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Snow Line

Updated on December 9, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

Winter is closing on Montana

Cold Arctic air is flowing down

There’s strays up in the high country

Time to bring them to lower ground

Four cowpokes saddle their mounts

Head out up the mountain trek

They’re sayin’ snow by morning

Need to round up strays and get back

The wind is already blowin’ swift

It stings the bare hands and face

Winter sends it cold, cold warning

These cowpokes are in a race

Upward they climb on steady steed

Riding toward the high snow line

A few strays graze in the trees

Movin’ down; that’s a pretty good sign

The cattle are moving down looking for grass

Pushed along by the colder weather

Most of them are grazing near the trees

Clustered there to stay warm together

Willie and Joe will head them down the hill

Tom and Max will look for other strays

The doggies are prone to wonder off

In this weather they’ll die in days

The first flakes of snow begin to fall

Tossing wildly about on the swift wind

The ‘pokes will have to hurry

It’s time for the cold winter to begin

There’s a doggie over in the draw

Tom runs him down the hill

Headin’ down to lower ground

Just like the others will

The wind driven snow is whiting out

The cowpokes blinded by the storm

That ol’ bunkhouse sound good right now

With its old stove blazin’ warm

Still they work the rocks and draws

Looking for the young ones there

Here comes Max pushin’ through the snow

And look, he’s drivin’ a pair

Tom’s got a young one across the saddle

The calf too cold to walk on its own

But now it’s ridin’ in the best of hands

And Tom will bring it home

The clock is running out with each minute

The trail now can barely be made out

Time to get down below the snow line

And turn these cattle out

Smelling the lure of lowland grass

The cattle move on in a trot

Pokes and cows running from the storm

With everything they’ve got

Down in the lowland meadows

The snow squall is well behind

But it’ll be down here soon enough

It’s just a matter of time

The cattle are settled into pasture

The pokes are back home warm and fine

All is well on this Montana ranch

As winter drops below the snow line

©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.

24 October 2012


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Vincent Moore....You sound a bit beat up and maybe pushing yourself a bit too hard to write, Ken. I hope that is not the case. I have discovered in recent months that I write more on my passions that I do my self-motivations. I am at peace with that. If the inspiration comes, so be always seems to though I do slow a bit. I appreciate your good words on this one. It came to me rather easily as I visualized the working cowboy and some of the less enjoyable yet highly important chores for him. Glad you enjoyed it and good to see you around. I am quite saddened to lose Dusty....he was a one-of-a-kind much like Charlie Campbell. Thanks much! ~ WB

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      6 years ago

      Wayne I've been away from the Hubs for a spell, picking up the pen when I feel in the right mood, my days have been long and my nights even worse. I struggle my friend, yet I keep the faith and plow on. Now coming here and seeing right above your comment to Dusty tears well up in my eyes knowing that he just passed over to the light. He comes alive once more for me with his fabolous comments, so visual and expressive, a story teller par excellence just like you my friend.

      This work was fantastic, I felt the wind and snow blowing on my face, I saw the cowboys struggling to keep their cattle safe. I have felt the bitter winds and snow of Montana in my trucking days, had an overnighter in Montana while the snowplows cleared the Interstate so we could get going again in the morning.

      I am as always a friend and follower of yours, my apology for possibly making you think I've given up reading your work, not so, simply just me losing myself from time to time.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber....Montana is a lot like Canada, Dusty, and I don't have the proper clothing for either place! LOL! Thanks much! ~WB

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, most excellent write, having traded lies with the Montana boys at a fine spring day during branding and making steers, I've been told "you shoulda been here 3 months ago. I think it might be fun but the snow down Pagosa Springs, Colorado was enough for me chasing Elk through the snow, my foot hands and ears complained enough. Kinda made me think of the feller that thumps ears in the cold and thinks it's funny, reckon he just hasn't thumped the right ear on another who thinks it's not funny at all.

      You put life to the imagination and I voted you up and more,

      Peace and Blessings,


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @teaches12345...We are getting a touch of the cold winter air here in north Texas this morning with temps in the high 30's so I am sure Montana is already seeing much worse...especially near the high country. Thanks for the good words...I appreciate it! ~WB

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Wayne, I voted this one up as well! I love your writing. It is always such a great visual experience on the life of cowboys. I believe this weather may be happening up there pretty soon too.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @ahorseback....I once had a father-in-law who was raised up in Red Lodge,MT just outside the gates of Yellowstone. Tons of snow there in the winter and some bitter cold. It would be tough no doubt! I'm not sure I could handle Vermont! LOL! Thanks much! ~WB

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wayne , Once I dreamed of living in Montana ! Another story . But the winters ..........worse than here in northern Vermont ! Seems so unreal .....wild is the winter ! Aweome !

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @ImKarn23....Shucks, it's probably gonna be colder in Buffalo that would be out there! LOL! Lots of hard living in that life but the honesty of it all tends to balance the scales a bit. Glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks much! ~WB

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Wayne...the first picture made me shiver - but - your words warmed me...

      i can take the cold as long as there are horses...

      Happiness is - horses..


      thanks, Cowboy


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @The Frog Prince....Thanks Mr. Frog, you good words are always appreciated! ~WB

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Just noticed the thumbs up or down by the ratings. Your usual superb poetry Wayne.

      The Frog

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Gypsy Rose Lee....Thanks so much. That work is a harsh reality when winter hits but those who do it do so out of love for the lifestyle and it should be celebrated. Glad you liked it. ~WB

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Git on little doggies! I loved this could just see that snow flying. We too are getting close to winter as the temp stays in the 30s and snow and rain predicted for Friday. Love that pic and passing this on.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Call me Jon....I have not had all those experiences, Jon...I just read a lot and observe. I've seen a lot of the world and a lot of the things in it but there is much in the cowboy side that I would like to try. Thanks much for those good words. ~WB

    • Call me Jon profile image

      Jonathan Yun 

      6 years ago from Clifton, Virginia

      Perfect imagery! Your experiences translate so well to your writing. I wish I could share some of the experiences that you have had!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @rcrumple...Thanks much. I have written so many western poems that I am having to go above the snow line to find new angles. LOL! So glad you liked it. ~WB

      @lrc7815...I like it very much when the reader gets those sensation of being there...then I know that I found the right words. Thanks much! ~WB

      @fpherj48....You should be seeing your first snow soon....better get that herd down the hill! LOL! Thanks so much. ~WB glad you enjoy my work! ~WB

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Great poem about the coming of Winter in Montana, Wayne. I enjoyed reading this work and many of your others.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Cold subject. Gave me the shivers. Good thing I'm an expert on surviving WINTER..... Ever heard of Buffalo New York STORMS, in Western New York? You have no idea what you're missing, nor do you want to. Cattle around here sell cheap, due to freezer burn.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      6 years ago from Central Virginia

      You captured the feel of the time and difficulty perfectly in this piece. I could almost feel the snowflakes hitting my face and hear the cows lowing in the background. I simplly - loved it!

    • rcrumple profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky

      Wayne - Really a well written poem. You provide such great visuals in your words that imagination use is minimal. I could see it step by step just as you described. Absolutely a great job!


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