As a child I was told to take shelter in a storm. "Wait for danger to pass, where it's safe and it's warm." Was the plea sent down wet steps and the outmatched door To chase my staccato strides. I'd lose it, if I could help it, In puddle waves and wind-whipped tides Over rocky shores and steep divides Then stroll down the lane with thunderstorms n' hurricanes. While the sky cracked with tension and the red oaks strained, I never felt small nor ever afraid, Of the forceful rumbles their limbs obeyed, I felt alive n' emboldened by every squall Raised higher and higher by the climatic cure-all Until I could meet it face to face n' eye to eye And hold its gaze, as though it were mine, Until the blackened-beaten town and the next day's fight Seemed bold but inviting, a blinding light.
Yesterday, a cloud burst in mythologies and the rain fidgeted over the retreat
of a tidal pantheon; deities swept away by a current, and we stood awhile, watching
the moon elbow out the dusk. Breathing is burdensome when cars float on water
and corpses leak out of cavernous basements. Every tablet, etched, in the cold
heart of building code was read again and then again. It wasn't enough to blame
Aeolian whim or the raging riposte of Apollo, now that we had marvelled away Gaia's
ozone skirt. Her amnion always leaked in folkloric floods each time she birthed
a parable. She once asked Noah to build an ark so he could ride her waves
and we scrape the sky to impale her in shards where her womb is soft and yielding,
as we sour the air and burn the water and strip her of her emerald sigh and melt her hills
and silt her wetlands. Mostly it was the asphalt plastering her yearning that calcified her veins
and arteries, as she died slowly under our feet. We could hardly fathom her sorrow for the tears
rolled off her torso like an oil slick and rode far into the subway for sewers.
Hurricane Ida’s remnants created deadly havoc in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York days after the system hit the Gulf Coast — some 1,000 miles away (npr.org) I composed this poem in the aftermath. Read further at my blog. Originally published at http://davinasolomon.org on September 4, 2021.
Don't call me a volcano, I don't want to be a volcano! Sometimes active, Mostly dormant, A stiff peak with indigestion, Birthing igneous isles across the seas, Starving for eruption, Hardening. Waiting.
Call me a hurricane, Say it with a tremble. Never expect me, Dread my return. Never dormant, Always hungry, Carving my path, Landmass by landmass, Conquering, Striding, Devastating.
Get your facts straight Before you call me a disaster.
rays of light strike the wall where a window should be. the hurricane is over, we haven't yet taken down the boards. the thing about the storm is how exhausting it can be. it can take so much out of you that all you can muster is enough energy to think. hours expended in forceful trance don't quite seem like hours at all. more like something else entirely.
i rest my head on the back of a ratty couch. there's a coffee table before me that i'd like to prop my feet on if only i had the strength to. i notice Elizabeth cross legged atop it. she's smaller than i remember. not in the way of height or weight, but in a way i can't quite put my finger on. she looks straight through the boards on the window, though i feel her gaze on me.
a few minutes have gone away. following their departure, Elizabeth turns to me and asks, "do you remember me from somewhere?"
here's a draft i'm working on, pushing around some symbolism. this is going in my 5th chapbook. hope you all like it!