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Waddie Mitchell's New Cowboy Poem

Elko County cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell was hired by the state of Nevada to deliver an official state 150th anniversary poem.  He will be making appearances at several Nevada 150 events throughout the year. The poem, titled “The Dame Nevada”, was written exclusively for the 150th Nevada birthday celebration.


There’s a basin, wrought of reason,

tortoise dry and clean of air

Where rivers hike to meet their fate,

get lost and disappear

Where Grand Adventure had a say

and different would prevail

And where only hardy life hangs on

to all that it entails

Where hidden hints of Eden

Dare revealed to those who seek

And where Bristlecone stand sentinel

from high atop her peaks

Where the Shoshone and the Paiute

and the Washo stories tell;

‘If we but live within Her wishes,

we will prosper and live well’

Deemed and destined Dame Nevada,

cloaked in sage and sunset crowned

Making sense and friends and legends,

turning prudence upside down

She eludes to and may prove to

be enigma in disguise

Dealing wisdom and compassion,

still, refusing compromise

She’s the rugged scent of essence

Support comes from

and immense in scope and feel

Mountainous and rightly stubborn,

cold and sensuous and real

Open minded and closed fisted

and diverse in all she’s of

And, as tight with her resources

as she’s liberal with her love

And She settled hardy settlers,

and She dished prospectors ore

And She was booming as the U. S.

fought it’s most un-Civil War

And when there’s have and needed ‘

bureaucratic tape gets cleared

So, She’s flown the flag of statehood now,

one hundred fifty years

And as stewards of Her masterpiece,

the standards been set high,

Be protective and responsive to Her needs

and feed Her pride

And as Nevadans, we should not forget

what native stories tell;

‘If we but live within her wishes,

we will prosper and live well’


Waddie Mitchell, cowboy poet

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada