Archives for category: Weather

Image
WINDY NIGHTS
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
            Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
            A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
 
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
            And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
            By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again. 

PAINTING: “Windy Night” by Marilyn Jacobson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A fascinating project about Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is currently in the works — a film about his life in San Francisco, with a screenplay by G.E. Gallas. Find out more at gegallas.wordpress.com.

Image
BEAR IN THERE
by Shel Silverstein

There’s a polar bear
In our Frigidaire—
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there—
That polary bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

 

ImageImage

IT’S HOT
by Shel Silverstein

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade.
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky.
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ’lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

“It’s Hot” appears in Shel Silverstein‘s collection of poems of drawings Where the Sidewalk Ends, available at Amazon.com.

Image

“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.”  HARPER LEE, To Kill A Mockingbird (J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960)

Photo: Author Harper Lee pushes actress Mary Badham (Scout Finch) during production of the 1962 film version of her novel. To Kill a Mockingbird was filmed in Southern California, and some sharp-eyed viewers have noticed mountains in the background of the “mad dog” scene — geographic features that don’t occur in the story’s setting (Maycomb, Alabama).

Image
FAT SOUTHERN MEN IN THEIR SUMMER SUITS
by Liam Rector

Fat Southern men in their summer suits,
Usually with suspenders, love to sweat
Into and even through their coats,

Taking it as a matter of honor to do so,
Especially when the humidity gets as close
As it does each Southern summer.

Some think men could do better
By just going ahead and taking the damned
Coats off, but the summer code stays

Because summer is the time
For many men, no matter what their class,
To be Southern Gentlemen by keeping

Those coats on. So late in life here I am
Down here again, having run to fat
(As Southern men tend), visiting the farm

Where my grandfather deposited
So much of his own working sweat,
Where Granddaddy never bought into any

Of “that Southern Gentleman crap.”
Up north where I landed in the urban
Middle class I am seldom caught

Not wearing a coat of some kind. I love
The coats, and though I love them most
In the fall I still enact the summer code,

I suppose, because my father and I did buy
That code, even though I organized students
To strike down any dress code whatsoever

In the high school I attended (it was a matter
Of honor). And it still puts me in good humor
To abide with the many pockets, including

One for a flask. So whether it’s New York,
Vermont, or Virginia, the spectacle
Of the summer seersucker proceeds,

Suspenders and all, and I lean into the sweat
(Right down to where the weather really is)
Until it has entirely soaked through my jacket.

…From Liam Rector‘s collection The Executive Director of the Fallen World (University of Chicago Press, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: Ned Beatty as Big Daddy in a 2003 production (on Broadway in NYC) of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams.

ImageABOUT THE AUTHOR: Liam Rector (1949-2007) received an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His books of poems include The Executive Director of the Fallen World (University of Chicago Press, 2006), American Prodigal (1994) and The Sorrow of Architecture (1984). Rector’s honors include fellowships in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Friend to Writers Award from PEN New England. He served as poetry editor of Harvard Magazine and as associate editor of Harvard Review and Agni. Rector taught at Columbia University, The New School, Emerson College, George Mason University, and elsewhere. He founded and directed the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College, and administered literary programs at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. (Read more at poets.org.)

Author photo by Star Black

Editor’s Note: We have been suffering with killer heat in Los Angeles for the past four days, which sent me on a search for poetry about surviving the heat. Couldn’t resist posting “Fat Southern Men in Their Summer Suits.” I must add that I’ve spent a lot of time in South during various summers, and — at least for me — the heat in the Southern states can’t match anything in Southern California. One more thing…a nod to those Southern gentlemen who suffer through the heat in their seersucker suits — your gallantry has not gone unappreciated.

Image

CLOUD HAIKU
by Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

The clouds come and go,

providing a rest for all 

the moon viewers. 

Photo: Elliot Severn, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Image

Haiku 

by Madoka Mayuzumi

Wishing and wanting

to see you

I step on thin ice. 

Photo: Marga van Hulzen

Image

STORM TOSSED MEMORIES
by Dan Barry, New York Times, 11/17/12

If you take a walk along the altered coast these days, you will find snapshots and photographs everywhere, scattered like leaves shaken from family trees. Here, a wedding pose. There, a baptism scene. Just beyond, the moment that a shirtless man on a chaise longue laughed into the sun.

Freeze-frame pieces of private lives, they were once displayed on a bookshelf, or pinned to a corkboard or kept safe and secret in a box under the bed. Then Sandy, the storm whose casual name belied its fury, swept these moments up and left them in the sand and muck of places like Great Kills Park, where a part of Staten Island now uneasily meets the sea.

Some of the rain-damaged photos look like the sweetest kindergarten art project, with grit and leaves adhered to damp squares and rectangles. Some look psychedelic, with the human and the inanimate swirling into one. Each photograph has become a new kind of memento: an image of one moment redefined by another.

If this open-air photo exhibition has a theme, perhaps it is that nature’s dominion makes precious all things — not the photograph, but the living moment it all too inadequately has captured.

The time we went to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone. The time we gazed into the fresh-seeing eyes of a newborn. The time we traveled to a place so foreign that we simply had to photograph the sign: Welcome to Montana.

All these bits of time have been scratched, blurred, transformed. That red convertible we were so proud of looks as though it is about to be struck by a meteor. And every moment — the prom, the dance recital, the snowman’s construction — is painted now with bright yellows and rich reds and burnt oranges, the colors of our storm-tossed autumn.

PHOTO: Found photo, post-Hurricane Sandy, Staten Island, NY. Find a gallery of found photos at the New York Times website.

Image

STORM WINDOWS

Poem by Howard Nemerov

People are putting up storm windows now, 
Or were, this morning, until the heavy rain 
Drove them indoors. So, coming home at noon, 
I saw storm windows lying on the ground, 
Frame-full of rain; through the water and glass 
I saw the crushed grass, how it seemed to stream 
Away in lines like seaweed on the tide 
Or blades of wheat leaning under the wind. 
The ripple and splash of rain on the blurred glass 
Seemed that it briefly said, as I walked by, 
Something that I should have liked to say to you, 
Something . . .the dry grass bent under the pane 
Brimful of bouncing water . . . something of 
A swaying clarity which blindly echoes 
This lonely afternoon of memories 
And missed desires, while the wintry rain 
Unspeakable the distance in the mind!) 
Runs on the standing windows and away. 

Image