POETRY IN (RODEO) MOTION
Oregon cowboy poet writes poem for St. Paul Rodeo
St. Paul, Ore. (June, 2018) – The St. Paul Rodeo has a lot of unique features.
It’s the “Nation’s Greatest Fourth of July Rodeo”, it has trees (arborvitae) in the arena, and it has unique foods like homemade strawberry shortcake and barbecue chicken.
And now it has its own poem.
Cowboy poet Tom Swearingen has written a poem about the St. Paul Rodeo. Swearingen, Tualatin, Ore., has attended the rodeo since he was a kid. About ten years ago, his cowboy poetry hobby started.
He wrote his first poem as a memorial piece for a good friend who had died, and it was well received by family and friends. That was his first inkling that he might have a talent for writing poetry. “It turned a light bulb on and gave me permission to think that maybe I could write.”
Since then, he’s progressed and flourished in his trade, writing more poetry and performing at cowboy poetry gatherings and invitations to speaking.
Five years ago, he was asked to recite at the Wild West Art Show, part of the St. Paul Rodeo. He’s recited his poetry there every year since then.
A few months ago, several members of the St. Paul Rodeo Association asked him to write a poem about the rodeo. Swearingen had been inspired in part by the St. Paul Rodeo to write a few poems, but not one wholly about that rodeo. It was a challenge but one he enjoyed. “I’m pleased with the poem and happy they asked me.”
Swearingen still attends the St. Paul Rodeo and will entertain in the Wild West Art Tent July 5-6 from 4 to 7 pm each night.
The Wild West Art Show is open each day July 3-7 with live entertainment by the Bronco Billy Band on July 3 from 4-7 pm and Swearingen and cowboy singer Andy Bales on July 5-6.
Swearingen’s poem will have its debut at the Hall of Fame Barbecue on July 2 at 5 pm. Tickets are available for sale online; they cannot be purchased at the door for the barbecue.
The St. Paul Rodeo kicks off action July 3 and runs through the 7th. Performances are every evening at 7:30 pm with a 1:30 pm matinee on July 4. Tickets range in price from $16 to $26 and are available online at www.StPaulRodeo.com and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call 800-237-5920.