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About Robert Dennis
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About Robert Dennis:

I've been making up rhymes all my life and started to write them down after seeing some "cowboy" poets. Didn't seem too tuff, so thought I'd try. Like everything it's harder than it first appears, at least if you want good meter and rhyme. 

I've lived on the family ranch all my life except for them four years they sent me to prison, what they called high school. My wife Cindy and I have three sons, too many horses and not enough cattle! I build saddles and other horse related gear. I can make anything but money. I admire them old timers and the way they worked cattle and horses and still think they knew what they were doing. I don't believe anything worthwhile has been invented in the last one hundred years except indoor plumbing.  

I admire good cowboys, stockmen and horsemen and try to emulate them.  

Robert Dennis was a featured performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering  in 1989, 1990, and 1997.

He was featured in a cover story in the Winter, 2006 issue of Cowboy Magazine with an article and photographs by Jeri Dobrowski.  Read the article here at CowboyPoetry.com.

A photo by Jeri Dobrowski, titled "Leadin' a Spare," from the shoot for this Cowboy Magazine cover story, is featured in our Art Spur project. Art Spur invites poets to let selections of Western art inspire their poetry.


Manuel Coy

Horse Trade

Night Sport

The Quest

Green and White


The Gift  separate page

Spring Dance


The Perfect Christmas Tree


Manuel Coy

He came up from the southlands
with a trailherd from Texas, they said
the results of a fight in El Paso
where a man was left lying dead

A battle for his novia, no doubt
she had broken his heart that night
his hot Spanish temper took over
because of his deed he took flight

His brother was a deputy sheriff
that policed, that small bordertown
he could not dishonor the name
that his father had passed on down

He joined a northbound trailherd
though he was scarcely more than a boy
when the trailboss asked for a name
he replied, “It is Manuel Coy.”

He rode as one with his horse
he roped with a smooth, Spanish flair
but was quiet and moody at times
as he thought of her jet black hair

He vowed he would never go back
that no other would break his heart
he gave his devotion to his work
and he raised that trade to an art

When the cattle reached Dakota
he was riding at point with the herd
he took his pay and rode north
a fine cowboy as good as his word

He rode for the big ranches for years
across this wide, virgin land
he could work both cattle and men
became wagonboss for the H O brand

When the honyockers came in droves
he helped clean the cattle off the range
then he settled on a small chunk of ground
but his life he would not change

As a cowboy he had made his mark
now a stockman, he did the same
an old bachelor with a fierce, Spanish pride
but no heirs to carry on his name

He never returned to the southland
his broken heart would never mend
he was a mentor to many young cowboys
and everyone called him their friend

We who still ranch in this country
we call him and his kind from the past
we invoke them and hold them in honor
so their trade and traditions will last

Now he lies by himself in our cemetery
under a marker of gray native stones
his spirit watches over the cowboys
and the coyotes howl over his bones

© 2004, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Robert told us: This is a fairly new poem about an old man, who came to this country as a young man and is pretty historical, but had to fill in the lines a bit. Wish I could have known him personally and worked with him. He came from the era of my great grandfather and grand father who homesteaded this ranch, where we live and work. Some of my shirt tail relations were with the Gordon party who were run out of the Black Hills after Custer found gold there in 1874. I wish I could have been there and I would have probably fought on the side of the Indians, as they had the best of it! 


Horse Trade

Along a steep ol' mountain trail
two cowboys was ridin' one day
One feller was a younger man
while the other had turned plumb gray
They came to a fallen, decrepit corral
beside that rocky ol' trail
They stopped their horses to let them blow
the old man then told his tale

"Best ride I ever made in my whole life
I made at this very spot
And I traded horses that day, too
I was young and thought I was hot
I was ridin' to meet a cattle buyer
We was gonna' make a gather
I'd been ridin so hard to meet this feller
That my horse was white with lather

The nag I'm ridin' he's sure no dandy
He's gentle, but got no heart
He's rough ridin' and won't work cows at all
He should'a been pullin' a cart
When I meets up with that wise, old dad
he's sittin' on a good lookin horse
You could tell his ol' pony was makin' him nervous
He wouldn't bother me of course!

