Archives for posts with tag: weather

tracy_bennett
Seiche—Long Point Bay, Port Dover
     for my friend John Tyndall who gave the gift of a new word
by John B. Lee

often
in the dead calm of a motionless morning
when the lake
is smooth as pulled silk
polished blue with a new-washed sky
shining like a carried mirror
with the still reflection
of waist-deep bathers
afloat in colours pooling away from their bodies
like rainbows of wet oil

it comes
at first as a long line
far out
in the fish-deep waters
of Long Point Bay
a linear pulse
visible as if of a counterpane
undulating about
the dream sigh of a water god
followed fast by shore hush
wave on wave sounding the drag of sand and shell

and the waders
respond, briefly rocking where they stand
like the thought toddle
of lost equilibrium

and also in the equipoise of an evening
I have seen this same
windless oscillation
curling its lip in the harbour
nudging docked boats
so they bob and joggle
like the last swirl
of an exhausted dreidel
dizzy with the loss of turning

somewhere in the deep shallows
of felt beauty, well below
the ghost’s slip
of the coming on and the going away
of ephemeral mists
there resides
in me, the true possibility of my soul
its memory alive
at the very tuning fork
of Adam’s resonant bone
receiving life and responding in kind
to that breath of grace

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is inspired by the seiche tides that occur in Long Point Bay (Ontario, Canada).

PHOTOGRAPH: “Stormy Waters” (Lake Erie, Port Dover, Ontario, Canada) by Tracy Bennett. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John B. Lee was appointed Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford, Ontario, Canada, in perpetuity in 2005 and Honourary Poet Laureate of Norfolk County for life in 2015. His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications and he has well over 70 books in print. The recipient of nearly 100 prestigious awards for his writing, he lives in a lakefront home in Port Dover, Ontario.

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Blizzard Sestina
by Charles Levenstein

We thought the end would be flood, a fire,
maybe something nuclear and quite unspeakable.
Snow, of course, never occurred to us,
not the acres that now blanket our city,
not in breathtaking flurries,
not in smothering blizzard.

Once I imagined cozy Christmas blizzards,
urbane wine mulling on a tended fire,
cosmopolitan laughter sprinkled in flurries;
to be stranded did not mean unspeakable,
whether rolling countryside or sparkling city,
cossetted affluence protected us.

Narcissus never conceived an “us,”
distant from limpid pool was the Arctic blizzard
and the bleak wint’ry streets of the city.
Imagine him drowning in fire!
Imagine sirens speaking the unspeakable!
Completion not with a bang but a flurry!

Real estate speculators were in a flurry –
Prices soared beyond the reach of most of us,
Unspoken deals remained unspeakable,
Ticker tape falling like confetti in a blizzard –
How to explain these snowy dunes set afire
by desperate search for warmth in the city?

As you may know, there can be comfort in the city;
the rush, the lights, even bistros are flurries —
a credit card, some cash, the intimacy of fire –
for the young in urban anonymity there’s an “us”
that overcomes windchill in the blizzard!
For others the streets are unspeakable –

Poets are called to speak the unspeakable!
To comprehend and reveal the cruelty of the city!
If in blind comfort we ignore the blizzard,
imagining the mountains of new ice and snow are flurries
incapable of freezing our friends and families – “us”–
who will interpret simmering revolutionary fire?

We who feel the fire and have learned about the unspeakable,
we perceive a re-discovered “us,” a suffering city:
the cries are not mere flurries, they foretell the blizzard.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live in Brookline, Massachusetts, next to Boston — eight feet of snow and counting!  My daughter has sent me a set of snap-on metal cleats so I can go walking on days that the temperature stays above 10 degrees or so.  It’s beautiful, but I am old.

IMAGE: “Boston Blizzard” (Jan. 27, 2015), Reuters

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charles (Chuck) Levenstein is a retired professor. Levenstein has been writing poems since he was 15 years old, but burned them every 10 years, some because of shyness about them, some because they were really awful. He began writing poems again in 2000, largely because Internet poetry forums were an easy vehicle for trying out new work and learning from other writers. He also had erratic sleeping habits – exacerbated by sleep apnea – and late-night sessions on the computer were easy. He also became a yoga student of the late Tom Stiles (Mukunda) and that cleared away a lot of debris. In 2001, he published a collection of poems, Lost Baggage, with Loom Press in Lowell, Massachusetts. In the subsequent years, he published poems in a raft of e-zines. He was the winner of some small prizes – from Flashquake and from MiPoesia for poems in a Goya contest and a bonsai contest. His work was featured in Gary Blankenship’s e-zine and in The Hiss Review and Loch Raven Review. He became involved heavily in the now defunct Poetry Niederngasse, an e-zine based in Zurich, became a contributing editor for PN, and wrote a regular poetry/rant called “Poems of World War III.” Many of these poems were collected in a book published with Lulu.com called Poems of World War III. Most recently, he published another smaller collection with Lulu.com called Animal Vegetable.

