Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur: “Out to Pasture” by Clara Smith

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© Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture,” ClaraSmithArt.com
Request the artist’s permission for any use of this image

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know many that are worthy of a poem or a song. In Art Spur, we invite poets and songwriters to let selections of Western art inspire their poetry and songs.

Our 48th piece offered to “spur” the imagination is a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur, a painting by artist Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture.” The painting is selected as the poster art for the 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week. Find selected poems below.

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Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

Find more in our feature here and visit ClaraSmithArt.com.

SUBMISSIONS

Submissions were welcome from all, through Thursday, April 12, 2018. Selected poems are posted below.

Thanks to all who participated.

Find previous Art Spur subjects here and at CowboyPoetry.com.

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© Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture,” ClaraSmithArt.com
Request the artist’s permission for any use of this image

POEMS:

“Out to Pasture,” by Marleen Bussma of Utah
“In the Shadow of Tree Line,” by Tom Swearingen of Oregon
“My String,” by Kay Kelley Nowell of Texas
“Gettin’ Along,” by Don Hilmer of South Dakota
“At Season’s End,” by Ol’ Jim Cathey of Texas
“The ‘Old Cowboy’ Ranch,” by Terry Hynes of British Columbia
“Out to Pasture,” by David Carlton of Texas
“My Little Piece of Heaven,” by Jeff Campbell of Texas
“Prancing Down the Street,” by Jean Mathisen Haugen of Wyoming
“If Wishes Were Horses,”  by Rodney “Butch” Bailey of Arkansas

 

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OUT TO PASTURE
by Marleen Bussma

The aspen leaves shake heads and gossip as the herd moves by.
A V of geese cries out its caution from the sullen sky.
The mountains doze beneath a frosted blanket woven tight
that hides the summer’s festive mood and brings the winter’s bite.

The cowhands yell and whistle urging cattle down the trail.
They ride their horses easy as they sit back and inhale
the scent of pine and smell of moisture in the seasoned air.
The roundup’s almost over and the horses are aware

they’ll soon be furloughed, turned out for a well-earned winter’s rest.
The shorter days have triggered shaggy coats and they are dressed
in hairy hides that hold the air that traps their body heat
in shiv’ry weather boasting of its stinging snow and sleet.

The countryside gets gent’ler as corral gates gape and stare.
The wind-carved canyon stays behind with smooth walls red and bare.
The pine trees fade to junipers while sage brush spreads and creeps.
The feeble creek winds down in peaceful silence as it weeps.

The last cinch is unfastened and the well-worn tack is hung.
Fatigued and weary cowhands wish the supper bell had rung.
They loiter and they visit as the ev’ning settles in.
Some gaze towards the corral and watch the horses with a grin.

The paint is kicking up his heels and racing ’round a bay
whose ears are laid back on his head not int’rested in play.
The gray is pacing in a circle snuffling at the earth.
He kneels then lies and starts to roll and scratch for all he’s worth.

He writhes and wriggles wrinkling patterns in the dusty ground
then rises for a robust shake as dust flies all around.
He jumps and bucks hard like a saddle bronc that’s scoring high.
His show-off antics advertise that he’s still fit and spry.

A few hands will stay on through winter doing basic chores.
When weather gets too raw outside they’ll tackle jobs indoors.
They’ll mend worn saddles, bridles, chaps, and even darn their socks
as bunkhouse walls creak, cry, and cringe from wind that roars and rocks.

The tempo of the ranch will slow into a quiet beat.
The music of the ranching rituals will be replete—
as horses neigh, the cattle bawl, and coyotes howl and sing.
The chorus will start over with new calves born in the spring.

© 2018, Marleen Bussma
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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IN THE SHADOW OF TREE LINE
by Tom Swearingen

The gray was first to hear it,
With the bay not far behind.
The others quickly turning
To discover what they’d find

Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.
They look for any movement,
Or some other kind of sign

To tell them if it’s danger,
Or if something more benign.
Something that they’ve seen before,
That their memories can align

With instinct and behavior
When familiar, something known
To not be predatory
That will leave them all alone.

Until then they are fearful
Of the sound they can’t define
Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.

On the edge of fight or flight,
They sense something isn’t right.
So ’til they know for certain
They will stand with ears upright,

Their eyes and nostrils scanning
For some motion or a scent
That will tell them in an instant
If to run or be content

With dropping guard and grazing,
Knowing everything is fine
Across the open pasture
In the shadow of tree line.

