THE OLD COW PONY by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

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THE OLD COW PONY
by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

Hello there old feller, I’m speaking to you.
No need to look at me the way that you do.
When we git acquainted I think you will find,
I know quite a bit about you and your kind.

With your wicked bright eyes and your rough shaggy coat,
And about as sure footed and tough as a goat.
You was chuck full of Hell from your nose to your tail.
You came North with the herds when they drove the long trail.

Through the heat and the dust when the goin’ was hard.
Out in the dim star light you held the lone guard.
On the dark stormy night when the herd would stampede,
You carried the riders that “Bended the lead.”

You was never a thing to be petted or trusted.
Most every old cow poke has bones that you busted
But them old boys swear by you. You bet they all do.
And they’d like to build statues to hosses like you.

by Bruce Kiskaddon

This poem, with its illustration by Katherine Field (1908-1951), appeared in the Los Angeles Union Stock Yards calendar and the Western Livestock Journal in 1938. The next year, it was included in A Souvenir from ‘The Trading Post’ Golden Gate International Competition (San Francisco, 1939). It was also included in Kiskaddon’s 1947 book, Rhymes of the Ranges.

As we’ve told in the past, we know these details thanks to the work of Bill Siems, who collected almost all of Kiskaddon’s nearly 500 poems and much information about him in his 2006 book, Open Range.

Kiskaddon and artist Katherine Field collaborated on works for the Los Angeles Union Stockyards calendar and the Western Livestock Journal from 1936 to 1942, when she had to stop working to take care of her ailing parents and her children. In 1949 they renewed their partnership. Kiskaddon died in 1950 and had written six-month’s worth of poems in advance. Field illustrated them all before her own death in 1951.The two never met in person.

Find more about Kiskaddon and more about Siems’ book at CowboyPoetry.com in our Kiskaddon features.

 

Donors

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CowboyPoetry.com
celebrates our Western heritage and today’s working West, dedicated to preserving our important history and to promoting the Western arts that carry on those traditions.  It’s a part of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

The Center was formed to serve a mostly rural and underserved community of Western writers, musicians, and artists; to help preserve Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts; to offer a central resource for poets, libraries, schools, and the public; and to educate the public about the history and value of Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts.

Supporters make a difference. With individual support, the Center can continue its programs, expand some of those efforts, and take on new projects. Individual support helps show institutional funders the community interest in our Western arts.

We thank our supporters, who are listed below. They make an important difference to the community of Western writers, musicians, and artists as we work together to preserve Western heritage and support Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts. Please join us.

2017

The BAR-D supporters make all of the programs of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry possible: Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library Program, and CowboyPoetry.com.

Claud Roundtree
Janice Gilbertson
Andria Kidd
Laverna B. Johnson
Betty and Ken Rodgers in memory of Trisha Pedroia
Nika Nordbrock
Dick and Jane Morton
Christopher Chambers
Joanne Grinage
Susan Matley
Keith Ward
Thomas F. Hawk
Jo Lynne Kirkwood
Howard Moon
DW Groethe
Rodney Nelson
Susan Parker
Denise Arvidson in memory of Ross Christian Arvidson
Gary McMahan-HorseApple Entertainment
Steve and Marge Conroy in memory of Allen “Hook” Hill
David Stanley
Paul R. Brown III
Susie Knight
Barbara Richhart (Western Belle)-Cowtrails
Colleen Kohler
Bryce Angell
Ken Cook (sponsor)
Wendy Brown-Barry
Jeff Campbell
Yvonne Hollenbeck (sponsor)
Chuck Learn (sponsor)
Marjorie Satterfield
Sandi and Jay Snider (sponsor)
Nika Nordbrock
Marleen Bussma
Paul Quinton
Shelly Pagiliai-Prairie Moon Quilts
Almeda Bradshaw (sponsor)

Significant 2017 and 2018 program support: Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield Jr.

Cowboy Poetry Week 2017 Foundation support: Margaret T. Morris Foundation

VISIT OUR SPONSORS

See all of the generous supporters to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry below and find how to  be a part of it all here.

2016

The BAR-D supporters make all of the programs of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry possible: Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library Program, and CowboyPoetry.com.

