National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration

 

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From the organizers:

28th Annual National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration

 LUBBOCK, TX – The National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration hosts the 28th annual event in Lubbock, Texas, September 9-11th, 2016 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. New attractions include sessions featuring performances by Dave Stamey, Mike Beck, Craig Carter & Zack Casey along with cowboy poets Chris Isaacs and Ross Knox. History sessions on “The Horse’s Influence on the American West” will be scheduled throughout, a Luncheon and Program on Friday and a special session with Texas State Historian, Bill O’Neal. Chuck Wagon Roast Coffee will be on sale during regular show hours in the Exhibit Hall and Chuck Wagon area, and at the Chuck Wagon Breakfast on Sunday of the event.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate, preserve and pass along our western heritage and cowboy culture. To carry out these goals, the event schedule includes a variety of talented performers throughout the day and nationally recognized artists Dave Stamey, Mike Beck, Craig Carter, Zack Casey, Chris Isaacs and Ross Knox for the Friday and Saturday night performances. Many talented musicians, poets and storytellers from across the nation will gather to perform as well as presentations of Native American demonstrations and dancing, western authors, horse handling demonstrations, farrier demonstrations, the Horse Parade, the National Championship Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, and exhibits of western artworks and merchandise.

The event features more than 100 performers and presenters including cowboy and cowgirl poets, musical acts, storytellers, authentic chuck wagon cooks, authors, special presenters, and exhibit spaces filled with the best in western art and goods. It truly is the premier event of its kind in existence today! One of the largest events annually held in Lubbock, the Symposium draws visitors from many states and multiple nations, and people from more than 30 nations have attended in the previous twenty-seven years.

The event has activities for the entire family! Show goers will be able pick and choose from a full schedule of entertainers, western programs, and activities each day of the event. A schedule of events and ticket information may be found on the official web site at www.cowboy.org . All-inclusive, one-price, “Wrangler Pass” and “Rustler Pass” admission tickets are available prior to the event. The Wrangler passes allow admission and meals for all three days and the Rustler pass is an all-inclusive one day pass for Friday or Saturday. Individual tickets may be purchased in advance through the office, on the web site, or in person upon arrival at the event.

The show is open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 9-10-11th at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane (6th Street). Additional information about the event may be obtained at cowboysymposium@suddenlink.net or  www.cowboy.org.

THE OLD PROSPECTOR by Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957)

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THE OLD PROSPECTOR
by Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957)

There’s a song in the canyon below me
And a song in the pines overhead,
As the sunlight crawls down from the snowline
And rustles the deer from his bed.
With mountains of green all around me
And mountains of white up above
And mountains of blue down the sky-line,
I follow the trail that I love.

My hands they are hard from the shovel,
My leg is rheumatic by streaks
And my face it is wrinkled from squintin’
At the glint of the sun on the peaks.
You pity the prospector sometimes
As if he was out of your grade.
Why, you are all prospectors, bless you!
I’m only a branch of the trade.
You prospect for wealth and for wisdom,
You prospect for love and for fame;
Our work don’t just match as to details,
But the principle’s mostly the same.

While I swing a pick in the mountains
You slave in the dust and the heat
And scratch with your pens for a color
And assay the float of the street.

You wail that your wisdom is salted,
That fame never pays for the mill,
That wealth hasn’t half enough value
To pay you for climbin’ the hill.
You even say love’s El Dorado,
A pipe dream that never endures—
Well, my luck ain’t all that I want it,
But I never envied you yours.
You’re welcome to what the town gives you,
To prizes of laurel and rose,
But leave me the song in the pine tops,
The breath of a wind from the snows.
With mountains of green all around me
And mountains of white up above
And mountains of blue down the sky-line,
I’ll follow the trail that I love.

by Charles Badger Clark, Jr. from Sun and Saddle Leather
Charles Badger Clark Jr.’s book, Sun and Saddle Leather, has been in print for over 100 years.

