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© 2008, Chanda Snook

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See the Art Spur introductory page here

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

Our fifteenth piece offered to "spur" the imagination—in celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy—is "Learnin' the Ropes," a photograph by Wyoming rancher and photographer Chanda Snook.
 


© 2008, Chanda Snook
Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
Learnin' the Ropes


Chanda Snook describes the photograph:

The older gentleman is Andy Ridley from St. Onge, South Dakota. He is one of the last original ranchers in Lawrence County who has not given in to development, one of the last old-time authentic cowboys.

The little boy is Jesse Thybo from Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He was six years old at the time of the picture. Little Jesse is a laugh-a-minute and the cutest little guy. He always wants to be a part of the action and loves to jump right in. He always wants to ride the calves before they let them up.


Submissions are now closed. Read the selected poems
below.

Below:

Poems

National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur, 2006

National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur, 2007

About Chanda Snook


 

National Day of the Cowboy, 2008  separate page

 

 



© 2008, Chanda Snook
Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
Learnin' the Ropes

 

Poems

 

Someday by Al Mehl

Learnin' the Ropes by Diane Tribitt

A Legacy Passed Down by Lawrence Swearingen

Learnin' the Ropes Patti Leininger


Thanks to all who submitted poems.

 

 

Someday

His hat is black, my hat is white,

He’s lost some hearing and some sight.

My eyesight’s good, my hearing’s fresh,

I wear a hood, he wears a vest.

 

His vest is tan, my coat is red,

I’m just a pup, he’s almost dead.

He talks of places where he’s been,

He has nine fingers.  (I have ten.)

 

He’s loved one woman all life long.

(I’ve loved one too, but she’s my mom.)

His legs are bowed, mine still look straight,

His pace is slow, but I can’t wait.

 

I’m leanin’ forward, he leans back,

As he starts teachin’ me ’bout tack,

And then ’bout horses, then ’bout cattle,

’Bout the rope, and ’bout the saddle,

 

’Bout the bridles, ’bout the bits,

’Bout how to choose a glove that fits.

He chews tobacco, I chew gum,

He seems so smart, I feel so dumb.

 

But still he lets me hang around,

My belt is black, his belt is brown,

His boots are out, my boots are in…

Someday I’m gonna be like him.

© 2008, Al Mehl
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

Learnin' the Ropes

If ya wanna be a cowboy, son,
it's simple as kin be.
I reckon you might learn the ropes
if you kin count ‘t three

There's three things that when gone, are gone
for all eternity.
‘Cause Time and Words you can't get back,
or
Opportunity

There's three things that can tear you down,
destroyin' what’s inside.
The first is Unforgivingness;
then Angriness and
Pride

There’s three things that you’ll never want
‘t lose, I guarantee,
so hold on fast ‘t Hope and Peace,
and  straight-up Honesty.

There’s three things you should value most,
until your dyin’ day.
Compassion, Love ‘n Family
build hearts that never stray.

There’s three things with uncertainty
in life, it always seems.
So, don't go bankin’ on Success,
your Fortune or your
Dreams.

There’s three things that I know’ll make
a cowboy out‘a you—  

Commitment's
one.  Sincerity
and Work's the other two. 

The three things that you’ll want to learn
‘t team up, day ‘t day,
are Mother Nature, Self ‘n
God,
‘t live the cowboy way.

If ya wanna be a cowboy, son,
it's simple as kin be.
I reckon you might learn the ropes
if you kin count ‘t three.

© 2008, Diane Tribitt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

 

 

A Legacy Passed Down

Hands cracked and calloused from a lifetime
Of living the cowboy way,
Hard chiseled face from sun drenched toil
But now he’s gone away
He raised me up like the colts he’s trained
With a firm but gentle hand,
And taught me how to shoot straight,
To respect and love the land.

The memories of his love
And his quiet knowing way,
Helps me with life’s decisions,
Even so today.
I thank God how your life here
Marked a trail that’s straight and true.
Shows me how to live my life,
And tells me what to do.

Like when traveling along,
On life’s rough trail.
Think of those less fortunate
Don’t step on those who fail.
But, give them a helping hand
And then you will come to see,
When love’s given without strings,
What a better man you’d be.

He said knowledge sets you free,
But, it’s not what makes you smart.
It’s when knowledge with wisdom,
Is used from inside your heart.
For when a man’s heart is right,
And it is what he follows,
Words spoken will be his bond,
Won’t be a sound that’s hollow.

Every man should have, in life,
Three things to call his own,
Good dog, fast horse, one true love,
So in life you won’t be alone.
Well Dad, good dogs I have had,
Fast horses, there’s been many,
As for true love I began
To think there just weren’t any.

But, Dad, I’d like you to know,
If you’re up there looking down.
You’ll see that I got lucky
And a true love I have found.
Just like you and Momma have,
A love that God connected,
Of all that you have taught me,
This one I have perfected.

Dad, the thing revered the most
Is the gift of your good name.
I pray I will honor it
And I never bring it shame.
Honesty, a heart that’s true,
Hard work, determination;
Thanks for the legacy passed from
You to each generation.

© 2008, Lawrence Swearingen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

 

Learnin' the Ropes

He toddled along, right behind

Reachin’ for a hand

He’s three foot tall and cowboy

He’s Daddy’s little man

 

Dressed in boots and hats alike

They go about their chores

He’s not one to stay inside

He loves the out of doors

 

Daddy, take me with you

From the time that he could talk

Rode Dad’s old mare beside him

Not long after he could walk

 

He’s Daddy’s little tag-a-long

Where ever he would go

Learnin’ how to be a man

By what his Daddy’d show

 

He’s just a little cowboy

He’s ranchin’s future hope

He’s just a little cowboy

Dad’s teachin’ him the ropes

 

© 2008, Patti Leininger

This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 

 

 


 

Chanda Snook grew up with cutting horses near Rapid City, South Dakota. She enjoyed 4-H Rodeo and now lives on a Wyoming ranch with her husband Clint and sons Austin, 14, and Taylor (Bug), 11.  She's always loved photography and says newer, better cameras enhance her enjoyment and encourage her pursuit of the craft.

(See a Picture the West photo by Chanda Snook here.)
 

Chanda Snook
979 New Haven Rd.
Hulett, WY 82720
307-290-0400
csnook@wbaccess.net
 


© 2008, Chanda Snook
Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
Learnin' the Ropes

 

 


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