sure you can, but I’ll warn you,
that he’s never been in town, I’m afraid.”

Tex got busy and got him shod,
washed him down and for an elderly horse,
Vinegar was looking good—
but he always had of course.

The 4th arrived and Bob saddled him up
and rode to gather with the Posse.
Vinegar moved right along
and he wasn’t even fussy.

The parade route was down Main Street
and Vinegar fairly pranced.
The kids running out for candy didn’t bother,
he just nearly danced.

The fact was, of all the horses,
Vinegar pretty much stole the show.
Folks commented on that handsome horse,
as down the street he’d go.

For a couple more years Bob and Vinegar
rode in the old time parade,
and each year that horse fairly pranced,
and loved the fuss folks made.

The year came that Bob retired
and I think Vinegar missed the joy and laughter
of the folks spread out along the parade—
but he and Bob both had been put out to pasture.

Tex passed on and his wife kept the horses.
They’d rest neck on neck where the grass was green,
providing each other with a little shade,
and with the mountains it was a peaceful scene.

Now all of them are long gone on
to that Big Pasture in the sky,
where the grass is deep and the shade so cool
and the memories of good horses never die.

© 2018, Jean Mathisen Haugen
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

Outtoorig

 

IF WISHES WERE HORSES
by Rodney “Butch” Bailey

If wishes were horses, we’d all have a good one to ride,
Into the high country, and way out across the Divide.
We’d saddle our best ones, and travel to the end of the line.
We’d ride up the good trails, and leave all those bad trails behind.

That big fiery stallion is our wish to be brave and be strong.
To stand up for things that are right, and against all the wrong.
We’re proud when we ride him, but sometimes he’s hard to stay on,
We’ve got to keep trying, for he leads all the others along.

For those who are broken, and you who are living in pain.
Out there in the fields, you can see through the fog and the rain,
A small group of mares, all gentle and steady and kind,
Stand ready to guard you, and heal both your heart and your mind.

Way out in the meadow we see the young horses at play,
Our wish that tomorrow would end all the wrongs of today.
Though sometimes the weather is rough, and the trails aren’t too clear,
We can’t give up hope, and it may be the reason we’re here.

If wishes were horses, we’d all have a good one to ride,
Into the high country, and way out across the Divide.
I’ve saddled my best one, I’m riding on out to the shore.
I wish you’d come with me, there’s always a horse for one more.

© 2018, Rodney “Butch” Bailey
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

Rodney “Butch” Bailey is new to CowboyPoetry.com. He shared his bio:

butchbailey.jpg  Butch Bailey was raised down where northern Louisiana, southwest Arkansas, and East Texas meet.  Growing up on the old westerns, he routinely engaged in shoot-outs with his younger brother, who insisted on playing like Jesse James.  Mostly just a trail-rider now, he works these days teaching college (on a pure side note, a cowboy poet with a captive audience is either a great or a tragic thing, depending on what side of the room you happen to be on).  He aspires to write poems that make us laugh, or cry, sometimes stumble upon something that feels true…always in the service of telling a good story.  He and his wife Becky live in Northwest Arkansas where they use their retirement to fund a small herd of Missouri Foxtrotter horses, and spoil their two grandsons.  Butch is working on a book of cowboy poems and stories, entitled A Strength That Never Fails.

Outtoorig

Thanks to all who participated.

 

Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

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Below:
About Cowboy Poetry Week
Get Involved
Rural Library Program
MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD
Poster by Clara Smith 

Elsewhere on the blog:
Cowboy Poetry Week News
Clara Smith, 2018 poster artist  
Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur   

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD  

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COWBOY POETRY
by Jane Morton

The round-ups, the brandings,
the calvings are done,
as ranchers sell out
and move on one by one.

We must tell the stories,
so memories live on,
past time when the tellers
themselves are long gone.

© 2004, Jane Morton

Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States.

In 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventeenth annual—takes place April 15-21, 2018.

In 2018 it is made possible by generous support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield and the individuals and organizations who support the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week, and for the celebration’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Twenty-three states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week since, and many activities take place in communities across the West and beyond.

See the 2018 events—to date—on the calendar here.


GET INVOLVED!

Get your schools, libraries, and community involved! Perform your poetry, donate a book or CD, share your knowledge.

Find ideas about how to get involved here.


