First annual Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering slated for late August

By Gabriel Weinstein<br />Staff writer

By Gabriel Weinstein<br />Staff writer

CIMARRON— “It’s been a long five years with so little rain or grass. Prices are sky high and I’m just trading gold for gas. The bulk feed cost is climbing. It makes hard to wean the calves. So I broke the cookie jar and cashed in my dollar halves.”

The situation Cimarron area poet Dennis Russel Nazelrod describes in his poem Renewin’ All Our Hopes is one familiar to cowboys and ranchers in Cimarron and throughout the West. It’s a situation Nazelroad thinks about as he tends to his cows just south of Cimarron.

The challenges of daily life as a rancher and cowboy inspired Nazelrod to organize the first annual Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering. The event will feature 17 performers from Cimarron, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and from other areas in New Mexico.

Nazelrod said performers will speak about cattle drives, drought and rhythms from the trail, subjects that citizens in Cimarron and the surrounding area deeply understand. 

“We’re about horses and cows, a real way of life,” he said.  “People in Colfax County and southeastern Colorado, we’re people that live and work this life.”

Nazelrod has been performing his poetry throughout New Mexico and Colorado for the past ten years.

“When I tell my stories it enlightens people. I can see their faces, shutting their eyes and picturing what you’re describing,” he said. “I think it brings the Western way of life back to us, back to this part of the country. It kind of takes some of the technology part away and puts us back in the one on one contact with horses and cows and farming and getting up raising crops and watering them. “

Local performers include Rod Taylor, Kara Mutz and Gayanne Jeffers will also be performing. Former Philmont Scout Ranch director of museums and noted Western writer Steve Zimmer will be master of ceremonies. The event will start with the presentation of the colors and a prayer. The Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering will run from 12 p.m.-8 p.m. at the historic Express St. James Hotel on Aug. 23. Adult tickets are $10, tickets for seniors, veterans and children six to twelve are $5 and children under five are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information visit <a href=”http://cimarroncowboygathering.com”>cimarroncowboygathering.com</a>.