Clark got his cowboying experience in Arizona. He became the Poet Laureate of South Dakota, where he was born and lived for most of his life. He wrote many lasting poems, and others also found their way into song (including “Spanish is a Loving Tongue” and “To Her”). Find poetry and more in our features about Badger Clark.

The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation now holds Badger Clark’s papers and offers his books for sale. See more at the SDHSF web site.

Top reciter Jerry Brooks recorded “The Old Prospector” for her recent Shoulder to Shoulder CD, and that recording is also included on The BAR-R Roundup: Volume Six.

You can listen to her perform the poem ten years ago at the Western Folklife Center’s 2006 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, where it is introduced, “A master reciter of classic verse, Jerry Brooks worked underground in the coal mines of Utah for 26 years before taking to the cowboy poetry stage.” She returns to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 2017. Find more about Jerry Brooks at CowboyPoetry.com.

This c. 1903 photograph is by C.D. Nichols, from The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Find more about it here.

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

SUMMER STORM by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950

 

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THE SUMMER STORM
by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

The clouds are a comin’ down over the flat,
The lightnin’ is startin’ to flicker.
It is time fer a cow boy to pull down his hat
And git buttoned up in his slicker.

The lightnin’ is shootin’ jest flash after flash,
The wind is a howlin’ and roarin’,
The thunder it shakes the whole earth with a crash
And the rain it comes down jest a pourin’.

The cattle have started to runnin’, the brutes,
Jest hark to ’em rattle their hocks.
The water comes in at the tops of yore boots,
You can feel it a soakin’ yore socks.

The boys is all busy and goin’ full speed,
They are tryin’ to git the steers millin’.
They git to the front and keep bendin’ the lead
To hold the whole shipment from spillin’.

…by Bruce Kiskaddon, 1936

This poem, illustrated by Katherine Field (1908-1951), first appeared in 1936 in the Western Livestock Journal and on the Los Angeles Union Stock Yards calendar.

As Bill Siems writes in his landmark book, Open Range, a monumental collection of Kiskaddon’s poetry, “Western Livestock Journal was one of several interacting businesses clustered around the Los Angeles Union Stock Yards, all engaged in the raising, marketing, and processing of livestock. Almost as soon as the Journal started publishing illustrated poems, the Los Angeles Union Stock Yards began issuing its own series, featuring an illustrated poem and calendar printed on five by ten inch card stock, enclosed with its Monthly Livestock Letter. Beginning with January 1933, these monthly calendars continued in an unbroken series through 1959, using reissued poems after the deaths of Kiskaddon and Field.”

Kiskaddon and Katherine Field never met in person.

Much of what is known about Kiskaddon and his work comes from Open Range. 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.

This poem is in the public domain.

Events: August

Find links to all months here.

•  August 2-3, 2019
22nd National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo Abilene, Kansas

•  August 3,  2019
8th Annual Glade Park Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival Glade Park, Colorado

•••

•  August 8-10, 2019
32nd Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering  Prescott, Arizona

Cowboy silhouette

August 8-10, 2019
Visit our sponsor supporters:  Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering

•••

•  August 8-11, 2019
Edmonton Folk Festival
Edmonton, Alberta

•  August 8-11, 2019
86th annual Omak Stampede and World Famous Suicide Race 
Omak, Washington

•  August 15-17, 2019
21st Annual Western Legends Roundup  Kanab, Utah

•  August 15-18,  2019
34th Annual Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Lewistown, Montana

•  August 16-17, 2019
39th Annual Texas Ranch Roundup Wichita Falls, Texas

•  August 16-18, 2019
27th Annual Stony Plain Cowboy Gathering  Stony Plain, Alberta

•  August 23-24, 2019
Cimarron Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering  Cimarron, New Mexico

•  August 23-24, 2019
River City Roots Festival  Missoula, Montana

•  August 23-25, 2019
13th Annual Ride A Horse Feed A Cowboy  Hulett, Wyoming

•  August 23-25, 2019
American Folk Festival  Bangor, Maine

•  August 25, 2019
17th Annual Newell Farm Concert Berthoud, Colorado

•  August 30-September 1, 2019
62nd Annual Wagon Days Sun Valley, Idaho

•  August 30-September 1, 2019
Celebrate Bandera Bandera, Texas

•  August 31-September 1, 2019
Tumbleweed Music Festival Richland, Washington

•  August 31-September 2, 2019
North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Barriere Fall, British Columbia