THE RURAL LIBRARY PROGRAM

The Rural Library Program is an important Cowboy Poetry Week outreach activity, a part of our mission to serve a mostly under-served community of rural Westerners. Each year, a new compilation CD of top classic and contemporary cowboy poetry is offered, along with Cowboy Poetry Week posters, to many rural libraries across the West. The CD is also available for purchase.


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THE MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD

For 2018, the CD is MASTERS: VOLUME TWO a  double-CD collection of over 60 poems by S. Omar Barker, presented by contemporary poets and reciters and introduced by Andy Hedges.

Find the track list, order information and more news here.

CDs are sent to libraries in Cowboy Poetry Week’s associated Rural Library Program, given to supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts, and available to the public.

Find information about all of the previous CDs, including the first MASTERS CD and The BAR-D Roundup series.

 

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

THE 2018 POSTER

Young artist Clara Smith‘s painting, “Out to Pasture,” is selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

Find more about Clara Smith in our feature here; at her site,  ClaraSmithArt.com; and on Facebook. A

Previous poster artists include Tyler Crow, Duward Campbell, Shawn Cameron, Bob Coronato, Tim Cox, Don Dane, William Matthews, Gary Morton, the late Bill Owen, Jason Rich, R.S. Riddick, and the late Joelle Smith. Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

Posters are never sold. They are sent to participants in Cowboy Poetry Week’s Rural Library Program and sent to Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts.

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Visit our sponsor supporters!

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MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poetry of S. Omar Barker

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Praise for previous CD volumes:

“This album [MASTERS (2017)] represents four of the finest poets to ever come out of cowboy culture. We are not likely to see their kind again and the world should be grateful to Cowboypoetry.com for preserving their voices.” Andy Hedges, songster and host of COWBOY CROSSROADS

“…The annual anthology takes listeners on an oral excursion to places throughout the West, introducing them to colorful cowboy characters, explaining their connection to the land, and telling their tales of tough times and the rewards they receive from living the Western lifestyle…” Jennifer Denison, Senior Editor, Western Horseman

“The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry’s annual anthologies are creating a valuable, high quality and thoroughly enjoyable resource for everyone…” Steve Green, Archivist, Western Folklife Center

“…without peer…intelligently produced… I equate them to one of those Ken Burns specials, like his Civil War, Jazz, or Baseball….the best of the best.” Rick Huff, Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews

“For those of us who love cowboy poetry, this is perhaps the best anthology we’ve yet heard.” Cowboy Magazine

The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry produces compilation CDs of classic and contemporary poetry recitations. The CDs are offered to libraries in the Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week Rural Library project, given as premiums to the Center’s supporters, and available to the public.

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Our twelfth CD (following ten volumes of The BAR-D Roundup and the first MASTERS volume) is MASTERS: VOLUME TWO (April 2018).

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO has over 60 tracks in a double CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker.  Many of today’s top reciters and poets—including individuals, siblings, couples, parents and their offspring—bring forth Barker’s humor and humanity.

Andy Hedges introduces the CD and it includes the voices of J.B. Allen, Amy Hale Auker, Floyd Beard, Valerie Beard, Baxter Black, Almeda Bradshaw, Jerry A. Brooks, Marleen Bussma, Jim Cathey, Ken Cook, Geff Dawson, Sam DeLeeuw, DW Groethe, Andy Hedges, Jessica Hedges, Maggie Rose Hedges, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs, Linda Kirkpatrick, Susie Knight, Ross Knox, Jarle Kvale, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Rusty McCall, Gary McMahan, Rod Miller, Waddie Mitchell, Dick Morton, Terry Nash, Andy Nelson, Jim Nelson, Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Kay Kelley Nowell, Kent Reeves, Rex Rideout, Randy Rieman, Kent Rollins, Sandy Seaton Sallee, Jay Snider, Red Steagall, Gail Steiger, Tom Swearingen, Smoke Wade, Keith Ward, and Paul Zarzyski.

S. Omar Barker (1894-1985) wrote some 2,000 poems in his long career. He was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman.

It’s told that Barker enjoyed signing his name with his brand, created from his initials and laid sideways for “Lazy SOB,” but, that’s not a completely accurate story. In an article written by Barker for Hoofs and Horns magazine, Barker introduces himself, “This S.O.B. (my initials, not my ancestry) has never claimed to qualify as a sure ‘nough cowboy.” Later in the article, he comments, “Incidentally, when I applied for (Lazy S O B) for our cattle brand, they wrote back that some other S O B already had it. So we had to be satisfied with (Lazy S B).”