National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (sponsor)
Eileen Dirksen
Denise Arvidson
Joanne Grinage
Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”)
Santa Clarita Cowboy Gathering (sponsor)
Gary Brown
Bryce Angell
Hal Swift (multiple donations)
Robyn Stangel
Sally Smith-Joelle Smith Western Art
Rhonda Stearns (sponsor)
Betty and Ken Rodgers
Rodney Nelson
Valerie and Floyd Beard
Susan Parker
Almeda Bradshaw (renewing Sponsor)
John Waters
Jim Thompson (California)
Ray Doyle
Dan Wilson
Marjorie Parker
C.W. (Charles) Bell
Wendy Brown-Barry
Ken Cook (renewing Sponsor)
Saddle Up at Pigeon Forge (renewing Sponsor)
Douglas Gustafson
Susie Knight
Yvonne and Glen Hollenbeck (multiple donations) donations in memory of Ray Hanzlik,
Jess Howard, Pat Richardson, and Jack Walther
Cindy Quigley
Cowboy Poets of Idaho (renewing Sponsor)
Marleen Bussma
David Stanley
Terry Nash
H. Paul Moon-WESTDOCUMENTARY.COM
Melissa and Dave Stamey in memory of Pat Richardson
KC La Course
Scofield’s Cowboy Campfire
Jean Prescott Music (renewing Sponsor)
Denise Arvidson in Memory of Ross Christian Arvidson
RANGE (renewing Sponsor)
Jean Haugen
Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival (renewing Sponsor)
Stella and Jim Cathey in memory of Jack “Trey” Allen and Ronnie G. Murphey
Kent Penter
Jon Dean
Stella and Jim Cathey in memory of Ed Nesselhuf
Ron Secoy
Western Folklife Center (renewing Sponsor)
Robert Dennis
Deanna Dickinson McCall
Rosemary Yull
George Rhoades
Tom Morgan
Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering
Andy Nelson
Linda Kirkpatrick
Chuck Learn (multiple donations)
Daniel Bybee
Tom Swearingen
Kay Kelley Nowell
Jean Mathisen Haugen
Del Gustafson
David Carlton
Patricia Frolander
Sally Smith – Joelle Smith • Clara Smith Art
Valerie and Floyd Beard
Jarle Kvale
Daniel Wilson
Mike Moutoux
Sally Baldus
Kent Penter
Dale Page
Totsie Slover
Bob Miller
Gary McMahan-HorseApple Entertainment
Kent Reeves-The Whole Picture Consulting
Robert Kinsey
Susie Knight
Al “Doc” Mehl
Terry Nash (multiple donations)
Charles (C.W.) Bell
Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”) (multiple donations)
Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering (renewing sponsor)
Marleen Bussma
Slim McNaught-Slim’s Custom Leather
Spalding Labs (renewing sponsor)
Jim Thompson (California)
Stella and Jim Cathey in memory of Charles H.(Chuck) Munzert
Rocky Sullivan
John Waters
Bob Coker
Jay Snider (renewing sponsor)
P’let and Mike Tcherkassky
Jerry Brooks (multiple donations)
Smoke Wade
Chuck Learn (sponsor)
Roberta Rothman
Linda Nadon (in memory of Georgie Sicking)
Kip and Marilyn Sorlie
Sandy Seaton Sallee
Lynn Kopelke
Mark Kerr
Paul Quinton
Marci Broyhill (sponsor)
Andy Carr
Devin Dingler
Bill Ott
Jeri Dobrowski (sponsor)
Cameron La Follette
Judy James-Cowboy Jubilee
Beth Rand-Joyful Horse Project/Restoration Ranch
Stan Tixier
Greg Camp

Significant 2016 program support: Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield Jr.

Cowboy Poetry Week 2016 Foundation support: Margaret T. Morris Foundation

VISIT OUR SPONSORS

See all of the generous supporters to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry below and find how to  be a part of it all here.

You can make a donation by check or money order, by mail (please use the form here for mail) or by a secure, on-line credit card payment through PayPal (a PayPal account is not required):

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CowboyPoetry.com is a project of The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. The Center seeks grants and donations from individuals, corporate entities, foundations, and private sources.

Contributions to the Center are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Donors at the $40 level and higher receive the year’s CD and Cowboy Poetry Week poster. (The CD fair market value is $15 and that amount is not deductible as a charitable contribution.)

As in all professional journalistic endeavors, no editorial preference is given to financial sponsors or supporters.

VISIT OUR SPONSOR SUPPORTERS

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THE COYOTE and COW WORK WON’T WAIT by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

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Photo by Carol M. Highsmith

 

THE COYOTE
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

The coyote of the western ranges
Survives despite all modern changes.
He views the world with duantless drollery—
And does not practice birth controllery.

…S. Omar Barker, used with the permission of the S. Omar Barker estate

S. Omar Barker, as described in Cowboy Miner Productions’ collection of his work, “…was born in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico… a rancher, high school teacher, college professor, forest ranger, soldier, outdoorsman, and legislator…” He enjoyed signing his work with a “Lazy SOB” brand. He was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman.

Many of S. Omar Barker’s short pieces were collected in a 1998 book, Ol’ S.O.B. Sez: Cowboy Limericks. In the introduction, top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell writes:

I really don’t think Omar had any idea of the impact his poetry had. He rode on before the cowboy poetry gatherings emerged. He didn’t see the number of cowboys who had taken his words to heart and memory. He had become one of the top three recited poets of the genre.

Why? Because he lived, worked, understood, and spoke cowboy. Not the ethereal, but the day-to-day sweaty, freezing, long-trot, leather-clad, rope-burned, calf-pullin’, brush-scarred, dally-slippin’ kind.

Then he boiled it down to its essence…He would write about things so common in the cowboy world that cowboys often overlooked them, but they’d recognize immediately the truth in those writings because Omar wrote of that life “from the inside-lookin-out” point of view.

Another from the book:

COW WORK WON’T WAIT
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

We hear unions speak of a four-day week
As if it would simple be heaven
But folks who raise cattle still find it’s a battle
To get all their work done in seven.

