Book Reviews

What people are saying about "BardSongs and Seasons"...

Marla Ekstrand, Bend, OR

A new poet has stolen my heart. Among my treasured books, Wendell Berry has been, lovingly and respectfully, put on the second shelf for now.

Obviously, your work is a peek into the corners of your mind. Your prose seems a perfect harmonic to the creatures you so love. I love the words of "Spring Serene" — p. 91. I read in the early morning with a cup of tea — Delightful.

Ed Pritts, Oceanside, CA

Dear Ed:

I am thoroughly enjoying reading "Bard Songs and Seasons."

For instance: "Warblers In A Hurry"... your nature verse has a strong element of personification, "the moon is lighting up the woods and morning is holding its breath."

But the strongest element here and what makes this poem so touching is the very personal identification of the author with nature when he writes, "I too..."

The final stanza has the punch, melancholy but intensely personal and the reader is compelled to relate to the author.

I think this is the most poignant and touching of all... The title and the beginning give no clue of what is to come, talking about the flamboyance of September and that makes the contrast deeper.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and thinking about this one....and the imagery involved gives it sticking power.

Pamela Kaufmann, Ferndale, MI

Dear Ed:

I wanted you to know what a blessing it was to read your book of poetry, "Bard Songs and Seasons". Thank you!

It arrived a day before I left for a week's vacation on the Canadian side of Lake Huron's shores, a place that has never failed to inspire me by it natural beauty. I took your book along with me and was blessed by your words and very organic connection to our Creators world.

In particular I loved this verse of yours: "Of one treasured moment reflecting puffs of cotton clouds, and the brief contentment of being here, to share with this duck."

I my case, it was an ordinary gull, but extraordinary moment nonetheless. Thank you again, Ed, for sharing the gift of your vision and voice.

What people are saying about "Cow Chip Poetry"...

Doug and Bev Lynch, Kalispell, Montana

Howdy Ed Keenan,

Growing up cowboying as well, in the north central and south central mountains of Colorado, I found alot of similarities! Cowboys are cowboys!

I did find it interesting reading about your experiences around vaqueros, south CA and that life. While similar in alot of ways, the differences were also obvious. Bev and I really enjoyed your book, Ed, and hope it does well all over the country. You sparked a bunch of memories . . . Thanks!

Otha Barham, Outdoors Editor, The Meridian Star

Joys of Outdoor Writing and Writers

One neat thing about spending most of your time fussing over words, trying to turn a meaningful or inspiring phrase, is getting acquainted with other writers. I suppose it is so with other passions, like when an archaeologist meets a stranger who also is addicted to searching for ancient artifacts, or when two horse lovers find each other at a boring business meeting.

A commonality emerges almost instantly between writers, an important element of which is their mutual acknowledgment of the shroud of ambivalence that encompasses their hours at the desk struggling with whether to say it this way or that.

Too, I always value a writer's take on the widely held view that writers do not work, and therefore should forsake their stalling and go out and get a real job. I prefer writers who chuckle at this familiar inference over those who fret about it. Even though Hemingway answered an interviewer who asked what was the most difficult part of writing by noting that it was getting the words right, his answer shed little light on how difficult it sometimes is to do.

It is great fun to get to know writers from entirely different backgrounds than your own. One such acquaintance of mine is a poet who was raised on a ranch in southern California. His mother was Mexican American and his father of Irish heritage. Their home community of Dulzura lies a short cow chip throw from the Mexican border.

Besides Ed Keenan's side-splitting lines, I am attracted to the fact that he is a real honest to goodness cowboy. Readers may know that becoming a cowboy was an early ambition of mine but that it was not to be, because, as I explained in my book, no cowboy on earth is named Otha or any name that doesn't have three letters or less or consists of only one syllable. Because I also dreamed in my youth of being a writer, this California poet/cowboy is just about my perfect hero.

Ed writes poetry I can understand in his book, "Cow Chip Poetry —Lies, Lingo an‚ Lore." The book contains an extensive glossary of cowboy lingo.

Baxter Black, Head Cowboy, Coyote Cowboy Company

Well Ed... I can grasp the hot and dry, the value of a post hole, tequila, wiry horses, good vaqueros, cascabelles, wind, sand, dust and little desert mountains.

