Cowboy Poets Gather to Share Works

BY NewsHour Poetry Series  March 14, 2006 at 2:51 PM EST

While studying poetry with Richard Hugo at the University of Montana in the early ’70s, Paul Zarzyski took up a second “lucrative career” as a rodeo circuit bareback bronc rider. He’s been featured at 20 consecutive annual Cowboy Poetry Gatherings in Elko, NV, has toured Australia and England, and has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION.

The author of 10 books and 2 spoken-word CDs, Paul is the recipient of The Wrangler Award (“Cowpoke Pulitzer”), The Spur Award, and The 2005 Montana Governor’s Arts Award for Literature. He lives west of Great Falls.

Transcript: Paul Zarzyski

Grace
by Paul Zarzyski

In the soft low light up high
where love has always thrived and will
forever yearn for the colorful hover– a brush stroke
of words out of the West– we still want free life, we still want fresh air.

And as millenniums meander by
like birthdays to the earth, what thrill
a saffron blade of grass, blue sage, scrub oak
still brings us on our daily jaunt
across the land, our daily poem, our prayer.