Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

southern Alberta
About Gregg Norman



Horse of a Different Color

Buckskin or blue roan or sorrel or paint,
A good horse's color is somethin' that ain't
As important as what's underneath all that hair.
It's what's inside a horse, not the color he wears.

It's courage and cow sense, muscle and try.
It's runnin' flat out 'neath God's big sky.
It's a muzzle to nuzzle your shirt and your hat.
There's no other critter can give you that.

If every horse in the pasture was bay
It'd be a whole lot easier to say
Which one was the best, an' that's a fact.
There wouldn't be all those colors to distract.

So color him noble, color him wild.
Color him history's free range child.
Color him part of the heart of the west.
A good horse's color is always the best.

2003, Gregg Norman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Gregg told us that this poem "came to me at a horse auction, watching city folks pay way too much for paints, buckskins, blacks and palominos while the old hands snapped up all the good bay, chestnut and sorrel horses for a lot less. I overheard one of those old boys say that 'a good horse is always the right color.' Truer words were never spoken."



God Bless the Dudes

It ain't a club for good old boys.
There ain't no fees or dues.
Forget about the old hard case
Who always sings the blues.

The west ain't dead by any stretch.
There's plenty life left yet.
Old timers get some credit, sure,
But there's others in our debt.

The cowboy life is dyin' out
In practice and in fact.
But the spirit of the west lives on
Unbridled and intact.

At rodeos and dance halls,
In arenas and saloons,
In western stores and truck stops,
In the words of country tunes.

"Cause every time a dude goes out
To buy a cowboy hat
And every time a neighbor leans
Across a fence to chat

And when a young girl sits a horse
Or a bullrider nods his head,
Whenever someone swings a rope,
You know the west ain't dead.

The real cowboy, whoever he is,
Will soon be a thing of the past.
But western heart and western ways
Have strength enough to last.

The spirit of the cowboy lives
In the hearts of wannabes
Who always offer, "Thank You",
And who don't forget the "Please",

Who treat their partners with respect
And work without complaint.
So don't believe the west is dead
"Cause they know that it ain't.

2004, Gregg Norman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Just an Old Barn

There's an old barn where I keep my three horses at.
It's just an old barn, not much more than that.
They say it's a hundred years old, maybe more.
It could be, lookin' at the boards in the floor.

But it's been kept up good, new siding and roof.
It keeps out the wind and it's darn sure rainproof.
The big door looks out on a pasture with trees.
To sit here and look on it can't help but please

My eye and my heart when I came from the city.
The creek and the river close by are so pretty.
There's grass up to here and the water is sweet.
For whatever ails me it sure is a treat.

Today I came here not to ride but to sit
And ponder the ways of the West for a bit.
Just sit in the sunshine and mess with my tack.
After half a day here I don't want to go back

To the rush and the smell and the noise and pollution.
In this old red barn I can find absolution
For yellin' and cussin' at folks on the road
As I drove here to sit down and take off a load.

I just looked out now and there's deer by the creek,
A doe and a fawn. ain't seen em' in a week.
It's midday, they'll bed in the willows, I guess.
Another safe haven, a warm, tall grass nest.

I expect that they like it here just as I do,
This place where a person can think clear and true.
A place to escape to, a place whose true charm
Lies wrapped in the notion - it's more than a barn.

2004, Gregg Norman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



There's somethin' mighty pleasin'
"Bout watchin' a saddle band,
Heads down, grazin', point to point,
Across a piece of land.
The rhythmic sweep and pull and crunch
Of heads and jaws and teeth,
The muted sound of shufflin'  hooves
On sweet, green grass beneath.
Sorrels, chestnuts, lineback duns,
Greys and bays and blacks.
Just driftin' on a prairie wind
With sunshine on their backs.
Geldings, mares and rough, young stock,
Each one a different mount.
They represent more stories
Than a cowboy cares to count.
Each one has got its tales to tell
Of rides and drives and trails.
Each one has got a history book
Between its head and tail.
Of all the sights my eyes can see
There's none that can compare
With horses, heads down, grazin',
Each one a memory shared.

2004, Gregg Norman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Read Gregg Norman's:

Daybreak in our Art Spur project


Damn Dust, in our ArtSpur project


Cowboy Thinkin', in our ArtSpur Project


About Gregg Norman:

Although I now live in a city (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) there as a time when I had a small ranch and raised cattle and horses and did some team roping. I've always felt that "the cowboy way" was a pretty fair approach to living life. I'm blessed with friends who are in the cattle business and take every opportunity to help move cows. Everyone knows that a love of horses is a disease for which there is no cure. I still keep a few horses with friends, one of whom is a well known Canadian cowboy poet. I've done a lot of writing of various kinds over the years, but she inspired me to try my hand at poetry.



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