KIP N. WILLIS
About Kip N. Willis
Ode to Cowboy Poetry
Been do’n me some thinking,
just sittn’ here at my desk.
About all the cowboy poets
An how they pass the test.
I wonders on the lingo
That they pass off for prose,
An their sentimental wanderings
As a tear rolls off their nose.
Memory must kick in gear
As they watch a hoss munch on grass
Or about swimin’ in the cow pond
With a bunch of jumpin’ bass.
They ponders upon adventures
That left them sick 'n lame.
Or on their son's humble beginnin’s
And his rise to fame.
They poke fun about their wives,
Their money er their gain
A-ropin' steers on a ticket
Or loadin’ cattle on a train.
They speak of good ol’ hoss sense
Learned the hard way around
Then advise you sincerely,
How to get pounded in the ground.
They see the beauty in a lonely soul
Or the Devil in the dirt,
When they behold a piece of earthly Heaven
They sob like they’ve been hurt.
They cry the blues of broken hearts
As if their heart would burst!
An’ tidy up all their words
So’s you won’t think they curse.
Where‘er their mind may meander
On prairie or down a dusty lane
Or in the rodeo arena
Somethins’ mighty plain.
As you read them cowboy poems
A love of life just fills yur breast,
An you saddle up your own steed
So you too can pass the test.
© 2009, Kip N. Willis
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
About Kip N. Willis
I'm a farmer/rancher, farming in the remote Arizona southwestern desert. I guess you can't get much more rural, my closest neighbor is 15 miles away and going to town is an event.
I was born in the sawmill town of McNary, Arizona, set in the scenic splendor of the White Mountains, and raised in Show Low, Arizona, whose name comes from the old cowboy gambling game called "show low." I grew up in pioneer history, was related to it, and steeped in it as soon as I was old enough to fork a horse and chase church cows through the cedar trees.
On numerous roundups, under the starry sky and smoking campfires, I was introduced to cowboy poetry and have loved it ever since. I like the wisdom, humor and down to earth good feelings that come from poetry around the campfire. Somehow it spoke to my heart and all the world made sense for a little while anyway.
Those fantastic years of my youth are long gone, but the love still lingers on and my desire to write poetry that will delight the souls of my children and grandchildren around our campfires has never dimmed. To me, poetry is a legacy that lives down through the ages, and I find my own children composing the lines that somehow shift time, and sink deep. When I hear their words chime out on the still air, a feeling of immense gratitude fills my being and this old man can only smile.
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