A CHANGE OF SEASON by Smoke Wade

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A CHANGE OF SEASON
by Smoke Wade

We don’t summer at Chesnim’ these days,
Not since the For’ Service shut ‘er down;
They took away our permit to graze,
Now we pasture on the edge of town.

We don’t fall ride at Cold Springs anymore,
In the teeth of an early winter storm;
Or hitch our boots by the cow camp door,
And play cribbage inside where it’s warm.

We no longer winter by the Snake,
On benches carved below the rim;
The land was sold for the public’s sake,
To the For’ Service and to the BLM.

No, we don’t spring calve on Cactus Flat,
Since it sold to the State Fish and Game;
They say the chinook ain’t comin’ back,
And the cowman must carry the blame.

So, we gather now, at Third and Grand,
A beer garden after the parade;
And, here we’ll make one final stand,
Until this season begins to fade.

© 1994, Smoke Wade, used with permission
This poem should not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

Popular emcee and cowboy poet Smoke Wade was raised on a remote Hells Canyon ranch. He’s  written a number of stories about his ranching family for Picture the West and Western Memories at CowboyPoetry.com.

In an introduction to this poem, particularly timely today, he comments on the history of the area and about how the family’s way of life ended in the 1970s:

For ten thousand years, mankind lived along the banks of the Snake River in Hells Canyon, until 1877, when the United States Congress decided it was time to evict the residents of the canyon. They gave the order to the U. S Army, and under the command of General Howard, Chief Joseph and his band of Nez Perce people were forced to leave their homeland forever.

Over time the canyon once again became populated with outlaws,sourdoughs, miners, horse thieves, homesteaders, sheepherders and cattle ranchers, until almost one hundred years had passed. And then, Congress once again decided it was time to evict the residents of Hells Canyon. This time the order went down to the U. S. Forest Service and one by one the ranches fell, condemned, evicted and forced out,
until today there is little sign left of what we once called home. And thus began our change of season.

One day, at a beer garden after the parade, I noticed a bunch of old cowboys hanging out—talking, remembering old times. It dawned on me that with the fall of the Hells Canyon ranches to the U.S. Forest Service, that these cowboys didn’t have a range to go back to. “A Change of Season” was spawned at that moment.

This photo is of Smoke Wade, age 15, leading a pack string.

Find some of Smoke Wade’s poetry and more about him at CowboyPoetry.com.  Don’t miss
his stories and photos in Western Memories.

Smoke hosts and produces the Cowboy Idol Competition at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival (April 14-16, 2017) at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, Washington.This is the competition’s 9th year, and the 14th anniversary of the Gathering.

Competitors have been chosen for Cowboy Idol: poets A. K. Moss, OR; Dick Warwick, WA; Linda Nadon, Saskatchewan, Canada; and Terry Raff, ID; and musicians Paul Larson, SD; Pat Threewit, ID; Ed Wahl, BC, Canada; and Last Ride (Duo) featuring Randy Berg and John Lazzarini, ID.

Find a complete media release from Smoke Wade here.

Performers at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering include Gary Allegretto, Billy Dean, Lacy J. Dalton, and Mike Morgan.

Find more information at columbiarivercowboygathering.com and on Facebook.

Cowboy Poetry Week, April 16-22, 2017

cpw_poster_2017_crow_r1smimage © 2015, Tyler Crow, “Makin’ a Break for It”

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Below:
About Cowboy Poetry Week
Get Involved
Rural Library Program
MASTERS CD
Poster by Tyler Crow

Elsewhere on the blog:
Cowboy Poetry Week News
Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur
MASTERS 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 2017, Cowboy Poetry Week—the sixteenth annual—takes place April 16-22, 2017.

In 2017 it is made possible by generous support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, a grant from the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, 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 2017 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 CD

For 2017, the CD is MASTERS, a collection of poems by four late, respected poets: Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens. Introduced by Jay Snider, the compilation includes recorded poems, “live” performances, and the poets’ recitations of other masters’ works (Buck Ramsey, S. Omar Barker, and Henry Herbert Knibbs).

Find more about the CD 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. More information about Masters is forthcoming.

Find information about all of the previous CDs, the BAR-D Roundup series, at CowboyPoetry.com.

