Thursday, January 19, 2017


©By Mary Nida Smith

Cowboy Jo
once an orphan child
came to Sawtooth City,
then Bonanza City in 1879.
There she stayed
the first woman
to enter Yankee Fork
mining district.

Men of Sawtooth City
hadn’t laid eyes
on a woman in months
the day Cowboy Jo
rode into town
with a pack train.

The men came running
to see if she was real
this woman of pretty
auburn hair and stood tall.
She wanted their respect
but, it wasn’t to be
from the men of
Yankee Fork

Respect for a lone woman
in a mining town of men
was only a passing goal.
For Cowboy Jo laughed
and drank with the best of them.
She never raised her voice
or laughed, allowing only
a weak smile on her face.

In months that followed
Cowboy Jo was regarded
Cowboy Jo – Nida Smith - 2

 as an Angel of Mercy.
She’d pack her saddlebags
with food and medicine,
no matter how far
over rough, high mountains
she rode to nurse
a miner back to health.

Years passed, Bonanza City grew
more women came of different class.
These women treated Cowboy Jo
kindly, enjoying her visit
when sober and bathed.

She was a restless person
a confirmed alcoholic   
quickly aged in her mid-thirties
traveling from camp to camp.
Then a man named John Bee
took a fancy to Cowboy Jo
called her, his woman

One night John Bee
in a drunken poker game
thought he was a winner.
No money to raise his bet
he promised Cowboy Jo
as his wager for he was sure,
he held the winning hand.
But no, he did not.
He lost the love of his life
in a drunken poker game.

Cowboy Jo waited
half asleep and not sober
at a near-by table.
As the poker winner
came to claim his prize,
he yelled at the barkeep.
Bring me a quart of whiskey.
then he picked her limp body
shouldered her, and walked out
to greet the sunrise.

Cowboy Jo – Nida Smith - 3

John Bee watched
the prospector’s place
from his near-by cabin.

One day the gambling man
who claim his woman
left his cabin alone.
John Bee took a wheelbarrow
found Cowboy Jo inside
drunk and out cold.
He dragged her to the wheelbarrow
quickly headed back to his cabin.

Later, he walked to the spring
to get a bucket of water.
On the return trip
he spotted the prospector
as he jumped behind a boulder.
Cowboy Jo’s new man
shot at John Bee as he
continued to shoot between
loading Cowboy Jo
into the wheelbarrow
and headed back to his cabin
with his wheelbarrow and poker prize.

Cowboy Jo lived her life
between drunk and out cold.
Being claim by one man
after another until her slow death.
Died without the respect she craved.
Died alone this orphan child
who craved love in the Sawtooth
Mountains of Idaho
in the Land of Yankee Fork.

© By Mary Nida Smith

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Free Conference
Register now for the free writer’s conference sponsored by the Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop. We still have room for eager writers, both novice and advanced. New York Times Best Seller Jodi Thomas is our featured speaker, with the awesome 13 year old Alice Cai, and writing tips from Spur award winner Dusty Richards and award winning author Velda Brotherton. For more information see click on Events, and don’t forget to enter the contest. It’s a fabulous chance to make your creative work pay off. See you March 11.

The website maintained by Velda Brotherton, historian and author of Images In Scarlet and Fly With The Mourning Dove

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sitting in the Silence

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sitting in the morning silence
interrupted by dogs barking in a distance.
Fog like clouds appear to engulf,
the trees and bushes to set down ice.
Hidden sunlight try's to gain courage
to break through the icy clouds. -

Friday, January 13, 2017


As many of you may know,  local artist, Jerry Preator is the featured at the PAL's Fine Art Gallery, Yellville.  A reception has been planned for tomorrow, 1-13 , but with the current threats of freezing rain it will be rescheduled.  After talking with Mr. Preator , it has been decided to re schedule Friday,  Friday, Jan 20, 4-5:30 pm.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Designed (c) by Mary Nida Smith

Bio Mary Nida Smith, Children Market

Organizations:  Member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and founder of Children’s Writers & Illustrators (Mountain Home, AR); Attend: SCBWI AR workshops and retreats during Darcy Pattison and Sandy Fox as Regional Advisors.
Conferences: SCBWI Arkansas and Missouri
Magazines: Kid Magazine Writers, Jan Fields, Editor (Blogging is Important)
                    Once Upon a Time (Writer’s Block) issue 2007
Newsletters: Mo Scribbles (SCBWI) Arkansas SCBWI News Column and article, “Eliminate Clutter and Stress.”
                       Winter 2005 SCBWI Australian Chapter’s Newsletter Fine Lines (reprint) “Eliminate Clutter and Stress”

Illustrations: SCBWI National Bulletin (purchase one). Taught others how to write and illustrate a children’s picture book.

Library Summer Program: Taught a writing class for young children for three years at the Baxter County Library, member of the Friends of the Library (Board member five years and a member of Friends of the Library 15 years in 2016)

Blogs: Monthly 2009-2017 W.O.M David L. Harrison (Children’s book author) posted a monthly poem. (Life’s Beautiful Path)

Freelance Writer and author of Submarine Stories of World War II (2008) and Heroes Beneath the Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century (2015 ) for youth and adults.

Deceitful Wind - Poem

Deceitful Wind
By Mary Nida Smith

This morning the wind is visiting
Banging against the house
Like a mad uncontrollable beast
Trying to frighten me
To rattle and shake my nerves
As it circles from different directions
The bully wind will lullaby with low notes
Appearing to calm me into thinking its leaving
For a moment, I feel a calmness and peace
Suddenly, shaken by the howls of wolves
Taking runs, like the big bad wolf
Trying to puff and blow my house in
To remove me to a hidden place
Where the strong, deceitful, wind hides
Claiming me for its own.