Featured at the Bar-D Ranch


photo by Bruce L. Hogle
 

1971-2016

  

With great sadness, we've learned of the death of popular cowboy, ranch manager, and poet Trey Allen. Trey died July 7, 2016, after a long, brave battle with multiple myeloma.

His many, many friends and loving family know that Trey, in the words of his wife, Janice Hannagan-Allen, was "a true cowboy, thru and true all the way." Janice commented today that Trey was, "A man that has touched a million lives, not just as a poet but as a friend to all of us .... He loved you all as much as you loved him .... Your love and prayers for our family are much appreciated ..."

In a recent article in
Western Horseman by Senior Editor Jennifer Denison, his friend, poet Jay Snider, is quoted, "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."

We were honored to have a painting of Trey as the 2015 Cowboy Poetry Week poster. Photographer Carol Barlau took the photograph that was featured in Don Dane's painting of Trey Allen, "Cowboy True, Thru and Thru."
 

About Jack "Trey" Allen
Poems
Recordings
Contacting Jack "Trey" Allen

Jack "Trey" Allen's web site
Jack "Trey" Allen on Facebook

 

 

  About Jack "Trey" Allen:
                
                                          supplied 2014

For some twenty years and change now, Jack Trey Allen has been writing and reciting cowboy poetry. He started out gathering intel early in life as a bullrider/bullfighter and graduated to shoeing horses and starting colts, to those "to those in the know" this should explain a great deal. At the point he began his family however, the conclusion was reached that three meals a week and Copenhagen made less than desirable home conditions and he settled into a real job near the present day metropolis of Hooker, Oklahoma.

While earning a regular paycheck, he kept his hand turned at colts and shoeing, dayworking, etc. It was during this time he became intimate with a little known group called "Corporate America". Thirteen years of that and he packed his family up, headed for the mountains of south central Colorado, near Canon City and has been full time cowboy every since. For nine years Trey has managed the Moyer Ranch in the northern Flints Hills of Kansas, south of Manhattan. When asked about the possibility of "lightin' a shuck," he said "Pack rats set up shop in my tipi and cut my bedroll up into little tiny ones. Sure hate to disturb their little enterprise..." Reckon he'll stay put.

Trey has performed from the Gulf Coast of Alabama to North Dakota and from Missouri to Utah. He was one of four event winners at the first Cowboy Poetry Rodeo and was purty fortunate in subsequent National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo events. In 2011, Kansas hosted its first annual State Cowboy Poetry competition, a win there offered Trey the opportunity to perform for the Gubernatorial Entourage and he considers that a career highlight. Durango and Sierra Vista have been among his favorite gatherings but hopes to visit a few more gatherings in the future.

Trey has two albums: Cowpoke (2002) and Lowly Cowboy (2006). He is currently working on an album, The Remnant Gather, that will be available in 2015. This album will feature a piece with Geff Dawson and Trey's favorite buckarette musician Shandee Allen.

Poems

What It Is

 You Ain't Sittin' Bull

No Loop Limit Or Rope-O-matic

9 October 2005

Life's Gamble

The Way I Remember Him

 

What It Is

"What is this cowboy poetry?"
the lady asked of me.
"It must be more than stories
Whether rhymed or free."

"What makes it so intriguing,
reels you in and gets you hooked,
it must be something simple."
I jist give a sideways look.

"You're right, ma'am, it's kinda simple
but it's complicated too,
but if you've got time to lend an ear
I'll share some thoughts with you."

You see the written word is simple
But the complicated thing
Is understanding the life behind the words
So I'll tell you what I mean.

It's the greenin' of the grass in spring,
The first frost in the fall,
The dreary doldrums winter morns,
The summer shadows tall.

It's the smell of mornin' coffee
'fore ol' Sol has blinked an eye
and the million twinklin' star aglow
in the pitch black predawn sky.

It's the jingle of a much-worn spur
Upon a rundown handmade boot,
The snort of a cold-backed cayuse
And the silent prayer he don't leave you afoot.

It's the catch rope hangin' inside the door
Of a rickety ol' saddle shed
And the wariness of the pony
Who knows jist when to drop his head.

It's the colt you traded for last fall
And started late this spring
That's proved to you he's worth his salt
And you wouldn't trade him for anything.

It's that motley face calf there on the scale,
He don't look half as big as when
You had to flank him solo
Last spring in the brandin' pen.

It's the tangy scent of wood smoke,
The washtub by the wagon wheel,
The patched and worn out cookfly
And all the stories it could tell.

It's a herd of unbroken saddle mounts
Strung out steppin' single file
Through a sage covered Utah mountain pass
For near three quarters and a mile.

