About Keven Inman
Dreaming dreams, riding a stick horse toy,
We can be anything we want to be
A fireman, a policeman, a cowboy
But when we grow up our choices aren't so free
I started this ride at two or three
Dreaming of my future to come
Riding trot little horsy on my daddy's knee
At that time was plenty of fun
Rode a Tennessee Walker through the Montana hills
At eight, riding double with my dad
Slipped in the stream and almost took a spill
But the horse caught his footing,
what a great time we had!
A horse of my own was a great desire
But no field or fence was found
Western hats and bolo ties were my attire
With Tony Lama between me and the ground
Many years have come to pass
Three beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife
A two acre ranch with a small field of grass
And an Ah-sum horse is in our life
Now I'm a wannabe cowboy and a 4-H dad
Living childhood dreams and more
My children are living the dreams that I had
And dreams of their own I'm sure
So I'm putting up fences and hauling in hay
And paying for the horses' new shoes
Scooping manure and hauling it away
And veterinary visits are part of the dues
It's early morning Saturday getting ready for the show
Trying to pin a number on the back of her shirt
Feeling helpless as she braids her own hair on the go
While I stand around with other 4-H parents kicking dirt
She competes in classes with all the rest
Win or lose she smiles through it all
Dad's just proud when she does her best
We're getting ready for the fair in the fall
The questions I ask, did you scoop today?
Yes dad, and I fed him an apple treat
Can I ride the horse next Saturday?
Yes dad, but please don't hurt his feet
Through my children all my dreams stay alive
With the Ah-sum experiences we've had
I work in construction to survive
But I'm a wannabe cowboy and a 4-H dad
© 2006, Keven Inman
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Keven told us he wrote this poem when his daughter "... was in 4-H, showing in horse shows at events like the Pierce County and Washington State Fairs. The story in it is my story, however. There are a few minor notes I'd like to include, which you may find interesting. First, we did in fact have a great appaloosa gelding named 'Au Sum.'" He taught us a lot of things that good horses will teach you. Second: there's a line in the poem that says, 'Win or lose she smiles through it all.' Formerly, it read, 'Win or lose she cries through it all,' but as she grew up and learned a few things, I was proud to change it. And, as the poem says, I really do have 'Three beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife' and I am truly a 'Wannabe Cowboy and a 4-H Dad.'"
Read more below.
About Keven Inman:
I've just finished up a delicious, hot Dutch Oven meal, after a trail ride on a good horse. I can smell the sage in the soft breeze. The sun is beginning to go down for the evening, and it's filling the western clouds with every shade of red and orange you could think of. The campfire in front of me warms my face, and every now and again it pops, sending a few glowing embers up to float through the sky. The faces of old friends sitting around the campfire are not just aglow with firelight; there's something else reflected in their eyes. There's a content feeling in this place that you just can't quite match anywhere else. One pal of mine sighs deeply, then settles back in his camp chair. Then another says, "Hey, Keven, why dontcha tell us one o' them poems a' yours?" So I get up, and start in on one. And as I'm reciting a old poem by a master storyteller like Bruce Kiskaddon or S. Omar Barker, the tried and true words of the classic poets fill me up where the Dutch oven meal couldn't quite reach, and I think to myself, "Well, I sure know where I belong!"
Reciting cowboy poetry for people is something I love to do, whether it's three shows a day for seventeen days at the State Fair, or just a few verses around the water cooler during a break. However, I've only written two poems, and I'm proud of one. So I have to rely on writers like a lot of you folks out there for my material.
One of my hobbies includes collecting and studying the works of some of the "classic" poets. "Classic" in the dictionary means a work of enduring excellence. It can also be applied to the author of such a work. Since men are what they make of themselves, a master cowboy poet can, in a way, be regarded as a "work of enduring excellence."
I'm a member of the CPI, or the Cowboy Poets of Idaho, and so I travel to their gatherings across the state of Idaho several times a year. Another organization I'm involved in is Tacoma, Washington's 4-H Youth Program, which is a little closer to home. 4-H is an excellent program, in fact, my oldest daughter grew up in it. Now she's all grown up, married, and (I'm glad to say) supplying my wife and I with grandkids to spoil.
I wrote the poem Dreams while she was in 4-H, showing in horse shows at events like the Pierce County and Washington State Fairs. The story in it is my story, however. There are a few minor notes I'd like to include, which you may find interesting. First, we did in fact have a great appaloosa gelding named "Au Sum." He taught us a lot of things that good horses will teach you. Second: there's a line in the poem that says "Win or lose she smiles through it all." Formerly, it read "Win or lose she cries through it all," but as she grew up and learned a few things, I was proud to change it. And, as the poem says, I really do have "Three beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife" and I am truly a "Wannabe Cowboy and a 4-H Dad."
For some, to be a cowboy means to have a certain attitude about things, or a state of mind, or a code to live your life by. That's what it means to me, anyways and I try my best to be a cowboy in that sense and honor of the word. Hopefully, by the time I'm done with my life I'll have done well in that regard, and folks will be able to say when I'm gone, "Now, there was a real cowboy."
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