The photo below of S. Omar Barker and his horse, which appears inside MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, is courtesy of the S. Omar Barker Estate. Find more about Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

barkerhorserifle© Estate of S. Omar Barker; request permission for reproduction

The MASTERS CD is dedicated to all those who proudly carry on the ranching tradition.

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—takes place each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster (by Clara Smith in 2018) have been offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Program. The outreach program is part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

The annual CD is a premium for our supporters and also available for purchase. Find information about past years’ CDs here.

We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Join us and be a part of it all.

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Below:

Track list and sources
Acknowledgements
Order information

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Track list and sources

Tracks were recorded for MASTERS: VOLUME TWO except where noted.

DISC 1

1.  INTO THE WEST by S. Omar Barker;  Andy Hedges
from Cowboy Songster Vol. 2 (2016)

2.  ABOUT S. OMAR BARKER  Andy Hedges

3. “PURT NEAR!” by  S. Omar Barker;  Randy Rieman
from Old Favorites  (2003)

4. COW COUNTRY SAYING  by S. Omar Barker; Brigid Reedy

5.  THE MAIN ITEM by S. Omar Barker;  Gary McMahan .

6.  COWPUNCHER’S CREED by S. Omar Barker;  Amy Hale Auker

7.  COW WORK WON’T WAIT  by S. Omar Barker;  Ken Cook

 8.  COWBOY’S COMPLAINT  by S. Omar Barker;  Dick Morton
from Cowboy Classics (2006)

 9.  ROPE MUSIC  by S. Omar Barker;  Gail Steiger

10.  RAIN ON THE RANGE  by S. Omar Barker;  Joel Nelson courtesy of the Western Folklife Center, recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2015)

11.  SNOWED UNDER by S. Omar Barker;    Johnny Reedy

12.  COWBOY SAYING by S. Omar Barker;   Baxter Black

13.  CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY by S. Omar Barker;   Geff Dawson

14.  COWPUNCHER PRAISE by S. Omar Barker;   Floyd Beard

15.  WELL GROUNDED by S. Omar Barker;   Keith Ward

16.  COWBOY’S OPINION by S. Omar Barker;   Tom Swearingen

17.  HOSSES VERSUS HORSES  by S. Omar Barker;  Paul Zarzyski
from Spurrin’ the Words (2005), Montana 4-H

18.  GRAND CANYON COWBOY  by S. Omar Barker;  Rusty McCall (1986­-2013) from an unreleased CD, Contemporary and Classic Cowboy Poetry  (2006)

