photo © Mark Gocke Photography; request permission for any use
WHEN A COWBOY SINGS
by Andy Nelson
Each moment that I spent in a saddle,
From desert to high mountain springs;
Tends to migrate from dormant to conscious,
Every time a cowboy sings.
The chirp made as my horse works his cricket,
And the way a poly rope zings;
The clanking of spur chains and jingle bobs,
Resonate when a cowboy sings.
The tell-tale scent of a wet saddle pad,
Rain on sage, among other things;
All come back in an olfactory rush,
Whenever a good cowboy sings.
I can recall smartly how frost bite feels,
And just how bad a hail stone stings;
I may recollect the ache of regret,
Anytime that a cowboy sings.
I taste the sensation of riding drag,
The savor of old piggin’ strings;
And salivate at the thought of calf fries,
Listening as a cowboy sings.
I reminisce some old cowboy mentors,
Who traded chaps for angels’ wings;
Yet the harrowing pangs of loneliness,
Can haunt me when a cowboy sings.
But it takes me back where I need to be,
Peace of mind, the melody brings;
And I get the chance to live once again,
Every time a cowboy sings.
© 2017, Andy Nelson, used with permission
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission
Second-generation farrier Andy Nelson is a popular cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.
Andy appears at events and gatherings across the West, and he will be at the 31st annual Sierra Valley Grange Cowboy Poetry & Music Show, March 17-18, 2017 in Vinton, California. He’ll be joined by Brenn Hill and Carol Schley. Find more here. Find more of Andy’s upcoming performances at his web site, cowpokepoet.com.
Andy Nelson’s latest CD is I Won, and it features a wide range of poetic moods, from nonsense to reverence, that show the breadth of his talents. He is accompanied by friend and top songwriter Brenn Hill—who produced the album—on several tracks. The great-looking package sports a cover by noted cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane.
Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio’s weekly programs can be heard online (and there are archives of past shows). The sixth annual C.O.W. Cruise takes place next year, January 18-27, 2017. This time the cruise goes to Hawaii and will include a special C.O.W. tour of the famous Parker Ranch. Find more here.
This photo of singer and songwriter Jared Rogerson is by Mark Gocke Photography (markgocke.com). Jared’s newest album is Heaven, and in this small world, Brenn Hill makes a vocal appearance on his own “Cowboy Singer, Too,” a relevant piece about who is “cowboy enough,” and Andy Nelson also shows up on the track.