© 2018, Tom Swearingen
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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MY STRING
by Kay Kelley Nowell

To be a top cow horse takes many skills
And a good one learns to do them all well
Depending on his mind, heart and speed
There’ll be jobs at which a horse will excel.
If I know what the day’s work will bring.
Then, because I’m “horse poor”,  —I can decide
Like a golfer picks the best club to play
I can choose the pony I want to ride.

I’ll catch Tia for the outside circle
You know that bay mare just never gets tired
And Huey if Gene gets to ride this time
Or he’s good to mount some day hand we’ve hired
Pooh-bear is the best at sortin’ cattle
Gypsy Lady if I get to drag calves
If the country’s real rough, I’ll haul that mule
I’m sure thankful for the partners I have.

Big Bud was a good one, back in his day
I really hate it when he bucks with me
When Foxy’d cut— he’d sure scowl at a cow
At thirty-five she’s now a retiree
And then there’s ‘Stache—he’s a four-year-old bronc
Down the road we’ll learn where his talents lie
When his schooling is done, he’ll join my string
And I’ll find a job he likes by and by.

I’ll catch Tia for the outside circle
You know that bay mare just never gets tired
And Huey if Gene gets to ride this time
Or he’s good to mount some day hand we’ve hired
Pooh-bear is the best at sortin’ cattle
Gypsy Lady if I get to drag calves
If the country’s real rough, I’ll haul that mule
I’m sure thankful for the partners I have.

© 2015, Kay Kelley Nowell
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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GETTIN’ ALONG
by Don Hilmer

When I was young—a growin’ child
…..A long long time ago
I fell in love with every horse
…..I ever came to know

I’d ride till it was Supper time
…..And starlight filled the skies
And when I had to turn’em out
…..Sad tears would fill my eyes

Cause every one was special
…..Each one in their own way
While one might come right to ya
…..The next one “moved away”

The Bay might have good manners
…..And always do things right
The Sorrel might graze the edges
…..Or the Gray would cause a fight

The Paints might stick together
…..Old Buck might be the Master
But they all found ways to “Get Along”
…..When you put’em out to pasture.

© 2018, Don Hilmer
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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AT SEASON’S END
by Ol’ Jim Cathey

He was old an’ wrinkled, an’ sun-burned brown,
From time spent on the range.
The aura of age, he wore like a crown,
His life had shore seen change.

Body needin’ a rest, but spirit strong,
His mem’rys kept him true.
Why he could recollect music from life’s song,
See visions in clear view!

He’d come out on the porch to welcome break o’ day,
An’ watch his ponies graze.
The mornin’ gave a quiet an’ peaceful display,
‘Cept for chatterin’ Jays.

He felt the crisp breeze an’ smelt the mornin’ air,
Sunrise, golden an’ clean.
Soon would come heat of  day, color of autumn there,
Just a glorious scene.

So he reverently thanked Mighty God,
For His bounty an’ grace,
For a wonderful life here on this sod,
An’ the beauty of this place.

The gentle nickerin’ of mares nearby,
As they neared foalin’ time.
Fluffy plumes of fall clouds cluttered the sky,
Birds singin’ in soft chime.

True enough, life had sent its ups an’ downs,
Good as well as the bad.
But the Good Lord would wipe away all frowns,
Make a feller feel glad.

Those mares was about all that kept him goin’,
Well, that an’ the Good Lord’s Grace,
…An’ the rains that kept the creeks a flowin’,
Joys he chose to embrace!

He was mighty blessed, nearin’ season’s end,
While mares would bide their time.
He cherished these blessin’s, like an old friend,
Life in rhythm an’ rhyme.

© 2018, Ol’ Jim Cathey
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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THE “OLD COWBOY” RANCH
by Terry Hynes

There’s a nice old cowboy ranch
down the valley so I’m told,
where the round-up is all over
and the branding is on hold.

Where the mustangs are all saddle broke
and the cattle never stray.
Warm sunsets and an evening fire
put close to every day.

The mules are never stubborn,
they seldom try to bite,
and when you’re packing out on them
the cinches all stay tight.

There are no long hard trails
with rocks, and snakes, and dust.
No fences needin’ mending
or gates froze tight with rust.

The barbed wire never cuts you
or rips your new blue jeans,
and never will you have to eat
dry biscuits and them beans.

