COW FOLKS KNOW-HOW by Darrell Arnold

davemPictured: David McCall; read more below

 

COW FOLKS KNOW-HOW
by Darrell Arnold

The task we perform is not simple
The way to learn how long and rough
We’re men of the land, that’s for certain
Hard working, God fearing, and tough

We’re ranchers, we’re cowboys, we’re people
God blessed with a love for the land
With horses and cattle we use it
With God’s help we rise and we stand

By readin’ the sky in the distance,
By catchin’ a scent in the air
By hearin’ and feelin’ the wind pickin’ up
We know that a storm’s comin’ near

We know how to study the grasses
We know by their color and look
The unprinted signs to change ranges
Writ large in the great cowboy book

We know what a range cow is sayin’
When she glances back toward the brush
Her baby’s back there somewhere, hidin’
Get close and she’ll charge in a rush

We know that a cow might be ailin’
But her step or the droop of her head
That brindle cow’s bag shows mastitis
Come mornin’ she’ll prob’ly be dead

We know to match pairs before leavin’
After movin’ the herd to new ground
Or they’ll try to go back to the old place
Where last a calf’s drink could be found

We understand how to read horses
Who talk just by licking their lips
Or cocking one ear your direction
Or clamping their tails ‘gainst their hips

Start a colt in a hack or a snaffle
But don’t ride him much till he’s four
Let his mind and his body develop
Have a good horse for many years more

We have to know somethin’ ‘bout shoein’ —
Hang iron but don’t cripple your mount
At the gate don’t lose track of the tally
On the palm of your hand write the count

We know just enough about vet work —
C-section a cow in distress —
Or doctor a wound on your pony
He’ll heal if you give it your best

We know that these critters will hurt us
There’s no doubt that our turn will come
Scars and broke bones are a given
It happens to all, not just some

The cows feed our bellies and bank rolls
The horses are good for the soul
We first tend the needs of the critters
Then care for ourselves last of all

But, slowly, the cattle and horses
Will teach us the knowledge we need
Their lives are what we all depend on
All part of the cowboy’s creed.

© 2019, Darrell Arnold
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Darrell Arnold, poet, photographer, and the editor of the much-missed Cowboy Magazine, shares this recent poem. We asked him to tell us about the inspiration for the poem and to bring readers up to date on what he’s doing now, and he replied:

I set out to write a poem about the highly exalted cowboy. It included a few verses about vaqueros and Californios and buckaroos, all told in first person cowboy and kinda braggin’ about being an elite kind of person that other men wanted to be. I soon realized that what I had was two poems in one. I extracted the braggin’ verses and made it into a cowboy-around-the-fire drinkin’ song called “We Are The Highly Exalted.” The verses I had left became “Cow Folks Know-how,” about the knowledge one gains while tending cattle. Noted cowboy poet Terry Nash said the poem was “stocked with truth.” I took that as a high compliment.

As for myself, I’ve moved from Colorado to northern Arizona and am editing The Corriente Corresponder, a newsletter of the North American Corriente Association. I am also writing poems in a style that makes them easy to set music to, and am then sending them to friends who are cowboy/cowgirl singers. Those singers are turning them into songs. I currently have eight works out with Randy Huston, Jean Prescott, and Tom Hiatt. Tom recorded “Cow Work” for his Goodnight from Texas album, after reading it at cowboypoetry.com and realizing it fit in with his other two tribute songs to noted Nevada buckaroo and author Mackey Hedges. The trilogy appears on that CD.

Jean Prescott and I won the Western Writers of America 2018 song- of-the-year award for “The Pitchfork Grays.” That same song garnered a song-of-the-year award from the International Western Music Association in the same year. It is my hope that, a hundred years from now, there might be a cowboy singer out there somewhere singing one of my songs and wondering, “Who in the hell was Darrell Arnold?” I have also written a lot of poetry that isn’t song material, and I hope, eventually, to publish that collection in a second book of poems.