 

•••

•  Dates not received for 2019
Scofield’s Cowboy Campfire at Red Mule Ranch Fiddletown, California

•  Dates not received for 2019
Vaquero Heritage Days  San Juan Bautista, California

•  Cancelled
Great Lakes Folk Festival  East Lansing, Michigan

•  No event in 2019
Custer County Cowboy Gathering Westcliffe, Colorado

NOT WAITIN’ ON SOMEDAY by Ken Cook

 

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NOT WAITIN’ ON SOMEDAY
by Ken Cook

“Someday Daddy” is all she said,
One precious want surged ’round her head.
Tiny hands caressed my saddle,
Big blue eyes cried out it’s time for cattle.

You’re gonna make a hand Kasey,
Not waitin’ on someday.
Nothin’s lived by watchin’,
We’re gonna ride today.

From that day on we rode through life,
Ranch work, a man, our dance, his wife.
Now her first born craves cowboy ways,
And I will ride inside her days.

She’s gonna make a hand that girl,
Not waitin’ on someday.
No cowgirl lags back at the house,
We’re gonna ride today.

Memories explode, her Mom and I,
Swallowed hard and felt her anxious eye.
“Someday Grandpa” she clearly said,
I’ll catch her horse…for what lies ahead.

You’re gonna make a hand Shyanne,
Not waitin’ on someday.
Nothin’s lived by watchin’,
We’re gonna ride today.

© 2010, Ken Cook, used with permission

Ken Cook comes from a long line of respected South Dakota cowboys and has perpetuated that line with his and Nancy Cook’s offspring. He wrote this poem for his daughter, Kasey Jo Dawson, and her daughter, Shyanne. They appear on Ken’s recording of the poem on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Nine.

The poem was also inspired in part by an Art Spur at CowboyPoetry.com that featured the late, notable artist Joelle Smith’s painting,”She’s a Hand.” See the art, the poem, and other poems from the Art Spur here.

The photo above of another of Kasey Jo’s daughters, three-year-old Syerra Marie Dawson, was taken shortly before she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in May. She’s undergoing treatment and her prognosis is good. She’s tough. She has responded well to treatments so far, but still has some difficult procedures ahead. Follow her journey at her Caring Bridge site and help support the family through this GoFundMe page.

The photos below are of Syerra and her grandmother Nancy Cook and of Syerra and her two sisters.

Find more about Ken Cook and more of his poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but please request permission for any other uses.)

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Ten

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The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Ten (2016) is a double CD compilation of vintage and contemporary recordings of some of the best cowboy poetry. Find more complete information for all ten volumes at CowboyPoetry.com.

Cowboy poetry records the heartbeat of the working West, a tradition—stories of cowboys, ranchers, and Western writers—that spans three centuries. Its enduring popularity is celebrated at today’s cowboy poetry gatherings and at CowboyPoetry.com, a program of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

This tenth and final edition of The BAR-D Roundup collects the most popular classic and contemporary poetry tracks from the past volumes, including those from early volumes that are long out of print. You’ll find the authentic voices of National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellows (Buck Ramsey, Wallace McRae, Joel Nelson); of past Texas State Poet Laureate Red Steagall; of classic poets in their own voices (Gail I. Gardner, Robert Service, Charles Badger Clark, Jr.); and of many other men and women, respected poets and reciters who are cowboys, ranchers, and Western writers.