There’s springs of pure clean water
to quench your weary thirst,
and every mile you ride out on
feels like your very first.

That ranch is out there waiting,
we’ll all get there some day.
But ‘fore we ride on through those gates,
there’s still some dues to pay.

© 2018, Terry Hynes
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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OUT TO PASTURE
by David Carlton

After the gather and the branding is done
All but a few are turned out to run

The summer was hot and the days have been long
But it’s time to recover and winter pastures to roam

The cold is coming with snow and some sleet
It’s time to get well without shoes on their feet

A time to heal backs and work through the pain
Because before you know it they’ll be working again

When the wagon rolls out at the first signs of spring
Some may not be there to rejoin their old string

But for the ones that have made it and rested up well
They’ll greet the young cowboys and show them some hell

© 2018, David Carlton
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

David Carlton comments, “After a hard year under saddle, most of the ranch string is turned out to rest and mend as best they can. A few might be kept in the barn to take care of winter chores. But those with cracked hooves, strained muscles or strained tendons will be turned out to pasture. Cuts and bruises from a rough way of life heal pretty easy, but those with damaged feet, muscles and tendons can take a long time to heal. But come spring, when the horses are brought in, most will be raring to go. Even some of the old horses will run a wrinkle down their back, but the cowboys won’t mind. They’ll just be happy to get back together and begin the New Year.”

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MY LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN
by Jeff Campbell

Oklahoma lays in shades of January brown
I’m trying to make the state line before sundown

From Fort Smith to Little Rock there’s a place in between
For these travelers on I Forty it’s seldom seen

A little piece of heaven that my family owns
A patch of Ozark acres that we call our home

Come morning I’ll wake beside my cherished bride
We’ll saddle up the horses, take a sunrise ride

Close to the foothills, along the property line
Knowin’ the mud on the horses’ hooves is mine

Not a spread that stretches as far as you can see
But this little piece of heaven means the world to me

© 2018,  Jeff Campbell
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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PRANCING DOWN THE STREET
by Jean Mathisen Haugen

He was an appaloosey,
spotted all over his hide.
Vinegar was what he was called
and Tex looked at him with pride.

Vinegar’s pal was another appy
all white with just one spot—
I can’t recall his name right now—
but one spot was all he’d got!

Tex had just retired
from 40 years in the oil fields;
enjoying the time he had on the ranch,
though the hay didn’t provide many yields.

His brother-in-law Bob asked if he could ride Vinegar
in the Sheriff’s Posse in the parade.
“Why, sure you can, but I’ll warn you,
that he’s never been in town, I’m afraid.”

Tex got busy and got him shod,
washed him down and for an elderly horse,
Vinegar was looking good—
but he always had of course.

The 4th arrived and Bob saddled him up
and rode to gather with the Posse.
Vinegar moved right along
and he wasn’t even fussy.

The parade route was down Main Street
and Vinegar fairly pranced.
The kids running out for candy didn’t bother,
he just nearly danced.

The fact was, of all the horses,
Vinegar pretty much stole the show.
Folks commented on that handsome horse,
as down the street he’d go.

For a couple more years Bob and Vinegar
rode in the old time parade,
and each year that horse fairly pranced,
and loved the fuss folks made.

The year came that Bob retired
and I think Vinegar missed the joy and laughter
of the folks spread out along the parade—
but he and Bob both had been put out to pasture.

Tex passed on and his wife kept the horses.
They’d rest neck on neck where the grass was green,
providing each other with a little shade,
and with the mountains it was a peaceful scene.

Now all of them are long gone on
to that Big Pasture in the sky,
where the grass is deep and the shade so cool
and the memories of good horses never die.

© 2018, Jean Mathisen Haugen
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

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IF WISHES WERE HORSES
by Rodney “Butch” Bailey

If wishes were horses, we’d all have a good one to ride,
Into the high country, and way out across the Divide.
We’d saddle our best ones, and travel to the end of the line.
We’d ride up the good trails, and leave all those bad trails behind.

That big fiery stallion is our wish to be brave and be strong.
To stand up for things that are right, and against all the wrong.
We’re proud when we ride him, but sometimes he’s hard to stay on,
We’ve got to keep trying, for he leads all the others along.

For those who are broken, and you who are living in pain.
Out there in the fields, you can see through the fog and the rain,
A small group of mares, all gentle and steady and kind,
Stand ready to guard you, and heal both your heart and your mind.

