As most of you know, this summer the hubby and I took another trip to my favorite part of the country – the west. Undulating hills, sown with knee-high prairie grass. Heat ( at least in the summer), endless vistas dotted by cattle, horses, and occasionally, buffalo. Steak and potato cuisine and something new to add to my list of favorite things. Cowboy poetry.
I’m a sucker for those old fashioned dinner shows with music, skits, and good food, so naturally, we bought tickets to enjoy a night amongst the cowboys. As we feasted on brisket, potatoes and a mouthwatering sour-dough roll the size of Texas. I was introduced to a master storyteller who conjured a tale that captured my imagination. Deeply into the tale, I suddenly realized he spoke in a distinct rhyme and meter. It wasn’t until the tale had been told that I found the presentation was actually cowboy poetry.
There are “gatherings” of poets from around the world, where the stories of yore are performed. There are associations of poets dedicated to the preserving of the traditions of the American west through words and music. And the artists and authors who pen the magic of times and places and people long past remind us of whence we came and all we learned. Perhaps it is a simpler time and spirit that I’ve grown to love. Or perhaps it’s the character of the people, the bond of one’s word, the focus on survival rather than frivolity. Whatever…I’m hooked.
So, here’s to the men who tamed the west
the women who worked along side them.
To the excitement and enchantment of days gone by
all that they were and are and will be
To dust and dirt, and sky and butte
songs and tales of yore
For all that they gave and planted and taught
the remembrance of days before.