So I up and propositions this dude
to try and make me a trade
He said he'd swap me, straight across
but he thought I might be afraid
He claimed his horse was bad to buck
If I could ride him we'd have us a deal
I grinned as we trotted to them fallen corrals
cuz' I knew that I'd just made a steal

Shoot, back then I could ride with the best
never met one that I wouldn't try
I figured to cheat this ol' feller real bad
If he'd trade, I was ready to buy
When I straddled that horse he jumped right out
He could hog and hop purty fair
But I'm smilin' and still perched there on top
when he decides to come up for some air

I told him it looked like we'd made a trade
He said, "No son, not just yet,
You gott'a take out yer' makin's and roll you a smoke,
before you can win this bet!"
So I rolled me a smoke and lit it right up
Pinched it out when it bit my lip
He hollered out to, " Hook him, high!"
I did and we had a whole new trip!

I mean to tell you he chinned the moon!
Then he lit with a piledriver force
It felt like he'd split me right up the middle
I would'a screamed, but I went plumb hoarse
I'm a rattlin' around like dice in a cup
I tried to hook my spurs in his gut
He swapped ends so fast that the next thing I know
I'd spurred myself in the butt!

Miracles do happen cuz' I got him rode
Just how, I'll sure never know
When he throws up his head, I'm still on top
But I'm a migraine from head to toe
Well I rode me a bronc and made me a trade
Should'a cut my throat with a knife
Cuz' he bucked worse than that, every time I got on
Worst trade I ever made in my life!"

© 2005, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Robert told us: The poem is based on a true account told to me by GK Fraker out of Buffalo, Wyoming. The man in the poem is Norris Greaves, who was quite the bronc rider. 


Night Sport

The ground was hard, there'd been a thaw
But a front had passed on through
There were icy patches here and there
And soft spots were damn few

So just before bed I went out to look
To check for a chilled down calf
"He thought more of his stock than he did of himself"
Should read my epitaph

A heifer had calved, sort'a out of the wind
The calf was shiverin' and cool
I'd put him and his mom inside a warm barn
I guess I'm a softhearted fool

I saddled up Yeller, he had eyes like a cat
But I still took a flashlight along
It seemed like such a simple chore
As I saddled I hummed a song

That heifer snorted snot, then left
Like a deer, right over the fence
I give her credit she made it look easy
Atheletic, but a little bit dense

We went 'round and 'round, back and forth
But she always came back to her child
I used him for bait to lure her to the barn
'Cuz by now she was gettin' plumb wild

From one end of the lot to the other we went
She was droppin' thin green out the back
Yeller was doin' his best to check her
Like a hockey player on the attack

Mattlock and Peppy had nuthin' on us
She had moves like a scalded feline
I tried to stifle my urge to murder
that hotblooded, hateful bovine

I swapped that flashlight for my rope
As we blockied her every jump
I was swingin' my hondo and aimin to swat her
Right there on her knowledge bumb

Just about then that 'ol snake got smart
She headed right straight for the shed
Yeller followed her slippin' and slidin'
Just like a goosed moose full of lead

I put the calf in the shed with that rotten 'ol rip
He'd warm up and be plumb fine
But her maternal instincts didn't seem that strong
So I penned 'em and tied it with twine

As I unsaddled Yeller I laughed out loud
She sure was a ringy old sow
"A job well done", I thought untill morning
When I found I'd put in the wrong cow!

© 2004, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Robert told us: This poem came from an actual incident. The only time I lied was when I said I got in the wrong cow! But it sure makes the ending better! The horse in the poem lived to a ripe old age and we never failed to "get our cow". He never ever fell with me except in trying to get a cow critter on too slippery of ground. I have a painting of him hanging on the wall of my saddle building shop. I have been fortunate in this life to have had several horses that were "cowy" and he was one of them. I called him "yeller" cuz' he was a light cream dun. He was snorty and spooky, but when he got old he made a hell of a good kid's horse for my sons. Rest in peace old buddy.