I liked "My Hometown," "Barb Wire Fences," and my favorite, "A Different Knot." "...Anyway, I enjoyed it very much... you spoke right to me with some of your writing.

Theresa Gallager, Valley Roadrunner Newspaper

Cow Chip Poetry - Lies, Lingo 'an Lore

A down-home, like-it-was, collection of poems written by Cowboy Poet, Ed Keenan, portrays the Southwest USA in his new book, with realism and the humor like that of an old cowboy.

They say the "grass is always greener on the other side, or perhaps in cowboy lingo, "the grass grows greener around a cow chip." The fascination of the old west lifestyle still lives in the hearts of many Americans and "Westerns" are still popular on TV, no matter the age of the viewer. After all, it is our heritage and our culture— and no matter what other countries feel, it is just as interesting and exciting as any other culture.

Author Ed Keenan has successfully captured the lure of the old west, the romanticism of the cowboys, the starry nights on the lonesome prairie, and the head em up, move em out drama of herding cattle.

Cow Chip Poetry is a fine blend of history and poetry, humor and nostalgia.

Kat, Country Feed Store, Vista, CA

If you like Gail Gardner's, "Sierry Pines" (Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail) or Wallace McCrae's "Reincarnation" or "The Classic Rhymes of Bruce Kiskaddon," you'll fall in love with this book!

...If you are looking for a dictionary of some authentic cowboy lingo, this is a great read.

J. Mireles, Vista, CA

I was given this book as a gift and, though I've never been a fan of cowboys or their poetry, I've thoroughly enjoyed it! Facing health problems has been tough and very depressing. It's surprising how beneficial a little laughter has been.

I've appreciated that I can enjoy a fully developed story, though in a short setting, and experience the benefits all day. They've raised my spirits on several occasions and given me a good chuckle.

Kudos, to Ed Keenan, for spinning a clever cowboy tale that's good for the soul. Hope there's a Cow Chip Poetry II!

Lisa Smith, Julian, CA

Dear Ed:

A friend of mine's home burned down leaving his family in emotional devastation. I quoted a little of Ed's 'Cowchip' Humor: 'May all your cowchips have a greener lining' - it was the first time I saw my friend smile after the fire - thanks Ed for feeding me the words to keep my buddies looking forward to what they do have - not what they lost.

Bill Ritchey, Palm Desert, CA

Dear Ed:

Thanks again for the book of poems. It is a remarkable little volume, and I really enjoyed reading it. A couple of my favorites among the poems were "No Place To Hide" and "Old Barns." . . . I hope you are in contact with other good cowboy poets. If you get involved in a festival we would really enjoy hearing about it.

Chan Billeter, Vista, CA


What a wonderful book you've written! I'm about half way through, and enjoying every minute. The Glossary is a riot. Many thanks.

Jim Simpson, San Diego, CA

Re: Cow Chip Poetry

Being a Greenhorn, I appreciated the extensive glossary, which rescued me as I wandered through your writings and musing. I discovered that he has an easygoing manner that invites you to just "hang around awhile" and enjoy the Cowboy's way of life.

"Happy Trails" Ed. May all your sunrises bring a promise of life, and your sunsets reflect the satisfaction of a job well done.

What people are saying about "Times Like These"...

Al Batt, Hartland, MN


Your wonderful book — "Times Like These an Endless Journey" — certainly merits a second response. There was so much to be appreciated. I love the piece on the bird book and the bats of the daytime (cliff swallows).

I, too, enjoy Tecate beer and grew up with chickens. I raised them for many years and liked their company. Silkies were and are my favorites.

My father was a water witcher and never failed to astonish me with his prowess in that arena. He was accomplished with both branch and wire forks.

Thanks for the smiles and the memories.

Happy days,
Al Batt (Batt Cave)
Hartland, MN

Louise Hagan, Keyboard & Stylus

Your book came today and I didn't have to read far to know that we're kindred spirits...I wanted to tell you what this book has done for me to lift my spirits and recall God's beautiful gift to us...

Thank you. Your words are breathtaking and very, very wonderful in describing the land, trees, sea, birds and flowers that I love so much. I'm reeling from nostalgia that started when I first saw the cover of your book.

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