THE FARMWIVES OF ALBERTA by Doris Daley

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THE FARMWIVES OF ALBERTA
by Doris Daley

Everybody’s different, diversity rules the day
Still I slap my head in wonder at the Housewives of LA.
They’re bosomy and botoxed, voluptuous of hip
And I can’t understand why anybody gives a rip.

They’re brassy and they’re bossy, over-glitzed, uber noisy
And please don’t get me started on the Housewives of New Joisy.
A spree at Nieman Marcus and they’re rolling the clover,
Cleavage like the 23 Psalm: their cups runneth over.

They hurl diamond crusted insults with a practiced, deadly aim
Jealousy and jewelry are their biggest claims to fame.
They dress themselves in Gucci just to buy a happy meal
Though to be clear, the chauffeur is the one who’s at the wheel.

Flirting with a jailbird sugar daddy millionaire
And here’s my biggest question: Why does anybody care?
If you want me as a viewer, scrap those superficial wives
And point your TV camera at the gals who have real lives.

Farmwives tough as tigers, ranch wives strong and brown
And the ones I know the best: the real farmwives of my home town.
When I was just a baby, when TV was still a dream
These farmwives got together just to laugh and let off steam.

Tough and smart and funny, and steady as she goes
And they never shopped at Tiffany’s or wore designer clothes.
They could drive a tractor, fix a fence, load and bale and stack
Then bake six rhubarb pies with one hand tied behind their back.

They had soirees, they had setbacks, skies of grey and skies of blue
And these Farmwives of Alberta always got each other through.
They buried husbands, buried kids, shared laughter and shared tears
They’ve been there for each other for over 60 years.

So when it comes to housewives, you can keep your bling and brass
It’s to farm and ranch wives everywhere I raise my fluted glass.
But ‘specially to the women who you won’t see on TV:
My mom and all her farm pals who still inspire me.

© Doris Daley
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without the author’s permission

Canadian wordsmith, performer, and emcee Doris Daley is widely appreciated throughout the cowboy poetry and Western music world. Top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell has said, “If cowboy poetry was fresh milk and the cream that rises to the top was the very best, then Doris Daley would be very rich and very fattening.”

See videos, poetry, and more at www.DorisDaley.com and find more poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

In coming weeks, find Doris Daley at the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, March 2-3, 2018. Friday night headliners include Jay Snider, Doug Figgs, Ryan Fritz, Deanna McCall, and Michael Stevens. Saturday night headliners are Gary Allegretto, Ross Knox, Gary Robertson, Trinity Seely, and Caitlyn Taussig. Poets and musicians include Apache Adams, Amy Hale Auker, Floyd Beard, “Straw” Berry, Mike Blakely, Teresa Burleson, Dale Burson, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Craig Carter, Cowboy Celtic, Allan Chapman & Rodeo Kate, Doris Daley, Mikki Daniel, John Davis, Kevin Davis, Ray Fitzgerald, Rolf Flake, Pipp Gillette, Jeff Gore, Kristyn Harris, Andy Hedges, Don Hedgpeth, Carol Heuchan, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Randy Huston, Chris Isaacs, Jill Jones & Three Hands High, Jim Jones, Linda Kirkpatrick, Daron Little, Pat Meade, Glenn Moreland, Terry Nash, Joel Nelson, Sam Noble, Kay Nowell, Jean Prescott, Gary Prescott, Mike Querner, Luke Reed, Randy Rieman, Heather Watson & Nathan Schmidt, R.P. Smith, Gail Steiger, Rod Taylor, Doug Tolleson, Keith Ward, Washtub Jerry, and Jim Wilson. Find more at texascowboypoetry.com.

After Alpine, Doris is headed to British Columbia’s 22nd Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival, March 15th – 18th, 2018. Performers include Abe Zacharias, Alan Moberg, Ben Crane, Bj Smith, Brian Salmond, Bryn Thiessen, Butch Falk, Carol Heuchan, Chris Isaacs, Doc Mehl, Doris Daley, Ed Peekeekoot, Gary Prescott, Gary Fjellgaard, Gordie West, Hugh McLennan, Jason Ruscheinsky, Jim McLennan, Louis “Big Rig” McIvor, Mag Mawhinney, Mike Dygert, Notable Exceptions, Ryan & Hoss Fritz, and Tom Cole. Find more about the many activities at the event at www.bcchs.com.

