We received fabulous submissions for our Cowboy Poetry contest in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week this week, and in our minds, y'all are winners, but one poem was a standout and really captured the essence of what (we feel) this genre is all about.
The grand prize winner is Glen Enloe of Independence, Missouri (the Queen City of the Trails and heart of Jesse James country). Glen is a former country real estate advertising writer and graphic artist. He's been writing for nearly 45 years and has had two free verse collections plus four cowboy poetry books published, including his newest: No One Knows Where the Longhorn Goes.
His poetry has appeared on many websites, newspapers, and magazines, including American Cowboy Magazine, Happy Trails, the Kansas City Star, and others. He's also had nominations for a Pushcart Prize and several Academy of Western Artists awards. Glen is a member of the Missouri Cowboy Poet’s Association. You can read more of his poetry on www.CowboyPoetry.com and www.PoetrySoup.com. For his winning shirt, Glen has selected "The Maverick" from AJ's Western Wear. And here's his winning poem. Enjoy!
The Waxed Coat Man
In crackled tintypes bent with long ago,
Amid flaxen sunset and skies of cherry—
In worn leather-carved ancient scenario,
He dare not lie in milkweed prairie.
He rides resolute toward that sweat-tinged fame,
Always the heart’s hero of our once young eye,
As pale ivory range sighs softly his name
And we all know the real reason why.
It is high sage country that he will ride,
As that tin sun burns alabaster away—
And new birthed rains roll off his cow rancher hide,
So his soft summer’s mirage will stay.
Some see him crude – of but limited worth—
Lacking pure knowledge or certain savoir-faire—
But born of bone plain, he is of no fool’s birth—
A force of nature that’s always there.
From coat’s patina past years slide, of course,
As lines are spurred so deep into his Sphinx face—
But he’d rather be poised high atop his horse
In no other country, time or place.
His heritage is long – it’s here he’ll die—
He rides his own land in cruel spring rains and snows—
And like that wax jacket, he’ll keep his hopes dry,
Because ranching is all that he knows.