treyjanicephotograph by Carol Barlau; request permission for use


By Jack “Trey” Allen

His boots looked a hundred years old
they’d seen 10,000 miles and more
They’s scuffed up dirty except for the spots
worn smooth by the spurs that he’d wore

Levi’s adorned his twisted bowed legs
faded pale from years in the sun
His belt was remnant of an old harness strap
fastened with some buckle he’d won

His shirt was just a remnant, too
torn and patched and half untucked
If it could’ve talked, it mighta told the story
of all the hard seasons he’d bucked

His shoulders set straight and firm
though not as firm as they once may have been
They spoke of a man who’d done a life’s work
and would gladly do it again

His gray hair told of the wisdom
he gained from years on the range
of horses he’d rode, friends he’d outlived
and all the things that he’d seen change

The line of his jaw set crooked but hard
Seemed it was chiseled outta stone
And the lines on his face, like the wrinkles on his hands,
seemed to cut clear to the bone

The gaze from his icy blue eyes
Could almost bore a hold plumb through
But there was nothing to warm your heart like a smile
from that ancient buckaroo.

© Trey Allen, used with permission
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Cowboy and ranch manager Trey Allen (1971-2016) is sorely missed by his many friends and family. His friend, rancher and poet Jay Snider has said, “Trey is one of those guys that lives every day by the same code of ethics as the old-timers. It means something to him that your word is your bond and that you do what you say you’re going to do.”

(This poem also appears in a Western Horseman tribute.

See more about Trey Allen here in this blog and at

Photographer Carol Barlau took this striking photograph of Trey Allen and Janice Hannagan-Allen at a branding. We asked her to tell us a bit about herself and she wrote,”Photography is my outlet, my escape from the hurried and stressful everyday world. Photography relaxes me and renews my spirit. One of my favorite places to photograph is in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Here I can admire its quiet and subtle beauty and enjoy the warmth and friendliness of the people I meet there.”

Carol Barlau also took the photograph that was featured in Don Dane Art’s painting of Trey Allen, “Cowboy True, Thru and Thru,” that was selected for the 2015 Cowboy Poetry Week poster and for the cover of Trey Allen’s CD, “A Remnant Gather.” Find more about Carol Barlau and the poster here.