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photo of Doris Daley by Mikeala MacKenzie, mikaelamackenzie.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:

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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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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.

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.

Find the events on the April calendar.

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florida77 davidcarlton77
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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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.

More to come….

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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 (since February, 2017):

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, Paul R. Brown III, Wendy Brown-Barry, 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, Paul Quinton, RANGE (sponsor), George Rhoades, 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, Totsie Slover, 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, 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 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

coloflgaj Colorado- Terry Nash

florida77  Florida-David Carlton  (received)

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

minnflag  Minnesota – Diane Tribitt Scott

montanaflg Montana – DW Groethe

nebraskaflag Nebraska –

nevadaflagj Nevada – Daniel Bybee

nmflag New Mexico-Totsie Slover

ndflagj North Dakota – Jarle Kvale

okflag Oklahoma – Jay Snider

orflagj Oregon-Tom Swearingen

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

tnflagy Tennessee – Shane Queener

texasflag Texas-Linda Kirkpatrick

utstflagj Utah – Sam DeLeeuw

washstflg Washington – Lynn Kopelke

wyostflgj Wyoming – Leslie Keltner

Find more about Cowboy Poetry Week here.

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 CD
coming

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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.

Additional information is forthcoming.

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. A

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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Events: Gatherings and More

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January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

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Submission information
:

We welcome your event date and link for cowboy poetry and Western music events. Please send information at least several weeks before your event. Email us.

We regret that we can’t list individual performers’ or groups’ shows or “shows” that have just one or two performers or groups, including house concerts; those are too numerous for us to maintain. (We do welcome information for established venues with a roster of regularly-scheduled programs, even if those programs feature just one or two performers. The season’s schedule is welcome, at least several weeks before the season begins.)

We sometimes include other events of interest, such as rodeos and art shows.

We will consider separate blog posts with event information. Please send the announcement in plain text, not in graphic or pdf format. You can attach a logo, photo or graphic.

Be sure to include date, times, ticket information, a description, and performers’ names, along with contact information: a phone number, email address, or web link that can be posted.

Support our sponsor supporters!

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COWBOY COURTIN’ TIME by Elizabeth Ebert

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photo of “Jim,” © 2018, AmyHaleAuker

 

COWBOY COURTIN’ TIME
by Elizabeth Ebert

When Romeo went courtin’
He climbed a balcony,
And some men serenade you
Upon their bended knee.

Leander swam the Hellespont
To reach his lady’s side,
But when a cowboy comes a-courtin’
You get a pickup ride.

Sometimes the pickup’s even washed
(Will wonders never end?)
But like as not he’s brought along
His trusty cowdog friend.

The dog will bark a welcome
(And you know what that means)
There’ll be paw prints and dog hair
Upon your new black jeans.

The cowboy’ll open up the door
And hold it while you enter.
You know he’s gettin’ serious
‘Cause he sits you in the center.

The cowboy’s reeking of cologne,
Half a bottle, you can tell,
You wish he’d shared it with his friend
Who has that doggy smell.

A hairy face on one side
A mustache on the other,
And both of them are squeezin’ in
‘Til you think you’re gonna smother.

You sit there in the middle
Like a rabbit in the hole.
The one is merely droolin’
While the other’s droolin’ Skoal.

Makes a body sometimes ponder
On the strange queer twists of fate
Makes you sometimes even wonder
Which one really is your date.

The cowboy’ll put his arm around
And hug you ’til you hurt.
And then he starts to pawin’
(The dog, that is) your shirt.

They’ve got you snuggled there between
Just a pawn within their game.
I doesn’t matter where you turn
‘Cause they kiss about the same.

Long years have passed since courtin’ time
Changed me from Miss to Mrs.
And I’ll admit, I’ve grown to like
Those cowboy-cowdog kisses.

© 1997, Elizabeth Ebert
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without the author’s permission.

It’s a pleasure to have the perfect Valentine poem from South Dakota’s much-loved poet Elizabeth Ebert, who is turning 93 later this month. This poem appears in her book, Crazy Quilt. She introduces it, writing, “Don’t tell me that cowboys aren’t romantic!”