…S. Omar Barker, used with the permission of the S. Omar Barker estate

Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

This 2016 photograph is titled, “A lone, and lean, coyote makes the best of wintertime the
northernmost Wyoming reaches of Yellowstone National Park.”

It is another fine one by contemporary photographer, author, and publisher Carol M. Highsmith and included in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Find more about the photograph here.

Find the collection here, where it notes that, “Highsmith, a distinguished and richly-published American photographer, has donated her work to the Library of Congress since 1992. Starting in 2002, Highsmith provided scans or photographs she shot digitally with new donations to allow rapid online access throughout the world. Her generosity in dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright free access also makes this Archive a very special visual resource.”

Find more about Carol Highsmith and her work at carolhighsmith.com and on Facebook at Carol M. Highsmith’s America.

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.

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The Historic Star Valley Beanfield War,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, August 14, 2017

Massive wildfires turned prairies to ash, leading Montana’s cowboys to weigh federal help,” by Tim Craig, Washington Post, August 13, 2017

The Hope That Lives in a Rain Shower,”by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, August 13, 2017

Catch some cowboy poetry in Lewistown Aug. 17-20,” by Traci Rosenbaum, Great Falls Tribune, August 8, 2017

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Teal Blake – On Being Authentic & Original,” by Ed Roberson, Mountain & Prairie podcast, August 11, 2017

Sudden Drought Conditions Spur Montana’s Wildfires,” by Nate Hegyi, Morning Edition, August 11, 2017

‘Cowgirl camp’ for beginning women ranchers,” by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press
August 9, 2017

From culls to early weaning, cattle ranchers need strategies to deal with drought,” CBC News, August 9, 2017

Documenting  the Lives Of Colorado Mountain Ranchers,” Michael Crouser and Peter O’Dowd, Here & Now, August 7, 2017

How, And Why, Some Farmers Are Bringing Livestock Back To The Prairie,” by Amy Mayer, Harvest Public Media, August 1, 2017

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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Ticketed shows announced: Western Folklife Center, August 10, 2017

Classic Cowpunchers,” by Lauren Feldman, American Cowboy, August 10, 2017

Filming a ‘Little’ documentary,” Saratoga Sun, August 9, 2017

Windbigler takes helm of Western Folklife Center,” by Hasano Grayson, Elko Daily Free Press, August 9, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Tom Russell (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 8, 2017

Cow Poop Analyzer App Estimates Forage Quality,” by Kathy Voth, On Pasture, August 7, 2017

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Hike offers Cowboy Prayer, intrigue,” by Nigel Reynolds, Daily Courier, August 7, 2017

Parakeets and Dogs,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, August 7, 2017

Clinton-area ranchers demand compensation for control fire devastation,” by Karin Larsen, CBC News, August 07, 2017

New Mexico cow shootings spark fears of serial cattle killer,” by Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, August 4, 2017

World reacts to Zuckerberg’s post on cattle,” by Terry Anderson, midwestproducer.com, August 2, 2017

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Prairie Fire!,” by Heidi M. Thomas, blog, August 4, 2017

‘A Long Way Home’ theme of this year’s Cowboy Poets event,” by Sue Tone, Daily Courier, August 3, 2017

Cow Efficiency Congress to be held in North Dakota,” by American Aberdeen Association, farmforum.net, August 3, 2017

‘Flash drought’ could devastate half the High Plains wheat harvest,” by Eric Holthaus, grist.org, August 1, 2017

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Go West, young man (& woman),” by Stew Mosberg, Durango Telegraph, August 3, 2017

Kansas Radio Theatre Debuts on KSAL,” by Jeff Garretson, ksal.com, August 2, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  Ramblin’ Jack stories (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 1, 2017

Fractious Freight,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, undated

I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling at the cow: How to escape the crosshairs of cattle
vocabulary,” by Marci Whitehurst, Progressive Cattleman, July 25, 2017

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“‘Til the cows come home…and they always come home…,” by Jessie Veeder, blog, August 3, 2017

“‘Buckaroo poet’ Waddie Mitchell brings cowboy poetry to Riverbend Live! Aug. 4,” by Haylie Ellison, The News-Review, August 2, 2017

North Dakota seeking hay donations to aid drought-stricken ranchers,” by
Dan Gunderson, mprnews.org, August 1, 2017

Broken Barriers,” by Carol Hutchison, American Cowboy, July 31, 2017

My Introduction to Trichomoniasis Foetus,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, July 31, 2017

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Helena man’s effort sparks massive donation caravan to ranchers, residents affected by fire,” by Matt Hudson, Billings Gazette, July 29, 2017

Meet the Saddlemaking Cowboy Poet of Missouri,” by Eddie O’Neill, Missouri Life, July 25, 2017

Cowboy Poet Is Gone But Not Forgotten,” County Line Magazine, July-August 2017

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Local rancher describes how drought is affecting herds across the area,” by Jon Wilson, KEVN, July 26, 2017

LO Cattle Company in Garfield County, Montana, loses hundreds of cattle in fire,” by Savanna Simmons, The Fence Post, July 25, 2017

AQHA’s celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy drew a big crowd in Amarillo,” aqha.com, July 25, 2017