The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, The BAR-D Roundup CD and the celebration’s poster (by respected cowboy and artist Gary Morton in 2016) are offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Program. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

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

DISC 1

LOOKING BACK (Bruce Kiskaddon, 1878-1950) from “Looking Backward” Randy Rieman … 0:33
from Where the Ponies Come to Drink (2000); cowboypoetry.com/randyrieman.htm V6

WAITIN’ ON THE DRIVE Larry McWhorter (1957-2003) … 5:49
from The Poetry of Larry McWhorter (2010); jeanprescott.com V5

THE MEDICINE KEEPERS J.B. Allen (1938-2005) …. 1:30
from The Medicine Keepers (1998); cowboypoetry.com/jballen.htm V6

A COWBOYIN’ DAY Gary McMahan … 6:42
from A Cowboyin’ Day (1992); singingcowboy.com  V7

COWBOY COUNT YER BLESSINGS (Larry McWhorter, 1947-2003) Larry McWhorter and Waddie Mitchell … 3:15
from The Poetry of Larry McWhorter (2010); Prescott Music, PO Box 194, Ovalo, TX 79541, jeanprescott.comwaddiemitchell.com V6

COWBOY POETRY IN MOTION Paul Bliss … 2:53
from Pure Bliss (2013); cowboypoetry.com/paulbliss.htm V9

THE BREAKER IN THE PEN Joel Nelson … 5:37
from The Breaker in the Pen (2000); cowboypoetry.com/joelnelson.htm V2

SADDLIN’ UP TIME (Andy Wilkinson) Jerry A. Brooks … 2:43
from Shoulder to Shoulder (2010);  cowboypoetry.com/brooksie.htm V7

THE HORSE TRADE Sunny Hancock (1931-2003) … 4:54
from Sunny (2005); cowboypoetry.com/sunnyhancock.htm V2

HOSSES vs. HORSES (S. Omar Barker, 1894-1985) Paul Zarzyski … 2:04
from Spurrin’ the Words (2005); montana.edu; paulzarzyski.com V2

MY FATHER’S HORSES DW Groethe … 1:56
courtesy of the Western Folklife Center, recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2007), westernfolklife.org;cowboypoetry.com/dwgroethe.htm

WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK (Henry Herbert Knibbs, 1874-1945) Randy Rieman … 2:38
from Where the Ponies Come to Drink (2000); cowboypoetry.com/randyrieman.htm V3

FORGOTTEN (Bruce Kiskaddon, 1878-1950) Jesse Smith … 1:29
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2011); V6

OF HORSES AND MEN Jay Snider … 1:32
from Of Horses and Men (2006); jaysnider.net V4

A COWBOY SEASON Jo Lynne Kirkwood … 5:20
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2007); jokirkwood.com V2

THE CONVERSATION Ken Cook … 2:14
from Cowboys Are Like That (2009); kencookcowboypoet.com V4

BORN TO THIS LAND Red Steagall … 2:58
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2006); redsteagall.com V1

DAD WAS LIKE A COLT Virginia Bennett … 0:31
from Canyon of the Forgotten (1998); cowboypoetry.com/vibennett.htm V1

HORSESHOES AND HEAVEN Kent Rollins … 2:55
from Kent Rollins: Live in Branson (2006); kentrollins.com V2

THE OLD CROCKETT SPURS Andy Nelson … 1:02
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2008); cowpokepoet.com V3

THE GOOD OLD COWBOY DAYS (Luther A. Lawhon 1861-1922) Jay Snider … 4:25
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2008); jaysnider.net V3

TO BE A TOP HAND Georgie Sicking … 1:18
from To Be a Top Hand (2007); cowboypoetry.com/sicking.htm V3

HEADIN’ OUT Diane Tribitt … 1:32
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2010); cowboypoetry.com/dianetribitt.htm V5

ADVICE Deanna Dickinson McCall … 1:00
from Hot Iron (2005); deannadickinsonmccall.com V3

BONES Doris Daley … 0:56
from Good for What Ails You (2006); dorisdaley.com V3

PAYIN’ ATTENTION Carole Jarvis … 2:29
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2012); cowboypoetry.com/carolejarvis.htm V7

HE TALKED ABOUT MONTANA Elizabeth Ebert … 3:00
from Live from Thunderhawk (2002); cowboypoetry.com/elizabethebert.htm  V2

