WHAT IS A WESTERNER?
by Doris Daley
A westerner knows…
That Goodnight Loving is a trail, and not a one-night stand.
A cowboy’s worth his salt if he’s made of grit and sand.
He has a stack of Western Horsemens piled three feet deep.
A westerner is frugal but by gum, he’s never cheap.
If tickets to Las Vegas in December come his way
They aren’t to see Celine or attend Cirque du Soleil.
He knows Blue’s a steer. Red’s from Texas. Black’s a large animal vet.
He’s a cowboy-booted prince awash in operating debt.
He’s a bow legged, hard headed, soft hearted, thick skinned.
Fancy dancer, high romancer, chiseled by a western wind.
The last to leave the dance floor, the first to tip his hat
He keeps the cowboy arts alive…God bless him, just for that.
Being a westerner…
Has less to do with longitude and more to do with attitude
Less to do with grass and grit and more to do with gratitude.
It’s getting throwed and eating dirt but finishing the ride.
It’s knowing our world shrank a bit the day Roy Rogers died.
A westerner is one who takes the bitter with the sweet.
“High Society” is pitching camp at 7,000 feet.
Ian Tyson sings his anthems, Glenn Ohrlin makes him laugh,
Bankers make him nervous; federales make him chaff.
A westerner seeks no long farewell when his time is come–
A setting sun, a whispered prayer, a shot of good dark rum.
What is a westerner? I’ll let the experts fuss…
My answer, Friends, is simple: it’s you, it’s me, it’s us.
© Doris Daley
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission
Listen to a lively interview from last week with a popular duo, poet Doris Daley and poet, songwriter, and musician Al “Doc” Mehl on Equestrian Radio’s CAMPFIRE CAFE with Bobbi Jean Bell and Gary Holt. In it, Doris tells about the origin of this poem and you’ll hear her recitation. Doc’s poetry and music are also included.
Find many other archived interviews with poets and musicians on the weekly, entertaining CAMPFIRE CAFE.
We asked award-winning poet Doris Daley to tell us what is new with her and husband Al Mehl, and she replied, in part:
Al and I were both invited to contribute to Vistas of the West (Durville Press) and we are thrilled to be part of a project where “cowboy” poetry has a seat right alongside other kinds of poetry. I wrote the foreword…and I made the case that even in today’s world, poetry–all forms of it–has a place that can’t be duplicated by Youtube, movies, graphic novels, textbooks or essays. Poetry is still relevant and sometimes, only a poem will do!
Doc and I love it when an event planner invites both of us to the same gig. Coming up: Not Just Cowboy Poetry at Emandal Farm near Willits, California, September 28, 2019. Then the Colorado Cowboy Gathering, January 16-19, 2020 in Golden and the Spirit of the West Gathering, Feb. 15-16, 2020 in Ellensburg, Washington…
Find more about Vistas of the West, to be released September 1, at the publisher and order from any bookseller.
Photo courtesy of Doris Daley and Al “Doc” Mehl.
(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)