Book Review: Lessons From A Desperado Poet – Baxter Black


Lesson #20: Remember, often it’s not ability, it’s reliability. The world is run by those who show up.

Meeting Baxter Black at NCBA Trade Show

Back in February while at the the National Cattle Industry Convention, I had the opportunity to meet Baxter Black and receive a copy of his latest book – Lessons from a Desperado Poet: How to find you way when you don’t have a map, how to win the game when you don’t know the rules, and when someone says it can’t be done, what they really mean is they can’t do it. Think he could have come up with a longer title?

Baxter Black is a cool ole guy. I haven’t been a committed follower of his, but will take the chance to read his column in various Agriculture publications or watch a video clip of his various comical encounters. My favorite would probably have to be The Prolapse from the Black Lagoon. So when I got a copy of his latest, I was excited to add it to my book list!

Lessons from a Desperado Poet, isn’t a normal collection of stories from Baxter Black. Yes, he does share several of his great life experiences and it provoked several deep gut laughs. Instead of stories from the cow shed, Baxter takes the opportunity to share some advice from life experiences. This self-help book provides some good advice and motivation from someone who has been down that road. Even though I’m not an aspiring cowboy poet or entertainer, or even looking to publish my own book, there’s something to take from the lessons shared.

I sat down on Spring Break to start the book and read half of it in one sitting. Baxter shares some good motivation for when things seem to go wry. His lessons are spread throughout the book and I urge you to give it a try. (HA, after re-reading this, I found that weak attempt at poetry.)

Baxter Black's latest book. Even had it signed!

Here are a few of the many lessons shared throughout the book that stuck with me.

Lesson #1: When a human meets a horse, or cow, or dog, they start out even. Then one of them gains the advantage. Eventually a relationship is established. The same applies to meeting new coworkers, in-laws, barbers, or house cats. It;s not fair, it’s just life.

Lesson # 76: Perseverance is the most valuable trait to have when the chips are down. Not being funny, smart, strong, or good-looking, just being able to get back on when you get bucked off.

Lesson #78: The person who can beat the most naturally gifted is the cowboy who works harder.

Lesson #105: The cowboy way is not just a punch line. It is a code of conduct that boils down to ‘doin the right thing.’

And Baxter sums things up with a few words of wisdom about Faith.

Lesson #117: Faith is a mental, emotional, and spiritual muscle that can be developed by exercising it regularly.

I encourage you to find a copy of this book and invest the time to learn from the experiences of someone who has been there. Baxter Black does a good job of this.

Have you read this or any of Baxter Black’s other books? What are your favorites?

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6 Comments

  1. Baxter has appeared at a couple of our Cattlemen’s Conventions. He’s always funny and entertaining with his skewed take on life. In other words, he’s a typical cowboy. We run his column regularly in the ag weekly I work for also. Last time I saw him I had just published my first book so I gave him the Golden Opportunity of swapping it with his latest book. We also had some time together to swap some of those cowboy stories off the cuff.

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  2. I like #76. You can always tell how hard you’ve been bucked off (of anything) by how long it takes to climb back on. Don’t think it really matters just so long as you always get back on.

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  3. My grandma introduced me to Baxter when I was little and I have been reading his stuff ever since! As I have grown older, I realized that he is more than just a funny cowboy, he is a truly awesome guy!

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