Way out in the meadow we see the young horses at play,
Our wish that tomorrow would end all the wrongs of today.
Though sometimes the weather is rough, and the trails aren’t too clear,
We can’t give up hope, and it may be the reason we’re here.

If wishes were horses, we’d all have a good one to ride,
Into the high country, and way out across the Divide.
I’ve saddled my best one, I’m riding on out to the shore.
I wish you’d come with me, there’s always a horse for one more.

© 2018, Rodney “Butch” Bailey
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

Rodney “Butch” Bailey is new to CowboyPoetry.com. He shared his bio:

butchbailey.jpg  Butch Bailey was raised down where northern Louisiana, southwest Arkansas, and East Texas meet.  Growing up on the old westerns, he routinely engaged in shoot-outs with his younger brother, who insisted on playing like Jesse James.  Mostly just a trail-rider now, he works these days teaching college (on a pure side note, a cowboy poet with a captive audience is either a great or a tragic thing, depending on what side of the room you happen to be on).  He aspires to write poems that make us laugh, or cry, sometimes stumble upon something that feels true…always in the service of telling a good story.  He and his wife Becky live in Northwest Arkansas where they use their retirement to fund a small herd of Missouri Foxtrotter horses, and spoil their two grandsons.  Butch is working on a book of cowboy poems and stories, entitled A Strength That Never Fails.

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Thanks to all who participated.

 

Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

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Below:
About Cowboy Poetry Week
Get Involved
Rural Library Program
MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD
Poster by Clara Smith 

Elsewhere on the blog:
Cowboy Poetry Week News
Clara Smith, 2018 poster artist  
Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur   

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD  

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COWBOY POETRY
by Jane Morton

The round-ups, the brandings,
the calvings are done,
as ranchers sell out
and move on one by one.

We must tell the stories,
so memories live on,
past time when the tellers
themselves are long gone.

© 2004, Jane Morton

Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States.

In 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventeenth annual—takes place April 15-21, 2018.

In 2018 it is made possible by generous support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield and the individuals and organizations who support the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week, and for the celebration’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Twenty-three states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week since, and many activities take place in communities across the West and beyond.

See the 2018 events—to date—on the calendar here.


GET INVOLVED!

Get your schools, libraries, and community involved! Perform your poetry, donate a book or CD, share your knowledge.

Find ideas about how to get involved here.


THE RURAL LIBRARY PROGRAM

The Rural Library Program is an important Cowboy Poetry Week outreach activity, a part of our mission to serve a mostly under-served community of rural Westerners. Each year, a new compilation CD of top classic and contemporary cowboy poetry is offered, along with Cowboy Poetry Week posters, to many rural libraries across the West. The CD is also available for purchase.


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THE MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD

For 2018, the CD is MASTERS: VOLUME TWO a  double-CD collection of over 60 poems by S. Omar Barker, presented by contemporary poets and reciters and introduced by Andy Hedges.

Find the track list, order information and more news here.

CDs are sent to libraries in Cowboy Poetry Week’s associated Rural Library Program, given to supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts, and available to the public.

Find information about all of the previous CDs, including the first MASTERS CD and The BAR-D Roundup series.

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

THE 2018 POSTER

Young artist Clara Smith‘s painting, “Out to Pasture,” is selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

Find more about Clara Smith in our feature here; at her site,  ClaraSmithArt.com; and on Facebook.

Previous poster artists include Tyler Crow, Duward Campbell, Shawn Cameron, Bob Coronato, Tim Cox, Don Dane, William Matthews, Gary Morton, the late Bill Owen, Jason Rich, R.S. Riddick, and the late Joelle Smith. Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

Posters are never sold. They are sent to participants in Cowboy Poetry Week’s Rural Library Program and sent to Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts.

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Visit our sponsor supporters!

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Cowboy Poetry Week News

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image “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

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Find more about Cowboy Poetry Week here.

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NEWS AND EVENTS

Find Cowboy Poetry Week events on the April calendar.

 

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Poet Sam DeLeeuw has  has organized a number of events for Cowboy Poetry Week at Utah‘s Weber County libraries. Joining her will be poets and musicians Robin Arnold, Thatch Elmer, Saddle Strings, Gordon Champneys, and David Anderson. Find the events on the April calendar.

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For years, the late Stan Tixier organized these events. He is greatly missed and the foundation he created for the programs is appreciated throughout the community.