Journalist Carson Vaughan wrote about Elizabeth Ebert in a February, 2017 American Cowboy profile, “The Grande Dame of Cowboy Poetry.”

Find more about Elizabeth Ebert at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photograph of “Jim” is by writer and cowboy Amy Hale Auker. Like Amy, Jim works and lives on Arizona’s Spider Ranch. He recently got a new partner, and you can follow the fun on Amy Hale Auker’s Instagram. Amy Hale Auker is the author of four acclaimed books—two novels and two essay collections—with new publications forthcoming. Find more about her at AmyHaleAuker.com.

Find more Valentine’s Day poems at CowboyPoetry.com.

HIRED HAND by Wallace McRae

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HIRED HAND
by Wallace McRae

You know, some men just look like a cowboy,
Though you’d be hard-pressed to say why.
It may be their posture, or bearing,
Or the confident look in their eye.

Since I was needing some ranch help,
I tapped into the cowboy grapevine,
Where every saloon and each bunkhouse
Can transmit, or receive, on the line.

Later on, well, in rolls this pickup
With them buckin’ hoss Wyoming plates,
‘N the hat that the driver was wearing
Looks like a twin of George Strait’s.

There’s rawhide mudflaps on the outfit
And a big gooseneck ball in the back,
A bedroll, a basket-stamped A-fork,
The gun rack’s plumb festooned with tack.

On the windshield’s a Quarter Horse sticker
From clear back in seventy-seven.
“Mighty nice country,” ‘s the first words he spoke
“It sure looks to be a cow heaven.

“I was down at the sale barn in Sturgis
where I hears that yer needin’ a hand,
So I drives up through Belle Fourche and Lame Deer
Maybe thinkin’ to ride for yer brand.

“I’m no hell of a hand now, you savvy?”
(Here he offers a pinch of his snoose.)
“There’s lotsa good hands in the county
‘N I’m just a sorry excuse.

“But all I been’s just a cowboy.
I follered a cow all my life.
I guess if I’d been more aggressive
I’d maybe still have me a wife.

“I lost her ‘n them cows, I guess nine years ago.
She called losin’ our cows the last straw.
She called me a loser (probl’ly she’s right).
And moved back in with the mother-in-law.

“As a hand goes, I guess I’m just av’rage,
Or maybe a notch below that.
I’m partial t’wards lady-broke horses
that couldn’t buck off a man’s hat.

“Now some people brag on their ropin’
That can’t find their way outa town.
Me? If I can’t catch ’em runnin’
I keep chargin’ until they lay down.

“I’d say I’m a lousy horseshoer;
‘N machinery I don’t cotton to.
Do I drink? Well, I ain’t no abstainer
‘N I like to hoist me a few.”

He went on a-jokin’ and jobbin’
With a humorous gleam in his eye.
Damned if I didn’t right away find myself
Laughin’ and likin’ this guy.

I’d had it with all of them blowhards
With them buckles proclaimin’ them “Champ.”
He could roll out his bed in the bunkhouse’
Diogenes could hand up the lamp.

Here for damn sure was the last honest man,
Who was humble—devoid of all guile.
I figured that here was a cowboy
That could do it all…with a smile.

I was led like a poddy to slaughter.
I’m amazed, ‘n I bet you are, too.
The sumbitch was a liar I tell ya,
Ev’ry word that he told me was true!

© 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 shared “Hired Hand” in an excellent session at the recent Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Best known for one of his least-favorite poems, “Reincarnation,” he commented that this year at Elko he was sharing some of his lesser-heard poems and graciously gave us permission to share this one.

That said, see a fun video of Wallace McRae, along with his friend Paul Zarzyski performing “Reincarnation” at the 2009  National Cowboy Poetry Gathering:

For a wonderful look at this complex man, watch a 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.

Wally will turn 82 this month, and he says he doesn’t want to be reminded about it. He relishes being known as “the cowboy curmudgeon,” but his work is full of heart that belies any such characterization.

He is the author of a number of books: Stick Horses and Other Stories of Ranch LifeCowboy Curmudgeon, Things of Intrinsic Worth, It’s Just Grass and Water, and Up North is Down the Crick.

Find more of Wallace McRae’s poetry and more about him in our feature 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 here.

Find more about the photo here.