The Quest

Athletic, quicksilver, tightly wound springs
Of muscle and blood and bone
All wrapped up in sorrel, bay or dun colored hide
A regal king, up there on the throne

Flexible black hooves, like well tempered steel
Form the base of this ebullient equine
Nostrils flair and oxygen is drawn into lungs
Powering moves like a frantic feline

I've craved the feel of straddling this steed
Carried along in the dizzying dance
As we waltz and whirl alongside a cow
Mesmerizing me in this tangible trance

For years I've attempted to attain these horses
Who are capable of this graceful glide
By buying and breeding, by hook and by crook
By cheating and chiseling, I've tried

And now they are caught in my tightfisted clutches
These horses who make the deep tracks
I find that my quest has been a fine folly
I'm too decrepit to stay on their backs!

© 2005, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Robert told us this poem  "had been going around in my mind for quite a while. I was trying to get it worded right and to say what it was like to always want these great athletic horses and after years of working to get them, coming to find out that I wasn't able to do them justice! Many people out there want a hair triggered, well trained horse, but they don't realize that they won't be able to ride one, even if they can afford one. You have to have as much ability as the horse. Most of us don't!"


Green and White

Springtime on the high plains
can put you on the fight
but there's somethin' about the colors
of vivid green and white

April grass has started
the sun shines warm and bright
then a blizzard passes thru
and it brings the green and white

The wind screams like an eagle
and your innards get plumb tight
but now we've got some moisture
with all that green and white

Calves born during snow storms
make the weaning average light
but without moisture, there's no grass
so I appreciate this green and white

When the winds finally do subside
the sun chases away the night
there's lots of work to be done
because of the green and white

There's bound to be fences down
wire that needs stretched tight
I slop thru' mud and muck
while gazing at green and white

As the sun melts the snowfall
the breeze still packs a bite
a'horseback I survey nature's palette
and her artwork of green and white

© 2006, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.



Others came before
with stories galore
before we rode these hills
With gumption and grit
too dry to spit
their lives a battle of wills

To try and overcome
not to succumb
to the perils that rule this land
They traveled a hard road
packed a heavy load
yet thought their life was grand

You can feel their stares
as you ride unawares
yet never quite bring them in sight
Like a mote in your eye
or a raindrop that's dry
or the breeze when a bird has took flight

They don't wish to frighten
or even enlighten
those of us who pass this way
They wish for the past
when the die was cast
and they too ruled the day

They lived our life
full of cowboy strife
fought blizzards, drought and fire
So they watch us close
as we take our daily dose
see if we are brave or a liar

They are proud of what we do
know that we are the few
who will attempt the cowman's trial
They're the specters of the plains
hanging onto the reins
they're the legends who watch us and smile

© 2007, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Cowboy Poets?

I don’t know nuthin’ about cowboys
all I know is horses and cattle
There ain’t no time to go to poetry events
I’m too busy with the daily battle

Of makin’ a living with livestock
on that little piece of ground right there
It ain’t too much but it’s all we got
and we are always more than ready to share

right now that’s a piece of my mind
tho’ I bet most don’t want to hear it
danged if I understand how you can be a cowboy poet
when you don’t know the smell of cow ...manure.

© 2009, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Robert comments: While reading through CowboyPoetry.com (which I do almost daily) I got to noticing who all was being invited to different Gatherings. It made me think of others who I have seen on stage at the few gatherings I get to attend (which aren't too many as I am usually too busy doing cowboy type stuff, to get to attend all these cowboy type gatherings). Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to write their views on the ranching and cowboy life, but it sure puzzles me how so many get invited as paid participants, who don't really live the life and and really have no ties to the land. Oh well, one of the mysteries of life, I guess!

Maybe it's time to start some Drugstore Cowboy Poetry events?