3rd Annual Napa Valley Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering, September 9, 2017, Napa, California

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From Big to Small to Big to Small – Our History of Cattle Breeding From 1742 to Today,” by Kathy Voth, onpasture.com, July 24, 2017

Raymond Old West Fest, October 21, 2017, Raymond, California

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, December 2, 2017, Monterey, California

Western Horseman YouTube Channel

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Containment at 34 percent in eastern Montana fire complex,” The Associated Press, NBC Montana, July 26, 2017

The Costs Of Fighting Wildfires In Montana,” (audio) by Eric Whitney, NPR, July 26, 2017

How Cowboy Poetry Pulled Me out of the Abyss,” by Carson Vaughan, Read it Forward, July 25, 2017

What’s on the table at Amazon’s secret meeting with cattle ranchers?,” by Joe Fassler, The New Food Economy, July 25, 2017

“Horses Kin Hurt Ya!,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, July 25, 2017

Fair offers summer fun; Variety of activities fill Central Kansas Free Fair,” by Ruth Nicolaus, Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, July 25, 2017

Update on Garfield County, Montana fire,” tsln.com, July 24, 2017

Day of the Cowboy events embrace Texas Panhandle’s past,” by Lisa Lamb, Amarillo.com, July 22, 2017

A ‘Last Look’ at the Old-Time American Cowboy,” by Lily Rothman and Liz Ronk, Time,  July 21, 2017

Southeastern Utah Junior Livestock show,” by Patsy Stoddard, Emery County Progress, July 21, 2017

What Cowboys Can Teach Us About Feeding the World,” by Bill Gates, blog, July 18, 2017

An Interview with Temple Grandin: ‘Visual Thinker’ and an Autism Icon,” by Howard Lovy, Foreword Reviews, July 12, 2017

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Theodore Waddell: My Montana—Paintings and Sculpture, 1959-2016

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Photos of a Pioneer,” by Carson Vaughan, The Paris Review, July 24, 2017

The Day the Fires Came,” by Skip Hollandsworth and John Carrithers, Texas Monthly, July 2017

At 200,000 acres, ‘very extreme fire behavior’ seen in Lodgepole Complex,” by Mike Kordenbrock, Billings Gazette, July 22, 2017

National Day Of The Cowboy Honors The Ranching Icon,” by Holliday Moore, kjzz.org, July 22, 2017

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UK’s first sign language poetry slam,” by Camera Daniel Gordon, Jamie Hamilton, Elise Wicker, and Daniel Gordon, BBC.com, July 21, 2017

A Day with the Texas Law Man Who Catches Cattle Thieves,” by Sarah Baird, Saveur, July 19, 2017

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Range Writers Extraordinaire,” by Rod Miller, blog, July 20, 2017

Black ink in the Black Hills,” by Miranda, blog, July 20, 2017

Not A Suburban Housewife,” by Jolyn Young, blog, July 19, 2017

Photosensitization,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, July 19, 2017

Days of ’47 Rodeo settles in to new home with prayer, poem, praise,” by Annie Knox, Deseret News, July 19, 2017

777 ranch Cowboy poetry night,”  ecprogress.com , July 17, 2017

US Forest Service delivering supplies via mule,” by Nikki Torres, July 12, 2017

Artist with an American Heart: Bob Coronato describes the journey that shaped his art style,” by Kaija Swisher,  Black Hills Pioneer July 10, 2017

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How Cowboys Make Deals at the Border,” by Erica Berenstein and Fernanda Santos, New York Times, July 16, 2017

Drought in High Plains the worst some farmers have ever seen,” by Blake Nicholson, Associated Press/Rapid City Journal, July 15, 2017

Mark Zuckerberg Visits a Cattle Ranch,” by Sara Brown, agweb.com, July 13, 2017

The Cowboys of Calabria,” by Gianluca Mercuri, Corriere Della Sera, July 11, 2017

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Ranchers work together to save cattle in fire zones,” by Angie Mindus, The Williams Lake Tribune,  July 13, 2017

‘Fear the worst, hope for the best’: Ranchers forced to leave 20,000 cattle behind,” by Linda Givetash, Metronews, July 12, 2017

Ranchers allowed 5-year extension to graze cattle in Point Reyes National Seashore,” by Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 2017

The Next Last Packers,” by Clare Menzel, Flathead Beacon, July 9, 2017

Hay Crew Haiku,” a Ranch Communications video by Robin Boies, YouTube/Western Folklife Center, July 7, 2017

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Singing through the history of B.C.’s cowboys,” by Parker Crook, Vernon Morningstar, July 12, 2017

Time to get gathered: Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering features familiar faces and activities this year,” Saratoga Sun, July 12, 2017

Wild West poetry promises rattlers, rustlers and ranchers,” by Laureen Diephof, The Salinas Californian, July 12, 2017

Chuck wagon meals: ‘This is a way to be a cowboy’,” by Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Julu 12, 2017

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Payson Book festival returns,” by Teresa McQuerrey, Payson Roundup, July 11, 2017

Pestilence,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com, July 10, 2017