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Oregon poet Tom Swearingen always takes an active part in Cowboy Poetry Week and this year he’ll be making appearances at the Oregon City Public Library, the East Portland Rotary Club, and the Canby Public Library.

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Find the events on the April calendar.

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Each year, David L. Carlton, seventh-generation Floridian raised in the cattle industry, works with Florida officials for a Cabinet resolution from the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida for Cowboy Poetry Week. Here’s this year’s proclamation:

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Outtoorig  CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know many that are worthy of a poem or a song. In Art Spur, we invite poets and songwriters to let selections of Western art inspire their poetry and songs.

Our 48th piece offered to “spur” the imagination is a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur, a painting by artist Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture.” The painting is selected as the poster art for the 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week.

Submissions are welcome through April 12, 2018. Find more here.

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Utah poet Marleen Bussma helps the Enterprise Branch Library in Enterprise, Utah celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM.

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Russ Westwood, organizer of the popular Mesquite Western Roundup in Mesquite, Nevada, has organized three Cowboy Poetry Week events on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Utah libraries: the Hurricane Branch Library at 5:00 PM; the Washington Branch Library at 7:00 PM; and the St. George Branch Library at 6:00 PM.

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Colorado musician Red Rideout appears at two events celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week:  Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at the Evergreen Library at 6:00 PM and Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the Conifer Library at 6:00 PM.

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Musician and poet Shane Queener received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam:

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Utah poet Sam DeLeeuw received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.

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Nevada poet Dan Bybee received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval:

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Award-winning DJ Totsie Slover of The Real West from the Old West show received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez:

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Washington’s Dayton Memorial Library holds its Second Annual Cowboy Poetry Night on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

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Washington poet, musician, and artist Lynn Kopelke received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Washington Governor Jay Inslee:

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Cowboy, packer, poet and humorist Chris Isaacs received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Douglas Ducey:

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Francie Ganje of Heritage of the American West received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Dennis Daugaard:

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Poet and rancher Diane Tribitt Scott received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton:

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Poet and regional historian Linda Kirkpatrick received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

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cowradio jimandy

Each year for Cowboy Poetry Week, Andy and Jim Nelson’s Clear Out West (C.O.W.)” Radio Show has a special show that includes top cowboy poetry and songs that were originally poems or collaborations with poets.

This year’s program airs April 16-22, 2018 on its syndicated stations, and the following week it is available for listening on the COW web site, clearoutwest.com. The music and poetry selections are:

“Spin That Pony” by Dave Stamey, from a collaboration with Les Buffham; Paul Hamblin’s rendition of “The Strawberry Roan” from Curly Fletcher’s poem; Jon Chandler’s “Back Story” from a poem by Waddie Mitchell; and Don Edwards’ “Ridin’, based on Badger Clark’s poem. Other selections include poems: Baxter Black’s “All Ranch Rodeo”; Waddie Mitchell’s “Evening Chat”; Yvonne Hollenbeck’s “Money in Horses; and Doris Daley’s “Say Hi to Grandpa.”

Clear Out West is “…a weekly syndicated cowboy radio show dedicated to introducing the cowboy culture to new folks, and bringing back some great memories to some old cowboys. Join your hosts, Andy and Jim Nelson, every week for some great cowboy music, some awesome cowboy poetry and some serious goofing off!”

Find more at http://www.clearoutwest.com.

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Wyoming’s Leslie Keltner, cowboy poet, Western songstress, and keeper of traditions received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Wyoming Governor Matthew H. Mead:

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Poet and rancher Terry Nash appears on KWGL, “The Range Legendary Country” radio in Grand Junction, Colorado on Monday, April 16 at 10:20 AM and talks about Cowboy Poetry Week . Visit the station’s Facebook page.

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L.L. “LuckyLindy” Segall celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week, appearing Friday, April 20 at 10:00 AM CDT on KNAF 910 texasrebelradio.com on the “Talk of the Texas Hill Country” show with Jerry Sotello, produced by Angela Compton. He’ll be sharing the late Carlos Ashley’s poetry.

He’s also involved with the first annual “Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering: A Celebration of Song, Story, Poetry and Art” scheduled for November 8-10, 2018 in Fredericksburg, Texas.

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Washington state writer and musician Susan Matley celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on her blog at susanmatley.com. She writes, “Two years ago I interviewed four cowboy poet friends. This week’s blog shares what they’ve been up to since then.” The poets are Janice Gilbertson, Lynn Kopelke, Doris Daley, and Clark Crouch.