robert_eovaldi
Faux Spring in Southern California
by Robbi Nester

It’s been a month since the last rain.
Tumbleweeds that last fall
pursued their manic course
across the highway
have settled in for the season,
send out tendrils
like misdirected telegrams.
Another frost will surely follow.
Even the birds sing all night,
making the most of a short season.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Apache Canyon in the Los Padres National Forest, California” by Robert Eovaldi. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

robbi-nester

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robbi Nester is the author of a chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and a collection of poems, A Likely Story (Moon Tide Press, 2014). She has also edited an anthology of poems inspired by shows on public TV, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes Press, 2014).

edward_fielding
Eleven Below in Vermont
by Cameron Miller

Onyx dome over pastures of snow
trees cast shadows by starlight.
Nothing moves.
No flashlight,
everything we need to see
seen.
We stop, dog and me,
mesmerized
by Milky Way
brushed thin on arch of pale glitter
from horizon to horizon.
Even dog stares into illuminated stillness.
Seven sisters over Jupiter
tip Littler Dipper upside down
spilling light into our darkness.
Then we hear it,
cold calling us from four corners.
Half creaks
muted pops
from inside trees.
Frozen moisture trapped inside wood
pushes outward
stretching rigid life
demanding it change, expand.

“Ert” “Crk”
     “Trtk.”
Dog’s ears perk
     head tilts
first left then right
then up then down.

Moments unroll
     sounds, dog, me,
     all one
with snow, dappled light,
piercing cold.
Stillness
the voice of winter’s night
lingers.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The raw and desolate beauty of Vermont winter and stunning night sky, as with anything so exquisite, are beyond the grasp of words. Perhaps only in painting with words, such as poetry, can we even hope to evoke the experience.

IMAGE: “”Snowy Chapel at Night”(Little Stone Chapel built in 1950 by Werner von Trapp, Stowe, Vermont) by Edward Fielding. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cameron Miller is a Hoosier by birth, a preacher by profession, and an author by vocation. He is the writer behind the curtain at www.subversivepreacher.org, and has also written professionally as a columnist and storyteller. Recently he traded fulltime parish ministry for writing fiction, poetry, and spiritual reflections while also relocating to the fabled Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He has a poem included in the “I Am Waiting” Series on Silver Birch Press, with more poems appearing in upcoming anthologies by Eyewear Press and Inwood Indiana Press.

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WHITE OUT
by Joan Colby

We hit the white out just beyond the Virgil ditch.
A south wind blasting eight-foot drifts
Like a fireship exploding the armadas
Of January. A page of erased zeroes.
Today, it might get to 20, no melt but plenty
Of blowing to disguise what’s road
And what’s the verge, how to be stuck
And invisible.

Last week in such weather a semi
Jackknifed, then another, another, another
Swallowing cars, a multitude following
Faithfully as pilgrims to the disaster
Of the stampede. Finally, there were forty
Or more vehicles crushed and miles of traffic
Detained while the Jaws of Life were deployed.
Three dead including a man whose dog
Was thought to be a fatality but survived
To lick the hands of the first responders.

People we used to call firemen or cops
Rearticulated like weather once called storms
Now polar vortices. Naming something doesn’t change
Effect. We still stall where we thought
The road curved and it didn’t.
We’re still as lost.
The white out still blinds us.

IMAGE: “Whiteout conditions in Arlington Heights, Illinois (2011)” by Bill Zars, Staff Photographer, The Daily Herald (Illinois)

colby

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 14 books, including Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize,  Properties of Matter (Aldrich Press, Kelsay Books), Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press), and The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press. Visit her at joancolby.com.

Written by Ruthann Friedman and recorded by The Association, “Windy” was released in 1967 and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Here we feature Ruthanne Friedman’s version of the song — a paean to a man (rather than The Association’s woman).

WINDY
Words and Music by Ruthann Friedman

Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Callin’ a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bendin’ down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy

Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody he sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds

Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody he sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

friedman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Ruthann Friedman started playing guitar at the age of eight while listening to Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Josh White. Her first paid performance was at the Green Spider Coffee House in Denver, Colorado, at the age 19. While staying in San Francisco,  Friedman befriended  members of Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe, and Janis Joplin. Her friendship with Van Dyke Parks not only influenced her deep commitment to music but also introduced her to The Association, the musical group that recorded her song “Windy” in 1967. Three years later, Reprise Records released Constant Companion, her first solo album. In 2006, Water, a San Francisco label, reissued Constant Companion, renewing interest in Friedman’s music and leading to the release of a compilation of rare and previously unreleased home recordings from 1965–1971, Hurried Life. To learn more, visit ruthannfriedman.com.