Cowboy poet visits Luna Rossa,” Deming Highlight, July 10, 2017

Rain or shine, this is the life we chose?,” by Jessie Veeder, blog, July 9, 2017

My Favorite Book: Part 9,” by Rod Miller, blog, July 9, 2017

Mules Helping U.S. Forest Service Supply Firefighters Battling California Fire,” Associated Press, northernag.net, July 7, 2017

You Can Only Eat Steak If You Get More Than 7/10 On This Quiz,” by Gena-mour Barrett,
BuzzFeed, July 5, 2017

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 “COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Don Hedgpeth,” (podcast), July 5, 2017

White Oaks Rodeo,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, July 3, 2017

Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas celebrating 150 years of the Chisholm Trail,” by Todd Glasscock, Cleburne Times-Review, July 4, 2017

Ranchers save cattle, lose rangeland in wildfires,” by Dan Wheat, Capital Press, July 3, 2017

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Rural Media Group launches new cable network, The Cowboy Channel on July 1,”
The Fence Post, June 28, 2017

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No summer will ever be the same…,” by Jessie Veeder, blog, June 29, 2017

Geronimo’s Children,” by Dave Stamey, Facebook, June 29, 2017

Western Folklife Center entertains all year long,” by Cynthia Delaney, Elko Daily, June 29, 2017

Some good cowboy photos:

Western Horseman Editor Ross Hecox’ photo blog

On Instagram:
Amy Hale Auker
Jessica Hedges
COWBOYS film
Western Horseman
Kent Rollins

Other Western photography:
Ken Rodgers

Some good radio (listen anytime):

Clear Out West (C.O.W.) from Jim and Andy Nelson
CowTrails from Western Belle Barbara Richhart
Back at the Ranch from Jarle Kvale
Cowboy Crossroads from Andy Hedges
Calling All Cowboys with Charley Engel
Flying SL Ranch Radio from Spalding Labs

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 “Gathering memories and making more,” by Cynthia Delaney, Elko Daily, June 28, 2017

Annual 777 Ranch cowboy poetry and music gathering (July 6),” ecprogress.com, June 27, 2017

Horse-Riding Librarians Were the Great Depression’s Bookmobiles,” by Eliza McGraw, smithsonian.com, June 21, 2017

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Balin’ Wheat,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, June 26, 2017

Ian Tyson, the cowboy folksinger,” by John Mackie, Vancouver Sun, June 25, 2017

U.S. Ranchers Are Being Forced to Sell Cattle Due to Drought,” by Megan Durisin, Jeff Wilson, and Sydney Maki, Bloomberg.com, June 23, 2017,

Scientists work to develop heat-resistant ‘cow of the future’,” by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Science Daily, June 23, 2017

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 “Cowboy poetry champs recognized,” McPherson Sentinel, June 22, 2017

Cattle ranchers sue to return country-of-origin labeling,” by the Associated Press, Wyoming Daily, June 21, 2017

Cattle stolen from ranch in the middle of the night,” abc13.com (Houston), June 20, 2017

How Bad is the Drought in NorthEast Montana? It’s BAD.,” by Taylor Brown, Northern Ag Network, June 19, 2017

To Keep Predators Away, Montana Ranchers Compost Dead Cattle,” by Rachel Cramer, mtnpr.org, June 13, 2017

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COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Randy Rieman,” (podcast, Part 2), June 20, 2017

What is the future of the Texas cowboy?,” by Bryan Mealer, The Guardian, June 19, 2017

SD governor declares statewide emergency as drought conditions worsen,” The Fence Post, June 19, 2017

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Handyman Jacks,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, June 19, 2017

A herd of ‘rebel cows’ has been living wildly in the Italian mountains for years,” by Catherine Edwards, The Local, June 19, 2017

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 39: Believe in yourself,” by Rod Miller, (blog), June 18, 2017

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Librarian of Congress Names Tracy K. Smith Poet Laureate,” Library of Congress, June 14, 2017

‘Cautious But Not Silent;’ Photographer Kevin Martini Fuller’s Three Decades of Cowboy Poet Portraits,” by Renata Certo-Ware, untouchableblog.com, June 12, 2017

Great Ranches of the Great Basin,” American Cowboy, June 15, 2017

For Sale: A $7 Million Wild West Town,” by KC McGinnis, Logan Jaffe, and Joshua Thomas, (video) The Daily 360,  New York Times, June 15, 2017

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Have a cow: A new way to buy beef…,” by Rachel Nania, wtop.com, June 14, 2017

COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Randy Rieman,” (podcast, Part 1), June 13, 2017

It Happened in Langtry,” by G. R. Schiavino, American Cowboy, June 12, 2017

Sandhills Savior,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, June 12, 2017

‘Trial of a Lifetime’ Plays Out in Tiny South Dakota Town,” by Reuters, cattlenetwork.com, June 12, 2017

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Women of the West – Liz Brannan, by Jennifer Denison,” Western Horseman, June 8, 2017

Rawhide Robinson Rides the Interweb,” Rod Miller, blog, June 9, 2017

Genoans send Cowboy Festival into sunset,” by Kurt Hildebrand, The Record-Courier, June 8, 2018