19.  SOME HORSES I HAVE RODE by S. Omar Barker;  Floyd Beard

20.  MEMO ON MULES  by S. Omar Barker;  Sandy Seaton Sallee

21.  YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED by S. Omar Barker;  Kent Reeves

22.  BEAR HUNTERS BOLD by S. Omar Barker;  Ross Knox
from  Make Me a Cowboy Again for a Day (2006)

23.  BRUIN WOOIN’ by S. Omar Barker;   Andy Hedges
from Cowboy Recitations (2017)

24.  BEAR ROPIN’ BUCKAROO by S. Omar Barker;  Terry Nash
from December Stragglers (2013)

25.  RULE OF THE RANGE by S. Omar Barker;  Chris Isaacs

26.  RAWHIDE ROOSTER  by S. Omar Barker;  Smoke Wade

27.  THE RING­TAILED WOWSER by S. Omar Barker;  Jerry A. Brooks

28.  THE BUFFALO by S. Omar Barker;  Susie Knight

29.  THE COYOTE by S. Omar Barker;  Jarle Kvale

30.  CRY, COYOTE! by S. Omar Barker;  DW Groethe

DISC 2

1.  OLD TIME COWBOYS by S. Omar Barker;  Jay Snider

2.  THE RIDERS by S. Omar Barker;  Andy Hedges
from Episode 3 of the Cowboy Crossroads podcast (2017)

3.  ONE OR THE OTHER by S. Omar Barker;  Rod Miller

4.  WHAT’S A BRONCO? by S. Omar Barker;  Gary McMahan

5.  RULE FOR RIDIN’ by S. Omar Barker;  Geff Dawson

6.  FOUR­ FOOTED DYNAMITE by S. Omar Barker;  Chris Isaacs

7.  MUSTANG MANNERS by S. Omar Barker;  Almeda Bradshaw

8.  CORRECTION PLEASE  by S. Omar Barker;  Maggie Rose Hedges

9.  NO DIFFERENCE by S. Omar Barker;  Jim Nelson

10.  USELESS QUESTION  by S. Omar Barker;  Kay Kelley Nowell

11.  TEXAS ZEPHYR  by S. Omar Barker;  Linda Kirkpatrick

12.  THE CHUCKWAGON by S. Omar Barker;  DW Groethe

13.  BUCKAROO BREW by S. Omar Barker;  Kent Rollins

14.  CANNED TERMATERS by S. Omar Barker;   J.B. Allen (1938­-2005)
from Classics (2005)

15.  JACK POTTER’S COURTIN’ by S. Omar Barker;  Randy Rieman
from Old Favorites  (2003)

16. MUSSED MISS by S. Omar Barker;  Andy Nelson

17.  OPEN AND SHUT CASE  by S. Omar Barker;  Yvonne Hollenbeck

18.  CAREFUL, COWBOY!  by S. Omar Barker;  Jessica Hedges

19.  DOUBLE ATTRACTION by S. Omar Barker;   Valerie Beard

20.  BEDTIME STORY by S. Omar Barker;  Sam DeLeeuw

21.  WATCHIN’ EM RIDE by S. Omar Barker;   Keith Ward … 3:19dutchcreektrails.com

22.  RANCH

MOTHER by S. Omar Barker;  Deanna Dickinson McCall

23.  RANCHMAN’S WIDOW by S. Omar Barker;  Almeda Bradshaw

24.  TRAIL DUST  by S. Omar Barker;  Marleen Bussma

25.  COAL MINE  by S. Omar Barker;  Jerry A. Brooks

26.  THE WHITE MUSTANG  by S. Omar Barker;  Rex Rideout

HOLIDAY POEMS

27.  THANKSGIVING ARGUMENT by S. Omar Barker;  Waddie Mitchell

28.  THREE WISE MEN  by S. Omar Barker;  Red Steagall

29.  COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS PRAYER  by S. Omar Barker;  Ol’ Jim Cathey

30.  COWBOY’S NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS  by S. Omar Barker;  Jay Snider

31.  RANCHMAN’S RESOLUTIONS  by S. Omar Barker;  Gail Steiger

32.  A COWBOY TOAST  by S. Omar Barker;  Rodney Nelson

33.  CENTER FOR WESTERN AND COWBOY POETRY RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA)  Andy Hedges

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the poets, reciters, and families and to the estate of S. Omar Barker, Andy Hedges, Margaret Allen, Montana 4-H, the Western Folklife Center, the Cowboy Crossroads podcast, Andy Nelson and Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio, Totsie Slover and The Real West from the Old West radio, Craig Stuke, and Chris Kirby. Produced by Margo Metegrano and compiled and mastered by Butch Hause at the Ranger Station Studio, Berthoud, Colorado, all with generous funding support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, Jr. and our community’s all-important sustaining donors.

Dedicated to all those who proudly carry on the ranching tradition.

 

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Order information

The MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD is available for $25 postpaid. Order with a credit card at Paypal or by mail: CowboyPoetry.com, Box 1107, Lexington, VA 24450.

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Cowboy poetry records the heartbeat of the working West, a tradition that spans three centuries. Its enduring popularity is celebrated at today’s cowboy poetry gatherings and daily in social media and at CowboyPoetry.com, a program of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc.

The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—takes place each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster (by Clara Smith in 2018) have been offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Program. The outreach program is part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

THE HORSE TRADE, by Sunny Hancock (1931-2003)

Sunny Hancock

THE HORSE TRADE
by Sunny Hancock (1931-2003)

I traded for a horse one time,
he wouldn’t take no beauty prize;
A great big long-eared, blue roan gelding,
not too bad for weight or size.
I had to make some tough old circles
and this trader guaranteed
This horse would show me lots of country
and not need too much rest or feed.

