FULL NELSON SHOEING by Andy Nelson

Andy and James Nelson shoeing.   June 25, 2006   Photo By Stuart Johnsonphoto by Stuart Johnson

FULL NELSON SHOEING
by Andy Nelson

Yep, we are the guys, your mothers despise,
they do not care for what we are doing;
We just shoe horses, have no resources,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

With work tools in hand, we travel the land,
poor bare footed foals we are pursuing;
We have forge to go, smell like DMSO,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Either donk or steed, we got what you need,
we will shoe anything that ain’t mooing;
Our old spines are wrecked, we’re a bit red-necked,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

The shoers are twice, and so is the price,
and there is no sense sitting there stewing;
Want it done today, should have called (2 weeks ago) yesterday,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

The price tag expands, with certain demands,
and if Buttercup needs a shampooing;
We do not do fluff, neither wax nor buff,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Bad habits may abide, were we reside,
but neither of us indulge in chewing;
We may impart, with an occasional… belch,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Our bellies may sag, and our butts may drag,
but you will never hear us boo-hooing;
Fresh Krispy Kremes, dance in our dreams,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Then it’s Mountain Dew, for me and for you,
it’s them with deep pockets we are wooing;
Some show horses here and a race track near,
for the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Sweaty and dirty, never look purty,
a good batch of B.O. (body odor) we are brewing;
The smell we built, could make a flower wilt,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

I’ve so many scabs, on my arms and abs,
it looks like I received some tattooing;
Your horses are fine, this blood is all mine,
and from the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Proud to be farriers, not man-purse carriers,
we shoe horses for riding and not gluing;
We’re rugged and tough, we can’t get enough,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Now, if your horses kick, strike, bite or lick,
here’s some tips to avoid someone suing;
Just go to the mall and don’t even call,
the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

© Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Andy Nelson, poet, humorist, farrier, radio show host, rodeo announcer, emcee, and more is one of those talents who can make you double over with laughter one minute and draw a tear the next. His new book, Culling the Herd: Poems That Made the Cut, collects many of his best, from those on the edge of the pearl-clutching precipice of political correctness to those written in pious reflection.

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Speaking of political correctness, the book’s hilarious Disclaimer sets the tone. There’s everything from soup to nuts, with an emphasis on the nuts (human, equine, canine, feline, bovine, and porcine). There are favorites corralled in chapters, such as “Harvey’s Moon,” in the “Nailing on the Shoes” chapter; “Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death” from “You’ve Been a Friend to Me”; “Hogzilla” from “I’m Not Sure I buy That”; “Last of the Luman Cattle” from “No Ordinary Life”; “Only a Cowboy Knows” from “Opposites Attract”; and “The Old Crockett Spurs” from “All in the Family.”

A selection of Christmas poems includes the popular “Santa Must be a Shoer.” There’s an unexpected group of poems in a chapter called “End of the Day,” spiritual poems, some that are tributes, all from the heart of this poet known as one of the nicest guys in the cowboy poetry world.

In the book’s foreword, Baxter Black comments, “He reminds me a little of Bruce Kiskaddon, simple yet articulate, prolific, smooth and most of all…they’re funny. Waddie Mitchell’s blurb states, “Andy Nelson is noted as one of the best on stage cowboy poet entertainers in the game today, and deservedly so. He’s likable, funny, witty, interesting, knowledgeable and writes great material.”

Top cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane provides an action-packed cover and illustrations throughout. There are also many fitting photos from a variety of photographers.

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Andy Nelson hosts the weekly syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show with his brother Jim Nelson. Andy Nelson shared this picture of the duo, taken by award-winning Utah photographer Stuart Johnson.

Find Culling the Herd and more about Andy Nelson at his site, cowpokepoet.com.

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SANTA MUST BE A SHOER by Andy Nelson

Santa Shoer
© 2019, illustration for “Santa Must Be a Shoer” by Ben Crane from Andy Nelson’s forthcoming book, Culling the Herd: Poems That Made the Cut (January, 2020)

SANTA MUST BE A SHOER
by Andy Nelson

They say he’s a jolly ol’ elf,
you’ll never find one truer;
But the way I see it myself,
Santa must be a shoer.

Someone’s got to trim the reindeer,
and sharp-shoe those little hoofs;
As they dash through the wild frontier,
and land on ice-covered roofs.