Behind the Chutes: Rodeo secretaries keep the show running smoothly,” by Allie Bohus, American Cowboy, June 7, 2017

Putting Cowboys—and Their Industry— in True Historical Context,” by Edward Dolnick, New York Times Books, June 2, 2017

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In Montana, land transfer threatens the American rancher’s way of life,” by Elliott D Woods, The Guardian, June 6, 2017

Great Ranches of the Southwest,” American Cowboy, June 6, 2017

Cleaning Up Messes,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, June 5, 2017

Renaissance Man of the West, Part I,” by William C. Reynolds, Western Horseman, June 5, 2017

National Day of the Cowboy,” American Quarter Horse Association, June 5, 2017

200 cows take over downtown San Diego streets in historic cattle drive,” Pam Kragen, San Diego Tribune,  June 3, 2017

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Trailing a Thief,” by Carol Hutchison, The Cattleman, June 2017

Paddock to patient: How Australian beef cattle are being used to create heart valves and save lives,” by Kathleen Calderwood, ABC (Australia), June 2, 2017

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Where palette meets palate,” by Rod Miller, (blog) May 31, 2017

COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Paul Zarzyski,” (podcast in two parts), May 31, 2017

The Grapevine,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, May 31, 2017

River Bend Ranch to host Cowboy Poetry event,” Durango Herald, May 30, 2017

NM True TV – “The Cow Country Code”  with Deanna Dickinson McCall, YouTube, May 30, 2017

Will your next load of hay arrive by Uber Freight?,” by Lynn Jaynes, Progressive Forage, May 26, 2017

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Cowboy Express train
to Elko’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

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We were on a (rare) break May 4-25.
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Cowboy music comes to Learning Center,” by Forrest Grimes, Seguin Gazette, May 3, 2017

The Story of a Texas Rancher Girl,” by Peyton Waldrip, gobrangus.com

Texas Rancher Girl blog

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COWBOY CROSSROADS with Andy Hedges and guest Dom Flemons,” (podcast), May 2, 2017

Saddle up, partner, cowboy poetry contests are headed your way,” by Beccy Tanner, kansas.com, May 2, 2017

The Drover’s Camp Camooweal (Bush poets)

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Nebraska Writers Guild “Fur Trade Days” Poetry Contest (deadline June 8)

Who’s in Charge?,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, May 1, 2017

Yee-Haw! Cowboy Festival a good time,” by Sarah Drinkwine, Record-Courier, April 30, 2017

Western Music Association Music & Poetry Gathering, May 13, Villa Rica, Georgia

Meeker Cowboy Poet Gathering, June 2, Meeker, Colorado

Equestrian Legacy Radio’s RENDEZVOUS 2017,  June 1-3 Hurricane Mills, Tennessee

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American Cowboy Magazine
: final print edition
Facebook post, April 28, 2017

Steiger, Auker Headline ‘Working Cowboy’ at Sharlot Hall,” Daily Courier, April 27, 2017

Ancient Horse DNA Shows Scythian Warriors Were Adept Domesticators,” by Kenneth Chang, New York Times, April 27, 2017

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Find Cowboy Poetry Week news here.

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Training wild mustangs with convict cowboys” (video), CNN via MSN, April 26, 2017

Porter Rockwell pulls the trigger in True West,” by Rod Miller (blog), April 26, 2017

The Cowboy and the City Girl Southern Poetry Tour Comes to Edgefield,” Edgfield Advertiser, April 26, 2017

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Landscaping,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, April 25, 2017

Master of the Mustang Tent: Renowned Cowboy Poet Waddie Mitchell Returns to Stagecoach—to Emcee, Not Perform,” by Brian Blueskye, CV Independent, April 25,2017

Concert for a Cause,” by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman, April 25,2017

Horses, cows, snakes, coyotes, ” by Kay Hively, Neosho Daily News, April 25, 2017

The Dude Wrangler,” by Dave Stamey, Facebook, April 19, 2017

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MAYBE IT’S YOUR CALLIN’ by Janice Gilbertson

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MAYBE IT’S YOUR CALLIN’
by Janice Gilbertson

Maybe it’s that certain way
Early morning smells in June
The fragrance of the damp leftover heat

Maybe it’s the rise and fall
Of golden dust at dawn
From the milling of the saddlehorses’ feet

It could be the slap of leather
The jangle of the bridle chains
The cadence of the hoofbeats down the lane

There’s that friendly cowboy banter
And the planning of the gather
Some spittin’ and some razzin’ to sustain

There’s the frolic of the cowdogs
In their rough and tumble glory
There’s the quiver of excitement in a mount

In the mid-light of the coming
Of the sunlight o’er the ridge
Maybe that is what it’s really all about

Then there’s that swagger on your jog
And that ole sense of satisfaction
You can get when you bring in that ornery stray

And when you water at the crossin’
Give your horse a little rub
Maybe that would be the best time of your day

Ah! Maybe it’s the headin’ home
Followin’ your shadow
Anticipatin’ supper and your bed

Maybe it’s the certain way
The night air smells in June
Or a hundred things that never could be said

Could be the knowin’ where you fit
That easy comfort in your soul
Like that ole saddle that you ride most every day

Just maybe it’s your callin’
Or, you were just born lucky
Cuz you know you couldn’t live no other way

© 2008, Janice Gilbertson
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

California poet, novelist, and horsewoman Janice Gilbertson commented on her poem, “Wouldn’t life be grand if we could each be doing the work we know and love every day, and have the comfort that comes in knowing that we are exactly where we are meant to be.”