He said “Now this here ain’t no kids’ horse
but he’ll pack you up the crick,
He will bump up on some occasions
and he has been known to kick.
I wouldn’t trade him to just anyone
without having some remorse
But if you’re a sure enough cow puncher,
mister, he’s your kind of horse.

I stepped on that horse next mornin’;
he began to buck and bawl.
That trader maybe hadn’t lied none,
but he hadn’t told it all.
Because we sure tore up the country
where he throwed that equine fit
And I almost ran out of hand holds
by the time he finally quit.

I guess that musta’ set the pattern;
things just never seemed to change,
Although I showed him lots of country,
every corner of the range.
But every time I’d ride that booger,
why, he’d keep me sittin’ tight.
I knew I’d make at least three bronc rides
‘fore he’d pack me home that night.

Which woulda been OK
with lots of horses that I knowed.
But that old pony had my number;
I’d just barely got him rode.
And the thing that really spooked me
and put a damper on my pride
Was he was learning how to buck
faster than I was learnin’ how to ride.

I pulled into camp one evening;
it was gettin’ pretty late.
I see this grey horse in the corral
and there’s a saddle by the gate.
I looked that grey horse over
and I sure liked what I seen,
Then this kid showed up around the barn;
he musta been about sixteen.

He said he’d lamed that grey that morning
coming down off the granite grade,
And he wondered if I had a horse
I’d maybe like to trade.
He said he didn’t have the time to stop
and rest and let him heal,
And since that beggars can’t be choosers,
he’d make most any kind of deal.

When a feller’s tradin’ horses,
why, most anything is fair,
So I traded him that blue roan
for his grey horse then and there.
But them my conscience started hurtin’
When I thought of what I did,
To trade a “fly blown” dink like that
off to some little wet-nosed kid.

So next mornin’ after breakfast,
why, I tells him, “Listen lad,
If you want to know the truth,
that trade you made last night was bad.
That old blue horse is a tough one,
bad as any one you’ll see.
He’ll kick you, strike you, stampede.
He’s a sorry SOB.

“It’s all I can do to ride him
and I’ll tell it to you straight,
I think you’ll be awfully lucky
just to ride him past the gate.
There’s two or three old horses
out there in the saddle bunch.
They ain’t got too much going for ’em
but I kinda got a hunch

“They’ll probably get you where you’re going
if you just don’t crowd ’em none,
But damn, I hate to see you ride
that blue roan booger, son!”
He said, “I told you there last night
I’d make most any kind of trade,
And I appreciation your tellin’
what a bad mistake I made.

“But my old daddy told me when you’re tradin’
that no matter how you feel,
Even if you take a whippin’
that a deal is still a deal.
That horse, you say has lots of travel,
and he’s not too bad for speed.
Well, sir, I’m kinda’ in a tight
and that’s exactly what I need.

“I traded for him fair and square
and damn his blue roan hide,
When I pull outta’ here this morning,
that’s the horse I’m gonna ride.”
I watched him cinching up his saddle
and he pulled his hat way down,
Stepped right up into the riggin’
like he’s headed straight for town.

Stuck both spurs up in his shoulders,
got the blue roan hair a-flyin’
Tipped his head straight back and screamed
just like a hungry mountain lion.
You know, I’ve heard a lot of stories
’bout the bucking horse ballet.
I’ve heard of poetry in motion,
but the ride I saw that day

Just plumb complete defied description
though I can see it plain,
Like it had happened in slow motion
and was branded on my brain.
I don’t suppose I could explain it
to you even if I tried.
The only thing that I can say is,
by the saints, that kid could ride.

He sat there plumb relaxed
like he was laying home in bed,
And every jump that pony made,
that kid’s a-half a jump ahead.
When it was over I decided
I could learn a few things still,
And I said, “Son, I’m awfully sorry
I misjudged your ridin’ skill.”

He just said, “Shucks, that’s OK, mister,”
as he started on his way,
“But if you think this horse can buck,
don’t put your saddle on that grey.”

© 2002, Sunny Hancock, used with the permission of the Hancock Family

It’s Cowboy Poetry Week, and what better way to celebrate than with this all-time favorite poem. Sunny Hancock, a “cowboy’s cowboy,” was at the first Westerm Folklife Center cowboy poetry gathering in 1985 and was a regular participant for many years. He cowboyed all over the western U.S.and when he retired, he and his wife, Alice, lived outside of Lakeview, Oregon. They were friends and inspirations to many.

