Cowboy Poetry and Music and More at the BAR-D Ranch

Beavercreek, Ohio
About Stephen Hollen
Stephen Hollen's web site



Summer Storm

The sound of thunder troubles but does not yet wake.
Lightning flashes but does not bring the morning.
Throughout the hills critters settle as the storm comes.
Bird to nest, coon to den.

Down the hollers cattle lay on the backside of the hills,
Tryin' to find a spot out of the wind.
In barns old mules wake and fall back to sleep.
Protected as the rains come by oak boards and tin roofs.

Old dogs move to find shelter under the floor of a porch.
The trees bow to the wrath of storm unleashed.
The storm shows an angry scepter of lightning.
The rains come.

On hillsides and down hollers folks barely stir.
Tearing down the creeks, across the mountains.
In fury the storm beats on cabins, trying to rouse sleepers within.
The rains come.

On the tops of the hills the storm stands
Thunder rolls in echoes down the hollers
Furious now that some still sleep, the storm rages and
the rains come.

The storm dances and stomps in the barnyard.
It thunders just over the heads of the sleeping ranchers.
Beat, beat, bang, drum hard on the tin roofs, listen!
The rains come.

Finally the storm has an effect.
Sleep flees and the noise of thunder, wind and rain
Wake those within with the beat, bang, drum on tin roofs
As the rains come.

Inside the cabin a rancher, work weary still rolls over.
He smiles as he hears the steady beat of rain on tin roof.
He knows fields lay with mouths wide open, drinking deep
As the rains come.

A smile crosses his sleepy lips for he knows
Even now streams of water flow from the hills to the holler.
Making the mountains clean and fresh
As the rains come.

He is grateful for the steady rain, for the bounty of water.
The beat, bang, drum is heartbeat steady on the tin roof
And he closes his eyes and drifts into content sleep
As the rains come.

2001, Stephen Hollen

Stephen says: I have seen the expanses of the West and experienced the heat that wilts plants in just a day when I have visited Texas and other western states. This poem came about as I was thinking about how precious rain...and water would be to the ranchers who raise cattle and work the fields that can dry out so very quickly.  Hearing the rain sends critters to shelter and would most likely bring contentment to the rancher.


About Stephen Hollen:

I am a writer and storyteller. My stories and poems are about the simple, often bittersweet lives led by folks close to the earth - ranchers, farmers
and plain folk.  My family has lived in Appalachia - Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky since the 1750s.  Although I now live in Beavercreek, Ohio, my
heart is still in the mountains of Kentucky.

My Daddy says happiness is like moonshine; 
make your own and you'll never run out
online stories:



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