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California musician and great friend of the BAR-D Chuck Learn celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on Sunday, April 21 at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival when he will recite classic and modern cowboy poetry  on the Outwest Stage.

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coloflgaj terrynash
Poet and rancher Terry Nash received a proclamation from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, proclaiming Sunday, April 15 as Cowboy Poetry Day:

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Nebraska storyteller and poet Marci Broyhill received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Pete Ricketts:

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Francie Ganje of Heritage of the American West have organized Cowboy Poetry Week activities at South Dakota libraries:

Local libraries celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week

STURGIS, SD – As part of the nation-wide celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week,  libraries in the Black Hills are centering their participation around the Center for Western & Cowboy Poetry’s Rural Library Project.

The program’s mission is to serve as an outreach activity to rural communities where the focus on cowboy poetry and writing  often serves as a history lesson as well as a literary one.

At the Belle Fourche Public Library, Belle Fourche, SD, director Wanda Nelson has created a display that includes Belle Fourche and other area cowboy poet publications.  “Here in Belle Fourche, cowboy poetry continues as  a popular form of literature and entertainment,” says Nelson. “We have a wealth of poets right here close to home.”

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Children’s story hour and a community book walk are part of the activities planned at the Whitewood Public Library.  The community is home to a well-known cowboy poet, Robert V. Carr, who lived there in the late 19th century.  Carr wore many hats during his time in the community – as the editor of the local paper to a student at the South Dakota School of Mines. Memorabilia from the well-known cowboy poet along with other historical memorabilia from Crook City (a community just north of Whitewood that no longer exists) are also on display at the library.

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The Whitewood Cowboy Poetry Walk is set for Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 9:30-3:00pm and features Carr’s life and works.  According to Weyer, there will be a dozen or more displays located along Laurel Street in Whitewood that tell his story – including his participation in Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade.  School children will dress in period costume and there will be a question and answer session following the walk.  The event is open to the public.

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The Rapid City Public Library will feature its popular Local History Room along with a display of cowboy poetry and western literature it offers to patrons year round.  As does the Sturgis Public Library where director Julie Moore Peterson  points out that along with Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018, it is also National Poetry Month.  “Cowboy poetry relates to so many people who work hard every day on ranches and farms,” she observes, “who often times use humor to get over the tough times.” She adds, “I think cowboy poetry should be preserved as an art form because it is an important historical reference as well.”

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Cowboy Poetry Week in South Dakota is recognized by Governor Dennis Daugaard who has signed an official Proclamation in support of the prominent place cowboy poets and western writers hold in the state.

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Poet and horseman Tom Swearingen received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oregon Governor Kate Brown:

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Award-winning DJ Totsie Slover of The Real West from the Old West show aired five tracks from the new MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poetry of S. Omar Barker CD on her April 18, 2018 show:

About S. Omar Barker – Andy Hedges,
“Purt Near!” – Randy Rieman
“Horses vs Hosses” – Paul Zarzyski
“Bear Ropin’ Buckaroo” – Terry Nash
“The Riders” – Andy Hedges

You can listen to the show here.

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idahoflj tommytucker
Tommy Tucker‘s April 20, 2018 “Snake River Radio Roundup” from 1350 AM  KRLC  in Lewiston, Idaho, celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week “with phone interviews with poets Duane Nelson & Tom Swearingen and special in studio guest “Grampa Nord” (Dave Nordquist).” The show included live performances and cowboy poetry and Western music.

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South Dakota’s KEVN television reported on the Cowboy Poetry Week event in Whitewood,  “Whitewood students learn about local Cowboy Poet.”  As noted above, “The community is home to a well-known cowboy poet, Robert V. Carr, who lived there in the late 19th century.  Carr wore many hats during his time in the community – as the editor of the local paper to a student at the South Dakota School of Mines. Memorabilia from the well-known cowboy poet along with other historical memorabilia from Crook City (a community just north of Whitewood that no longer exists) are also on display at the library.”

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THANK YOU!

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It will be a great 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week, and behind it are the people who make it and the Rural Library Program and everything else possible at the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry: the generous supporters.

