Posts Tagged ‘storm’

That Time

It was like driving through a winter storm
   for years, day after week after month
     after night after morning of white-knuckled,
   stiff-shouldered worry. No tracks to follow,
no sign of a centerline, no rails on the edge,
   and where are the snowplows, and what
     good is a map when you can’t read the signs?
       There were whole months of white out, driving snow-blind
    and slow, whole seasons of running the wipers on high
   in an attempt to see just one inch further.
       It was icy roads, skidding with the baby in back.
         It was wishing I could ask someone else
       to take the wheel. It was frozen-slick and slippery
     with no studded snows. It was sliding with no brakes.
   It was what I woke to everyday
and what I dreamed at night.
   If there was beauty, I was too afraid to see it.
I wish I could tell you I was brave.
   It was slow to change,
     like a spring that arrives only to leave again.
       One day the drifts were gone and the roads
         were dry and the sky was wide blue and clear.
           But it wasn’t like snow, was it?
         Some things don’t just melt away.
       Some storms transform the landscape forever.
     Some storms transform the driver.

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Just because we cannot touch a rainbow
doesn’t mean it does not exist.
And just because a rainbow is predictable—
sunlight bent in a water drop
at an angle of forty-two degrees
and separated into all its wavelengths—
doesn’t mean it is not a miracle.
How many times have I been unable to touch you,
and yet I am certain of love.
And hasn’t a downpour taught us
to see all our own colors,
shown us how to bend to the world
in ways startling and new.
And isn’t it strange, how love
keeps shifting, changing place,
moves even as we move,
all the while shining, astonishing us
with what a little light in a storm can do.

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You need a rainstorm.
            —Paula Lepp

I need a rainstorm
on the inside, the kind
that relentlessly pours,

the kind that rearranges
everything, leaves nothing
untouched. I need a deluge

that drowns out any voices
that would offer easy answers.
I need a cloudburst to flood

everything I think I know,
that carries me until I, too, am current.
Have I gotten so dry inside,

so brittle and sure?
Give me a gulley washer,
the kind that scours

and remakes its path as it flows.
I want it, and yet
when I feel the first drops

I scramble for the umbrella,
as if it would do any good.
There it is, petrichor—

earthy fragrance of change.
The big rain will come when it comes.
There will be no stopping it then.

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Love Poem



in the snowstorm

finding the spaces between the flakes

where it’s clear

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And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

            —Meister Eckhart



And suddenly you know it’s time

to shovel the drive. For though snow

still falls, at this moment it’s only


three inches deep and you can still push it easily

with your two wide yellow shovels.

Yes, it’s time to start something new—


though it doesn’t feel new, this

shoving snow from one place to another.

In fact, your shoulders still feel


the efforts of yesterday.

But with each push of the shovels,

the path on the drive is new again. At least


it’s new for a moment, new until snow

fills it in. Then it’s a different kind of new.

How many beginnings are like this?


They don’t feel like beginnings at all?

Or we miss their newness?

Or they feel new only for a moment


before they’ve lost their freshness?

There is magic in beginnings, says Meister Eckhart,

and sometimes we see beginnings all around us,


a new path, a new promise, a new meal.

A new prayer. New snow fall. A new song.

Is it too grand to call it magic, this new calendar year?


Too grand to call it magic, this momentary

clearing on the drive? Too grand to be magic,

this momentary clearing in my thoughts?


Or is it exactly, perhaps, what magic is—

something we allow ourselves to believe,

despite logic, despite reason, something that brings


us great pleasure, makes us question

what we thought we knew, our sense

of what is possible changed.



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Standing beneath the pinion tree

I am almost dry, while all around me


the rain almost attacks the road.

I lean my head against its shagging bark


and watch the world transform from dust

to shine. Thunder rends the darkened sky.


I knew when I began the ride

the rain was impatient.


I knew it would be no gentle shower.

How odd to trick myself into being


caught in a storm. How often I choose the gale.

Small bits of bark tear off in the wind,


fall to the cactus, the dirt. Eventually,

I am no longer content to watch


and pull my bike into the rain. Wasn’t

this what I wanted somehow, to be


unguarded, exposed, out? Within a minute

my clothes stick to my skin, and I shiver,


in part from the chill, in part because

I, too, have become a shining thing.


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One Inescapable




Ducking into the woods

it is harder to tell

the storm has come—

though here

beneath the trees

in my own chest,




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Though there is not a thing I can do
to calm the heart-stilling fat slam of thunder,
my daughter clings to me and whimpers.
Immense tides of rumble shudder the sky.
Another. Another. We huddle. I whisper into
her ear, “I am here.” It is the truest thing
I know to say. In a great storm, we do
what we can. Stay close to each other.
Get quiet. Quieter. Gasp as if gasping might turn
fear to awe. Keep our eyes very, very open.

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Video Poem: In Unlikely Places

I am such a fan of this blog, Journey of the Heart, and today they’ve posted another of my video poems, this one about the grace that sometimes comes out of what looks like a big big bummer … 

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Tonight, the storm is not here, but I see it
in the distance. Lightning unzippers the air, white shock
of illumination. The sky doesn’t hide its bruises.

Dark tents of rain settle over the flats.
And the thunder, no matter how distant, grabs me
with its enormous hands, shakes me by the shoulders,

and tells me to hush. If the angel came to me tonight
and said it were my turn to wrestle, would I tussle with him
until daybreak? Would I try to shutter him out? If he pushed me

to the earth, would I leap up and run? Or lie there and let
him take me the way the rain would if it were here?
I hush. Must we fight for our blessings? Must we steal

for our birthright? The wind dances the leaves,
ravages my hair. Angel, please do not come tonight.
I am tired. Uncertain. Oh, you are already here.

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