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A SUMMER WIND
by Michael Field

O wind, thou hast thy kingdom in the trees,
And all thy royalties
Sweep through the land to-day.
It is mid June,
And thou, with all thy instruments in tune,
Thine orchestra
Of heaving fields and heavy swinging fir,
Strikest a lay
That doth rehearse
Her ancient freedom to the universe.
All other sound in awe
Repeats its law:
The bird is mute; the sea
Sucks up its waves; from rain
The burthened clouds refrain,
To listen to thee in thy leafery,
Thou unconfined,
Lavish, large, soothing, refluent summer wind.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Under the pseudonym Michael Field, Katherine Harris Bradley and Edith Emma Cooper published eight books of poetry and twenty-seven plays in late 19th-century Britain. The two women enjoyed a warm reception as Michael Field in Victorian literary circles upon the release of their first major verse drama, Callirhoë and Fair Rosamond (1884), and remained an integral part of the British literary scene up until their deaths from cancer within nine months of each other in 1913 and 1914. All of their work was written jointly — Cooper and Bradley even claimed that they often could not tell each other’s lines apart.

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VIOLENT WIND
by Devshree Dubey

Gushing its way through seas
Meeting the swinging trees
Crossing the greener pastures
Violent wind dances in azure skies

Laden with thunder and storm
Many a shape it transforms
Upon the rivers and the valleys
In forests it enters stealthily

The boisterous wind in its might
Coursing its way delights
Violent wind, vibrant wind
Energizing lives, reviving mankind

Violent wind is never dulled
It breathes life in everything lulled
Violent wind moves and moves
Into the meadows and grooves

Fills insight with a rapture
Soothes spirit, sorrows capture
Fanning the fire raging
Reminder of seasons changing

Violent wind roars upright
Where are ye men of light?
In every temptation and trial
Unlike violent wind smile

dubey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Devshree Dubey is studying for her Master’s of Computer Application from Jabalpur Engineering College (India), where her poetry has been published in the school’s magazine Abhiyaam. She has served as editor of the magazine released by the Department of Computer Science and Application, St. Aloysius’ College, Jabalpur, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree. Her poetry has been published in the college magazine The Aloysian.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem describes the spirit of the mighty wind. While flowing, it changes the course of the weather and seasons. In its rage it asks us to be full of energy, enthusiasm, and courage. Wind is afraid of nothing and urges  us to follow its steps. The wind is a harbinger of hope and breathes life into everything.

fukuda
SUMMER RAINS
by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Early summer rains
so heavy
they obscure the waterfall

ART: “Rain,” woodblock by Hirokazu Fukuda. Limited edition prints available at new.uniquejapan.com.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Hirokazu Fukuda (1944-2004) was born and raised in the Tochigi prefecture, an area about an hour north of Tokyo surrounded by mountains and hills to the east, west, and north, with the Kanto Plains lie to the south. Hirokazu planned to become a professional classic guitarist but suffered a hand injury at a young age. Seeking a medium to express his creativity, he first worked with the canvas, then moved on to become a master woodblock artist. According to family and friends, he always hoped that his work would touch the heart of those around him.

hiroshige_3_suddenstorm
WINDING WITHIN
by Shreyas Gokhale

The sky was dark with clouds of mourning shades
The rolling thunder, as lightning invades.

The thunderstorm was storming upside down,
On earth, the fiery gale did seem to frown.

The trees were trembling, swinging flowers and grass
The birds and beasts were bolting through vistas.

A shower of rains had chilled the warmth of noon
The bamboos played enchanting mystery tune.

In such a vehement weather, no one near
I closed my eyes and Oh! I found you dear!

ART: “Sudden Storm” by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem describes the scene of a violent rainstorm and the images of the things around. The poet experiences a fiery weather outside and a tumultuous behaviour of all the creatures because of it. In such a scenario when he closes his eyes and looks into his own self, he finds the ultimate solace and the existence of someone divine and dearly in it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shreyas Gokhale is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Jabalpur Engineering College in India. He is also serving as a writer at Keynotes Poets and Writers, Sacramento, California. He also has written several works in Indian languages, including Hindi, Sanskrit, and Marathi. A collection of his Sanskrit verses was published recently in an Indian spiritual magazine, Atmotthaan.