Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 6-27-11

Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

Over 25 years ago, the National Cowboy Gathering burst out of the chutes in Elko, Nev. It’s been a blockbuster event ever since. Following on the heels of that first gathering, Montana saddled up and roped in the second Gathering of poets/pickers and grinners in the nation.

Montana’s Gathering began in Big Timber, Mont., and after five years there, it moved up the trail to Lewistown, Mont., where it’s still going strong every August.

Though the inevitable march of time is eroding the banks of established custom, tradition and the cowboy way of life, at the Gathering, you can still dip a toe into how cows, horses, cattle and cowboys get along in their daily work. Plus you’ll garner unforgettable memories of poetry and songs that will make you laugh or bring a tear. This year, the August 11-14 Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering is branded: “Keepin’ It Cowboy.”

What’s in the future, what’s in the cards

As the West continues to change?

Will cowboys no longer be around –

Driven from the range?

Who will remain to carry on

The custom of cowboy ways?

Where will they go, what will they do

to keep tradition ablaze?

In the scorching summer month of August,

Cowboys from all around

Will saddle up and ride the trail

that leads to Lewistown.

Keepin’ it Cowboy is their mantra

In verse and western song;

Spirits lift and laughter rings,

and cowboys come on strong.

Singin’ their songs, tellin’ their poems

’bout ridin’ for the brand,

‘Bout horses they’ve rode and cattle

they’ve drove across this western land.

Tall boots, tall hats will bloom in the halls

of Lewistown’s Yogo Inn;

All day long there’s boot-stompin’ fun

amid the smiles and grins.

When night comes along see a western show

Throwed down by cowboy guys

Singin’ their songs and foolin’ around –

The Riders in the Sky.

So saddle up, tighten your cinch,

Tie on your best bandana,

Cowboys (and cowgirls) Keepin’ it Cowboy

In Lewistown, Montana.