Find more about Darrell Arnold and Cowboy Magazine (with a comprehensive list of issues; there are complete sets and some single issues are available) at cowboypoetry.com. He also has a book, The Cowboy Kind, which he says “…contains photos and interviews with cowboy folks I’ve written stories about for both Western Horseman and Cowboy Magazine,” and a collection of 49 poems, Cowboy Poultry Gatherin’.

Pictured above is popular cowboy and New Mexico rancher David McCall. In this 2011 photograph, he is shown on Pardner, son Rusty McCall’s (1986-2013) horse, and with Blue. The McCall family comes from a long line of cowboys and ranchers, and all current generations, including award-winning Deanna Dickinson McCall, write and recite cowboy poetry. Read her poem written about the same time as this photo was
taken and mentions Pardner, “For Rusty,” at cowboypoetry.com.

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

Submission Guidelines

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Send one poem to: poems@cowboypoetry.com:

•     Include your poem’s title in the subject line.
•     Use plain email, no attachments
•     Do not type in all CAPS
•     Include your name with your poem

If your poem is accepted, we will reply within four weeks. After that time you are welcome to submit another poem.

Our focus is on stories about the life of rural communities and today’s real working West. We look for poems and lyrics that say something original about cowboying, ranching, or rural life, well-written poems and lyrics with strong, developed stories with themes that are uniquely Western.

We encourage poems and lyrics inspired by personal experiences.

We look for works that go beyond platitudes, seeking those that say something new, or say something in a new way about today’s real working West.

We are not looking for idealized “Old West” poems or lyrics. We do consider works with factual historical themes that relate to cowboying, ranching, or rural life.

We are not looking for poems or lyrics inspired by a “Hollywood” view of the West, worn jokes turned into poems or songs, or “bathroom humor.” We do not accept blatantly political, patriotic, religious or romantic poems or lyrics that are not original, well-developed stories about today’s working West. Our focus does not include Christian cowboy poetry.

Works should be suitable for our wide audience, which includes young readers. Works that have been published elsewhere previously are welcome.

Occasionally, poems outside of those guidelines are posted, at the invitation of the editor. Such works are usually poems of merit by poets with a body of work at CowboyPoetry.com.

All are welcome to submit poetry and lyrics. We respond to all submissions; we do not have the resources to offer critiques. Our editorial decisions are final.

Accepted poems and lyrics are posted.

We look forward to reading your work. We get many submissions, and we strive to give each one the proper attention.

If your poem is accepted, we will reply within four weeks. After that time you are welcome to submit another poem.

 

 

WE NEVER RODE THE JUDITHS, by Wallace McRae

wallyjbl_091607_Wally_0040_previewphoto © Jessica Lifland; request permission for any use.

 

WE NEVER RODE THE JUDITHS
for Ian Tyson, by Wallace McRae

We never rode the Judiths
when we were grey-wolf wild.
Never gathered Powder River,
Palo Duro, or John Day.
No, we never rode the Judiths
when their sirens preened and smiled.
And we’ll never ride the Judiths
before they carry us away.

Cowboys cut for sign on back trails
to the days that used to be
Sorting, sifting through chilled ashes
of the past.
Or focused on some distant star,
out near eternity,
Always hoping that the next day
will be better than the last.

Out somewhere in the future,
where spring grass is growing tall,
We rosin up our hopes
for bigger country, better pay.
But as the buckers on our buckles
grow smooth-mouthed or trip and fall
We know tomorrow’s draw
ain’t gonna throw no gifts our way.

And we never rode the Judiths
when we were grey-wolf bold.
Never rode the Grande Ronde Canyon
out north of Enterprise.
No we never rode the Judiths,
and we know we’re getting old
As old trails grow steeper, longer,
right before our eyes.

My horses all are twenty-some…
ain’t no good ones coming on.
The deejays and the Nashville hands
won’t let “… Amazed” turn gold.
We’re inclined to savor evening now.
We usta favor dawn.
Seems we’re not as scared of dyin’
as we are of growing old.

I wish we’d a’ rode the Judiths
when we were grey-wolf wild.
And gathered Powder River,
Palo Duro, and John Day.
But we never rode the Judiths
when their sirens’ songs beguiled
And we’ll never ride the Judiths
before they carry us away.