Thanks to those whose generosity fuels all of the Center’s programs (February, 2017-February 2018):

Bryce Angell, ARIZONA COWBOY POETS GATHERING (sponsor), Armovaz, Denise Arvidson in memory of Ross Christian Arvidson, Sally Baldus, Michael Babiarz-KVMR, Stephen Barnard, Norma Battenfield, Valerie and Floyd Beard, ALMEDA BRADSHAW (sponsor), Bert and Carol Braun-THE COWPOKE FOUNDATION in memory of Pat Richardson (sponsor), Paul R. Brown III, Wendy Brown-Barry, Jerry Brooks, Marci BROYHILL (sponsor), Marleen Bussma, Daniel Bybee, Ron Cagle, Greg Camp, Jeff Campbell, Maurice Carter, Jim and Stella Cathey in memory of Joan Taylor and Garland Haak and Louise M. Fritts,  Steve and Marge Conroy in memory of Allen “Hook” Hill, KEN COOK (sponsor), Hugh Cooke, Doris Daley, Teddie Daley, Marvin and Elaine Del Chiaro, Eileen Dirksen in memory of “California” Steve Dirksen, Patricia Frolander, Charmaine Ganson,  Del Gustafson, Jean Mathisen Haugen, Thomas F. Hawk, HEBER VALLEY WESTERN MUSIC & COWBOY POETRY GATHERING (sponsor), Buzz Helfert, Sarah Hendricks, YVONNE AND GLEN HOLLENBECK (sponsor), Eldon Housley, Judy James, Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”), Laverna B. Johnson, Robert Kinsey, Linda Kirkpatrick, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Susie Knight, Colleen Kohler, Lynn Kopelke, Georganna Kresl, Jarle Kvale, CHUCK AND CINDY LEARN (sponsor), Deanna Dickinson McCall, Gary McMahan-HorseApple Entertainment, Susan Matley in memory of Liz Masterson, Al “Doc” Mehl, Rod Miller, Howard Moon, Dick Morton, Mike Moutoux, Terry Nash, NATIONAL COWBOY POETRY RODEO (sponsor), ANDY NELSON-CLEAR OUT WEST (sponsor), Rodney Nelson, Nika Nordbrock, Kay Kelley Nowell, Dale Page, Shelly Pagiliai-Prairie Moon Quilts, Susan Parker, Maryanne Patterson, Linda and Bill Patterson, JEAN AND GARY PRESCOTT (sponsor), Shane Queener,  Cindy Quigley, Paul Quinton, RANGE (sponsor), George Rhoades, Diana Rice, Barbara Richhart (Western Belle)-Cowtrails, Betty and Ken Rodgers in memory of Trisha Pedroia, Roberta Rothman, Chester Roundtree, Sandy Seaton Sallee, Marjorie Satterfield, Mary Seago, Ron Secoy, Susan Shuma, Totsie Slover, Lawrence Smith, Sally Smith-Joelle Smith Western Art, SANDI AND JAY SNIDER (sponsor), Marilyn and Kip Sorlie, SPALDING LABS’ FLYING SL RADIO RANCH SHOW (sponsor), Dave Stamey, David Stanley, Patrick Sullivan, Rocky Sullivan, Sunshine Prairie Farm, Tom Swearingen, P’let and Mike Tcherkassky, Jim Thompson (California), Smoke Wade,  John Waters, WESTERN FOLKLIFE CENTER (sponsor), WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION (sponsor), and Jim White.

Thanks also to the Margaret T. Morris Foundation for foundation support and to Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, Jr. for substantial program support.

Be a part of it all! Join this great community of people helping to preserve and promote the arts and life of the real working West: https://blog.cowboypoetry.com/joinus.

 

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GOVERNORS’ PROCLAMATIONS

For Cowboy Poetry Week’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Week celebration. In past years, twenty three states’ governors have officially proclaimed Cowboy Poetry Week and there are a growing number of activities across the West and beyond.

Last year (2017) poets and others who worked on Cowboy Poetry Week recognition from state officials, included: Chris Isaacs (Arizona), Terry Nash (Colorado), David L. Carlton (Florida), Bobbie Hunter (Idaho), Geff Dawson (Kansas), Diane Tribitt (Minnesota), DW Groethe (Montana), Marci Broyhill (Nebraska), Dan Bybee (Nevada), Totsie Slover (New Mexico), Keith Ward (North Carolina), Jarle Kvale (North Dakota), Jay Snider (Oklahoma),  Shane Queener (Tennessee), Linda Kirkpatrick (Texas), Jerry Brooks (Utah), Lynn Kopelke (Washington), and Leslie Keltner (Wyoming).

