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Lexington, North Carolina
About Denny Whalen





All Around Cowboy

When the season begins, there’s just one goal
That a cowboy seeks with his heart and soul.
As he goes down the road day after day,
He chases a buckle with words that say,
In silver letters and weighing a pound,
He’s the Number One Cowboy All Around.

Getting through life is hard enough for some
Without having to cope with troubles that come
From hauling horses with a pick-up truck,
And competing in rings covered with muck.
But he can’t let anything get him down
When a cowboy’s shooting for All Around.

While everyone else is busy coping,
He rides the circuit and keeps on roping.
Hog tying calves until his back is sore;
Spurring the broncs to get the highest score;
Riding bulls and wrestling steers to the ground;
Doing what it takes to make All Around.

It costs a lot to continue winning.
Cowboys have more than ropes to keep spinning.
There’s hundreds of gallons of gas to buy,
And Lord knows the price of horse feed is high.
With entry fees to be paid in each town,
A top hand pays dear to be All Around.

He pays with his money and with his life,
He wrecks his body; he loses his wife.
There’s no time for children, for house and home.
In order to win, a cowboy must roam.
Each new rodeo is where he’ll be found,
Chasing the buckle that says All Around.

When he’s not riding he’s shooting eight ball
And swapping lies in a smoky beer hall.
Loaning cash to friends and sharing their tears,
Courting the ladies and buying the beers.
He’s known by all when he’s close to the crown,
And he knows who’s helped him toward All Around.

The hazer who kept him running straight,
The cowboy tending the bucking chute gate,
Old hands who taught him how to whip his fears,
The fans who encouraged him with their cheers,
The pickup men and the rodeo clown,
They’re part and parcel of the All Around.

Now the season’s done and the tally in.
No one can say he was lucky to win.
Everyone knows the results of the score.
He did all he could, and he did some more.
Hearing his name called and loving the sound,
He’s the Number One Cowboy All Around.

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


Denny told us he wrote this poem "...back in the late 1970's. I was an associate member of the PRCA and an active member of the Southern Rodeo Association at the time. I spent several years promoting local rodeos and photographing rodeo competitors and events.

"'All Around Cowboy' was an attempt to recognize the grueling pace a cowboy maintains to win the All Around buckle awarded at the end of the season, and the sacrifices he makes going down the road."

About Denny Whalen:


I am now retired from a marketing communications position with a large international manufacturer and find more time to work on other writing projects. I'm active with our local county writers' guild and delve in poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction genres. Most of my poetry tends to rhyme and is generally inspired by nature.





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