Cowboy poetry: Another take on a sesquicentennial paean to Nevada

A friend and I were chatting the other day about how we’d’ve liked to have gone to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko this week, despite the cold and goodly chance of getting snowed in.

I mentioned that “cousin” Waddie Mitchell was debuting his Nevada sesquicentennial celebration poem, but I couldn’t recall the title — “Madame Nevada,” “Dame Nevada” or something, I guessed.

My friend cracked, “Madame Nevada? Hell, she ain’t no madame, she’s just one of the girls.”

Of course, Waddie’s piece sings the praises of the 150-year-old state with lines about “Bristlecone stand sentinel from high atop her peaks” and “She’s the rugged scent of essence and immense in scope and feel …”

Perhaps a less whitewashed, Chamber of Commerce version is in order.

Madame Nevada

She sits astride the swaths of sagebrush and bristlecone
And beckons weary travels with her breasts of silicone.

She gives a whole new meaning to the words Great Basin
As she swallows up those who dare walk where she is pacin’.

Dropped like a calf in the Civil War, she suckled on dreams
And chased the teats of gold and silver and nefarious schemes.

Rich in minerals and irony, Governor Nye passed a resolution
That banned all gambling, till she made it a budget solution.

Weaned on hard liquor and cards in a house of ill repute
She grew up hard and rode fast out of the chute.

They may call her easy, but it takes a lot of work, girl
To be always on the take and take all those suckers for a whirl.

So, let’s drink to her future and let’s drink to her vices
She’ll never deny you, if you can just afford her prices.

3 comments on “Cowboy poetry: Another take on a sesquicentennial paean to Nevada

  1. iShrug says:

    Nicely done!

  2. “A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.”       — Lazarus Long

    But thanks, iShrug.

  3. Is that you, Mike? It’s better than Brahms lullaby; I will give you that.

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