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Lawrence Hall Sep 2019
A Harvey Refugee Reports:

When she with cats, papers, a change of clothes
And her old college bag to hold them all
Was one refugee among others in a dump truck
A Houston Airport Authority dump truck

Dieseling through rain and water and fear
With muck and mud sloshing across their feet
A woman next to her then laughed and said,
“Now we’re the people they take pictures of”

But there was no Capa to frame the scenes
Only oh-my-Godders with MePhone screens
As the old saying goes, this isn't half the story. A young person of my acquaintance was caught in the flooding in Houston two years ago because she trusted her local government and the dam (and ****') authority when they told the people not to evacuate because they would only clog the roads.
Emilee Ayers Oct 2017
The weight of reality sits in my chest.
This is all beyond what my mind can comprehend.
How can it be gone if it's still here?

It wasn't perfect.
It left scars as I shed tears
No one ever saw either anyway.

Who am I? What have I become?
Is this all worth this path I walk on?

My pen is a knife,
Bloodletting across pages since I could hold it in my hands,
Since I know what it meant when shapes became words
And sentences became bought.
Now they won't stop
And I don't know how to let go
Again.

Every day is a new dance with grief,
Torn between remembering
And trying to piece together reality.

The pen pierces my heart.
It gushes new words onto paper with every beat
Words my mind and mouth are at a loss for
Words ears will never hear.

Even if they did, they're impossible to comprehend.
I write them anyway.
Just in case there's someone else out there
Crying alone in the shell of everything they've ever known
Trying to convince themselves it's worth it to inhale.
**** hurricane.
NEELAM Sep 2017
He is the supernatural face of wrath

Unpredictable and invincible

The invisible force in the thunderous sky

He is present in every teardrop of wispy cloud

He is near whenever the wind whispers in strange language

He materializes in a vortex of coalescing darkness after mustering enough strength to stash metal

He is nowhere and yet he is the latent energy of the nature

Maturing with seasonal currents

Had God hidden him in the foundation of the earth?

Had we forgotten his fiery rage which consumes souls?

We are minuscule specks in front of his might and valor
Its 8:30 in the AM
The Corn Moon
is being routed by a
Manassas cloud bank

NPR be barking
Irma this, Irma that
my tremblin Rav4
stuck in the rush
is idling behind
a pair of gray hairs
spewing
leaded premium
out the back
of a big old black Buick
sportin Florida tags

inching north up I95
I’m relieved to be
a thousand miles
ahead of the
monstrous *****
denuding Barbuda
deflowering the
****** Islands
and threatening to topple
the last vestiges of
Castro’s Dynasty
by disrupting upscale
bourgeois markets
for cafe Cubanos,
cool Cohibas and
bold Bolivars

she’s a CAT 5
counterclockwise
spinning catastrophe
churning through
the Florida straits
bending steel framed
Golden Arches
shaking the tiki shacks
gobbling lives
defiling tropical dreams

the best
meteorological minds
on the Weather Channel
plug the Euro model
to plot a choreography
of Irma’s cyclonic sashay

they predict she’ll
strut her stuff
up a runway  
that perfectly
dissects the  
Sunshine State
ransacking
the topography
venting carnage
like battalions of
badly behaved frat boys,
schools of guys gone wild
sophomores, wreaking havoc
during a Daytona Beach
spring break
droolin over *******
popping woodies at
wet tee shirt contests
urinating on doorstoops
puking into Igloo Coolers
and breaking their necks
from ill advised
second floor leaps
into the shallow end
of Motel 6 pools

but I’m rolling north
into the secure
arms of a benign
Mid Atlantic Summer
like other refugees,
my trunk is
filled with baggage
of fear and worry
wondering
if there’re be anything
left to return to
once Irma
has spent herself
with one last
furious ****
against the
Chattanooga Bluffs of
Lookout Mountain

Morning Edition
Is yodeling a common
seasonal refrain
the gubmint is
just about outta cash
congress needs to
increase the debt limit

My oh my,
has the worm turned
during the Obama years
the GOP put us through a
Teabag inspired nightmare
gubmint shutdowns
and sequestration
shaved 15 points
off every war profiteers vig
it gave a well earned
long overdue
take the rest of the week off
unpaid vacation
to non essential
gubmint workers
while a cadre of
wheelchair bound
Greatest Generation
military vets get
locked out of the
WWII Memorial on the
National Mall

this time around
its different
we have an Orange Hair
in the office and there's
some hyper sensitivity
to raise the debt ceiling
given that Harvey
has yet to fully
drain from the
Houston bayous

the colossal cleanup
from that thrice in a
Millennial lifetime storm
has garnered bipartisan support
to  clean up the wreckage
left behind by a
badly behaved
one star BnB lodger
who took a week
long leak into the
delicate bayous of
Southeast Texas

yet we are infused
with optimism that our
Caucasian president
and his GOP grovelers
now mustered
to the Oval Office
will slow tango
with the flummoxed
no answer Dems
to get the job done

pigs do fly in DC
Ryan and McConnell
double date with
Pelosi and Schumer
get to heavy pettin
from front row seats
beholding droll  
Celebrity Apprentice
reruns