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Janice Gilbertson’s second novel, Canyon House, published by PEN-L publishing, has just been named a Willa Award Finalist. The respected award from Women Writing the West “…honors the best in literature, featuring women’s or girls’ stories set in the West that are published each year…The award is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, one of the country’s foremost novelists.”

Read Chapter One of “Canyon House” at PEN-L Publishing.

Janice has been an invited poet at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry
Gathering and performs at other events across the West. Her work has appeared in anthologies and compilations, and she has poetry books and recordings and another novel, Summer of ’58. Find more at her web site, janicegilbertsonwriter.com, and at CowboyPoetry.com.

The photo above is of Janice Gilbertson on the Glen Aulin Trail high above Yosemite Meadows.

http://www.cowboypoetry.com/jgilb.htm#Maybe

THE GOOD OLD COWBOY DAYS by Luther A. Lawhon (1861-1922)

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THE GOOD OLD COWBOY DAYS
by Luther A. Lawhon (1861-1922)

My fancy drifts as often, through the murky, misty maze
Of the past—to other seasons—to the good old cowboy days,
When the grass wuz green an’ wavin’ an’ the skies wuz soft and blue,
And the men were brave an’ loyal, and the women fair an’ true!
The old-time cowboy—here’s to him, from hired hand to boss!
His soul wuz free from envy and his heart wuz free from dross,
An’ deep within his nature, which wuz rugged, high and bold,
There ran a vein uv metal, and the metal, men, wuz, gold!

He’d stand up—drunk or sober—’gin a thousand fer his rights;
He’d sometimes close an argument by shootin’ out the lights;
An’ when there was a killin’, by the quickest on the draw,
He wern’t disposed to quibble ’bout the majesty uv law,
But a thief—a low down villain—why, he had no use for him
An’ wuz mighty apt to leave ‘im danglin’ from a handy limb.
He wuz heeled and allers ready—quick with pistol or with knife,
But he never shirked a danger or a duty in his life!

An’ at a tale uv sorrow or uv innocence beguiled
His heart wuz just as tender as the heart uv any child.
An’ woman—aye, her honor wuz a sacred thing; and hence
He threw his arms around her—in a figurative sense.
His home wuz yours, where’er it wuz, an’ open stood the door,
Whose hinges never closed upon the needy or the poor;
An’ high or low—it mattered not—the time, if night or day,
The stranger found a welcome just as long as he would stay.

Wuz honest to the marrow, and his bond wuz in his word.
He paid for every critter that he cut into his herd;
An’ take your note because he loaned a friend a little pelf?
No, sir, indeed! He thought you wuz as worthy as himself.
An’ when you came and paid it back, as proper wuz an’ meet,
You trod upon forbidden ground to ask for a receipt.
In former case you paid the debt (there weren’t no intres’ due),
An’ in the latter—chances wuz he’d put a hole through you!

The old-time cowboy had ‘is faults; ’tis true, as has been said,
He’d look upon the licker when the licker, men, wuz red;
His language weren’t allers spoke accordin’ to the rule;
Nor wuz it sech as ye’d expect to hear at Sunday school.
But when he went to meetin’, men, he didn’t yawn or doze,
Nor set there takin’ notice of the congregation’s clothes.
He listened to the preacher with respect, an’ all o’ that,
An’ he never failed to ante when they passed aroun’ the hat!

I call to mind the tournament, an’ then the ball at night;
Of how old Porter drawed the bow and sawed with all his might;
Of how they’d dance—the boys an’ girls; an’ how that one wuz there
With rosy cheeks, an’ hazel eyes, an’ golden, curly hair;
An’ I—but here I’m techin’ on a mighty tender spot;
That boyhood love, at this late day, had better be forgot;
But still at times my heart goes back agin’ and fondly strays
Amidst those dear remembered scenes—the good old cowboy days!

The old-time cowboy wuz a man all over! Hear me, men!
I somehow kinder figger we’ll not see his like agin.
The few that’s left are older now; their hair is mostly white;
Their forms are not so active, and their eyes are not so bright
As when the grass wuz wavin’ green, the skies wuz soft an’ blue,
An’ men were brave, an’ loyal, and the women fair an’ true,
An’ the land wuz filled with plenty, an the range wuz free to graze,
An’ all rode as brothers—in the good old cowboy days.

…by Luther A. Lawhon from “The Trail Drivers of Texas”

Those fortunate enough to have have heard Oklahoma rancher and poet Jay Snider’s (jaysnider.net) recitation of “The Good Old Cowboy Days” on his CD, The Old Tried and True or at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo or the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering or the Westernfolklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering or other events have experienced a fine performance of a little-heard poem. Jay Snider brought the poem to our attention, and he recites on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three and it is included on Volume Ten “best-of-the-best” double CD.