Deer Hay

One year I had went pert’ ‘neer broke
Way up north of the Medicine Line
So I was lookin’ for work of the cowboy type
Just bummin’ and still doin’ fine

I kept ridin’ north, a lookin’ for a job
Followin’ up on a real good lead
Country started changin’ in looks as I rode
I’s travelin’ slow not makin’ much speed

I broke out of the timber and onto the tundra
I was way and the hell gone, up north
Started lookin’ at my hole card pretty darn hard
‘Cuz it was right at July the fourth

Finally one day, I stumbles on to this outfit
By golly, it sure was queer
They was puttin’ up lots of hay with teams
But them teams was all made from deer

Really not the kind of deer we know
Not a whitetail or muley in the bunch
The crew was all just litte bitty fellers
I started to get me a hunch

I rode up ‘longside of one of the crew
Kinder looked to be the boss
He whoa’d up his team to jaw with me some
Bein’ polite, I steps off ol’ Hoss

“You must be lookin’ for work”, he sez
I admitted that I dang sure was
“Have you ever drove a team, a puttin’ up hay?”
I nodded, like a feller’ always does

But I had to admit I’d never drove deer
He laughed when I told him that
“Not many have,” with a twinkle in his eye
Mopped the sweat off under his hat

“Well, we could use you, if you want to give ‘er a try”
I thought to myself, what the hell?
Didn’t look much different than the horse teams I’d drove
Figured I’d try it out for a spell

He pointed me north where the buildings all set
Said the crew would be in after awhile
Couple miles later, I rode into the place
What I seen sure made me smile

Them corrals were sure built plenty stout
And damn sure built plenty high
All the buildings and pens was set like they should
It was laid out by a dang sharp guy

I soon found me a bunk and settled right in
Tho’ that bed was a little on the short side
We BS’d around the table after supper purty late
Couple fellers worked on some rawhide

Next mornin’ when we ate it was long past light
That sure seemed kinder queer
I figures, what the hell it will make the day shorter
Heads out to harness my deer

They fit me out with a dandy team of bucks
But them collars was a chore to put on
They had way too big a hatrack to slip them over
Boys said they was named Dee and Don

The harness was different than I had used before
It hooked up a little bit odd
But I gets it all rigged like the others have done
I notice them bucks ain’t shod

The boss starts me out on the scatter rack
Pilin’ up little bunches of hay
That the sweeps had lost on the way to the stacks
It sure was a beautiful day

My team seemed to have lots of git up and go
Sure wanted to keep your lines tight
I noticed the others were raisin’ the dust
So I figures it must be alright

Things was just goin’ along plumb great
Team worked just like a Swiss watch
But before ol’ cookie brought dinner out to us
I had to tighten my belt up a notch

That was the longest mornin’ I ever worked before
Must’a lasted eight hours or more!
Afternoon was just as long if not longer
I was asleep ‘fore my boots hit the floor

Every day the work went on just like that
Seemed we worked more than twenty hours a day
I ain’t one to whine or to shirk my tasks
But I was gettin’ sick of puttin’ up hay!

A good hand won’t quit in the middle of a job
So I hung in ‘till the work was all done
I swear I ain’t never worked such long, long days
Even them teams slowed down from a run

Yeah, we ran them teams each and every day
Didn’t even switch ‘em out at noon
They went so fast you’d swear they could fly
By the end they had changed their tune

When I went to the boss to draw my wages
It was the most money I’d ever made
He asked if I wanted to stay on for fall works
But I decided I’d better just fade

‘Cuz an outfit that puts up that much feed
Might have plans to feed it all out
And if that’s the kind’a winters they had up there
I was headin’ where it runs more to drought

I lit out a’makin’ them wide apart tracks
Back south ‘til I seen a cactus branch
But every winter I remember the summer I worked
for the Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick ranch.