© 1992, Wallace McRae
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

 

Andy Hedges, in his current podcast—the 50th episode of Cowboy Crossroads—recites “We Never Rode the Judiths” as an introduction to his standout interview with the iconic Canadian songwriter, singer, and rancher Ian Tyson.

Tyson tells about his early music career and the other cowboy-influenced performers in Greenwich Village, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Peter La Farge, Harry Jackson, and others; Elko and the beginnings of his involvement with the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering; traditional cowboy songs; the genius of Bob Dylan and his influence on his own writing; the creation of “Four Strong Winds”; ageing, and much more. Don’t miss it.

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Andy Hedges’ deep respect for cowboy music and poetry tradition informs all of his podcasts. He’s creating a precious oral history archive that includes interviews with Dave Stamey, Waddie Mitchell, Vess Quinlan, Ross Knox, Joel Nelson, Mike Beck, Corb Lund, Jerry Brooks, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Don Edwards, Michael Martin Murphey, and many others. Find them all here.

Wallace McRae, third-generation Montana rancher and National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow is most well known for his own least favorite poem, “Reincarnation.” A closer look at his work shows a body of serious work, thoughtful poetry.

For a wonderful look at this complex man, watch a recent Western Folklife Center video in which he “… tells a true story about Northern Plains ranching, with a moving tribute to a neighbor.”

His stirring, masterful poem, “Things of Intrinsic Worth,” performed in 2013 and a part of WESTDOCUMENTARY, a feature-length documentary work-in-progress by H. Paul Moon.

Wallace McRae has retired from public appearances. Find more of his poetry and more about him in our feature at CowboyPoetry.com. He relishes being known as “The Cowboy Curmudgeon.” You can share this post, but please don’t otherwise use his poem without permission.

The above photograph of Wally McRae is by popular photojournalist Jessica Lifland (jessicalifland.smugmug.comInstagram) as a part of her Cowboy Poetry Project. Other subjects to date include Sean Sexton, Andy Hedges, Jerry Brooks, Waddie Mitchell, Amy Hale Steiger and Gail Steiger, Rodney Nelson, DW Groethe, Elizabeth Ebert, Henry Real Bird, Doris Daley, Bimbo Cheney, Jack Walther, and Bill Lowman.

Jessica Lifland is one of the official photographers for the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Find her gathering photos and her Cowboy Poetry Project photos at jessicalifland.smugmug.com/Cowboy-Poetry-Project.

The photo of Andy Hedges and Ian Tyson is courtesy of Andy Hedges.

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This 1942 photograph by John Vachon (1914-1975) is titled “Lewiston, Montana (vicinity). Judith Mountains.” It is from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) collection at The Library of Congress.

Find an interesting video and more about the FSA collection at The Library of Congress “Documenting America, 1935-1943: The Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photo Collection,” loc.gov/rr/program/journey/fsa.html.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this post and photographs with this poem, but for other uses, request permission. The John Vachon photo is in the public domain.)

THE CUTTIN’ CHUTE, by Linda Kirkpatrick

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THE CUTTIN’ CHUTE
by Linda Kirkpatrick

As the cowboy works the cuttin’ gate
There’s a few things he’s gotta know.
The first and foremost of these things
Is what must stay and what must go.

Now take that ole cow over there
The black with mottled face,
Why she ain’t calved in more than a year;
She’s got no business on this place.

So I’ll just cut her to the left
When she hits the cuttin’ gate,
So far of all the cows to go,
She’ll be number eight.

But when it comes to friends I know
And life is kinda in a tight
There is one thing fer darn sure,
I’ll cut you to the right.

© 2002, Linda Kirkpatrick
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Ranch-raised in Texas Hill Country, Linda Kirkpatrick is known for her poetry, recitations, writings about regional history, chuckwagon cooking, community support, and loyal friendship to many.

She wrote this poem for her friends Ginger and W. B. Patterson, who, like Linda, are from long-time Texas ranching families.