The first volume of the MASTERS (2017) CD from CowboyPoetry.com has a recording of Sunny reciting this poem, and others, in front of a live audience at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Gary McMahan tells the poem with music, and you can listen to the entire piece at his site.

Lake County, Oregon’s annual Sunny Hancock/Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Show​ (this year July 27, 2018) “… has become an annual cowboy poetry show to remember Lake County poets Sunny Hancock and Leon Flick while raising funds for a local cowboy crisis/scholarship fund…”

Find more about Sunny Hancock at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo of Sunny Hancock is by top photographer Kevin Martini-Fuller, who has photographed participants of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for over three decades. Find some of those photos at his site.

(A September, Facebook 2014 post of this poem became our most popular post ever, with currently over 2.6K Likes, and over 7,000 shares. People continue to Like and comment on that post.

We’re not fixated on numbers, but it’s great to see that the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry just crossed the 10,000 Likes marker for its Facebook page, during Cowboy Poetry Week.)

Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but permission should be obtained for any other use.

WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK, by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945)

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© 2016, John Michael Reedy

 

WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK
by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945)

Up in Northern Arizona
there’s a Ranger-trail that passes
Through a mesa, like a faëry lake
with pines upon its brink,
And across the trail a stream runs
all but hidden in the grasses,
Till it finds an emerald hollow
where the ponies come to drink.

Out they fling across the mesa,
wind-blown manes and forelocks dancing,
Blacks and sorrels, bays and pintos,
wild as eagles, eyes agleam;
From their hoofs the silver flashes,
burning beads and arrows glancing
Through the bunch-grass and the gramma
as they cross the little stream.

Down they swing as if pretending,
in their orderly disorder,
That they stopped to hold a pow-wow,
just to rally for the charge
That will take them, close to sunset,
twenty miles across the border;
Then the leader sniffs and drinks
with fore feet planted on the marge.

One by one each head is lowered,
till some yearling nips another,
And the playful interruption
starts an eddy in the band:
Snorting, squealing, plunging, wheeling,
round they circle in a smother
Of the muddy spray, nor pause
until they find the firmer land.

My old cow-horse he runs with ’em:
turned him loose for good last season;
Eighteen years; hard work, his record,
and he’s earned his little rest;
And he’s taking it by playing,
acting proud, and with good reason;
Though he’s starched a little forward,
he can fan it with the best.

Once I called him—almost caught him,
when he heard my spur-chains jingle;
Then he eyed me some reproachful,
as if making up his mind:
Seemed to say, “Well, if I have to—
but you know I’m living single…”
So I laughed.
In just a minute he was pretty hard to find.

Some folks wouldn’t understand it,—
writing lines about a pony,—
For a cow-horse is a cow-horse,—
nothing else, most people think,—
But for eighteen years your partner,
wise and faithful, such a crony
Seems worth watching for, a spell,
down where the ponies come to drink.

…by Henry Herbert Knibbs, from Songs of the Outlands, 1914

Here’s another outstanding classic poem for Cowboy Poetry Week.

Knibbs never worked as a cowboy, but he was a student of the West and his friendships, including one with cowboy, rancher, and writer Eugene Manlove Rhodes, informed his work. His poems are still often recited today, including this one and “Boomer Johnson,” “The Walking Man,” “Shallows of the Ford,” “So Long, Chinook!,” and others.

View poet and rancher Vess Quinlan reciting the poem here at the Western Folklife Center’s 2012 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He introduces the poem saying that “I think Mr. Knibbs wrote this poem for anybody that’s ever been owned by a horse.”

Find more about Knibbs and more of his poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

This beautiful photograph is by Montana photographer, songwriter, musician, and poet John Michael Reedy.

John Reedy has another claim to fame: he and Heather Reedy are the parents of the talented Brigid and Johnny Reedy, popular performers on gathering stages. Their recent CD, Handmade, showcases their impressive talents with poetry, original musical compositions, and traditional tunes. Find more about the CD at brigidreedy.com.

Brigid and Johnny Reedy also appear on the just-released MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poems of S. Omar Barker from CowboyPoetry.com.

See more impressive photography at John Reedy’s site and find more about him at CowboyPoetry.com and at his site, www.twistedcowboy.com.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this photograph with this poem, but for other uses, request permission. The poem is in the public domain.)