© 2010, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

© 2010, LE Stevens,
reproduction prohibited without express written permission


Spring Dance

The ring and chink of rusted rowels, gives my heart a thrill
My spade bit cricket’s clickin’ time as we jingle up a hill
It’s my early morning music in the sweet spring air
The sun peeks over the ridge, I haven’t got a care

Air, cool and crisp as an ice-cold stream
Drinkin’ in that air is better’n livin’ in a dream
Another amazing morning, ain’t life just grand
Settin’ atop a good horse, tryin’ to make a hand

The rhythm of the rein chains, bouncing to the beat
A bobbing, nodding head, keepin’ time with his feet
A mare's nervous nicker as her colt slips from her side
He pirouettes beside her, he’s gonn’a be fun to ride

Air, cool and crisp as an ice cold stream
Drinkin’ in that air is better’n livin’ in a dream
Another amazing morning, ain’t life just grand
Settin’ atop a good horse, tryin’ to make a hand

Cattle grazin’ green grass, fat and lookin’ sleek
Horseback in the morning’s a cool way to start the week
As we glide to the music Mother Natures’ playin’ here
I two-step with my partner and grin from ear to ear

© 2012, Robert Dennis, from Rusted Rowels
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

The song is from Robert Dennis's CD, Rusted Rowels. As Jeri Dobrowski points out in her October 2012 Cowboy Jam Session, Robert has been telling about each track on his Dennis Ranch blog. For "Spring Dance," here, he writes in part:

This is the first track on the CD and was a song from day one. I had been out riding my two rein horse one fine spring morning and I wanted to try and translate what I felt, saw and did. Using all the senses.

While working on it, I called Chance and read him a bit and he told me, “I’ve got a line I have been saving for years that would really fit, that you can use as I will never use it, probably….” So thus came, “The rhythm of the rein chains, bouncing to the beat…” he helped me work on the next lines with suggestions and was a great sounding board...

Read more at the blog.

The cover of the CD includes a detail from noted Texas artist Brenda Jones Murphy's outstanding pencil drawing, titled "Wooly Chaps and Spring Grass." We got in touch with her to get her permission to share the drawing, and mentioned Art Spur, and how it inspires poets through art. She commented that she does just the opposite, "I find inspiration for art through the words and lives of cowboys such as Robert."

© 2012, Brenda J. Murphy,  www.brendamurphystudio.com, reproduction prohibited without express written permission

"Wooly Chaps and Spring Grass"  was a part of the Eiteljorg Museum's 2012 Quest for the West art show and sale. Find more about Brenda Jones Murphy at her website www.brendamurphystudio.com and at her Facebook page.



You'd never guess from looking
the name they hung on him at his birth
I guess it wasn't what you'd maybe expect
it was Johnathan William Hinklesworth

Now, that's a purty long name
for just a tiny little feller
maybe he got it when Doc whacked his butt
cuz' he let out a big man's beller

Johnathan William was an elf
guess that sort'er maybe explains his size
but other than that and them pointy ears
he looked like one a the guys

He was like most little tykes
fightin' with siblings and goin' to school
runnin' an' wrasslin' with his buddies and friends
actin' rowdy and thinkin' they's cool

But the thing about ol' JW
well... that's what he called his self
was that he wanted adventure and action
more than your typical elf

He yearned to head down west
see... he lived way up north
he wanted to ride broncs and rope wild cattle
rodeo on the Fourth

There'd never been no elf cowboys
heck, they don't run cattle way up there
horses was scarce as hens teeth
just snow and cold arctic air!

Like a kid raised in the city
he got by with books and TV shows
watching Roy and Gene and Lash LaRue
frustrated by cold and the snows

Made do with what he had
forged spurs from old rusty metal he found
built chaps out of a ratty ol' walrus hide
Mama had left layin' around

Asked Santa Claus for a Stetson
got it for Christmas, the very next year
order'd him a pony, but typical cowboy
his check just didn't clear

You can't keep horses at the Pole
there ain't no hay or oats or grass
he got a Bruce Grant book on how to braid stuff
just to help the time pass

Braided a reindeer reata
70 foot long and it was a dandy
and after he practiced quite a spell
I tell you, he got plumb handy

But then he got into trouble
he was caught ropin ol' Santa's deer
snubbin' 'em up to an old sled runner
that had frozen up that year

Pleaded his case with St Nick
told him, cowboyin' was all he wanted to do
so Santa thought it over for a spell
made JW stew

Then Santa made an announcement
said he was just callin' a spade a spade
nothin' to do but send him him down south
he could learn the cowboy trade

See, Santa knows lots a cowboys
they all owe Santa a great big debt
so he made a few calls and shipped the boy out
learn to cowboy, you bet!