 

cpw_poster_2017_crow_r1smimage ©2015, Tyler Crow, “Makin’ a Break for It”

THE 2017 POSTER

Cowboy and artist Tyler Crow‘s painting, “Makin’ a Break for It,” is selected as the 2017 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur. Tyler Crow is the newest and youngest member of the Cowboy Artists of America.

He tells that the oil painting depicts his “good amigo Mike Eslick.”

From his official bio:

Tyler Crow spent his young life in the small town of Apache, Oklahoma. A 2007 graduate of Apache High School, Tyler always had paper and pencil with him drawing horses. This childhood interest continued throughout his high school years. During his Senior year he entered a pencil drawing in the Oklahoma Youth Expo at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Winning Reserve Best of Show and a scholarship gave him a chance to attend a week-long summer painting workshop co-taught by Bruce Greene and Martin Grelle. This was the first time he had ever held a paintbrush in his hand.

Since their first meeting, Tyler has attended three more painting workshops co-taught by Greene and Grelle. In April 2011, Tyler attended his second Cowboy Artist workshop taught by Mr. Greene at the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In Tyler’s two most recent shows, Bosque Arts Classic and Small Works Great Wonders, he received the People’s Choice Award. His future plans are to continue studying art and work toward a career as a Western artist.

Find more about Tyler Crow at CowboyPoetry.com; at his site, tylercrow.com; and on Facebook.

Previous poster artists include 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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MASTERS CD

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Praise for previous CD volumes:

“…The annual anthology takes listeners on an oral excursion to places throughout the West, introducing them to colorful cowboy characters, explaining their connection to the land, and telling their tales of tough times and the rewards they receive from living the Western lifestyle…”   Jennifer Denison, Senior Editor, Western Horseman

“The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry’s annual anthologies are creating a valuable, high quality and thoroughly enjoyable resource for everyone…” Steve Green, Archivist, Western Folklife Center

“…without peer…intelligently produced… I equate them to one of those Ken Burns specials, like his Civil War, Jazz, or Baseball….the best of the best.” Rick Huff, Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews

“For those of us who love cowboy poetry, this is perhaps the best anthology we’ve yet heard.”  Cowboy Magazine

           larry-mcwhorter150 jballen150 Sunny Hancock rayowens150
photographs by Kevin Martini-Fuller

The MASTERS CD includes tracks from a “golden age” of Cowboy Poetry. From the introduction, delivered by Jay Snider:

We can look back at the turn of this century and see a golden age for cowboy poetry.  Four outstanding poets of that time who left this world too soon were Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens. They set standards toward which all poets and reciters can strive. Among them were fine cowboys, fine writers, and fine men.  This compilation includes recorded poems, “live” performances, and their recitations of other masters’ works (Buck Ramsey, S. Omar Barker, and Henry Herbert Knibbs). On these tracks, you’ll hear the love of their cowboy life and sometimes you’ll hear their love and respect for each other. To quote Ray Owens, a lifelong student of poetry and the West, all four have left “tracks that won’t blow out.”

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—takes place each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster (by respected cowboy artist Tyler Crow in 2017) have been offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Program. The outreach program is part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

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

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster—by Tyler Crow in 2017; by Gary Morton in 2016; by Don Dane in 2015; by Jason Rich in 2014; Shawn Cameron in 2013; by R.S. Riddick in 2012, Duward Campbell in 2011, Bill Owen in 2010, Bob Coronato in 2009, William Matthews in 2008, Tim Cox in 2007, and Joelle Smith in 2006 —are offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Project. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

The annual CD is a premium for our supporters and also available for purchase. Find information about past years’ CDs here at CowboyPoetry.com.

We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Read here about how you can be a part of it all.