It's the old man outside the brandin' pen
Watchin' the goings on
And the look in his eye that says loud and clear
"I'd like to see one more 'fore I'm gone."

 It's an old cow sucklin' a newborn calf,
A foal on wobbly legs.
It's a seventeen hour day with nothin' on your stomach
But bitter coffee dregs.

It's the old kack you use to start a young colt,
Holds in for the bad storms you weather.
It's the pride displayed in a new handmade rig
And the creak of the well tooled leather.

It's the antiquated wage he draws
Despite the Hollywood label,
It's puttin' life and limb on the line
To put a tasty beef steak on the table.

It's the Sevier River Valley and the Wasatch Front,
The Muggyown Rim in the spring.
The Canadian River breaks, the Chisos and the Davis
And a thousand other places I've never seen.

It's the labor of love you choose for life
Workin' from can 'til can't.
Maam, I could go on for days 'bout what it is
And probably a lot of things it ain't.

So in short, ma'am, what I'm sayin' is this
Cowboy poetry ain't jist in the words you read,
The poetry of the cowboy
Is in the life he leads.

© Jack "Trey" Allen  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 



 

You Ain't Sittin' Bull

Frustrated, she tore a check from the book
Then inquired as to my need
I waited 'til she finished her signature
Then boldly mumbled "Horse feed."

Now, if looks could kill, I's mortally wounded
Therefore I dared not hesitate
Just picked up the check an' give her a peck
Said, "Gotta go dear, I'm runnin' late."

All day she must have stewed on this
'cause when I reached home that eve
she sat me in a chair, eyed me up square
said, "Something has got to leave!"

"Why, my love, whatever do you mean?"
says I, trying to divert her courses.
"What I mean is something has to go!
Me or better yet, you could get rid of some horses.

"You've got umpteen of the coin burnin' bastards
and try as I may, I can't understand why so many.
The kids need some clothes and groceries are nice
And I'm certain two horses are plenty."

So, that was the problem, at first I was worried,
Appalled that she might even suggest,
But she was a woman, comprehension impaired,
So I felt to explain it was best.

"I can appreciate your concern, my sweet,
but if you'll give me a moment dear,
I'll explain to you a philosophy
that has endured for thousands of years

 and is best exemplified by the Indians.
Now listen, I ain't talkin' for my health.
Horses are a symbol of honor
And by number a status of wealth.

Why, back when the Indians roamed these plains
In search of the great buffalo
The horse was the only means by which
They had to just up and go

Whenever the great warriors rode out from their lodges
Fully intent upon counting many coups
Not only did they take the lives of their enemies
They took their horses too.

And in this way great herds were amassed
In the final culmination
To be used as tools and tender
In this land we now call civilization

And I'm only trying to perpetuate this legacy
Though no one has been killed over my equine pets."
I thought detected a bit of grin
As I heard her mumble "Not yet."

"I'm only trying to prevent a sad state of affairs
where horses become relics for some museum.
Matter of fact, I traded for two more today.
They're sure dandies hon, you oughta see 'em.

I thought I saw a gleam of pride in her eyes
As she leaned over and gingerly gave my mustache a pull,
But she said, "Paleface, these aren't the days of yore
And you ain't Sittin' Bull!"

Now fellers, if you're interested at all,
There's a moral to this little tale.
If you're lookin' for some good, young, using type ponies,
I now have several for sale.

© Jack "Trey" Allen  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 




No Loop Limit
Or Rope-O-matic

We call him Rope-O-matic,
his given name is Whit,
An' one thing you can say for the lad
Is he never will show quit.

He's a hand for sure we give 'im that
Though not without his flaws
An' he's sure a persevering cuss
With all our gees and haws

Ya see it all started one night in Beaver
At the annual ranch rodeo
We'd showed up in fine fashion
All set to win the show.

And things went good in the cow milkin'
We'd finished near the top
Team brandin' was the next event
We's sure of the number one spot

Cuz with Rope-O-matic heelin' the slicks
Our time sure couldn't be beat
Why our only concern was he didn't catch 'em all
And prohibit other teams their chance at the feat

So strategically we positioned ourselves
Round our makeshift brandin' pot
An' as the first victim slipped the loop
Rope-O-matic says "That was just a warnin' shot."

Thus primed and ready and with mathematical precision
He builds his loop anew
And fires it towards some motley brute
For warnin' shot number two

shots three thru sixty still netted no calf,
This can't be happening we thought
We held our breath on shot one-o-eight
But alas, no heels were caught.