That's how it come to be
this little feller from way up at the North Pole
learned to rope and ride from the very best
too bad he learned to chew Skoal!

Now JW's back up there again
ropin' and trainin' and swallerforkin' ears
only difference 'tween him and his southern friends?
he's doin' it with reindeers!

He's finally found his niche
Buckaroo boss on the North Pole spread
mostly ropin' and trainin' them reindeer
to pull ol' Santa's sled

But now he's got a new plan
called me last night, he'd been drinkin' beer
put in an order for a custom made saddle
and it's got'a fit a reindeer!

It's got to be the right size
better be tuff, but light as air
bet he had a gleam in them beady little eyes
he's gunn'a rope him a polar bear!

© 2010, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


© 2012, LE Stevens,
reproduction prohibited without express written permission


It came way to early
too damn hard and fast
Like a runaway freight train
then the die was cast

With rain and the wind...
like a hurricane on land
then it got nasty and pulled a knife
it played its final hand

Over two frozen feet
wicked, wet driving snow
with the wicked, wretched wind?
Lord how it can blow..

a mile a minute grunting gusts
icy white frozen shot
pellets peppered everything
like the fury’s double ought

wooden matchstick powerline poles
snapped off and splintered dead
in its white wake, dark and gloom
despair, regret and dread

And it’s only October 4th?
Hell, it’s hardly Fall
Rain? Sure.. but a blizzard?
it might just kill them all!

Then came the aftermath
tears, frustration and shock
sweat, anger and numbness
working ‘round the clock

Tears runnin’ down leather faces
like the torrent down the creeks
weary, gaunt and hollow eyed
they haven’t rested in weeks

the maybes and the shouldas
the couldas and the mights
will eat your innards like cancer
stay away from that fight

And now? What to do?
Where do you even start
to try and help the stockmen
whose guts have been ripped apart?

© 2013, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

We asked Robert to comment on this poem about the devastating October, 2013 Atlas storm that killed tens of thousands of livestock, and he wrote, "All I can say is that after living through this and listening to the horror stories of friends and neighbors, this came out ... I worked on polishing it and it was done ... I have finally got to the point where I can read it and not weep ... Lots of good is going to come out of this storm, but so many are wondering about the future right now. good people. This was a disaster just like a hurricane or tornado, no one could prevent the losses ... only mitigate them."


The Perfect Christmas Tree

Gramma wanted a Christmas tree
and it’s got to be big and nice
Me? I’m thinkin’ of the cost
tree’s like that are high priced!

But then I have an idea
I’ll get one just like she wants
I’ve seen the perfect Christmas tree
while out riding on one of my daily jaunts

I saddles up my good ol’ horse
and take along my rope and ax
Head to where this tree is at
I’ll even save on payin’ sales tax

We ride up to the perfect tree
it’s a real beautiful wintry day
Just me and the tree and Mama Nature
my ax, purty scenery and ol’ bay

I finally get the tree chopped down
tie my rope on and head back home
I’m dallied to the perfect tree
it’s just like a cheerful Christmas poem!

As we top over a ridge
what do you suppose I see?
There’s a big ol’ furry bobcat
and he ain’t even noticed me!

Who wouldn’t rope a bobcat?
How can you pass up that chance?
It’s not often these things happen
Like America bein’ rescued by France!

We built to him hard and fast
Bobcats ain’t got much speed
Snow is flyin’ like a blizzard
Never weaken is my creed

I realize my rope is occupied
It’s hooked on to that perfect tree
Can’t slow down to unhook it
or ol’ Bob will get away from me!

