By: Wayne Brown

I can see the clouds gathering in the north and west

The signs are there to see once you’d had the test

A norther’ with gale force winds is headin’ our way

The storm will be in full bloom by the break of day



The horses can sense it; they are restless in their stalls

They paw at the floor and bump against the walls

The cattle we gathered to cover down in the basin

Nothing like a norther’ to make our step to hasten



She’s due here by noon in all her blowing rage

Dust will be flyin’ as the earth becomes her stage

To exhibit the wrath of Mother Nature’s meaner side

A norther’ makes a cowboy look for a place to hide



The horizon is already colored same as the ground

There’s thick dust blowin’ in the air whirlin’ all around

She’ll pass through these parts without slowing down

Blowin’ away any and everything which is not tied down



Sure hope those cows don’t spook and move to stampede

All it takes is one lightning bolt to plant that chaotic seed

If they bolt and scatter, God knows where they’ll steer

Its best if we just keep them quiet until the storm can clear



Bandanas wrapped about our face, the wind so loud we shout

We stay close to the rocks for cover waiting the storm out

She’s a mighty blower like none we’ve ever seen before

One never knows the tricks Mother Nature holds in store



The minutes now seem like hours as the storm is in full rage

We watch the time tick away and wait to turn the page

The cows have held their head and we avoided a stampede

Caution is riding on the wind, and its call we still must heed



By sundown this blowing dust will only be a mere memory

Our land will be much like before, as normal as can be

Then we can get back to our chores and the life we know best

To wait once more for another norther’ to put us to the test

© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 31 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I am never disappointed with what you write and I pray that all this bad weather south of me will stop shortly. Fantastic poem! Love the song choice too!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Good work, Wayne!

We get our own version in Arizona, usually during the summer monsoon season. Thunderstorms kick up a wall of dust miles long, and hundreds of feet high. They don't last long, but visibilty is often down to a few feet, making driving very dangerous.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

It's amazing what man and beast have been able to withstand over the centuries. Your writing will surely go down in history as part of the explanation of this never-give-up fortitude of generations.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

That picture is frightening-out of a nightmare. Then your finely tuned lines add to the horrific suspense. Wayne, this is masterful writing indeed and about an unusual subject. I would love to see your poems in an anthology.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Excellent Wayne. You brought us into the storm.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Just Ask Susan...I got caught in a west Texas dust storm was like being in a carton of chocolate milk for an helped me to write this! Thanks, Susan.

@WillStarr...Yes, the ones that blow threw west Texas are much the fact the dust may be from Arizona! LOL! WB

@Poohgranma...It certainly is and it is amazing how they have come to recognize the signs that something is brewing. Our survival instincts are great! WB

@Hypenbird...We get two kinds here...the dust storm type and the "blue norther" which tends to drop temps about 40 degrees in an hour's time...both have plenty of wind. I would love to see my poems in an anthology as well! LOL! Maybe someday...WB

@mckbirdbks...Excellent...exactly my goal! WB

Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Hi Wayne great poem. It's amazing all these horrific storms we are having. I just pray the weather settles down God protect us all.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Mimi721wis...It certainly is horrific...maybe they were right about last Saturday being the start of the end...lots of bad things started happening after that point in close order. We spent the better part of last Tuesday evening in a closet listening to the alert sirens blowing all over the Metroplex. Mother Nature can be vicious. Hopefully, June will be us some improvement. Thanks much. WB

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

What a wonderful way to describe a storm. We don't have Northers here in Jamaica but I can imagine it. It's like a wind storm isn't it? Or does it come with rain?

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@cardisha....yes, it is a wind storm generated by a tight low pressure gradient. Sometimes it is just blinding dust and sometimes there' rain behind which turns the dust to liquid mud. In the winter, it's usually a frontal line with a huge temp drop after the winds pass. WB

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Only you can make a natural disaster awesome and beautiful! Love the song - Dust in the Wind - and the pictures in the YouTube too.

chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

It's almost like experiencing the storm itself. I think I could taste that dust in the mouth feeling.