So, to me it makes perfect sense,
that Santa nails on the shoes;
I present this as evidence,
backed up with various clues.

He’s dressed in fur from head to foot,
cause he’s a hairy feller;
He’s covered all over with soot,
like a blacksmith shop dweller.

The sound you hear ain’t jingling bells,
it’s his anvil that’s ringing;
A sound more fine than chorus swells,
or herald angels singing.

A beard as white as frosted peaks,
with a pipe stump stuck in place;
Merry dimples and rosie cheeks,
but not the ones on his face.

Bending plagues this reindeer drover,
rear-end cleavage stripes his back;
Like a peddler bending over,
and opening up his pack.

When he squats down to put out toys,
his belly rests on his thighs;
A comfy stance for shoeing boys,
of typical shape and size.

Don’t know ’bout his droll little lips,
all drawn up into a bow;
Nor why his pants sag on his hips,
but this I really do know

It’s a short season spreading cheer,
he works hard to get through ‘er;
But what’s he do the rest the year?
Santa MUST be a shoer.

© 2013, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission

Award-winning poet, popular emcee, and co-host of  Clear Out West radio (C.O.W.) with his brother Jim,  Andy Nelson comes from a family of farriers. His award-winning book, Ridin’ with Jim, includes his poems and stories as well as stories about and by his farrier father. Back in 2008 in a Picture the West at CowboyPoetry.com, Andy sent this photo, which represents three generations of farriers.

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At the time, he wrote:

 On the left is my Dad’s shoeing apron (chaps) with one of his many hoof knives in the pocket, my shoeing apron is in the center with one of my hoof knives in the pocket and on the right is the shoeing apron my son Dylan asked for on his 17th birthday…with a new hoof knife in the pocket. On the shoeing apron in the middle (mine), you can see some writing below the brand. Dad gave me the apron for my birthday, burned the brand on it and wrote the brand’s history beneath it…

See the interesting close-up photo of the brand history in the Picture the West entry here.

Andy Nelson recites his poem on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 8, a double CD of modern and classic Christmas cowboy poetry from CowboyPoetry.com. It’s a great gift; read about it and find order info at cowboypoetry.com. The poem is also on his How I Taught Bruno a Lesson CD.

Listen to this poem featured this week on Totsie Slover’s “Real West from the Old West” popular radio show.

Find Andy Nelson at many events, including at the Lone Star Cowboy Gathering  in Alpine, Texas, February 21-22, 2020. The lineup includes Mike Blakely, Dale Burson, Craig Carter, Allan Chapman & Rodeo Kate, Doug Figgs, Jack George, Pipp Gillette, Jeff Gore, Amy Hale Steiger, Andy Hedges, Randy Huston, Jim Jones, Jill Jones, Jarle Kvale, Deanna McCall, Terry Nash, Andy Nelson, Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Gary Prescott, Jean Prescott, Mike Querner, Vess Quinlan, Brigid & Johnny Reedy, Randy Rieman, Jake Riley, Trinity Seely, R.P. Smith, Jay Snider, Red Steagall, Gail Steiger, Michael Stevens, Rod Taylor, The Cowboy Way —Jim Jones, Doug Figgs and Mariam Funke, Andy Wilkinson, and Jim Wilson. Visit lonestarcowboypoetry.com for more information.

Andy’s new book, Culling the Herd: Poems That Made the Cut, will be available January 1, 2020 at cowpokepoet.com and by email, andy@cowpokepoet.com. The book is illustrated by popular cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane and the image included at the top of the page was created for “Santa Must Be a Shoer.”

Find more about Andy Nelson, his schedule, his poetry, books, and recordings at cowpokepoet.com and listen to the always entertaining Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio at clearoutwest.com/listen-to-cow.html.

(You can share this poem and photos with this post, but any other uses require permission.)

THOSE WERE THE DAYS, by Andy Nelson

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THOSE WERE THE DAYS
by Andy Nelson

Two brothers sat on a porch just talking,
About the way it used to be;
They debated the good old days while rocking,
But they never seemed to agree.

Seems each of them recalled it differently,
From the way the other one did;
Many years had passed, and not very gently,
From the time that each was a kid.

Bro 1: “Do you remember the pond in the forty,
Where we would skinny dip all day;
Boy, those were the days when a kid was set free,
We’d just pass the hours away.”

Bro 2: “But don’t you remember the stinging nettle,
That adorned our favorite pool;
When you fell, it really tested your mettle,
You couldn’t even walk to school.”

