Panhandle Wind

Funny how things work out; I wrote a rough draft of this poem a couple days ago, while commenting on a fellow Texas poet’s poem. Then, here she is, Ms. Gay Reiser Cannon, hosting dVerse Poets Pub’s FormForAll, and daring us to do some “Triversen”, or some such. Mine probably fits the some such category, but I think y’all will enjoy it.

Panhandle Wind


My grandpa was a storyteller

Everyone called him, Bunk

He had a quip for every occasion


My favorite was about the Texas panhandle

That place where the wind blows

All day, every day, or so it seems


Bunk would say it was the only place

A man could stand knee-deep in mud

And have sand blow in his face


When I was ten or so

I’d spend a summer week or two

With my cousin, up near Amarillo


The wind bout drove me crazy

Howlin’ when we’d go to sleep

And still howlin’ when we woke up


We’d play baseball most days

In the vacant lot behind the house

Me and Ed; one batter, one fielder


If you hit a short high pop up

To straight-away center field

It would come back to you


A little dance and shuffle step

You could take another swing at it

Hit the same pitch twice


Ed runnin’ full tilt, hollerin’, I got it, I got it

See me lookin up with the bat cocked

Hit the dirt, yellin’ bad things ‘bout my mama


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn


  1. Ha. Very charming. The wind not the only thing howling! k.

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    I’m sure many in the Panhandle can relate to this!!

  3. Gay said

    Oh Charles – those summers with cousins. You capture it well. This poem could have gone on and on for me (see this if you have time where I did go on and on and on.

    It certainly breathes a triversen – it certainly captures time and place – and if the metaphor isn’t Texas it surely could be America back before..well before whatever it is now. If you decide to expand it (and you could — infinitely) you might bring it back ’round to the land, and the wind and the sky.

    • Oh, yes, I could go on and on with this one. I don’t have the patience for long poems though, so maybe I’ll just follow it with some sequels. (I will take a look at the one you’ve linked!)
      And, I reckon you know not to get me started on “whatever this is now”. I look longingly back at the way it was.
      Thanks, Gay!

  4. I suspect your grandfather was an incredibly important force in your life (as was mine). I love the voice in this poem, Charles, and the whole feeling of that Texas atmosphere.

    • He was indeed, Victoria. I miss him a bunch.
      Thanks for the kind comments!

    • I am with Victoria on the voice of the poem…it really spoke volumes.
      The voice stayed with me from start to finish…
      would love to read more of these stories of your grandfather.
      Siggi in Downeast Maine

      • I have some poems on my blog about Bunk; more to come also. I could write a book about that man.
        Thanks for the wonderful comment, Siggi!

  5. I like it – like the sound of your grandad – like the cut of his gib

  6. haha…i think you got a bit of the story teller in you as well sir….enjoyed this tremendously, esp thinking about my own days playing short handed baseball…smiles….and never talk bad about mama…smiles.

    • Compared to Bunk, I don’t know, Brian. I feel like an amateur.
      Yeah, me and Ed played us many a game, just the two of us. Them was the days, man!

  7. Susan said

    I love the swinging rhythm of this piece, with grandpa Bunk talking, the sand blowing, the wind howling and then a closeup an you two howling baseball fiends. I think the wind could come back toward the end, but I really like the idea of a sequel. You attracted me through this one and now i want more.

    • Well jeez. I suppose I coulda put another stanza in there about the wind. But… I was concerned about gettin long-winded!
      I have some other good stories about me and Ed, and at least one is another involving the wind.
      I’ll have to work on that.
      Thanks for the great comment, Susan!

  8. it sure is windy in that neck of the southern 48. Great picture for me. I enjoyed very much.

  9. Bodhirose said

    Really enjoyed the little slice of Americana here, Charles…fun. That howling wind reminded me of Kansas..where one of my sisters live.

    • Yes’m. Texas doesn’t have exclusive rights to the howlin stuff, but they sure get their share up there in the panhandle.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. leahJlynn said

    nice southern story and grand pa sounds pure for this write. Go going

  11. Wliiam Carlos Williams’ assertion was that the triversen was a quintessential American form… and here you’ve used it to frame a story around the quintessential American sport. So very apt.

  12. marousia said

    Fantastic story – the form is a perfect vehicle for the story

  13. kaykuala said

    That’s just wonderful Charles! Spending summer hols with your cousins would have been fun! Thanks for sharing!


  14. A terrific poem, I really enjoyed it.

  15. Loved this… quirky and homespun.

  16. Raivenne said

    Oh my, this reminds me of so many summers down south with my cousins. Charming.

  17. hedgewitch said

    You know here in Okieland(and hailing originally from a hideous place called the Windy City–shhhh don’t tell the neighbors) I can identify with every word of this. We had a storm through last night that blew five or six limbs off our neighbor’s backyard cottonwood over his roof and into our front yard. Liked this a lot, Charles–definitely not a swing and a miss.

    • Oh, I’m very familiar with Okielnd and its weaather. Mom lives in OKC, and they actually have a storm cellar! Yikes! I was in OKC several years ago, and went fishing with a friend–I should say, tried to go fishing–and every time we’d throw the line out, the wind would blow it over our heads. It’s a lot like the panhandle of Texas, in that I wonder why people live there!
      Thanks for the wonderful comment! I appreciate it very much!

  18. Nice story telling Charles, it reminds me of my boyish and fun childhood ~ Enjoyed the visit ~

  19. Nice story from a world and childhood so utterly different to mine of pit villages and city slums with dysfunctional families

    • My childhood wasn’t all baseball and cousins, John, but I do know, and am thankful, that compared to many others, it was a good one.
      Thanks for the visit and comment.

  20. David King said

    Ha! Really enjoyed the mention of the boomerang hit!

  21. carolisle said

    Charles so glad to meet you and your stories. Bein’ a Gal from Oklahoma I shouldn’t be talkin’ to you but gotta love your take on the wind 🙂

    • Aw! Don’t be skeert, Carolisle! My mom lives in OKC, and I don’t hold it against her!
      Glad you liked that windy tale, and I hope you enjoy some of my other offerings, too!
      Glad to meet ya!

  22. Reblogged this on Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still… and know that I am God" and commented:

    Bunk’s been gone a long time, and Cousin Ed passed on about a year and a half ago, but I still think of them often. I’m currently writing a novel based on my childhood, and Bunk and “Eddy” are two of the main characters. I can still see Bunk, eyes sparkling as he told us his tall tales and jokes. And cousin Eddy, well that boy had a grin that could light up the entire Lone Star state. Loved them both. Miss them a lot.

  23. Susan Dennis said

    I remember Bunk. He was a character, as was Eddy. I look forward to reading your book.

    • Thanks, Susan! I’ll let you know when the book comes out. Probably early next year. Almost finished with the first draft, but then the real work begins.

  24. Ken Mashburn said

    Proud of you Bro! So nice to read positive comments about anything for a change. So tired of all the negative and the general election hasn’t even gotten underway. Keep up the good work Cheers Ken

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