So I starts to hand to hand it
pullin’ it closer to my saddle
I’ll slip it loose on the fly
We’re fixin’ to win this battle

Ol’ bay is closin’ on the prey
I’ve turned my reins plumb loose
My horse is duckin’, dodgin and trackin
I’m tryin’ to unlatch from that spruce

As the tree reaches our heels
Hits a rock and starts to sail
Just like a guided missile
Jabs bay underneath his tail

Then that tree goes flyin’
Hit the cat on the head
As I flew by I seen it all
Hopin’ I wouldn’t wind up dead

Next thing I kind’a recall
I’m stretched out in the snow
beside a badly battered bobcat
and ol’ bay’s limpin’ home slow

I staggered to my feet
I let the cat go free
I caught ol’ bay, we headed home
with a crumpled up christmas tree

So now my horses is scarred and scared
Bob is short some fur
Neighbor lady’s on the fight
Guess that lawn ornament was special to her!

© 2013, Robert Dennis 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

© 2013, LE Stevens,
reproduction prohibited without express written permission


See Robert Dennis YouTube:

"Revel in the Journey" (written by Ken Cook))


Read Robert Dennis' 

Santa Must Be a Cowboy  in Christmas at the BAR-D 2015



At His Own Pace in our 2007 Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur


Bringing Home Christmas, posted with 2006 Christmas Art Spur poems


Robert Dennis has contributed interesting photos and stories to Picture the West, including:

  Haying, August 2011

  Winter, January 2011

Black Hills trail ride, November, 2010

  Spring works, May, 2010

  "Cowboy farming," April 2010

  Winter pasture, January 2010

  Moving heifers home

Moving moving a few first calf heifer pairs in June, 2009

  Mijo, his "ex-stallion"

2009 calving and branding on the Dennis Ranch

  Summer ranch photos

Photos taken while he was "out riding on yearlings"

Photos of his mares and colts

Family photos from the 1920s and 1940s

Photos and stories from his ranch and Red Owl

Area photos from the early 1900s

rdfatheruncles.jpg (54358 bytes) Family photos from the 1920s

Book and Recordings

Rusted Rowels



"Spring Dance" by Robert Dennis
"Beyond Alone," by Slim McNaught and Robert Dennis
"Real Western Mornin'" by Robert Dennis
"Cowhand" by Ken Cook and Robert Dennis
"Coy" by Robert Dennis
"'Tween My Horse's Ears" by Slim McNaught and Robert Dennis
"Calvin' Blues" by  Robert Dennis
"Loveswar" by Robert Dennis
"Wet Sortin'" by Robert Dennis and Ken Cook
"Revel in the Journey" by Ken Cook and Robert Dennis

Cover art by Brenda Jones Murphy, BrendaMurphyStudio.com
Lead Guitar, Chance Dennis
Recorded at Fire Station 7 studio, by Scott Miller

Robert Dennis collaborated with other South Dakota poets on some of the songs in Rusted Rowels. He comments:

The CD is ten original songs that I wrote or co-wrote with friends Ken Cook and Slim McNaught. My son Chance sat in and picked on three of the songs. Now, as I usually tell people, I do not consider myself to be the best picker or singer in the country, but it is about the songs and the stories in the songs and not the singer/picker. And by the way, this is not country and western. This is more cowboy and damn sure western!

Rusted Rowels is available for $17 postpaid by PayPal from Robert Dennis (at this address) or by mail from:

Robert Dennis
17410 Indian Creek Road
Red Owl, SD 57787


Ranchers Rounders & Ropers

Ranchers, Rounders & Ropers by Robert "Jinglebob" Dennis, with a foreword by Cowboy Magazine editor Darrell Arnold


Robert Dennis describes the book:

This book is a collection of mostly humorous short stories about cowboys and ranchers and includes some of my newer poems.

Kay Sperb, a wonderful lady and a heck of an artist, did the illustrations for the book.

It costs $15 postage paid and can be ordered from:

Robert Dennis
17410 Indian Creek Rd
Red Owl,  SD 57787


or call 605-985-5419

There is a money-back guarantee on the book. If you don't like it, just return the unread portion of the book and I will gladly reimburse you, for that amount!


Contact Information

Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski, obtain permission for reproduction rights

Robert Dennis
17410 Indian Creek Rd
Red Owl,  SD 57787

Blog: dennisranch.wordpress.com

Cowboy Culture...South Dakota Style (with Ken Cook and Paul Larson):






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