Bro 1: “What about the clod fights in the garden spot,
We’d spend hours pelting each other;
Ah, those were the days that just cannot be bought,
Quality time with your brother.”

Bro 2: “Don’t you remember when I picked up a rock,
And chucked it instead of a clod;
It knocked you out cold and it left a nice pock,
And I swear you nearly saw God.”

Bro 1: “How about BB gun trips to the old dump,
We’d shoot up beer bottles and cans;
Now those were the days, we’d reload by the stump,
Gunfighting those old pots and pans.

Bro 2: “But don’t you remember that rusty old nail,
You stuck though the sole of your boot;
And the tetanus shots that made you turn pale,
Oh ya, that was really a hoot.”

Bro 1: “But you have to admit the hours we spent
horseback was the time of our lives;
Oh, those were the days, all the places we went,
Pretending to be on the drives.”

Bro 2: “Ya, but don’t you recall when that little paint,
Dusted you off under a tree;
You broke your arm in three places, and that ain’t
counting what he did to your knee.”

Bro 1: “Well, you make it sound like our childhood just sucked,
That nothing we did was of worth;
That all our dogs bit and every horse bucked,
And did since the day of our birth.”

Bro 2: “That’s not what I’m saying, don’t make it sound bad,
Our childhood went out in a blaze;
I enjoyed each and ev’ry wreck that you had,
I’m telling you, those were the days!”

© 2019, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without the author’s permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show. Listen to the current and past shows here.

This poem comes from his own life, and Andy comments, “We had the best childhood ever, the kind that everyone dreams of. It is a wonder that we made it to adulthood in one piece… but that doesn’t mean we grew up! One thing is for sure and for certain though, big brother Jim is not just my brother, he is my hero and my best friend.”

Andy Nelson’s most recent CD is Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. Find more about it and an included poem in a brief review here. Andy is at work on a new collection of his poems, due out at the end of the year.

Andy keeps a busy schedule and one place he’s headed is Utah’s 25th annual Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering, October 23-27, 2019. The popular five-day event has 33 shows on 8 stages with additional attractions, exhibits, and vendors.

There he will join poets Waddie Mitchell, R.P. Smith, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jeff Carson, Jake Riley, and Rolf Flake. Featured musicians are Diamond Rio, Michael Martin Murphey, Bar J Wranglers, Billy Dean, Andy Griggs, Rory Feek, John Wayne Schulz, Brenn Hill, Sourdough Slim, Carin Mari, Erica Hansen, High Country Cowboys, Molly in the Mineshaft, Many Strings, The Cowboy Way, Stacy Despain, Belinda Gail, Hank Cramer, Charley Jenkins Band, Carter Junction, Flyover Town, In Cahoots, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.

heberposter2019

This year’s impressive poster for the Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering is by Steve Devenyns.

Find Andy Nelson’s complete schedule and more at cowpokepoet.com.

Pictured: Andy and Jim Nelson.

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

We’ll be on a break from September 6-20,
but there will be regularly scheduled posts.

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! by Andy Nelson

daronl2019

FELINE FAIR ENTERTAINMENT
by Andy Nelson

Daron showed up at the local coffee shop,
Like he does on Sunday mornings;
But this time looking like a lion tamer,
Who had failed to heed the warnings.

His forearms and fingers were scraped, scratched, and scabbed,
Like he had choked a weed-eater;
He confessed he felt as if he had fallen,
Into a giant egg-beater.

The story shared was not a glamorous one,
Like fighting a moose with a bat;
Turns out that Daron had a wrestling match,
With his daughter’s 4-H show cat.

Riley grew bored of the regular projects,
The kind that were raised on the range;
So, she asked her dad if this year she could take,
One of their barn cats for a change.

Anxious to teach her the value of livestock,
Daron opted to acquiesce;
Ol’ Fluffball would be her 4-H show kitty,
And he cursed the day he said yes.

Fluff was as homely as a two-track dirt road,
For a barn cat, he was quite tame;
He looked like he crossed with an angora goat,
And built on a jackrabbit’s frame.

But after a little of Mama’s shampoo,
And some Aqua-Velva for smell;
Fluff was ready for the county fair show ring,
Daron for a foray in Hell.

The encounter started quite innocently,
Until Fluff succumbed to the shakes,
It went downhill like a Radio Flyer,
Full of fat kids, without any brakes.

