Storms and rainbows are quite different things

Rainbows need sun and softness, ambiguity,
but here the storms come raging in from the west,
flash floods and the shrill sound of car alarms,
and the trees whipping back and forth –
and we name them – why do we name them? –
Ellen, who always sang alone, that pure voice,
passing it on to Francis, like the pope,
who seemed so nice, we liked him, then
he hit a woman, back at the start
of this mad year of fires and fevers.

You show me the shape of the storm,
but I can’t feel the logic of it, just the wind,
and the noise, and the utter darkness,
and half an hour ago it was still,
and now the wind is winding up again,
and what can we do? Gather up windfalls,
check the fences, close the windows,
breathe these small spaces. Wait.

For Brendan at Earthweal. Check it out.

Storm II – for dVerse

Sometimes I dream of storms
and the violent washing away
of all this detritus – plastic bags,
furniture, paperwork
in ragged piles, all those
endless books, shoes,
smart shirts, faded jeans,
best china, glassware,

all flying
whirling, spiraling.

I dream of a wild wind raging.


Another one for dVerse. It’s quadrille night, and we are storming along for De. Go and check it out.

Storm – for dVerse

She wore a dress
like a summer storm
when the clouds bubble
impossible forms;
she brought lightning’s electric scent,
and the threat
of thunder to come
and yet
we were drawn
towards her light,
the brittle light
of just before
a June


The very wonderful De is hosting at dVerse tonight. It’s quadrille night – 44 words – and the key word is “storm”.

The weeping angel

We watched the storm come in
From the horizon, faster
Than a bird could fly.
Cowered all night beneath its wings
Beating at our small house.

Next morning, we walked down
To see the sea, and all the world
Washed clean and new

And on the beach, we found an angel
Broken by the winds,
His wings all torn and twisted
So he couldn’t fly

My sister knelt up close,
But I held back – I am
The cautious one – and then
She said “What colour
Are an angel’s tears?” –
Holding up something
Strangely bright, as if she held
A golden penny in her hand.

And then he turned to us,
Face sorrowful and majestic
And spoke, his voice as bright
As sunlight on a window,
“Our tears” he said “Take different hues
Depending on their causes.

The soft purple of an evening sky
When we weep with a mother
Who has lost a child;
Red as a storm cloud
When we weep in anger
At the foolishness of men;
Blue as the distant sea
When our tears mingle with a
Grieving widower’s. Every
Tone and shade.

I am not weeping for myself”
He said, “But for the world.
There are too few of us,
And who will weep with you
When I am gone?”

And so we took him home –
He was so light
A child could carry him.
We smoothed his twisted wings
And fed him honeycomb
And clear clean well water –
As if he was a bird,
Or some bright insect.

And in the morning, he was gone.