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About Gary Robertson
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  About Gary Robertson

Gary Robertson is from a family that has been in Oklahoma since Indian Territory days, when his mother's people were "removed" there on the Trail of Tears and his father's family arrived from Texas. His roots on both sides are full of ranching, cattle, horses, and the settlement of the West. "The need I have to share my thoughts and experiences through verse and a lyric probably comes from my gene pool. With Texans and Indians in my background, I come from a long line of storytellers."

Most of Gary's writing details the concerns of contemporary ranch life.  He feels it's important to let people know that cowboys and ranchers still are alive and well.

His poetry has been published in several national publications (including Cowboy Poetry:The Reunion edited by Virginia Bennett), and he has produced numerous recordings of his work. Gary has been a featured performer at the Colorado Cowboy Gathering, Autry National Center, Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, Big Bear Cowboy Gathering, and the Monterey Cowboy Festival, and was the featured poet at the 2006 Long Beach Poetry Festival. Gary has managed the Greenfield Ranch in Ventura County, California, for the past 17 years, but before he left Oklahoma, he taught blacksmithing and farrier science the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School.

Read about his CDs, The Nickel, and The Only Cowboy There Was Me, below.




The Cotton Patch

Two Hours, One Day a Week



Ruby was born on the Home Place in '32
    Grandad told Daddy he could call her his own.
From the stories I've heard from my Daddy,
    From that day on he was rarely alone.

Her mama, she worked 'tween the traces
    So Ruby would be left in the pen
 By the time they had worked to the end of a row
    That little filly would be right there with them.

Grandad said she was half Pinto 'n half Whitetail deer
    Cleared every fence that they had on the place.
Oh, he'd fuss 'bout just how ornery she was
    But always with a smile on his face.

When it came time for breakin' 'n trainin'
    Daddy swears she taught him how to ride
Still today when talks 'bout Ruby
    His eyes, they just light up with pride.

See, they were playmates, 'n buddies, 'n partners
    Each gettin' so much more than they gave
They were young, they were strong, they were carefree
    They were innocent, they were brave.

With his rifle, a sack lunch, 'n a bottle of pop
    They'd set out at the first light of day
'Though he was a kid, there was work to be done
    But still time for adventure 'n to play.

Dad would ride Ruby, as he followed the cows
    That grazed on the south railroad lease
Some days he was a drover on the Old Chisholm Trail
    Some days, Tom Mix, keepin' the peace.

Folks, Ruby gave him his first taste of freedom
    She gave him her soul 'n her heart
He gave her his dreams 'n his boyhood
    Took a war to pull them apart.

His first year away, he built airplanes
    The next four, fightin' the war.
By the time he got home, missed a third of her life
    'N maybe a few months more.

His first day back, he walked out to the trap
    Whistled her up, 'n let out a yell
She picked up her head, took a few halting steps,
    Then came runnin', like a bat out-a Hell.

Their reunion was sweet, but a short one
    Time had done what Time always does.
Ruby was not part of "What's yet to be."
    She was part of a life "That once was."

The G.I. Bill, a walk down the aisle
    Then us kids, a house, 'n career
We'd only get back to the Home Place
    A couple-a times a year.

But, the first horse that I rode was Old Ruby
    Slid down her neck, when she bent down to eat
No, I wasn't much of a horseman yet,
    But in diapers, a feller can't take a deep seat.

Today, my whole life revolves 'round horses
    You could say I fell under the spell
That Ruby could weave 'round a young boy's heart
    Folks, it's a magic she worked awful well.

When I was little, I wanted Grandad to say she was mine
    Now, I know why that couldn't be
I see that Ruby was still giving to my Daddy
    When she lit this fire in me.

Ruby lived out her days on the Home Place
    But, for me, her last chorus has yet to be sung
'Cause in memories, 'n stories, 'n pictures
    She and Daddy are forever  young.

There's a painting, up over the mantle
    Made from a snap-shot, tucked there in the frame.
Shows Daddy a-horseback on Ruby
    'N he's got him a handful of mane.

'N she's standin' full up on her hind legs
    Her fronts are pawin' the air
You can see her joy, you can see his pride,
    My God but they made-em a pair.

© 2005, G. D. Robertson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


The Cotton Patch

If you're a Texan 'r an Okie
   'N you, your Daddy, 'n Grandad chased cows
'N you ever wondered what made you-all Cowboys
   I'm fixin' to tell-ya right now.

See, I was born in Oklahoma
   Was raised on ole Bob Wills,
'N that Texas Playboy music
   It sure cures this cowboy's ills.

Yep, near every note that ole Bob wrote
   Was magic to my ears
'N his music just gets better
   As it mellows through the years.

But for all the truth 'n feelin'
   He put into each song
It's a quote of his I read one day
   That's stayed with me so long.

See, Bob grew up workin' cotton
   Underneath the Texas sun
'N he knew when workin' cotton
   The work ain't never done.