Poor ol’ Fluffball was a heckuva mouser,
But he had never been to town;
So, when prodded by feline arbitrators,
That is when the fracas went down.

Fluff squirmed like a bobcat in a gunny sack,
Daron leapt to save his daughter;
Logic was obliterated by instincts,
He dove head-long in the slaughter.

Certain he could “cowboy” his way through this,
He grabbed Fluff by the scruff of the neck;
While most cats go limp, Fluffball went ballistic,
Spawning a spectacular wreck.

It looked like he clutched a runaway grinder,
Armed with razor-sharp teeth and claws;
As he fought to get a grip with his off hand,
He was distracted by applause.

A crowd had gathered to witness the showdown,
They thought someone was boxing a bear;
One guy screamed, “This is the best entertainment
we have ever had at the fair!”

While agreeing to sign autographs after,
Daron plunged back into the bout;
Applying a feline MMA choke hold,
Hoping the kitty would tap out.

Fluff finally agreed to forfeit the match,
After Daron ran out of blood;
Light headed and woozy, they slunk to the truck,
And rolled down the lane in the mud.

The ride home was uneventful and quiet,
Unlike the preceding cat show;
Fluffball is in counseling and therapy,
And Daron is healing up slow.

Everything’s back to normal on the home place,
Next time, Riley’s taking a steer;
But the fair board is now struggling to find,
A more thrilling act for next year.

© 2019, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be re-posted or reprinted without permission.

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host, with his brother Jim, of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

This poem was inspired by a story told by Wyoming cowboy and songwriter Daron Little. When we asked about the poem, Daron Little replied, “The events of said poem truly happened.”

Andy Nelson’s recent CD is Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. He’s at work on a book of poems. At cowpokepoet.com, find more about him and his other books and CDs and see his schedule–which includes the 7th Annual C.O.W. Cruise, June 16-27, 2019, to Alaska, with the special added attraction of Dave Stamey.

See the C.O.W. radio archives and tune in at clearoutwest.com. The show is now available by podcast.

As Daron Little’s web site bio tells, he “…cowboys for a living on the TA Ranch north of Saratoga Wyoming…Daron lives in a house full of women with his wife and three daughters, which is probably poetic justice.”

Check out Daron Little’s new album, Support Your Local Cowpuncher, and find much more about him and his music at ranchcowboymusic.com.

Photo courtesy of Daron Little, by Jan Sewell.

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

THE LAST OF THE LUMAN CATTLE by Andy Nelson

anluman1

THE LAST OF THE LUMAN CATTLE
by Andy Nelson

The morning weather matches my demeanor,
Somewhat cloudy and overcast;
I am rattling down the old homestead lane,
For what is sure to be my last.

I do not remember the number of times,
I traveled this road in my youth;
But to say that this ranch is a part of my life,
Sure wouldn’t be stretching the truth.

All the songs mention that the seasons will change,
Then spring will arrive and unpack;
But unlike the dead leaves that tumble from trees,
This outfit will never grow back.

A century and a quarter of hard work,
Now divided goes up for sale;
I am not pointing fingers nor casting stones,
But for me, it’s just the last nail.

I swallow a lump and remember ol’ Buck,
The mount that was cut out for me;
An old cow moose put us both in the river,
She jumped us from out of the trees.

The pole gate that I built still swings back and forth,
Though it looks a little worse for wear;
It creaks out some stories, that now are all gone,
But none the less, it is still there.

I unload big Jed, who now is my go-to,
And make one last circle with him;
We ride the cottonwoods and gather the pairs,
And bring them down off of the rim.

It’s almost like they know this is the end,
Through the last gate, then to the pen;
They make one last break, but we get them turned in,
Acquiescing the will of men.

Sorting cows from calves, then the heifers from steers,
Ready to load young and old ones;
In defiance, one wild cow clears the top rail,
I can’t help but smile as she runs.

But as the stock trucks back to the loading chute,
Reality pierces my heart;
A rumbling of hooves as the trailer door slams,
The oration tears me apart.

I follow horseback as the trucks drive away,
This is the end of a battle;
The vestige and lore of the old Luman ranch,
Left with the last of the cattle.

© 2018, Andy Nelson, used with permission
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

Andy shared this poem and photo and told us, “I worked this ranch the summer of ’84. The widow and her son that I worked for are long gone and the ranch has been sold. It is a melancholy offering and was a hard one to write. The pole gate I talk about can be seen in the pic of us following the trucks out of the yard.”

