A Poem About Cows (Don't Chute Me Please)

A cattle chute similar to the photo prompt I used
A cattle chute similar to the photo prompt I used | Source

Photo Prompt Poetry Contest

I recently wrote a poem and entered it in a contest at a poetry specific website.

The only rules were that you had to use a specific photo (provided) as the prompt for the poem and your submission had to be less than 40 lines.

I don't have permission to use the original photo here but the one above is very similar to give you some idea.

Unfortunately my poem didn't win the contest, and I accepted that without a problem. Later I was surprised to get this message from the person who issued the challenge:

"commented on Don't Chute Me, Please! John, somehow I missed yours. I would have absolutely placed you up in the top three. Please forgive me! I will be having a contest with a western/country theme soon. I hope you will enter. I can sent you a pm when I start it if you would like. I am so very sorry that I missed this one. It's one of the best ones. Thank you for entering." - Katie

Anyway, I decided to republish the poem here.

Update

I did submit a poem into the next "Cowboy Poem" contest at the same website and was lucky enough to be awarded a bronze medal (3rd place) and 400 points to use at that site. I just hope it wasn't a token award by Katie because she felt guilty about overlooking this one.

Gotta love this song

Source
Source

Don't Chute Me, Please

by John Hansen © 2014


The cattle chute was empty,

Though day had just begun,

The morning sun lit up the gates

Through which the cattle run.


The musty smell of bulldust

Pervades the morning air,

Reminders of the hooven feet

That up the ramp do tear.


Cows with calves, and bulls and steers

Make up the cattle herd

That through the chute will make their way

To market they'll be spurred.


A cowboy or a drover

Will urge the nervous mob

Into a truck that waits atop,

They'll all just do their job.


But at this early time of day

No livestock can be seen,

Mist still hovers in the air,

The grass is lush and green.


All is quiet and peaceful,

The perfect country scene,

If the cattle knew what lay ahead

They'd say, "Don't chute me, please!"

Source

© 2015 John Hansen

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Comments 77 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England

Hi Jodah, yes I can see why you should have been in the top three, this poem is awesome! what a shame! at least they want you to write in the next one, and I bet you will win that one! loved it!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Nell, I appreciate your compliment. I did enter the next competition so we will see what happens.


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A beautiful poem! You always come up with a great thought. Voted up!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Devika, glad you enjoyed this poem, and thanks for the vote up. It was a bit of fun.


Smilealot 23 months ago

Great poem Jodah, a pity it was missed but you must have felt good getting that deserved response. It isn't always easy to get the words out from a single picture, but you nailed it:-))


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this Smilealot. I appreciate that encouraging comment. Yes it felt good getting that feedback from the person running the contest and a specific invitation to enter the next one.. Which I have done.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Congratulations on getting the message, Jodah. That must have felt great! Best of luck with the next contest.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Alicia, much appreciated.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 23 months ago from Riga, Latvia

I can see why your poem should have been among the best. It was very creative and went well with the theme.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the comment Gypsy. I know it isn't a classic but I think it did fit the theme well.


missirupp 23 months ago

A joy to read.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey missirupp, so glad to hear that. Thank you.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 23 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Pity that this was missed but it was nice to have received that kind of thoughtful gesture specially acknowledging your creativity and effort.

Well, this seems to be a good way to start a new year and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Cheers!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Cris, yes it was a thoughtful gesture. This is going to be a good year, I can tell.


Sara Sarwar Riaz profile image

Sara Sarwar Riaz 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

Beautifully written. It is indeed unfortunate for such an endeavor to have been missed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Sarah. also thanks for the follow. It was no big deal regarding the competition really, first prize was just points on the particular site. I did ok in the following contest :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 23 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Nice pace and tempo, you are definitely out in front of the herd.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha Mike, thanks for the roundup.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV

Well written. It reminds me of the cowboy poetry competition at Genoa. Thank you for sharing. Jamie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the comment Jamie. Did you enter the Genoa cowboy poem comp?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

I agree with Mike's clever remark about definitely being "out in front of the herd." I was disappointed to learn that his poem had been missed. I thought, "Huh?" Next time, John..next time! :-) Voted up +++.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 23 months ago from TEXAS

I love this, John! I relate to it from having cattle on the ranch. The 'crowd pen', used to push them, one by one, to be branded or medicated was an oven used type of chute. Your poem captures the essence of what it's all about. Beautifully done! I'm glad it scored.


