These poems make no excuses. They are honest, sometimes witty, sometimes touching, and always heartfelt. Combining enduring western classics and new works that reflect the contemporary face of the West, this book celebrates twenty years of sharing at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko and includes an introduction from editor Virginia Bennett, a foreward by Western Folklife Center excecutive director, Charlie Seemann, and illustrations by acclaimed western artist Walt LaRue.
Chapter One: Hosses ~ Busted (the Holoday & Hampton Poet) * Squallin Balley and Diablo (Wallace McRae) * Remembering a Middle-Aged Bonc Ride (Rod McQueary) * If We All Rode Horses Like the Ones We Used to Ride (Pete Bennett) * The Retirement of Ashtola (Larry McWhorter) * Walkin' John (Henry Herbert Knibbs) * A Second Chance (Tim Jobe) * His Horses (Laurie Wagner Buyer) * Sally (Tom Sharpe) * Tempered Souls (Darin Brookman) * The Pearl of Them All (Will Ogilvie) * Eqqus Caballus (Joel Nelson) * Racehorse (Jess Howard) * Wanda Jill (Ellis Campbell) * Spirits Pure (D.Enise and Debra Coppinger Hill) * Ridin (Charles Badger Clark) * A Good One (Wyle Gustafson)
Chapter Two: Jest Fer The Fun Of It ~ A Different Point of View (Dennis Gaines) * The Parrot (Dallas McCord) * The Christian Horse (Howard Norskog) * Recipe for Rough (Dee Strickland Johnsons) * Doctoring Worms (Georgie Sicking) * Charlotte's Cow (Charlotte Thompson) * Just Had to Run and Rope Him (R.W. Hampton) * Small Towns (Ed Brown) * Our 10th Anniversary (Echo Roy-Klaproth) * Dilly Wah Dilly (Paul Steuermann) * Ol' Smoke (Jeff Streeby) * Vera (Carmel Randle)
Chapter Three: Reflections On A Lifestyle ~ That No-Quit Attitude (Waddie Mitchell) * O~You~Cowboys! (Sally Bates) * Prayers (Deanna Dickinson McCall) * The Sound of Spurs (Dick Gibford) * Priests of the Prairie (Linda Hasselstrom) * Photographer's Eye (Barney Nelson) * One Moment, Please! (John Dofflemyer) * Old Age (Yula Sue Hunting) * Old Pets (Walt McDonald) * Loss (Kent Stocketon) * We Were the Horsemen (Andy Wilkinson) * Rite of Passage (Jesse Smith) * Flying with the Eagles (Janet Moore) * Sonnet of the Sage ( Karen Brown) * Skysailing (Buck Ramsey) * The Weir (Linda Hussa) * Midnights Are Mine (Lyn DeNaeyer Messersmith) * When the Calves Come (Tom McBeth)
Chapter Four: Family & The Community Of Cowboys ~ Jerry Ambler (Paul Zarzyski) * Kitchen Window Cowboy (Jan Swan Wood)* Third Saddling (B. Lynne McCarthy) * Love is Blind (Doris Daley) * Hollyhocks (Audrey Hankins) * Traditions (Sandy Seaton) * Daddy's Bells (Colen Sweeten) * Rode My Son's Horse This Mornin' (Gary Robertson) * Ode to My Lady, My Wife (Sunny Hancock) * A Scattering of Ashes (Vess Quinlan) * Lessons (Dan Schmitt) * The Last Fiddler at Frenchman's (Dan Schmitt)
Chapter Five: Lookin' Back Down The Trail ~ Behold a Pale Horse (Mike Logan) * To an Old Friend (Red Steagall) * Songs on the Nightwind (Virginia Bennett) * The Old Prospector (Jack Hannah) * How Far is Loneseome (Yvonne Hollenbeck) * The Rider That Never Made Good (Rhoda Sivell) * The Men That Don't Fit In (Robert W. Service) * Memories (Ross Knox) * Hallie Lonnigan (Tom Russell) * The Cowboy's Reply (Wallace David Coburn) * Tall in the Sidesaddle (Gwen Petersen)
Chapter Six: Characters ~ The Old Ranch Cook (Jack Walther) * Cook's Revenge (Ray Hanzlik) * The Stampede at Jenny's Cafe (Chris Isaacs) * Clancy of the Overflow (Banjo Paterson) * Banjo, May I Have This Dance (Marion Fitzgerald) * Share and Share Alike (Howard Parker) * Viejos (Bill Wood) * Texas Braggin' (Andy Hedges) * Grandpa's Early Mornin's (Gary McMahon) * Second Thoughts (Pat Richardson) * The Perfect Tool (Darrell Arnold)