Linda Kirkpatrick is a part of the lineup for the first annual Winnsboro Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the Winsboro Center for the Arts, October 19, 2019. She’ll be joined by Lavern “Straw” Berry, Joe Dan Boyd, Teresa Burleson, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Allan Chapman, “Doc” Davis, Pipp Gilette, Chris Isaacs, Gary Robertson, Hailey Sandoz
with Kristin Harris, Jay Snider, Doug Tolleson, and Conrad Wolfman.

Linda has been a part of the two most recent MASTERS CDs from CowboyPoetry.com, one with a recitation of an S. Omar Barker poem and the another with a recitation of a Bruce Kiskaddon poem.

Linda has poetry CDs and chapbooks, and two books set in her Texas Hill Country. Tales of the Frio Canyon has traveled around the West and around the world, including Rome, Jerusalem, and beyond. Readers send her photos. This photo above is from top cowboy cook Kent Rollins. Find more about Kent and Shannon Rollins and their Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon at kentrollins.com and see great things on their YouTube channel.

Her brand new book is Cord Springs, The Story of a Place in Texas, a deeply researched account of the long history of a piece of a land, from prehistory through settlement, wars, conflict, and ranchland. It’s a place where she spent her childhood, and it will resonate with anyone who has a love or history and who has felt attachment to a place.

Find more about Linda Kirkpatrick, including her books and recordings,
at CowboyPoetry.com and follow her on Facebook for all of the latest news.

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

THE MIGHTY MC, by A.K. Moss

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THE MIGHTY MC
by A.K. Moss

Within the wind a whisper. Can you hear the cattle bawl?
Can you hear the cavvy coming? The cowboys’ yips and call?
Of history in the desert, a million acre spread.
Nineteen thousand head of cattle with one iron, it’s been said
They were hands of twisted fate, in lonesome company.
They have stood here at the gate of the mighty MC.

Cowboys rode her country, the gunsel and buckaroo,
The vaquero, the misfits, and the top hands in the crew,
Such as Cahill, Betsinger, Hill, Gooch and Black,
Names now forgotten, empty saddles on the rack.
Ole Dixon, Nicol, Gunderson, Rupp, and Read,
The last who tell the stories of the hide and tallow breed.
Of the vastness, the hardship, of boys turned to men,
Of the ghosts and legends, stories told without a pen.
They rode on big boned broncs and snorty horses on the bit,
Pulling leather, horn and rawhide, all made of desert grit.

I feel the sand bite as it whips across my face,
I hear them riding in as they quietly take their place.
I stand within its boundaries, where cattle came to drink,
The skeleton of ribbed rails makes me stop and think,
While in the distance I hear the haunting cattle bawl.
I hear the cavvy coming, the cowboys yips and call
As they gather in my heart, no place I’d rather be.
I bear witness in the corrals at the mighty MC.

Most carried a snaffle or bosal, others finished in the spade,
Big circles that they traveled, no tougher horse made.
From a hand, the twist of the wrist, with the silence of a stocker
They cast a Houlihan, the Scoop Trap, or they toss a Johnny Blocker,
A school house of tradition, where no walls or books explain
The art of feel and timing, beyond singed hair, hoof and mane.

In Oregon history, in the sea of sage and sand,
No trace just mystery, no scars upon the land,
Of characters who rode before, just stories now told,
Of the horses and the legacy all prior to being sold.

Within the wind a whisper. Can you hear the cattle bawl?
Can you hear the cavvy coming? The cowboys’ yips and call?
Of history in the desert, a million acres spread.
Nineteen thousand head of cattle with one iron, it’s been said.
They were hands of twisted fate, in lonesome company.
They have stood here at the gate of the mighty MC.

© 2018, A.K. Moss
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Go right to the impressive YouTube collection of photographs of the MC Ranch and its buckaroos and cowboys that Oregon’s Kathy Moss created along with her recitation of this poem.

Oregon’s Kathy Moss comments:

“The Mighty MC” was written about the famous MC Ranch and corrals out of Adel, Oregon, which many know from the song by Ian Tyson, “MC Horses.”