The muggers and the brander lounged by the fire,
Obviously not amused,
 an' Rope-O-matic became the focal point
Of their sarcastic verbal abuse.

And they weren't alone for the cows stood in awe
Of this well oiled ropin' machine
One cow muttered from the edge of the bunch
"That's the damndest thing I ever seen."
 
Another ol' brute showed some compassion
When she nuzzled her calf at the flank
An lifted both its hind feet for an easier catch
But the loop still come up blank.

But Rope-O-matic's determination grew with each loop
He felt confident something would get caught
But when the judge called time an' the dust settled down
He'd fired some three-hundred warning shots

So Rope-O-matic and disheartened crew
Exited the arena like so many scolded pups
And even his horse had to laugh when he said
"Damn, I's jist getting' warmed up."

Now the moral here, if there is one,
An' the previous lines haven't abused it,
When the rules say "NO LOOP LIMIT"
It doesn't mean you have to use it. 

 © Jack "Trey" Allen  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 


 



9 October 2005

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  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 

 

Trey told us about this poem's inspiration: 

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.

 

 

Life's Gamble

I shore don't like to gamble he said,
'less its a real shore thing.
but the way I've lived life, I've found this to be true
those are a few and a loooong ways between

They said I got LUCKY that night down in Ft. Worth
I hung up to that bad hookin bull
i wallked away from that wreck with this crick in my neck
and this stainless steel plate in my skull

I bucked the odds that day on the mesa,
that lightnin give one final crack
Killt nine head of heifers, one damn good horse
and three days that I'll never get back

The day that ol' bull run under my horse
I's perty sure my final bet had been placed
but I rolled my hole card and called on friend
turned out I's holdin an ace

Or the day that colt sipped in the shale
It is lookin like we both rolled craps
but he caught his feet, blazed a new trail
and we come through by the skin o' my chaps

Jack Daniels dealt me a perty sorry hand
Jimmy Beam, he anteed the pot
George Dickel was there the night I went bust
and I still owe them for what I ain't got

And boys, I sit on the edge of my bed ever mornin'
my ol body it creaks and it groans,
I figgger just wakin up, hell, that's gamble enough
kinda like "Rollin the Bones!"

But now I do realize that with every sunrise
I get to place one more bet
so I try and stack the ODDS by giving THANKS to my GOD
who'se seen to it that I ain't crapped out yet

© 2014, Jack "Trey" Allen  
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 

 

Trey told us about this poem's inspiration: 

This poem was inspired by several life events: some of my own, some of others and several combinations thereof. I was hauling a load of cattle from the ranch to a feed yard up in Nevada when Geff Dawson called and said he and Dawn were headed for Lost Wages, Nevada. I made a snide remark about Geff gambling and he replied that just waking up was all the gamble he was gonna bet. This poem is the culmination of seven hours in a truck cab with no radio and a conversation with someone as philosophical as Geff.

 

 

The Way I Remember Him

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

Levis 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 patch 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 hole plumb through
BUT there was nothing to warm your heart like a smile
from that ancient buckaroo

© 2015, Jack "Trey" Allen


This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission. 


The notes in Trey Allen's A Remnant Gather CD tell that this poem was inspired by Hardesty, Oklahoma cowboy Glen Muir.

 

 

Recordings  

 

A Remnant Gather

Includes:

Tougher Horses (by Geff Dawson)/When You're a Cowboy
Roughstock Toast
Muy Bueno Hombre
A Story with Several Morals
Pray for Rain and Grass
As Close as You Can Get
Moyer Ranch Conservation Easement Dedication
Advice of a Traveler
The Pits
The Right Kind (in memory of Joe Jackson)
We Were Cowboys (by Chuck Cusimano)/For the Good Ol' Boys (featuring Shandee Allen)
Lost and Never Found
Life's Gamble
Questions and Answers (featuring The Fellas: Tera, Lara, and Shandee)
The Way I Remember Him
The Quitter (by Robert Service)

 

Rick Huff's enthusiastic review comments,"...I found the performances and writing of this predominantly cowboy poetry CD to be first rate. Pithy entries like 'Lost & Never Found' and 'A Story With Several Morals' keep you alert and guessing while fresh takes on old cowboy themes like those found in 'As Close As You Can Get' or 'Roughstock Toast' keep it authentic..."

The CD's cover is from a painting by Don Dane; the same painting was selected as the 2015 Cowboy Poetry Week poster.