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Find Andy later this week at the Heber Valley Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering (Heber City, Utah, October 24-28).

He will be joining poets Waddie Mitchell, Randy Rieman, Jeff Carson, Doris Daley, Jo Kirkwood, and Al Doc Mehl and musicians John Anderson, Suzy Bogguss, Bar J Wranglers, Max T. Barnes, Dave Stamey, Hot Club of Cowtown, Brenn Hill, Jack Hannah, Ed Peekeekoot, Ryan Fritz, Trinity Seely, Charley Jenkins Band, Dyer Highway, High Country Cowboys, Gary McMahan, Stacy Despain, Nancy Elliott, Randy Huston, Stewart MacDougall, Many Strings, Kenny Hall, Kristen J. Lloyd, In Cahoots, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.

Andy Nelson’s latest CD is Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. Find more about it in a brief review along with a poem from the CD in a recent post on this blog.

Find Andy Nelson’s complete schedule, CDs and books, and more at cowpokepoet.com.

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

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WHEN THE DOGS TOOK OVER THE RANCH by Andy Nelson

stubby
WHEN THE DOGS TOOK OVER THE RANCH
by Andy Nelson

The day that the dogs took over the ranch,
Was a day just like the others;
They figured they had all the help they needed,
With all their sisters and brothers.

So, they fired the people and sent them away,
And divvied the chores between dogs;
Each of them having at least some expertise,
In caring for cattle and hogs.

The Border Collie was voted the foreman,
The Aussie was next in command;
And barked out orders to the rest of the pack,
“Oy, muster the doggies at hand.”

“Aye, get off yer bahoochies,” snapped a Sheltie,
The Kelpie yelped, “Good on ya, mate;
No one could understand the Catahoula,
As he sat there blocking the gate.

An English sheep dog woofed, “I’ll watch the woolies,”
“For this purpose, I’ve been tutored;”
The Heeler howled, “I’ll take care of the Sheilas,”
Even though he had been neutered.

And they did just fine for a while on the ranch,
Everything seemed hunky dory;
Til one day a snotty scotty terrier,
Marked another’s territory.

Then they all began to bark more and wag less,
And it came to a fever pitch;
When the Dachshund was fired the day after he called
the boss’s sister a bitch.

The Pyrenees chased off the coyote cousins,
For eating some of the chickens;
The Labradoodle phoned the SPCA;
From there the plot only thickens.

Cuz someone made fun of the Shih Tzu’s haircut,
And called him a mop with four feet;
Then they all had to take some workplace training,
And learn how to be more discreet.

It all fell apart when the Chihuahua got stuck,
Trying to clear a blocked rumen;
“Ah bloody hell,” snapped an indigent Corgi,
“We’re in dire need of a human.”

The Collie growled, “Let’s not be too hasty chaps,
I’m not sure that we need those bums;
I think a chimpanzee would do in a pinch,
All we really need are some thumbs.”

© 2018, Andy Nelson, used with permission
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

“When the Dogs Took Over the Ranch is on new CD, Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. Find more about it in a brief review along with another poem from the CD, “You Can Learn a Lot from a Cowboy,” in a recent post here.

This photo of Stubby is courtesy of Andy Nelson.

This weekend Andy Nelson is at the Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah, along with Jared Rogerson, The Bellamy Brothers, and much more. Sam DeLeeuw oversees cowboy poetry at The Barn at the Parry Lodge.

See Andy next at the 27th annual Old West Days Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering, September 27-30, 2018 in Valentine, Nebraska. He is a featured performer, joining Jean and Gary Prescott, Campfire Concerto with Paul Larson, Chuck Larsen, and Sam Noble.

Find Andy Nelson’s complete schedule and more at cowpokepoet.com.

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

YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM A COWBOY by Andy Nelson

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photo by Stuart Johnson

YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM A COWBOY
by Andy Nelson

“Now boarding flight 63 to Denver,”
Is what the flight attendant said;
I grabbed my duffle, dumped out my coffee,
Hoping to be one place ahead.

But then she said,
“Only members of the Pompous and Privileged Club first;”
Then they loaded the first-class passengers,
It turns out, that wasn’t the worst.

They were loading the plane from front to back,
Which assures the thing I always dread;
The guy with the “too-large-to-carry-on,”
Smacks everyone else in the head.

