Shelter From the Wind


Bob and I were on our way to Silicone Valley where I would begin  a new job after completing my MFA degree at West Virginia University.  As Bob drove our Nissan 300 ZX car, I had my yellow pad out; I jotted down notes on that pad  the entire trip.

We traveled across the country 

from Ellwood City (in western Pennsylvania)  to Cupertino, California.

In the weeks that followed, I returned to my pages of notes from the trip. I turned them into poems. My notes from driving across NEVADA became the inspiration for  the images in this poem: “Shelter From the Wind.”

This poem was published this week in “Magnets and Ladders Literary Magazine.” It had preciously been published in another literary magazine:

YAWP Magazine for Literature and Arts,
Summer, 2001, #3 – Pittsburgh, PA






Shelter from the Wind
by Lynda McKinney Lambert; 1991

“Welcome to Nevada” flashing lights and casinos
grope together at the base of violet shrouded mountains
Walk in fields of fragrant sage and purple tumbleweed
Stacked in fluffy clumps against fences, by the wind.
Look across this fertile plain of the valley.
Watch the long train moving east to an Oasis.

Trees and grass, water aplenty in the Oasis.
A single gas pump, a shiny slot machine in this lonely casino.
Behind violet shadows on taupe-blue mountains.
Reach down to touch the prickly tumbleweed
that blooms before the winter winds
sweep through the Nevada Oasis valley.





Winter winds blow frigid in this valley

bringing weighted clouds of ice to the Oasis.

Winter storms howl and moan around the casinos,

sweeping down across the barren mountains,

removing purple from the tumbleweed

and lifting it’s hollow bones to the icy wind.




The casinos are a shelter from the wind.
Tourists stay, trying to win in this frigid Nevada valley
drawn here like thirsty men to an Oasis
seeking water and wealth from the casinos
when the wind blows sharp in the mountains.
The only thing moving is the tumbleweed.



Truckers never see the tumbleweed.
They mark time like notches on a gun through driving Nevada winds
ignoring the signs posted in the valley,
desiring to reach warm arms in the Oasis
or painted lips and blinking lights in the casinos-
trying to delay the next trip over the mountains.

Seasons change slowly in the Nevada mountains,
leaving behind memories like frail tumbleweed.
Dreams pass as fragments in a winter-wind,
and tumbleweed blowing in the valley
as surely as a man travels, looking for an Oasis
and a sure bet in the Silver State casinos.



YAWP Magazine for Literature and Arts,
Summer, 2001, #3 – Pittsburgh, PA

Magnets and Ladders, Literary Magazine,
Fall/Winter 2014


Lynda Lambert is the author of:  “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,” published by Kota’ Press.  You can contact the author for an autographed  copy of this book, or visit  to purchase the book.

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