 

Available for $18  postpaid, with $1 from each sale going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match, from:

Trey Allen
10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd
Junction City, KS 66441
treyallen44@gmail.com

www.trey-allen-amigos.com
 

 

 

Cowpoke

Includes:

What It is
Cowpoke (Lyrics by Stan Jones)
You Ain't Sittin Bull
Semi-Retired
Alone (by Bruce Kiskaddon)
Nintendo Poker
The Man from Snowy River (by A. B. Banjo Paterson)
50-50 Split
Rope-O-Matic
The Red Flannins (by Bruce Kiskaddon)
'Twas the Night Before Christmas The Cowboy Version
Pairin' Up

Trey Allen tells about the cover photo:  

My maternal grandfather passed in '96. Having been a working cowboy his entire life, in spite of holding a Master Plumbers Certificate, it's easy to imagine that all his worldly possessions fit neatly into 5 boot boxes and 1 mid-size plastic tote. His rocking chair was borrowed from a neighbor. He mostly had a collection of photographs that spanned near 100 years, various trinkets and collectibles and some documents, most notable of which were the enlistment papers of he and two younger brothers. All three listed simply "cowpuncher" as occupation and the date, early January 1942. Somebody started a fight and couldn't wait to get in it!

One evening while going through these trappin's, I came across the studio photograph of the Cowpoke album. In the upper right hand corner of the original is scribbled the word "unknown." I inquired of a few family members and showed and ask some of Grandad's cronies but no one could offer any info. As I was studying that photo one evening a Don Edwards album playing the song "Cowpoke" and enjoying a whiskey and lemonade, it dawned on me that this young man had a story to tell. As to knowledge, him being "unknown" except for the photo in my possession, it was my job to tell his story, a story, be it all his or partly his, no matter. I coupled the poem with the song because I had heard a similar thing done by Chuck Milner and thought to give it try. 

 

Available for $15  postpaid, with $1 from each sale going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match, from:

Trey Allen
10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd
Junction City, KS 66441
treyallen44@gmail.com

www.trey-allen-amigos.com
 


 

 

 

Lowly Cowboy

Includes:

Bill Gray's Shorefire Aquatic Bovine Retrieval Methos
Bronco Twister's Prayer (Bruce Kiskaddon)
A Cowboy's Brains (Bruce Kiskaddon)
For the Good Ol' Boys
That Old High Steppin' Kind (Sunny Hancock)
Lowly Cowboy
Untitled
The Ballad of Salvation Bill (Robert Service)
When They've Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall (Bruce Kiskaddon)
The Horse Trade (Sunny Hancock)
The Leanin' (Enid Morris)
Teresa's Fault
Way of Life
When You're a Cowboy

 

Trey Allen tells about the cover photo:  

The Lowly Cowboy cover photo has a less colorful background [than the Cowpoke photo] but was used because I felt it "fit" the title. The cowboy is my third great uncle Paul Jones, younger brother of my maternal great grandmother. It was said of of Paul's father and grandfather that with all the water they had filed on between Ft. Sumner, New Mexico and somewhere south of Pueblo, Colorado, they easily could have controlled an empire. Apparently however, controlling their tempers and perhaps imbibery was not a strong suit and things started downhill. Paul was the youngest of seven and said to be the brightest. If anyone could build an empire he could and apparently was embarking on that quest when a rattlesnake spooked the horse he is pictured on and in the ensuing battle, rolled over Paul, breaking his neck. He was a couple days shy of 21 years old. The chances of a Jones Land and Cattle Empire died with him. It was said that Paul was so well liked and respected that every outlaw, lawman, neighbors who did and did NOT get along, crooked bankers, honest lawyers and a handful of gypsy horse traders ascended on the cemetery at Kenton, Oklahoma, dug the grave, had services, filled the hole and went back about their business as though they were all friends and family. I think that spoke volumes for the loss.

 

Available for $15  postpaid, with $1 from each sale going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match, from:

Trey Allen
10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd
Junction City, KS 66441
treyallen44@gmail.com

www.trey-allen-amigos.com


 

 

BITS-n-SPURS of Cowboy Poetry

Includes:

A Cowboy's Best Friend
The Old Nighthawk
Story with Several Morals
Ruben
The Wager
8 to 5 & Livin' in Town
Cheap Entertainment
The Pits
Jose "The Mediator"
A Rough Stock Toast
Silver Bells
Charlie & the Brown

 

 

 

Contacting Jack "Trey" Allen:

 

10660 Lwr McDowell Crk Rd
Junction City, KS 66441
treyallen44@gmail.com
785-477-3514

www.trey-allen-amigos.com

Jack "Trey" Allen on Facebook
             

 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

HOME

 What's New | Poems

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!

 

Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.

 

CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  

 

Site copyright information