'N he knew when pickin' cotton
   Your fingers never healed
That's why he said...
   "Nothin' made more Cowboys than them damned-ole cotton fields."

Choppin', hoein', 'n pickin'
   Made ridin 'n ropein' seem tame
'N draggin' a hundred-weight sack 'tween the rows
   Made Cowbvoyin' look like a game.

'N the view from the back of a pony
   Beat the view from the end of a hoe
'N ridin' all day, seein' nothin' but dust
   Beat seein' nothin' but row after row.

No, it weren't the romance of bein' a Cowboy
   That put them spurs on your heels.
It was someone findin' a way to escape
   Them endless cotton fields

So, on them days when your arthritis pains ya
   'N the weather is nasty 'n rotten
Just smile 'n give thanks to your Grandaddy's Dad
   'Cause son, you could be farmin' cotton.
© 2004, G. D. Robertson, included on The Nickel
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Two Hours, One Day a Week

Grandpa, I don’t like wearin shirts ‘n ties
    I don’t like dress shoes ‘n suits.
I just wanna wear my old Stetson hat,
    My Wranglers ‘n buckaroo boots.

 ‘N Grandpa, I don’t like that preacher.
    His sermons near scare me to death.
‘N I swear he can talk fer all of two hours
    Never once stop to take him a breath.

‘N I don’t like that choir ‘n their singin’
    ‘N it’s worse when we all sing along.
How’s a Cowboy like me suppose to know all them words
    They don’t play no Dave Stamey songs.

‘N Grandpa, I sure don’t like that church house.
    It’s hot, ‘n there ain’t any air.
‘N you read me the Good Book most every night
    So how come we gotta go there.

The Grandfather said,” we’ll skip church today.”
    “You ‘n me, we’ll take us a ride.”
“Go put on your hat, your Wranglers, ‘n boots.”
    “Then come on down, ‘n I’ll meet you outside.”

They got in the truck, ‘n drove for a while.
    Stopped to check on old Mr. Brown.
Since they didn’t have no place to be,
    They drove the old man into town.

They dropped him off at his daughter’s place
    She thanked-em with fresh apple pie.
They all sat in the kitchen ‘n talked fer a while,
    Finished up ‘n said their good byes.

 They drove way out in the country
    Grandad was pointin’ out landmarks ‘n such.
‘N he talked about friends, ‘n neighbors, ‘n times
     All that had changed, ‘n ‘bout just how much.

He told his grandson he’d made him start thinkin’
    ‘Bout who he was and all that he had
How he’d took stock of just this last week
    ‘N how he couldn’t help but feel glad.

Remember Monday when your cat had her kittens?
    Each one perfect in its special way.
‘N Tuesday, when we got that good soakin’ rain
    Probably saved the whole crop of hay.

 ‘N Wednesday, your mom so late getting’ home
    You prayed that she’d be alright.
‘N how happy you were when she came up the stairs
    Tucked you in, ‘n turned out your light.

Thursday, when we watched that perfect sunset
    With colors only the Good Lord could make.
‘N Friday we went fishin’, watched the sun rise
    Through the fog, ‘n the mist on the lake.

‘N yesterday, when the Johnsons came by
    helped me work that last fifty calves.
It all makes me think just how lucky we are
    Blessed to have everything that we have.

See, the Lord visits our house every day
    It’s the same for the rich, the mighty, the meek
‘N He only asks us to visit his house
    For two hours, one day a week.

You know, I don’t think them sermons are now short ‘n sweet.
    Doubt them dress shoes are any less tight,
But, now on Sundays you’ll find that young man
     In a pew, ’cause he knows that his Grandpa is right.

© 2009, G. D. Robertson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.




Word Wranglin'

Reissued on CD in 2009


Anniversary Poem
Usin' the Old Stuff
Skeeter's Wreck
Tooth Cleanin'
The Yeller House
Aunt Theo's Poem
Billy & the Sheriff
The Gift
You're a Horseman Now
Lonely Don't Do Justice
Rancho Agua Seca
I Never Sold My Saddle
Beacon in the Dark
The Cowboy's Demise

Listen to tracks and find order information at CDBaby


The Nickel



The Nickel
50+ Survival Diet
The Cotton Patch
The Snake
Dogs Can't Play Poker
The Price
American West
The Horseman
The Anniversary Poem
Marriage Contract
Legal Advice
I Never Sold My Saddle

Listen to tracks and find order information at CD Baby.



The Only Cowboy There Was Me



Biker Shorts
Garcia Spurs
I Rode My Son's Horse This Mornin'
Ole Cookie
Bein' Known To Be A Hand
Lazy Dog Saloon
The Christmas Poem
Ruby Dome
The Cowboy And The Genie

Listen to tracks and find order information at CD Baby.


Contacting Gary Robertson

Gary Robertson
1482 Hidden Valley Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
(805) 495-6510


Visit Gary Robertson's web site: GarysCowboyPoetry.com






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