9 OCTOBER 2005
by Trey Allen 1971-2016
The Great White Cowboy mounted up
on a bronc too long unrode
Bets were placed as to how he’d sit,
some wagered he’d get throwed
For a lot of suns had rose and sat
since he’d topped that wall-eyed grey
And he was forkin’ gentle ponies
when he rode out last May
But we missed the call on that one boys
for today he come ridin tough
Feedin rein and scratchin hide
on a bronc what ain’t no bluff
And what I mean he’s ridin boys!
Spurrin fore and aft!
And all the while just looked at us
and laughed and laughed and laughed
He rode him in the mountains
all along the great front range
And then off them through the foothills
and out on the eastern plains
And he gathered all the ones we’d missed,
who would de-fy Natures’laws
Then he bunched ‘em for us flunkies
in the coulees and the draws
Then he rode off and left us…
with our sad and forlorn faces
And all our ladinos that he’d gathered
like our little welfare cases
And as he rode he said to us
by way of a cold west wind
You’d better hunker in yore diggins boys,
for I’ll be back again
© 2005, Jack “Trey” Allen, used with permission
This photograph is the current Winter/Christmas Art Spur. The 1923 photograph by Charles J. Belden (1887-1966) is titled “Work on cattle ranch, Z/T Ranch, Pitchfork, Wyoming.”
The photograph put us in mind of the late Trey Allen’s poem.
Trey Allen, popular cowboy, poet, and Kansas ranch manager, told us about the inspiration for his poem in 2013: “When I first moved to the mountain country, I heard an old timer refer to the first snowfall as “the Great White Cowboy.” Anything we missed on fall gather would be promptly driven to the lower elevations by a good snowfall. It started snowing the eve of October 9 around 4 pm and by sunrise the of the 10th, approximately 32″ had driven everything, remnant cattle, elk, bear, antelope and two hippies into the lower reaches of our valley. I started my move to Kansas on the 12th so I guess in retrospect it drove me out too!
“It snows earlier than that up there but rarely that much. That particular storm shut Colorado Springs for couple days and had lasting effect on a lot folks across the East Central Plain.The poem was actually written on a paper sack as I bounced my Ryder truck from Canon City, Colorado, to Manhattan, Kansas.”
Trey Allen left us much too soon on on July 7, 2016, after a long, brave battle with multiple myeloma. He is greatly missed by countless friends and family. Find more about Trey Allen at CowboyPoetry.com, on this blog, and on Facebook.