We’re interested in pursuing recognition in all states with ranching cultures and cowboy poetry activities. If you’d like to be involved, this year or in the future, please email us.

For 2018, the following states’ governors are being contacted, alphabetically by state. This list is updated frequently. Please let us know if you are contacting your governor, so that we can avoid duplicate efforts.

azlfag  Arizona – Chris Isaacs (received)

coloflgaj Colorado- Terry Nash (received)

florida77  Florida-David Carlton  (received)

idahoflj Idaho – J.B. Barber, Cowboy Poets of Idaho

minnflag  Minnesota – Diane Tribitt Scott (received)

montanaflg Montana – DW Groethe

nebraskaflag Nebraska – Marci Broyhill (received)

nevadaflagj Nevada – Daniel Bybee (received)

nmflag New Mexico-Totsie Slover (received)

ndflagj North Dakota – Jarle Kvale

okflag Oklahoma – Jay Snider

orflagj Oregon-Tom Swearingen (received)

sdglag South Dakota – Francie Ganje, Heritage of the American West (received)

tnflagy Tennessee – Shane Queener (received)

texasflag Texas-Linda Kirkpatrick (received)

utstflagj Utah – Sam DeLeeuw (received)

washstflg Washington – Lynn Kopelke (received)

wyostflgj Wyoming – Leslie Keltner (received)

Find more about Cowboy Poetry Week here.

Cowboy Poetry Week (and “Hooves of the Horses” by Will Ogilvie)

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HOOFS OF THE HORSES
by Will Ogilvie (1869-1963)

The hoofs of the horses!—Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird
Can stir me as hoofs of the horses have stirred.

They spurn disappointment and trample despair,
And drown with their drum-beats the challenge of care;
With scarlet and silk for their banners above,
They are swifter then Fortune and sweeter than Love.

On the wings of the morning they gather and fly,
In the hush of the night-time I hear them go by—
The horses of memory thundering through
With flashing white fetlocks all wet with the dew.

When you lay me to slumber no spot can you choose
But will ring to the rhythm of galloping shoes,
And under the daisies no grave be so deep
But the hoofs of the horses shall sound in my sleep

by Will Ogilvie from “Galloping Shoes,” 1922
We are pleased to introduce the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster, “Out to Pasture” by Oregon’s Clara Smith (ClaraSmithArt.com), selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on her painting, “This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.”

From her official bio: “Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.”

Find a sampling of other works in our feature at visit www.ClaraSmithArt.com.

Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States.

In 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventeenth annual—takes place April 15-21, 2018.

Hundreds of rural libraries receive the Cowboy Poetry Week poster and an invitation for the year’s CD. This year, there is a double-CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker, with over 60 tracks by today’s popular reciters and poets.

CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week, and for the celebration’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Twenty-three states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week since, and many activities take place in communities across the West and beyond.

Spread the word! Share the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, get involved.

Scotsman Will Ogilvie lived in Australia for a dozen years, where he became a top station hand, drover, and horse breaker.

Wylie Gustafson set the poem to music, and the song appears on Wylie & the Wild West’s Hooves of the Horses CD. Find a video here.

In a 2017 episode of Andy Hedges’ Cowboy Crossroads, respected horseman, braider, and reciter Randy Rieman gives his impressive presentation of the poem (at 39:40).

Ogilvie was a popular writer who contributed to the Bulletin—the paper that published poets and writers including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Harry “Breaker” Morant (Ogilvie’s close friend), and others—even after his return to Scotland.

Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

 

Artist Clara Smith

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“Out to Pasture,” © 2017, Clara Smith

 

Clara Smith‘s painting, “Out to Pasture,” is selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara.JPG

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

A sampling of other works:

Good Ol' Gray“Good Ol’ Gray,” © Clara Smith

 

Little Red
“Little Red,” © Clara Smith

 

Reloading
“Reloading,” © Clara Smith

Find more about Clara Smith at her site,  ClaraSmithArt.com, and on Facebook.

Previous poster artists include Tyler Crow, Duward Campbell, Shawn Cameron, Bob Coronato, Tim Cox, Don Dane, William Matthews, Gary Morton, the late Bill Owen, Jason Rich, R.S. Riddick, and the late Joelle Smith. Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

Posters are never sold. They are sent to participants in Cowboy Poetry Week’s Rural Library Program and sent to Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts.

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