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Below:
Track list and sources
Acknowledgements
About the cover and photos 
Order information  buynow

TRACK LIST

Introduction by Jay Snider

LARRY McWHORTER 1957-2003

WAITIN’ ON THE DRIVE from The Most Requested Poetry of Larry McWhorter (2001)
BLACK DRAUGHT from The Most Requested Poetry of Larry McWhorter (2001)
THE RED COW from The Poetry of Larry McWhorter (2010)
ADVICE TO THE TRAVELER recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (1993) WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945) from The Open Gate (1998)

SUNNY HANCOCK 1931-2003

THE HORSE TRADE recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2001)
A BEAR TALE recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2000)
THE HIGH-STEPPIN’ KIND recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (1997)
THE COWBOY’S HEAVEN by S. Omar Barker (1894-1985) recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2003)

RAY OWENS 1934-2007

COLOR BLIND recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2006)
TRACKS THAT WON’T BLOW OUT recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2006)
THE SADDLE HIS GRANDDADDY RODE recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2006)
A RARE TREAT by J.B. ALLEN (1938-2005), recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (2006)

J.B. ALLEN  1938-2005

THE MEDICINE KEEPERS from The Medicine Keepers (1998)
REASONS FOR STAYIN’ from The Medicine Keepers (1998)
KINDRED SPIRITS recorded live at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (1996)
ANTHEM by Buck Ramsey (1938-1998) from J.B. Allen Classics (2005)

CENTER FOR WESTERN AND COWBOY POETRY RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA) by Jay Snider

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Special thanks to the Western Folklife Center, which made all of the live recordings possible.

Thanks to Steve Green; David Roche; Jay Snider; Kevin Martini-Fuller; Verna Owens; Margaret Allen; Andrea Waitley; Jeffrey Hancock; Jean Prescott; Bette Ramsey; the estate of S. Omar Barker; Jerry Brooks; Gail Steiger; the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering; Chris Kirby; and Andy Nelson, engineer and co-producer (with Margo Metegrano).

Produced by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry with generous funding support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield Jr.; the Margaret T. Morris Foundation; and sustaining donors.

THE COVER AND PHOTOS

The CD cover image is a design by Chris Kirby from a photograph, “Cowhands singing after day’s work. Quarter Circle ‘U’ Ranch roundup. Big Horn County, Montana,” 1939  by Arthur Rothstein (1915-1985); The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USF34- 027824-D.

Photographs of Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens are by Kevin Martini-Fuller, who has photographed participants of the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for over three decades. Find more at his web site.

ORDER INFORMATION

The MASTERS CD will is available for $20 postpaid. Order with a credit card at Paypal or by mail:  CowboyPoetry.com, Box 1107, Lexington, VA 24450.

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Cowboy Idol Competition at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Music Festival, April 14-16, 2017

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From Smoke Wade:

The Cowboy Idol finalists have been selected for the 9th Annual Cowboy Idol competition to take place in conjunction with the 14th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival, April 14 -16, 2017, held at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, WA. The festival is organized by Budd & Judy Massengale along with the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival Board of Directors.

The Cowboy Idol Poet contestants are: A. K. Moss, OR; Dick Warwick, WA; Linda Nadon, Saskatchewan, Canada; and Terry Raff, ID. The Cowboy Idol Musician contestants are: Paul Larson, SD; Pat Threewit, ID; Ed Wahl, BC, Canada; and Last Ride (Duo) featuring Randy Berg and John Lazzarini, ID.  Cowboy Idol is hosted and produced by Smoke Wade.

News on Cowboy Idol; featured performers, open mic sign up, tickets, schedule and special events can be found at – www.columbiarivercowboygathering.com

Scheduled daytime performances will be presented on Friday and Saturday, April 14 – 15, 2017, along with open mic sessions. Headliner shows will take place at 6:00 p.m. each evening. A cowboy church will be held on Sunday morning following the gathering.

The Cowboy Idol contestants compete for trophies along with a $1400.00 purse divided $500.00 for first place and $200.00 for second place in both the poet and musician competition. In addition, all open mic performers will be judged throughout the weekend for the People’s Choice Award with prize money and a trophy to the winner.

 

 

Events: June

• June 3, 2017
6th Annual Glade Park Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival Glade Park, Colorado

• June 9 – 10, 2017
Prix de West Invitational Exhibition Opening Weekend Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

• June 10 – June 15, 2017
Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive Reno, Nevada

• June 15-24, 2017
Reno Rodeo Week Reno, Nevada

• June 15-25, 2017
36th Annual End of Trail Founders Ranch, New Mexico

• June 16-18, 2017
Willow Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering Stavely, Alberta

• June 16-17, 2017
Wild Bill Hickock Days Deadwood, South Dakota

• June 21-24, 2017
63rd annual Western Writers of America (WWA) Convention Kansas City, Missouri

• June 28-July 4, 2017
World’s Oldest Rodeo—130th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Prescott, Arizona

• June 29-July 4 and July 6-9, 1017
50th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival Washington, D.C.

