by Jay Snider
If he bucks me off, he’ll have to shed his skin
Was the claim the twister made
He said, “There ain’t a bronc that’s drawed a breath
Can shake me loose from this Wade”
Strong words like those need provin’, son
Are you sure you’re up to the test
He said “Let’s catch one up, ya’ll stand aside
Watch this bronc rider do the rest”
Well, we were impressed by the twister’s sand
Thought, heck, this might even be fun
So we bunched ‘em up and circled ‘em round
And cut out the little red dun
He’s a spindly, sorta wild eyed colt
Long necked and a little light boned
But every puncher that had tried him before
In one jump, had been dethroned
“He’s bad as they come in these parts,” I said
The twister just shot me a grin
Said “Bad broncs are my business, if he bucks me off
He’ll have to jump right out of his skin”
So Charlie Bob roped him and snubbed him up close
Ole’ Slim got a mouthful of ear
It took Rusty and Bub and ole’ Jake to hold him
While the twister stacked on his gear
Then the twister stepped on, took a mighty deep seat
Charlie Bob pitched him his head
The colt went from round pen floor to tree top high
Then his north end went south instead
I’ve seen cowboys throwed higher and harder
But I can’t remember just when
And I reckon, Ole’ Snake, be a fittin’ name
Cause this colt just shed his skin
The twister, you see, learned his lesson well
‘Cause he now sings a different song
“It takes a plenty bad hombre to throw me off
But it sure don’t take him long”
© Jay Snider
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission.
This photo of popular Oklahoma rancher, poet, and reciter Jay Snider is from Lawton, Oklahoma, 1979. He told us that the bull “belonged to F&F Rodeo Company and was simply called #33.”
“Twister” is on Volume Nine of The BAR-D Roundup” from CowboyPoetry.com.
Jay is returning to the Western Folklife Center’s 36th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 27-February 1, 2020, in Elko, Nevada.
He joins other poets and storytellers Doris Daley, John Dofflemyer, Carolyn Dufurrena, Maria Lisa Eastman, Patricia Frolander, DW Groethe, Andy Hedges, Carol Heuchan, Chris Isaacs, Randi Johnson, Jarle Kvale, Annie Mackenzie, Waddie Mitchell, Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Jonathan Odermann, Vess Quinlan, Henry Real Bird, Brigid Reedy, Randy Rieman, Jake Riley, R.p. Smith, Gail Steiger, Michael Stevens, Tom Swearingen, Forrest VanTuyl, and Paul Zarzyski.
Musicians and singer-songwriters include An American Forrest, Mike Beck, Cat Clifford, Dylan Clough, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Dom Flemons, Pipp Gillette & Lloyd Wright, DW Groethe, R.W. Hampton, Andy Hedges, Hot Club of Cowtown, Ned LeDoux, Corb Lund & the Hurtin’ Albertans, Miko Marks, Marinna Mori, Tracy Morrison, The Munsick Boys, Brigid Reedy, Randy Rieman, Trinity Seely, Dave Stamey, Gail Steiger, Michael Stevens, Jessie Veeder, and Wylie and The Wild West.
“Special guests” are also promised.
Visit nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org for much more, including descriptions of workshops, films, and other events at the gathering.
Jay Snider has a recent CD, Classic Cowboy Poetry: The Old Tried and True, which showcases his fine reciting. He delivers poems by Bruce Kiskaddon, Henry Herbert Knibbs, Will Ogilvie, Sunny Hancock, and others, to carry listeners back to time when, to quote Kiskaddon, “cattle were plenty and people were few.”
For a great look at how Jay Snider handles the classics, see a video of him reciting Sunny Hancock’s “The Bear Tale” at the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering:
This more recent photo of Jay is by Dee Dobson of Buckles & Bling Photography.
(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)