The Donald, Nancy and Chuck
slip the room for a little
menage au trois side action
transforming Mitch and Paul
into vacillating voyeurs
who start jerking their dongs
while POTUS, and his
new found friends
get busy workin
the art of a deal

rush hour peaks
static traffic grows
in concert with
a swelling  
frenetic angst
driving drivers
to madness
terrified
they won't
get paid if
the debt ceiling
don't rise
they honk horns
rev engines
thumb iPhones
and sing out
primal screams

unmindful drivers
piloting Little Hondas
bump cheap Beamers
start a game of
bumper cars
dartin in and out
of temporary gaps
uncovered by the
spastic fits and starts
of temporary
decongested
ebbs and flows

A $12 EZ Pass
gambit is offered
the fast lane
on ramp
has few takers
just another
pick your pocket
gubmint scheme
two express lanes
lie vacant
while three lanes of
non premium roadway
boast bumper to bumper
inertness
wasted fuel
declining productivity
skyrockets
the  wisdom of
the invisible hand doesn't
seem to be working

DOJ bureaucrats
In Camrys and Focuses
dial the office
to let somebody
know they’ll
be tardy

gubmint contractors in
silver Mercedes begin
jubilantly honking horns
NPR has just announced that
Pelosi and Schumer
joined the Orange team
the rise in the debt ceiling
will nullify their 15%
sequestration pay cut

NPR reports the
National Cathedral will
deconsecrate two hallowed
stained glass windows of
rebel generals R E Lee
and Stonewall Jackson
it's a terrible shame that
the Episcopal Church
will turn its back on the
rich Dixie WASPS
who commissioned these
installations to commemorate
the church's complicity
in sanctifying the
institution of slavery,
WWJD?

as I ponder
this Anglican
conundrum another
object arrests my
streaming consciousness
upsetting an attention span
shorter and less deep
than the patch of oil  
disappearing under the front
of the RAV as I thunder by
at 5 MPH

to the left I eye a
funny looking building
standing at attention
next to a Bob Evans

I’m convinced
Its gotta be CIA
a 15 story
gubmint minaret
a listening post
wired to intercept
mobile digital
confabulations
from crawling traffic
inching along
beneath its feet

this thinking node
pulsing with
intelligence
reeking with
counterintelligence
the tautological
contradiction
guarantees the
stasis of our
confused
national consciousness

strategically positioned to
tune into the
intractable Zeitgeist
culling meta code
planting data points
In Big Data
data farms
running algos
to discern bits
of intelligence
endeavoring to reveal
future shock trends
knows nothing
reveals less

the buildings cover
is its acute
conspicuousness
gray steel frame
silver tinted glass
multiple wireless antennas
black rimmed windows
boldly proclaim
any data entering
this cheerless edifice
must abandon all hope
of ever being framed
in a non duplicitous
non self serving sentence

the gray obelisk a
national security citidel
refracts the
fear and loathing
the sprawling
global anxiety
our civilization's
discontent
playing out
in the captive
soft parade
ambling along
the freeway jam
imobilized
at its stoop

Moning Edition jingle
follows urgent report of
FEMA scamblin assets
arbitraging Harvey and Irma
triaging two
tropical storm tragedies
and a third girl
just named Maria
pushed off the Canaries
and is on its way to a
Puerto Rico
homecoming

while
gubmint  bureaucrats
anxiously push on
to their soulless offices
the rush hour jam
has peaked
my WAZE
is having a
nervous breakdown

next lane over
a guy in a gold PT Cruiser
is banging on his steering wheel
don’t think this unessential worker
will win September's
civil servant of the month award

Ex Military
K Street defectors
slamming big civie
Hummers
getting six mpg
lobby for a larger
apportionment
of mercenary dollars
for Blackwater's
global war on terror

Prius Hybrids
silently roll on
politely driven by
EPA Hangers On
hoping to save
a bit of the planet
from an Agency Director
intent on the agency's
deconstruction
the third 500 year hurricane
of the season
is of no consequence

obsolete
GMC Jimmy’s
are manned by
Steve Mnunchin
wannabes
the frugal
treasury dept
ledger keepers
pour good money after bad
to keep the national debt
and there clanking
jalopies working

driving Malibus
DOL stalwarts
stickin with the Union
give biz to GMC

nice lookin chicks
young coed interns
with big daddy doners
fix their faces and
come to work
whenever they want

my *** is killing me
I squirm in my seat
to relieve my aching sacroiliac
and begin to wonder if my name
will appear on some
computer printout today?
can’t afford an IRS audit
maybe my house will
be claimed by some
eminent domaine landgrab?
Perhaps NSA
may come calling,
why did I sign that
Save The Whales
Facebook Petition?

