When I was a girl at home, we had a nice little newspaper called The Donley County Leader that often featured news from several towns in Donley County Texas. The part I liked was that it also featured poetry.

One column was called “Plowin’ Out the CORNERS” by Uncle Zeb. I never really knew who Zeb was, but we corresponded several times. Once I submitted a poem written by my mother and he thought it was great. Another time or two, I wrote him about what was going on in our “neck of the woods,” and he always answered me. Here is a copy of one article he wrote along with the poem I submitted.

Right around the corner is our dust blowing season, or at least it would be if we were dry and had no cover crop like in the Seven Lean Years just gone by. Anyway, our young friend Miss Beth Finch of Box 851, Clarendon, sends us the following poem as written by her mother. It is called:



By Mrs. Richard Finch


Some folks think that the sand won’t blow—

But today I watched it and I know.

Who would have thought in the still of the night

That the sky’d be dark in broad daylight?


The day before was a lovely day,

But the storm blows now in an angry way.

The gusts of wind have force and might.

They shove and swerve and push in fright.


The soil loosens up and rolls away

The wind’s its master; it cannot stay.

Everything has to give to the wind;

Can’t ask where goes, nor yet where been.


The tree limbs break and the tumble weeds roll.

The sun has to hide its face of gold.

The poor little birds cling tight to the bow,

But God will watch the birds somehow.


They say ill-winds blow nobody good—

I can’t hang clothes, and yet I should.

Sand blows down the road—on past the track,

Tomorrow, perhaps, it’ll blow right back.


Yes, this is Texas, you have said,

If you open the door, better grab your head.

Just hold on tight to what you’ve got;

You might get there, and you might not.


Thanks Mrs. Finch, and how well we remember the first dark duster we ever saw. We were sitting with some friends in the living room one Sunday afternoon when all of a sudden we could hardly see each other. To be right honest we thought it might be the end of time. Oh, those dismal 30’s.



The following Random History was posted on http://Refdesk.com

Severe drought and dust storms exacerbated the Great Depression because it dried out farmlands and forced families to leave their farms. On May 9, 1934, a dust storm carried an estimated 350 million tons of dirt 2,000 miles eastward and dumped four million tons of prairie dirt in Chicago. The drought and dust killed tens of thousands of animals. – Provided by RandomHistory.com

8 thoughts on “JUST BLOWING SAND

        1. In a sense we are opposites. Your mother drove you to work hard so you could “succeed.” Now you are the poet. My mother was the poet, and I have been the “driver” to make our kids succeed. I pray they still love me.


          1. Diana, there is NO doubt your friend should have been concerned more about her son’s heart than anything else. Without that heart development nothing else matters. Truly blessed are the children whose parents are struggling to develop both. Unfortunately, many youngsters resent the moral training as infringing on their privacy or their individuality.


  1. What an interesting post, Beth: it completely transports me to another time and place! A dust storm is something I’ve certainly never experienced. I had to look up Donley County on a map to get my bearings: looks like it’s in the Panhandle, not far from Oklahoma? I grew up in south Arkansas and visited Houston and Dallas, but I know that Texas varies a lot from region to region. A childhood friend of mine was from Amarillo (if I remember correctly); hope you don’t mind if I share this with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am all too happy if you share it. I wish I could share more about the Texas Panhandle, but I seem to have lost touch with many I knew. There is a blogger–actually an artist cum photographer whom I used to follow for the reminders, but I can’t find her blog anymore.


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