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 23 months ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Of course we all know you should have placed initially in the top three, John. Too bad this was overlooked, but thought it classy of the lady to send you a message reaffirming what all of us all ready know. You are a writer that deserves to be recognized. Congrats! Kim


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York

As usual Mike steals everyone's thunder with his great remark "out in front of the heard". Certainly this poem met all the contest's criteria and as the "judge" recognized should have been at the top.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Ooops... I meant to type "that this poem had been..." Typos continue to be my nemesis. :-)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha Genna, yes Mike's quip was a good one. There is certainly always a next time, maybe I should use that as my theme. Thanks for the vote up too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Nellieanna, glad you can relate to this. Oh, it didn't score, though It was fun to write and only took me around fifteen minutes, so although being overlooked in a competition is a bit upsetting it wasn't as though I had devoted a large amount of time and energy doing. Thanks for reading and your fine comment. Hope all is well with you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your kind comment Kim. I feel a little egotistical having even mentioned that I entered this poem in a competition and that it was overlooked and should have won blah blah...but hey it was good of her to even acknowledge that she'd made a mistake. All praise to her integrity I say. Her words did encourage me to enter the next contest she ran. Cheers.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the kind comment and encouragement Mary. Yes, Mike's comment was a witty one. You can't win them all, but it was good to be acknowledged. The vote up is always appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Genna..I think that "is" what you wrote


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 23 months ago from TEXAS

Not being very motivated by competition myself, I tend to weigh my own work largely by how I feel about it, and, if they mention it, what my peers feel about it. Evaluation of creative work is mostly subjective, unless the use of specific artistic rules are being judged. Sometimes those rules seem to detract from the creativity, rather than enhancing it. So, that too is rather a subjective matter. As far as I'm concerned, your poem works really well and fits the main rule of the contest, to use a certain photo to prompt the writing. It certainly does that cleverly well! :-)


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 23 months ago from USA

Oh this is very clever! Loved it!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading schoolgirlforreal. Glad you enjoyed this poem.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV

John you asked if I have read any of my poems at the Genoa Cowboy Poetry festival. Sadly the answer is no. But I have done performances on stage for the festival (others work) and I try to attend as many a possible. Nevada has Cowboy Poetry Festivals that draw poets from around the globe. For example the festival in Ely Nevada has a huge draw every year. Jamie


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 23 months ago from Boise, Idaho

John, I repeat what I said earlier today in the email I sent you. You absolutely have what it takes to be a professional writer.

Have you considered trying to get this published in any vegetarian publications or animal rights groups? This is really a great piece of writing.

I'm sharing it and I've voted it up. Your poetry is top notch!


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 23 months ago from Boise, Idaho

Oh, and congratulations on the feedback. It's bitter sweet.


Availiasvision profile image

Availiasvision 23 months ago from California

John, I like the subtle tension in this poem and the bit of humor at the end. Congratulations on all of your recent writing success. That's admirable that you are going outside of HP and entering contests.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that info Jamie. I hope you get to perform some of your poems at one of the cowboy festivals. One of the first poems I read of yours was about two boys shooting a moose, I think. Something along those lines would go down well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Iris. That's a great suggestion. I never even thought of approaching vegetarian an animal rights groups/publications. I have only really been trying to get my poetry and other writing published in about the ast year. Maybe I need to hire you to market my work.. :) (just jokingThanks for your generous comment, vote up and share. Much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Iris, they say any feedback is good feedback...so I am staying positive.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Jennifer, glad this poem worked.. Yes you have to test the waters of a few different areas to gauge where your writing is at. I am quite happy with the small but significant successes I have had in the last few months. It's good for the writer's ego :)


travmaj profile image

travmaj 23 months ago from australia

Awwww - made me smile, made me sad. I have two pet cows, they're about 14 years old now - hah, they escaped the chute. They look much like the cows in your last photo.

Your poem worked really well - such a shame it was overlooked. Best of luck with the next one, you'll nail it. Cheers John.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Maj, glad it made a cow owner/lover smile. I appreciate you reading and your kind comment. Cheers. Say hi to your cows.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Great work, this was an absolute DELIGHT to read.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well it is a delight to have you read this poem and receive your comment aviannovice. Thanks.


mary615 profile image

mary615 23 months ago from Florida

I'm glad you will enter this poem in their next contest. It's wonderful to have our work recognized.

When I was married to my Veterinarian hubby, I helped him with the cattle, giving them shots, etc. They would go through chutes like this. You brought back great memories for me with your poem.

It's always nice to read your poetry, voted UP, etc. and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Mary. I can't enter this same poem, but a different one. So glad this brought back memories of your work with your veterinarian hubby. Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you enjoy my poetry.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 23 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Loved it!! We looked after a hud of Jamaica Red Breed of Cattle in the Grenadines, this took me back. By we, I mean my husband & Co.

As far as I'm concern, this is most certainly a winner. ;)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Why thank you Jo. I am surprised the number of hubbers who have worked with catte. Glad you enjoyed this and it brought back pleasant memories. For a simple poem I am stoked by the responses.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Another very creative and great poem, Jodah. I love it !


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Phyllis, that's all I ask..just love it! :)


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Jodah, I was so sleepy when I first commented (I have not been sleeping well at all the last few months) - I meant to say well done for the acknowledgement from the contest coordinator that your poem would have won. It is a shame she had missed it and she seems to be quite sorry for that. Next time, Jodah - your determination and great writing will win.