The EZ Pass lane
is movin real easy
mocking the gridlock
that goes all the way
to Baltimore
a bifurcated Amerika
is an exhaust spewing
standing condemnation
to small “R”
republicanism  

glint from windshields
is blinding
my **** is hurtin and
gettin back to Jersey
gunna take a while
GPS recalcs arrival time

an intrepid Lyft driver
feints and dodges
into the traffic gaps
drivin the shoulder
urging his way to the
Ronnie Reagan International
I'm sure
gettin heat from
a backseat fare
that shoulda pinged
an hour earlier

Irma creeps
toward the Florida Keys
faster then the
glacial jam
befuddling congress

I think I just spotted
Teabag Patriot
Grover Norquist
manning a rampart
bestriding a highway overpass
he’s got a clipboard in hand
checking the boxes
counting cars
taking names
who’s late?
who’s unessential?

man
whatta jam we're in

Music Selection:
Jeff Beck: Freeway Jam

Orlando
9/21/17
jbm
written as im stuck in jam headin back to jersey
Emilee Ayers Sep 2017
The air is cool for a summer day.
Kittens play with fallen leaves
As the breeze does the same with my hair.
Everything around me familiar
Burned into my memory.

Small changes have happened over the years
But some things remain forever the same.
The big ant hill at the end of the road
It predates us.
Will probably out live us all.

The atmosphere feels different
As though autumn decided to debute
Before pumpkin spice is released in stores
For once.
I'm not complaining.

I take no pictures.
Instead I open my eyes wide
In effort to take in ever detail in front of me
As the moment that came is leaving
Even as I live and breathe.

Making shapes of clouds that tease the rain.
And to think, I really liked that day.
This was playing in my head before we had decided to evacuate from hurricane Harvey.
Everything seemed normal. You wouldn't know destruction was inevitable if you didn't know the risk churning in the gulf.
I didn't even know that when I came home, nothing would be the same. And I didn't look back as we did leave.
Antino Art Sep 2017
We in South Florida pride ourselves on getting hit by hurricanes. We take photos of how bad it is and post it on Instagram with appropriate doomsday event hashtagging.

Riding these things out is like riding a bike.

If you can shop for Black Friday and Christmas every year, you can shop for this. Take pride in your water divination skills and line-standing endurance feats. We are the state of Disneyworld ride lines that wrap around corners in swamp heat, and lines of red light bumper lights on i-95 Monday through Friday: this is another day in the office!

Putting up shutters is like putting up Christmas decorations: we get creative

Like today, we wedged pink and blue floatation noodles against the frames of the windows in arcs resembling a post-storm rainbow. My 2 year old daughter said it was beautiful.

One day of this is someone else's seven months of winter. Remember, people evacuate to here annually! So do not feel bad for fleeing north to them.

The news keeps saying stay calm as they embellish how dangerous this storm ride is going to be like some death stunt on a David Blaine TV special. He went underwater in "Drowned Alive": he didn't drown. He got buried underground: he rose from it. Per the broadcasted hype, the payoff is we won't die!

Here's some good news: you can leave what's out of reach and in the sky to the heavens, and what's in your mind to the steps you took on the ground below: all doors closed, stuff unplugged, things that resemble missiles stashed in closets, flashlights ready like lightsabers to battle this named foe from above. It will hit the worried and unworried just the same, revealing the gas station line cutters from the people who help you with shutters; the faith from the fear of those who choose to pray; the human heart and its varying sizes as it beats faster with the darkening of the sky.

At least we aren't trees: they cannot hide from this revealing event. See how they all remain serene up until the second the wind arrives, leaves rattled only then, roots of varying depths being that which holds them together

either they bend with grace or they break.
Andreas Simic Sep 2017
This poem is dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Harvey
And the people who helped during and after the storm.

An Ode to the Harvey Heroes©

Once upon a time not so long ago
Nature did spur a Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico

As the storm grew into a hurricane
Winds howled and then came the rain

Poor Texas got in the way
And it rained day after day

High water turned into floods
Leaving everyone scurrying including the blue bloods

Onto their roofs they did climb to survive the storm
With so much rain well above the norm

Little did they know a rescue mission was on the go
An impromptu navy of people they didn’t even know

Night and day their saviors were on a mission to rescue
Not knowing the dangers they faced for they didn’t have a clue

But despite the risk and the unknown
How to respond they have us shown

With a great amount of caring and daring
Many a life has been saved though some succumbed to an early grave

So what do we call the brave men and women from far and wide
A hero is what I say and I am not being snide

For they have saved the day for so many of our kin
Not saying thank you and our appreciation would be a sin

So here it is in spades “Thank you” to all who lent a helping hand
And that’s from all of us from across the land

Though things are far from over and done
Many will see a rising sun

Andreas Simic
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