MICHAEL BIA Chris Isaacs … 1:30
from Most Requested Poems (2001); chrisisaacs.com  V5

DEATH OF THE LAST COWHAND Linda M. Hasselstrom … 2:52
from Bitter Creek Junction (2000); windbreakhouse.com V6

DISC TWO

THE MEN WHO RIDE NO MORE Joel Nelson … 3:26
from The Breaker in the Pen (1999); cowboypoetry.com/joelnelson V4

FOUR LITTLE WORDS Jay Snider … 2:52
from Cowboyin’, Horses, and Friends (2000); jaysnider.net  V7

ALONE (Bruce Kiskaddon, 1878-1950) Trey Allen … 1:01
from Cowpoke (2002); trey-allen-amigos.com  V1

ANTHEM Buck Ramsey … 4:33
from Buck Ramsey’s Grass (2005); Texas Tech University Press, www.ttupress.org; www.cowboypoetry.com/buckramsey1.htm V1

I’D LIKE TO BE IN TEXAS (traditional) J.B. Allen (1938-2005) … 2:34
courtesy of the Western Folklife Center, recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (1993), westernfolklife.org;cowboypoetry.com/jballen.htm V4

WHEN THEY’VE FINISHED SHIPPING CATTLE IN THE FALL (Bruce Kiskaddon, 1878-1950) Randy Rieman … 5:07
from Old Favorites (2003); cowboypoetry.com/randyrieman.htm V2

THE SIERRY PETES (or, TYING KNOTS IN THE DEVIL’S TAIL) Gail I. Gardner (1892-1988) … 3:45
from a family recording (1986); cowboypoetry.com/gardner.htm V4

REINCARNATION Wallace McRae ….1:54
courtesy of the Western Folklife Center, recorded at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2012), westernfolklife.org;
cowboypoetry.com/mcrae.htm V7

YEP Rod Nichols (1942-2007) … 1:46
from Yep, A Little Bit More of Texas (2003); cowboypoetry.com/rn.htm  V1

COWBOY BANKER Pat Richardson (1935-2016) … 1:24
from B. Y. O. S. (Bring Your Own Sheep) (2002); cowboypoetry.com/patrichardson.htm V1

WHAT WOULD MARTHA DO? Yvonne Hollenbeck … 2:31
from Where the Buffalo Rhyme (2003); yvonnehollenbeck.com V1

COWBOY LAUNDRY Rodney Nelson … 3:20
from Where the Buffalo Rhyme (2003); cowboypoetry.com/rodneynelson.htm V4

YOO-HOO Jane Morton … 2:45
from Turning to Face the Wind (2004); cowboypoetry.com/janemorton.htm  V1

TOMBOY Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”) … 2:32
from Cowman’s Wife (1996); buckshotdot.com V5

MAGGIE (Wallace McRae) Brigid Reedy … 0:21
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2014); brigidreedy.com V9

PST the III (DW Groethe) Linda Kirkpatrick … 1:51
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2014); lindakirkpatrick.net V9

SOME COWBOY BRAG TALK (traditional) Harry Jackson (1924-2011) …. 1:35
from The Cowboy: His Songs, Ballads, and Brag Talk, FW05723, courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways © 1959. Used by permission,folkways.si.edu; harryjacksonstudios.com V5

THE LEGEND OF BOASTFUL BILL (Charles Badger Clark, Jr. 1883-1957) Jerry A. Brooks … 3:44
recorded by Hal Cannon and Taki Telonidis (2009), courtesy of the Western Folklife Center, westernfolklife.org;cowboypoetry.com/brooksie.htm  V5

BIGFOOT Pat Richardson (1935-2016) … 3:14
from Pat Richardson Strikes Again (2007); cowboypoetry.com/patrichardson.htm V3

BILL’S IN TROUBLE (James Barton Adams 1843-1918) Hal Swift … 1:55
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup (2008); cowboypoetry.com/halswift.htm V3

THE CREMATION OF SAM McGEE Robert Service (1874-1958) … 9:27
from Robert Service in Person (2004), Norlynn Audio Visual Services, reason-for-hope.com V3

