COWBOY POETRY: Cowboy Stage Fright

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life.  Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

I’d have to say that writing cowboy poetry’s a kick. But when it came to speaking, well it danged near made me sick.

I’d memorized my poems. They were imprinted on my mind. But when I stepped up on the stage those words I could not find.

The rhymes were all forgotten and the rhythm was off beat. My eyes were full of sweat from all the sunshine’s glaring heat.

The audience was fidgeting. They looked to be wide-eyed. Don’t think I would have cared if I’d have simply up and died.

One cowboy told me earlier. Don’t worry you’ll forget. Make sure your book is by your side. There’ll be no need to fret.

Well sure enough my poems were laying right in front of me. Someone had placed them all face up. Just right for me to see.

I regained my composure. Now my confidence was sure. I stepped up to the microphone. It was poetry galore!

Did my voice ring hints of Shakespeare? Had I passed the stage fright test? Then someone from the audience said, “Oh please give it a rest!”

I cut my cowboy routine short. I guess it had some flaws. ‘Cuz when I stepped down off the stage they gave a mild applause.

I asked my son. “Well how’d I do? At first I thought I’d croaked.” He looked at me and shook his head. “Well Dad, I think you choked.”

So all you cowboy poets who are headed for the stage. If bashful is an issue, then I’d turn a different page.

My writing comes much easier; an audience is the test. And when it comes to speaking I will leave that to the rest.

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