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Prairie, Queensland, Australia
About Louise Dean

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of

Illustration by Louise K. Dean

Illustration by Louise K. Dean


Just a Dance

I saw him at a local dance in an outback country place,
And was immediately attracted to his strong and sunburnt face.
A stockman, tall and rugged, in his brightly patterned shirt,
A contrast to his jeans and boots with a touch of outback dirt.

His laughter rang across the hall as he chatted with a mate,
A haunted sort of laugh - and I could only contemplate
The kind of life this stockman led, of cattle, dust and flies,
The spirit of the outback, as seen through distant eyes.

The country band struck up a jive and his boots tapped to the beat,
And then the first of many girls was swept upon her feet.
His energy exploded into a rhythm fast and sure
That left his partners gasping; and clearly wanting more!

He was popular on the dance floor as each girl took their chance,
Hoping for a sign that this was more than just a dance.
But when the song was over, he moved on again once more
To whisk another hopeful to his realm upon the floor.

For he was searching for a partner to end his lonely days,
A companion to make his life complete in, oh, so many ways.
And one with spirit to match his own, to hold within his heart
And walk beside him down the track to make a brand new start.

And so I watched this stockman, and I could not understand
How a man with much to offer could still hold an empty hand.
And just as I was wondering how fate had kept him free --
He was suddenly beside my chair with his hand outstretched to me.

My surprise soon turned to pleasure, and we danced away the night
And talked about all sorts of things to make the world all right.
But soon I came to realise that he hadn't left my side
To go in search of others -- and in my heart I cried

'Cos, through all the fun and laughter he'd surely lost another chance --
You see, I was just a stand in. To me, t'was just a dance!
For on my hand, a band of gold was there for all to see,
And more than just a friendship between us could never be.

I left him at the local dance in an outback country place.
A man in search of someone - haunted look still on his face.
And I wonder where he is today, has he found his one true chance
To hold onto a treasure found, when it's more than just a dance.

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


Illustration by Louise K. Dean
Illustration by Louise K. Dean from Gone Wookatook


About Louise Dean:

We asked Graham and Louise Dean to tell us more about themselves, and Graham replied:

My wife Louise won a performance poetry championship in Australia in January 1999 (The QANTAS Waltzing Matilda Bush Poetry Championship held in the small town of Winton in Western Queensland Australia every year). The prize was for a trip for her to Elko Nevada to perform at the Poetry gathering in 2000. We had met Dick Warwick at the festival in Australia and had linked up with him in Elko, Dick had arranged for us to be involved in the Lewiston gathering where i was honoured to win the Charlie Camden wide Loop award for tall tales, the sash is now proudly displayed in our shop.

Louise has been writing for the past five years and says it is not an easy task for her although performance seems to come as a second nature. She is also very particular as to what actually makes it past editing which made it very hard to put the book Gone Wookatook together. Louise was born in Hughenden in N.W.Queensland and has always had a love for horses and the country. She is also a very accomplished artist, which made it very easy to find an illustrator for the books. She has illustrated all of the childrens books and of course our own.


Graham Dean

[See Graham Dean's poetry and more of Louise Dean's illustrations here on this site.]

Born Brisbane Queensland Aust. 1951-- smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer era.

Credits and accolades
Co-author of two childrens poetry books
Working now on third childrens book
Author of Beneath the Southern Cross (a small poetry book)
Co-authored Gone Wookatook with Louise ( self published book of Bush Poetry)

First started to write poetry at about the age of ten -- Since then- I have always been interrested in the wide open spaces of Australia and in the seventies followed those immortal words "Go West Young Man" worked on Cattle stations and more recently in the construction industry.

Now- Louise and I have semi retired to a small country town named Prairie (Population 38) in the North West of Queensland, where we have set up a business called Bush Wookatook based on poetry and Art and servicing the tourist.We are also in demand for poetry recitals and workshops and involved in the organisation of festivals, either as comperes, judges or organisers. Sounds like a lot of self promoting guff but it does keep us busy. We would really like to return to America at some time in the future as time and finances permit and would welcome any Cowboy Poets who may be travelling past. We would love to show y'all how a real cup of tea is made in a "billy"
over an open fire.

Our book Gone Wookatook is available from us alone at the moment and $12.00 U.S. would cover price + comes with a complimentary copy of Beneath The Southern Cross (the first book).  Postal address is: 

Bush Wookatook
Flinders Highway
Prairie     4816



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