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I was talking to friend in another country, asking her to exuse any delays. She asked why, I said because of the tornados, internet may go down. She freaked out, she doesn't understand its that time of year in Texas.

samiaali profile image

samiaali 5 years ago

Hi WB, You have captured the anticipation of a deadly tornado so perfectly. I like your description of the horses in their stalls. This was beautifully done! :)

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I have never experienced a dust storm.I have heard about them. I guess when we complain about our weather we should consider what could be worse.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Truckstop Sally...That's because I spent a little too much time too near Mother Nature in my life as a flier...she has done her share of shaking me around! LOL! WB

@chspublish...Glad I could reach that level of realism...that is what I was striving for in the show how Mother Nature crashes into everyday life. WB

@A.A. Zavala...Texas offers a broad spectrum of weather...something for everyone I would guess. You have to live it to imagine it! Thanks. WB

@samiaali...These are ususally straight line winds with dry fronts. Tornadoes seem to like wetter environs for some unknown reason. WB

@dahoglund...I drove throw one out near Brownsville TX one time...the world turns into a chocolate malt around you. Stay in it long enough and you can probably get your car sandblasted! WB

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

The Norther must be an awful experience. I’m so glad it is not one of ‘God’s Actions’ down here. (Touching wood.) As always, Wayne, I am impress with your ability to write an entire story in rhythm and rhyme.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Excellent Wayne. Being surrounded by animals, horses in particular, we can tell when the weather is about to change. They sense it. Northers, those we get coming from that direction, seem disproportionately violent in nature.

Super as usual.

The Frog

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Martie Coetser...luckily we get few of them but you always remember the ones you experienced. Thanks for the good words! WB

@The Frog Prince...Animals do have some great weather instincts. Thanks for the great comments and glad you liked this one. WB

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

So realistic, Wayne, I can feel the norther wind carrying that biting dust. Much like extended tornadoes I would guess. And I can easily relate to your poetic description of those mighty forces of nature, having experienced several hurricanes up close and personal.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...You got the idea which means I delivered the message...that's a direct hit for writer! LOL! Thanks, Doc! WB

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Poetic Fool 5 years ago

I've lived all over North America, less Texas, and every place has their own storms and disasters. I've never heard of a "norther" before but feel like I've been through one now. This was a great read. Thanks.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Poetic Fool...West Texas sees more of the dust storm type that we get here in the DFW area but still they are luckily rather rare but quite the experience. Thanks for stopping by...hope to see you again. WB

Genna East 5 years ago

I have to agree with Pooh. The trials and tribulations we have endured with our heads bowed; yet throughout, maintain an indomitable spirit. The animals seem to know too, and often serve as a kind of warning system out of pure instinct. Such courage and determination are strengths that you have written about so powerfully, here, Wayne. Up and awesome.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Genna East...Mankind has endured much from Mother Nature over time and continues to hold forth. People face hardships with determination knowing that nothing too bad or too good can last too long. Thanks so much, Genna! WB

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

WB - up and awesome! The weather sure has given a lot of us cause to write about it lately:) I have to say that I would now like to be in a dust storm - just to see what it is like! LOL

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@RealHousewife...I perfer them to either tornadoes or hurricanes! LOL! WB

Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago

Fantastic insight into you're word. We think we have it bad with rain in England...... Ent gotta clue...

Great poem and 1 new follower.

Thanks mate. voted up and awesome

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Scarface1300...Thank you...luckily these are rare occurrences here but you never forget them. Glad to have you on board! WB

K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

Wayne - Things have been rather hectic here, so I haven't been as attentive to reading hubs as I usually am, but I can see by this brilliant gem of yours, that things here have stayed the course in my absence. You have crafted a very powerful piece here, so powerful, I can almost feel the wind blowing....Voted up, awesome, beautiful!

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@K. Burns Darling...Same thing over this, too much work, too many "honey do's", etc. I barely have time to write or read. Glad you enjoyed this one and thanks so much for those kind words. WB

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