Listen to Jay Snider recite the poem on YouTube.

The poem was written by Luther A. Lawhon and is included in The Trail Drivers of Texas, a book best described by its subtitle, “Interesting Sketches of Early Cowboys and Their Experiences on the Range and on the Trail during the Days that Tried Men’s Souls—True Narratives Related by Real Cowpunchers and Men Who Fathered the Cattle Industry in Texas.”

Lawhon worked in newspapers and was involved in local politics, as a congressional candidate.

The book, with over a thousand pages, was originally published by the Old Time Trail Driver’s Association, where Lawhon served as Secretary. An article by Lawhon, “The Men Who Made the Trail,” is also included in the book.

There were at least four editions of the book published before a 1925 edition that was reprinted in 1992 by the University of Texas Press and includes an introduction by B. Byron Price and a full index. The early editions of the book are rare, as are copies of Lawhon’s other collections, which include Songs and Satires (1901) and Cactus Blossoms (1905).

Read more about the University of Texas edition of The Trail Drivers of Texas, and read B. Byron Price’s introduction and view the table of contents at the university’s site.

This 1939 photo by Russell Lee 1903-1986 is titled, “Old-time trail driver in front of kitchen cabinet. Crystal City, Texas.” It is from The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Find more about it here. There are other photos of the same man, and the captions note that he lives “…alone in quarters furnished by the town. He also receives sustenance from town. He is an old-time trail driver.”

Find a feature about noted photographer Russell Lee and a gallery of photographs from the University of Texas at Austin.

ONCE WE WERE KINGS by Dale Page

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photo by Karen Gilbride, Captured By Karen

ONCE WE WERE KINGS
by Dale Page

It’s a half day’s ride to this cabin door
Where I spent my eighteenth year.
There are spur marks there on the old wood floor,
But the crew’s no longer here.

So it’s silent now, where a noisy gang
Gathered round to lie and spar
Or to ponder life while some waddy sang
To his battered old guitar.

All the bunk bed slats have been long since burned
By the hungry cast iron stove.
In the corner there lies a chair, upturned,
With the leather seat I wove.

There an old grass rope and a horsehair rein
Hang forgotten on the wall.
That old Frazier rig won’t be rode again.
Whose it was, I can’t recall.

Through the flyspecked, broken out window there
Stands an empty pine pole pen.
All the broncs are gone, but I don’t know where.
And what’s worse, I don’t know when.

And the boys who rode for their meager wage,
Which was thrown away each week,
Were a part of a wild and woolly age
Which gave way to mild and meek.

I can see them there, ‘round the coosie’s fire
When the herd was bedded down.
We would swear our oaths we would not retire
To a lesser life in town.

We would toast our lives with a strong black brew
While we dined on beef and beans.
We looked down on the suit and necktie crew
Who don’t know what living means.

For we ruled the world from our leather thrones,
Cinched atop a half-broke mount.
And we spent our youth as if kings, not drones.
We were rich in things that count.

When we tally dreams that can still come true
We will find our herds are short.
But we won’t regret what we didn’t do
When we stand that final sort.

For a few short years we were pleased to live
As the luckiest of men.
We enjoyed the best that this life can give
Because we were cowboys then.

© 2007, Dale E. Page
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without the author’s permission

Dale Page tells about the poem’s inspiration:

The location in this poem is the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Cimarron, New Mexico, where I spent the summer after graduating high school. The barn where our bunkroom was located is 10 miles off paved road at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. We had 50 horses up there and that many pack burros. I had only one day off the entire summer, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

After 40 years, I returned to the camp and found it pretty much the same. I have to admit it showed a little less wear than I. Standing there brought back a lot of memories of good horses and good friends. In my mind, I could still see the palomino paint at the corral gate, waiting for me to go jingle up the rest of the horses. It was a great place and a great time of my life. That summer changed me from a city boy to a pretty decent rider and a lover of New Mexico.

He adds, in liner notes to his 2014 Once We Were Kings CD, “…It’s about times to which we can’t go back, but times we don’t want to forget.”

Listen to Dale Page recite his poem on the most recent Back at the Ranch Radio show from Jarle Kvale.

Dale Page is also included in the lineup at the Fourth Annual Cimarron Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering, August 25-27, 2017 at New Mexico’s Philmont Scout Ranch, just south of Cimarron. Other performers include Floyd Beard, Valerie Beard, Broken Chair Band, Dale Burson, Janice Deardorff, Doug Figgs, Purly Gates, Danner Hampton, Randy Huston, Washtub Jerry, Jill Jones, Jim Jones, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Peggy Malone, Terry Nash, Claudia Nygaard, Dale Page, Ramblin’ Rangers, Sandy Reay, Dennis Russell, Mark Smith, Rocky Sullivan, Rod Taylor, and Jim Wilson.

The event continues to grow, and this year there is a great-looking chuck wagon. Find more about that and the event on Facebook,  and at cimarroncowboygathering.com.   Find more poetry and more about Dale Page at CowboyPoetry.com, and at his web site, DalePage.com.

This photograph of Dale Page, which he calls “Colorado Sunset,” is by Karen Gilbride of Grand Junction, Captured By Karen.