In 2004 we liquidated 83 head of horses from an old friend who passed away. We sold them out of the old MC Corrals. Billie Flick, wife of Leon Flick, had spearheaded the sale. It had been overcast all day with a storm silently brewing into the evening. When we had finished loading the last horse, a silence, a stillness, seemed to have stopped time.

In that stillness I started to think of the history those old corrals had held, the cattle, the cavvy and the boys who rode those raw-boned horses of the desert. The rails, brittle from hard winters and desert sun, told a silent story that only a mystic imagination could picture.

In the dark, a lone cricket lost in the weigh shack started to chirp its evening tune. Billie and I were the last ones to stand in the silence, only for a moment of a very long day, when in that stillness came a sudden gust of wind that blew ghosts through the rails. I could almost hear the place come alive with all that had been.

As varied as her own background—horsewoman, cowboy, poet, novelist, and more—Kathy Moss’s unique recent CD, The Truth, presents diverse voices and moods in poems that speak of authentic experience and pay tribute to important influences in her life and work.

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Listen to a clips from the album at CDBaby. Find more about the CD here on this blog, where you can also find Rick Huff’s “Best of the West” review. Visit A.K. Moss Books on Facebook and her site, akmossbooks.com.

Find Kathy Moss this coming weekend at Colorado’s 31st annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, October 3rd – 7th, 2019. Evening performers include Trinity Seely, Ross Knox, Brooke Turner, Margaret Wilhelm, Greg Hager, Bill Lowman, and Mary Kaye. Daytime performers include Jarle Kvale, Kathy Moss, Paul Larson, Almeda Bradshaw, Tom Swearingen, Thatch Elmer, Ol’ Jim Cathey, Nolan King, Emelia Knaphus, Chris Isaacs, Two Bit Pete, Allora Leonard, Carol Markstrom, Dan McCorison, Slim McWilliams, Dave Munsick, Sam Noble, Jonathan Odermann, Don Schauda, The Sawyer Family, Lindy Simmons, Kacey and Jenna Thunborg, Cora Rose Wood, and Laurie Wood. Find more at durangocowboypoetrygathering.org.

Kathy Moss has been nominated as top female poet by the International Western Music Association. Follow her on Facebook for her upcoming events and more, facebook.com/kathy.moss.585.

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2019 National Day of the Cowboy in Prairie City Oregon, from  left , Billie Flick, Brenn Hill, Joni Harms, A.K. Moss, Andy Nelson

The photo at the top of the page of Don Hill at the MC at sunrise is courtesy of John Langmore.

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

HE TALKED ABOUT MONTANA, Elizabeth Ebert

talked2019

HE TALKED ABOUT MONTANA
by Elizabeth Ebert

He talked about Montana
For he’d worked there in his youth,
And you somehow got the feeling
That most of it was truth.
Talked about the things he’d done there,
Memories from a happy past.
Talked about Montana rivers
Running cold, and deep and fast,
About pines upon a hillside
And mountains rising high,
About the endless reaches
Of a blue Montana sky.

Said he left there at the war’s start,
Went to tell his folks good-bye.
Then there was a wartime wedding
To a girl who got his eye.
Said she’d keep the home fires burning,
‘Til the war was past and won,
Wrote her love to him in letters,
Sent him pictures of their son.
And the letters and the pictures
Helped him bear the death and blood.
And he’d dream about Montana
As he slogged through foreign mud.

They would buy a little ranch there,
And he’d teach the boy to ride.
It would be a bit of heaven,
With his family at his side.
But he came home to discover
Someone else was in his place.
She had found another lover.
It was more than he could face
For he was tired of fighting,
So he merely let them go.
It was then he started drinking,
Just to ease the pain, you know.

He’d work a month cold sober,
And then he’d draw his pay,
He was headed for Montana;
But the booze got in his way,
And he never made it out of town,
‘Fore the money all was spent
And he was busted flat again,
And he didn’t know where it went.
So he’d come back asking for his job.
And he’d hope you’d understand.
And you always hired him on again
For he was a darned good hand.

And he’d talk about Montana.
And you’d get a glimmer then,
Of the cowboy that he used to be,
And the man he might have been
Before the war and wife and whiskey
Had bent him out of shape.
Now the war and wife were history
And the whiskey was escape.
But he swore that he was going back
And he’d do most anything
For Montana sure was pretty
When it greened up in the spring.