As I walked by whacking all that I passed,
I thought, common ev’ryday folk
could learn a few things from the western world,
Especially from a cowpoke.

Stock-haulers know how to load up a rig,
They do it from nose, back to the door;
The other way, you can’t get them all in,
I don’t need to say anymore.

A packer can help you pack for your trip,
And do it with nary a glitch;
Pack lean and light and then balance your load,
Tie it with a nice diamond hitch.

Need a mani-pedi before you go?
A farrier’s the guy to pick;
He’ll only twitch you if you don’t behave,
And won’t even get in the quick.

A rawhide braider is right for the job,
With pigtails for the well-traveled;
He will braid them up most perfect and tight,
And they’ll never come unraveled.

If turbulence scares or makes you get sick,
Bronc riders can help you lick that;
A riggin, some rosin, and a thick leather glove,
Will keep you right where you’re sat.

Cowboy advice ain’t just for traveling,
It helps with a wide range of chores;
Some Utah hobbles to ground tie your horse,
Can be used to hold up your drawers.

Need bodywork on a dent in your car?
Let a rancher address your claim;
A couple of whacks with his sledge hammer,
And then both sides will look the same.

Can’t back a truck and a trailer up straight?
A teamster can show how it’s done;
Need someone to give your Shih Tzu a shave?
A sheep shearer’s prob’ly the one.

A blacksmith can save on your home decor,
With some horse shoe hangers and art;
Need assistance with landscaping duties?
A goatherd could give a head start.

There’s lots to be learned from cowboys each day,
And plenty of things to discuss;
And if you make him shop or drive downtown,
He’ll sure as heck teach you to cuss.

A little common sense sure goes a long way,
you might as well take our advice;
Load the dang plane from the back to the front,
and maybe then lower the price.

© 2018, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

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His new CD, Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death, rich and varied, has bulls, dogs, geezers, horses, and things that nearly defy description (for example, the title poem, so well illustrated by top cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane on the CD’s cover). Andy can be funny, philosophical, serious, complex, and more than a bit wild. There are several tracks that also feature cowboy singer and songwriter Brenn Hill, and the experience of these two friends, who often perform together, comes through in excellent collaborations.

A couple of heartfelt tear-jerkers (“Waiting” and “The Cowboy I Never Knew”) are included. In a fine rendition of the late Don Kennington’s “The Last Nail,” Andy Nelson’s love and respect for his mentor and friend reflects the deep relationship of the two. Don Kennington would be proud.

A hidden track at the end, starring Jim Nelson, Andy’s brother and radio co-host, is as wonderfully wacky as he is. Let’s say he puts the O! in outrageous.

Beneath the hilarity, the whole project is produced with a care and professionalism that’s a great model for others.

Find the CD at Andy Nelson’s site (and check out some of Ben Crane’s other covers on earlier cds). Cowpokepoet.com also includes Andy Nelson’s performance schedule and more.

This coming weekend, find Andy and Brenn Hill at a National Day of the Cowboy Preserve event in Prairie City, Oregon, on July 28 organized by cowboy, author, and poet Kathy Moss. See an article here.  They also appear in Paisley on July 27 at a fundraiser for the Sunny Hancock-Leon Flick Memorial Cowboy Poetry Gathering and scholarship. See an article here.

And, among other places, find Andy at Western Legends Roundup, Kanab, Utah (August 23-25, 2018); Old West Days, Valentine, Nebraska (September 29, 2018); and the Heber Valley Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Heber City, Utah (October 24-28).

At Heber City, he’ll be joined by poets Waddie Mitchell, Randy Rieman, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Al “Doc” Mehl, Doris Daley, and Jeff Carson. Featured musicians are John Anderson, Suzy Bogguss, Bar J Wranglers, Max T. Barnes, Dave Stamey, Hot Club of Cowtown, Brenn Hill, Jack Hannah, Ed Peekeekoot, Ryan Fritz, Trinity Seely, Charley Jenkins Band, Dyer Highway, High Country Cowboys, Gary McMahan, Stacy Despain, Nancy Elliott, Randy Huston, Stewart MacDougall, Many Strings, Kenny Hall, Kristen J. Lloyd, In Cahoots, and the Heber Valley Orchestra. Find more at hebervalleycowboypoetry.com.

Photo of Andy and Jim Nelson courtesy of Andy Nelson.

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