CATTLEMAN’S PRAYER (traditional) Dick Morton … 1:32
from Cowboy Classics (2006); cowboypoetry.com/dickmorton.htm  V4

A COWBOY’S PRAYER Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957) … 1:36
from Dakota Voices (1956) courtesy of the Badger Clark Memorial Society; badgerclark.org  V5

HAIL AND FAREWELL (Delia Gist Gardner, 1900-1990) Gail Steiger … 2:11
from The Romance of Western Life (2007); gailsteigermusic.com V2

HOME ON THE RANGE (Brewster Higley, 1823-1911) James Richardson … 2:26
recorded by Ruby T. and John Avery Lomax (1939); courtesy of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress,loc.gov/item/lomaxbib000482 V9

CENTER FOR WESTERN AND COWBOY POETRY RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA) … 0:30
by Baxter Black, top cowboy poet and philosopher (recorded 2009), www.baxterblack.com V4

CowboyPoetry.com includes most of these poems and more information about the poems and poets.

All rights are reserved by the artists and owners of the included tracks.

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Nine is produced by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry with generous  funding support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, Jr., Margaret T. Morris Foundation, and sustaining donors.

Special thanks to Bette Ramsey; the estate of S. Omar Barker; Margaret Allen; Andrea McWhorter Waitley; Jean Prescott; the Gardner and Steiger families; Judith Nichols; Jeff Hancock; Steve Green and the Western Folklife Center; Todd Kesner and Montana 4-H Center; the late Jessie Sundstrom; Stuart Spani; Matthew Jackson; Smithsonian Folkways Recordings; Todd Harvey and the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress; Andy Wilkinson and Texas Tech University Press; Walter Workman; Sylvia and Joel Nelson; Totsie Slover; Jarle Kvale; Francie Ganje; Charley Engel, Waynetta Ausmus, Graham Lees; Alf Bilton; Chris Waddell; Jim Nelson; Andy Nelson, engineer and co-producer (with Margo Metegrano); and all of the poets, reciters, families, publishers, and organizations for poetry and permissions.

 

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Ten (2016), a double CD, is available, postpaid, for a $25 donation.

Proceeds from The BAR-D Roundup support the Center. CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center.

You can order by mail using the form here or send $25 (check or money order in U.S. funds) per copy to:

CowboyPoetry.com
PO Box 1107
Lexington, VA 24450

Postage is included for the U.S. Add $10 US for Canada and other countries.

You can also pay by a secure, on-line credit card payment (a Paypal account is not required):

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CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc. a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. Contributions are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes. The BAR-D Roundup fair market value is $15 and no amount of the $25 donation for its postpaid delivery is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

Find special offers and more about all of the CDs here at CowboyPoetry.com.

MUD by Amy Hale Auker

 

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MUD
by Amy Hale Auker

Give me mud,
heavy black fragrant,
goldfish harbor
at the bottom of a trough.

Give me cows,
bawling cumbersome social,
daughters and sons and families of cows.

Give me light,
flickering non-electric intimate,
creating a circle of us.

Give me solitude
days of books and truth and pages
when the story is the thing.

Give me weather
wind and storms and bright hot
on unprotected skin.

Give me simple
and wet
and real
an abundance of time.

Keep your diamonds,
your malls,
your exhaust fumes,
your schedules,
your busy-ness,
your prescriptions,
your clean.

Give me mud,
heavy black fragrant,
goldfish harbor
at the bottom of a trough.

© 2011, Amy Hale Auker, used with permission
This poem may not be reposted without the author’s permission.

Amy Hale Auker describes herself in a biography at her web site, “I write and ride on a ranch in Arizona where I am having a love affair with rock, mountains, the piňon and juniper forest, and the weather.”

She is the author of three acclaimed books, two novels and an essay collection. Another essay collection, Ordinary Skin, is undergoing final editing.

Find much more about her at CowboyPoetry.com, at AmyHaleAuker.com, and on Facebook.

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