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Scofield’s Cowboy Campfire at Red Mule Ranch Fiddletown, California

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Murphy Outpost Days Murphy, Idaho

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Manhattan, Kansas

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Settlers’ Picnic at Devils Tower National Monument near Hulett, Wyoming

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Annual Brother Van’s Cowboy Poetry and Old Time Music Festival Boulder, Montana

• Dates not yet received for 2017
Crooked River Roundup Prineville, Oregon

• Dates not yet received for 2017
21st Annual Grand Ball of 1876 Hardin, Montana

• Dates not yet received for 2017
5th Annual Riata Ranch Rodeo and Cowboy Show Cheyenne, Wyoming

 

 

 

 

Events: May

• May 4-6, 2017
First annual Bryce Canyon Mule Days Tropic, Utah

• May 4-7, 2017
21st Annual Black Cowboy Festival Rembert, South Carolina

• May 5, 2017
19th Annual Cowtown Society Of Western Music Swingfest Mineral Wells, Texas

• May 11-14, 2017
The Western Heritage Classic Abilene, Texas

• May 12-13, 2017
Cattle Barons Weekend Pendleton, Oregon

• May 21, 2017
56th Annual Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival Agoura Hills, California

• May 23-28, 2017
47th Bishop Mule Days Bishop, California

• May 26-29, 2017
37th Annual Old West Days Jackson Hole, Wyoming

• May 26-28, 2017
Art in the Park Ritzville, Washington

• May 26-28, 2017
12th Annual Canadian Rockies Cowboy Festival Nordegg, Alberta

• May 26-29, 2017
12th Annual Cowboy Legends Memorial Day Celebration Antelope Island, Utah

• May 27-28, 2017
27th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dates not yet received for 2017
Cross Timbers Cowboy Poetry and Stories Mineral Wells, Texas

Dates not yet received for 2017
30th Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering Medora, North Dakota

Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur 2017, “Makin’ a Break For It” by Tyler Crow

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image © 2015, Tyler Crow, “Makin’ a Break for It”

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 45th piece offered to “spur” the imagination is a special Cowboy Poetry Week  Art Spur, an oil by Tyler Crow, “Makin’ a Break For It.” He tells that the oil painting depicts his “good amigo Mike Eslick.”  The painting was selected as the poster image for the 16th annual Cowboy Poetry Week, 2017.

Submissions are welcome from all through Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

• Even if you have a poem or song pending, you are welcome to send one submission inspired by “Makin’ a Break For It.”

• Art Spur subjects are meant to inspire; we look for poems and songs inspired by the piece, not necessarily for a literal description of the image or its subject.

• Do follow our regular guidelines for submissions here.

• When you email your submission, please indicate that it is an Art Spur submission in the subject line.

Selected poems will be posted during Cowboy Poetry Week (April 16-22, 2017).

Find previous Art Spur subjects here and at CowboyPoetry.com, including one with a previous Tyler Crow painting, “At the End of His Rope.”

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tylercrow    About Tyler Crow
:

Tyler Crow is the newest and youngest member of the Cowboy Artists of America.

From his official bio:

Tyler Crow spent his young life in the small town of Apache, Oklahoma. A 2007 graduate of Apache High School, Tyler always had paper and pencil with him drawing horses. This childhood interest continued throughout his high school years. During his Senior year he entered a pencil drawing in the Oklahoma Youth Expo at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Winning Reserve Best of Show and a scholarship gave him a chance to attend a week-long summer painting workshop co-taught by Bruce Greene and Martin Grelle. This was the first time he had ever held a paintbrush in his hand.

Since their first meeting, Tyler has attended three more painting workshops co-taught by Greene and Grelle. In April 2011, Tyler attended his second Cowboy Artist workshop taught by Mr. Greene at the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In Tyler’s two most recent shows, Bosque Arts Classic and Small Works Great Wonders, he received the People’s Choice Award. His future plans are to continue studying art and work toward a career as a Western artist.

Find more about Tyler Crow at CowboyPoetry.com; at his site, tylercrow.com; and on Facebook.