Then he finally got an offer
To tend a band of sheep.
It was just for winter wages,
Barely paid his board and keep.
But it was in Montana,
So he was on his way,
He could stand to winter woollies,
He would work for little pay,
For he’d be there in the springtime
When the sky turned clear and blue,
And he’d go back to punching cattle
When his winter job was through.

Don’t know why he left the sheep camp,
Started walking into town,
Maybe he just needed whiskey
To wash the lonely down.
Quick come Montana’s blizzards.
Deep falls Montana’s snow.
And unforgiving are the winds
When they once begin to blow.
He’d come looking for his Paradise,
He hadn’t come to die.
But he froze upon a lonely road
‘Neath a cold Montana sky.

© 1997, Elizabeth Ebert
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

South Dakota’s much-loved poet, the late Elizabeth Ebert, was celebrated for her powerful writing as well as her quick wit and humor.

Baxter Black has said of her (and referring to this poem): “To say that I admire Elizabeth’s writing seems meager comment on her talent. She writes from inspiration with such graceful force it’s like her pen has power steering. There are so many first class pieces in her books, most contemporary cowboy poets would covet even just one so good in their armory. If her poems were mountains and the verses peaks, this would be the eagle soaring over all: ‘Before war and wife and whiskey/ Had bent him out of shape/ Now the war and wife were history/ And the whiskey was escape.'”

Listen to her recite this poem in a 1994 video from the Western Folklife Center.

Journalist Carson Vaughan has written profiles of Elizabeth Ebert and an obituary that appeared in the New York Times.

Find more about Elizabeth Ebert at cowboypoetry.com.

This untitled 1939 photo by Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985) is from The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Farm Services Administration (FSA). It is thought to be from the Quarter Circle U Ranch, Big Horn County, Montana.

Rothstein was a student of Roy Styker, who conceived the documentary photography project for the FSA. Find more about Arthur Rothstein in a Wikipedia article.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem with this post, but any other use requires permission. The photo is in the public domain.)

REINCARNATION, by Wallace McRae

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REINCARNATION
by Wallace McRae

“What does Reincarnation mean?”
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, “It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life’s travails.”

“The box and you goes in a hole,
That’s been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted ‘neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin’ on
Yer transformation ride.”

“In a while, the grass’ll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer moldered grave
A lonely flower is found.
And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now’s become
Yer vegetative bower.”

“The posy that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed,
But some is left that he can’t use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
This thing, that once wuz you.”

“Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin’: ‘Slim,
You ain’t changed, all that much.'”

© Wallace McRae
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission
Wallace McRae, third-generation Montana rancher and National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow penned this modern classic. The NEA comments, in a bio,  that “Reincarnation” is, “…a poem destined to outlive him; it has already become part of oral tradition and is recited by cowboys around the country who have never met the author.”

See a fun video of Wallace McRae and Paul Zarzyski performing “Reincarnation” at the 2009 Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Wallace McRae will tell you that “Reincarnation” is his least favorite of his poems. For a wonderful look at this complex man, watch a recent Western Folklife Center video in which he “… tells a true story about Northern Plains ranching, with a moving tribute to a neighbor.

For another aspect of his work, view his presentation of his stirring, masterful poem, “Things of Intrinsic Worth,” performed in 2013 and a part of WESTDOCUMENTARY, a feature-length documentary work-in-progress by H. Paul Moon at Vimeo.

Wallace McRae has retired from public appearances. Find more of Wallace McRae’s poetry and more about him in our feature at CowboyPoetry.com.

This 2012 photograph, titled, “A lone horse in hill country near the American River at Coloma in El Dorado County, California,” is by Carol M.Highsmith  and included in the Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

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.”

allace McRae relishes being known as “The Cowboy Curmudgeon.” You can share this post, but please don’t otherwise use his poem without permission.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem with this post, but any other use requires permission. This photograph is in the public domain.)

>>>This is a scheduled post. We’re on a break through September 20.