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Darrell Arnold


You caw and chortle, gurgle and squawk,
You’re heard long before you are seen.
You fly and float, kinda lazy and slow,
You’re insolent, cocky, and keen.

Your coat is glossy, shiny, and black,
Your beak is quite heavy and stout,
You know that you’re handsome, an air-borne rake,
You seem to know what you’re about.

You raid the nests of magpies and jays,
Their nestlings and eggs you devour.
You’re first on the scene when something has died,
For you it’s the gathering hour.

You torment the owl and the eagle,
They cannot maneuver like you.
You’re bold and you’re brassy, devilish and mean,
Your friends and admirers are few.

Old raven, you’re smart and you’re able,
You squabble and argue and fuss.
Though to mankind your ways are distasteful,
The truth is that you’re just like us.

From Cowboy Poultry Gatherin’ (Guy Logsdon Books, 1993).
Used here with permission.

Darrell Arnold has been writing poetry for more than forty years. He was an associate editor at Western Horseman magazine for five years, then launched his own publication, Cowboy Magazine, which ran for nearly eighteen years. Poetry, primarily cowboy poetry, was an integral part of both publications. In the early ‘90s, Darrell started turning his poetry into songs and has now had more than 20 poems recorded by various western singers; two of them have earned song-of-the-year" awards from Western Writers of America and the Western Music Association. Darrell continues to write poetry and has extended an open invitation to cowboy singers everywhere to team up with him to make more memorable songs. For details and special pricing on his books, contact him at P. O. Box 3097, Colorado City, AZ 86021.




Post New Comment:
Too true! How easily we recognize and dislike our own faults in others.
Posted 10/14/2022 10:13 AM
An unkindness of ravens! It's good seeing you here again on YDP.
Posted 10/14/2022 09:11 AM
Clever. Something charming in the poet's admiration for the raven. Enjoyable rhyming.
Posted 10/14/2022 12:30 AM
Ravens are cowboys Or cowboys are ravens Both are tougher than the rest But it can be rough to be the best Anthony
Posted 10/13/2022 03:40 PM
Darrell Arnold:
Sharon, thank you for the kind words. Larry, I don't feel right about blaming the foibles and failings of mankind on another of God's creatures, even one as rascally as a raven. I feel I must take ownership of who I am and what I do. Kevin, would it not be a grand thing if each of us, we of the versifying nature, could pen a poem as oft' quoted and as well remembered as Poe's "The Raven?" Even if we write mostly for our own pleasure, going down in literary history for creating a masterpiece forever attached to our name (s?) is a goal worth striving for. Let's see now, "Once upon a midnight, dreary, While I pondered, weak and weary . . . ."
Posted 10/13/2022 12:30 PM
Killer ending, Darrell! Thank you.
Posted 10/13/2022 12:26 PM
Enjoyed the poem, and the bio, as well.
Posted 10/13/2022 12:21 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I found this poem funny,insightful and photographic. I could see and hear the raven and certain people I know in these lines: You caw and chortle, gurgle and squawk,/Youre heard long before you are seen/You fly and float, kinda lazy and slow,/Youre insolent, cocky, and keen.
Posted 10/13/2022 11:48 AM
What a fun poem. With its rhyming couplets, it leans towards song. And, of course, echoes of Poe.
Posted 10/13/2022 09:45 AM
Larry Schug:
Or did we learn to be as we are from the raven? Astute observations, Darrell; another lesson in paying attention to being alive.
Posted 10/13/2022 07:11 AM

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