Cheers!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Phyllis, thanks for revisiting. I know what a lack of sleep is like..makes it hard to give anything else your full concentration. Hope things start to improve for you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

Awesome poem. I haven't eaten beef since 1995 and am now going off pork much to the dismay of my husband and daughter.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Flourish, it sounds like a gradual progression to vegetarianism. I doubt I could ever do it but I admire people who can. Thanks for the kind comment.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida

John, you must have been so disappointed to have your poem missed by the judges. On the other hand, knowing it would have made the top three is very promising.

I hope you'll re-enter it in the upcoming contest Katie mentioned.

I feel for the cattle. They have no idea what's in store for them.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Shauna, if Kate hadn't told me that my poem had been overlooked I would just have thought it wasn't good enough and accepted that. I applaud her fr her honesty and it is nice to know that the poem was worthy of the top three. That feedback to me is amost as good as winning. I enterred a different poem in her next contest. I just have to check the results. I have been around cattle and although they don't know what awaits them it does seem they can sense something is not right.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 22 months ago

This was a great poem on how it must feel to be pushed along through the chute. Very creative and one can really relate to the cowboy's lifestyle.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Dianna, I hoped this captured the atmosphere around cattle and cowboys.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 22 months ago from The Midwest, USA

Like the others, I enjoyed your poem. A very clever way to use the photo, I imagine! Congratulations on getting the kind words from a judge, and a subsequent bronze prize as well. That is great! How wonderful to be inspired in the creative ways that you are, which helps one to grow and be challenged I imagine. Thanks for sharing, and it makes me want to say, "poor cows!"


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi oceansunsets. Yes small accolades like judge's feedback and the bronze award (though there was no monetary value) give you the incentive to write more. As writers we just need a little encouragement from time to time. Glad you enjoyed the poem...and yes, "poor cows."


Vellur profile image

Vellur 22 months ago from Dubai

Great poem, it must have gone on right up to the top. I do not know what happened to the judges.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your encouragement Vellur. Possibly because I submitted it on the last day that the competition was open, and they overlooked it. Unfortunate but these things happen. I am glad you like it though.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 22 months ago

It is too bad about the first contest John but cogratulations on the second one - if it was not charity. That was a very good poem and I liked the cartoon video too. I voted up, shared and pinned it.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Kevin. I always appreciate your comments and support..and the vote ups, share and pin.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Yep, I can see why you got so many 'awesomes' on this one! Being from Texas, I can understand cow think. You really nailed it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey great to see you Austinstar. I'm surprised to see you reading one of my poetry hubs but I do appreciate it and the generous comment. I can see how a Texan may be able to relate to this one however. One of my aims is to try to write poetry that appeals to a wider audience.. even those who say they don't like poetry due to being forced to read Shakespeare and the classics at school.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Oh, I read and write poetry. I was a Journalism, English and Spanish student in 'Uni'. So, I can actually write poetry in two languages. Spanish is easier because everything rhymes!

Unfortunately, very few people actually do like poetry. Except for Limericks for some reason.

What most people don't understand is - you can't have music without poetry! And everyone loves music.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well, you are more qualified than me Austinstar so you can probably teach me a thing or two about poetry. I think people like limericks for the comedy or bawdy factor. However many true poetry fans dismiss limericks as a poor man's poetry. I think they are the most fun to write effectively but I grew up as an Edward Lear and Dr Seuss fan. You are right that without poetry there would be no music. Put a poem to music and you have a song.


Leptirela profile image

Leptirela 20 months ago from I don't know half the time

What a shame :/

It is definitely a winner in my book.

Lovely poem, rhymes perfectly and moves fast. Great use of wording.

I love it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this Leptirela. I appreciate your kind comment.


Leptirela profile image

Leptirela 20 months ago from I don't know half the time

A true comment it is. Very rarely does one pull you in with words and you have a way with them.

You are an awesome writer.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I feel if I write things that please me there is a chance others my enjoy reading it a well Leptirela. That seems to work. I'm not here for the money either so I think that frees you to write what makes you happy. Thanks again.


Leptirela profile image

Leptirela 20 months ago from I don't know half the time

I agree totally. I found it insulting that " ~AP~" EXPERT suggested that "Nonsense poetry" and other "low quality " hubs be rid of. When there are a great number of Poet/Writers who have been with HP over many more years than him and write simply from the heart. We should be given some credit for that alone as well as attracting people to the site outside of HP.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I had never heard of AP before reading his comments on that recent forum. I thought he seemed very opinionated and and full of himself but thought I'd check his profile and hubs to see for myself. I have never seen anyone so in love with themselves or so verbose. I got sick of reading what a talented and wonderful writer he is (by his own admission) and how he chose to hide his accolades because he didn't want to boast :) (I think he is really embarrassed by them). I have constantly defended poets here and will continue to do so. I would much rather read good poetry than the boring long-winded prose that AP writes.


EsJam profile image

EsJam 20 months ago from Southern California

Ah! Love this! I'm an avid fan of the Old West and cowboy cultures.

I had to chuckle after reading this...it is clever and entertaining!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and enjoying this EsJam. As you are a fan of the old west you may enjoy another poem of mine "Badlands Stampede". Have a great day.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)699 Followers
    277 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.



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