Tag Archives: storm

Poem 112: The Storm

This poem should really be Poem Number One because it was written on 14 May 1962 – 60 years ago today! I was at primary school and we had to write a contribution for the class’s Literary Journal. There are two things I marvel at! One is that I wrote “Grand-pi-pa” and not simply “Grandpa” in order to get it to scan properly. (Incidentally my grandparents were long dead). The second thing I marvel at is the daringness of having three of the eight lines end with the word “sea”! It’s like it was difficult to find many things to rhyme with “sea”!

The ship was heaved and tossed like a cork
For there was a storm at sea.
And oh what a terrible storm it was
For my grand-pi-pa and me.

The lightning flashed, the thunder roared,
And the ship on the pitilous sea
Seemed so small to the two of us aboard
Against the enormous sea.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2394. Job done

It was a dark and stormy night. Caitlin went out into the garden to find the cat. Caitlin had just had an argument with Milton, her husband. She had told him he spent too much time at the pub. In the course of the “conversation” quite a few regrettable statements were uttered. “I hope you die,” said Milton.

Caitlin had just spied her cat in the garden when a tree fell over in the wind. It pinned Caitlin to the ground. She was unable to move. With a slight lull in the storm Caitlin was able to call for help. Milton appeared.

Milton went into the shed to get his chainsaw. After he’d finished with the chainsaw he got in the car and went to the pub.

Poem 106: Beach walk

Hello everyone. I thought as a final posting for the year I would post a poem! It has nothing to do with the New or Old Year!

The form of the poem is a Sestina. It is a form used in some French poetry, and I find it quite hard to write. Anyway, I thought I would give it a go!

I battle long and empty beach.
I fight against the wind.
White manes of horses crash
to shore in wild spray.
My thoughts are tangled all adrift
and drown in angry waves.

I cannot hear for noise of waves
the calls of birds on beach.
They fight to fly, are cast adrift
as victims of the wind.
Their wings are torn like salted spray
as on the dunes they crash.

I long for calm as waters crash;
I’ll quiet the seething waves.
The sanded, salted, pitting spray
face-stings my walk on beach.
Christ calmed a storm, Christ calmed the wind;
Why set my mind adrift?

A fisher’s boat was tossed adrift
and pummelled in a crash.
Yet none about, no voice in wind,
no drownings in the waves.
Just one abandoned boat on beach
left to sand and spray.

The storm intensifies its spray,
the boat is freed adrift,
the sand blows mad along the beach,
the skies unleash its crash.
Waves no longer follow waves
but roil in the wind.

At last a blue patch in the wind;
less biting of the spray;
a quietening of deafening waves.
My mind unbound adrift.
My thoughts are stilled, though whitecaps crash,
and peace returns to beach.

My thoughts the wind released adrift.
Thoughts spray as ordered breakers crash.
Peace now waves goodbye to storm on empty beach.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2310. The snowstorm

It was dark. I couldn’t see a thing as I inched my way home through the snowstorm. It was the coldest storm in decades. I had to make it home or die. Suddenly icy fingers grabbed my left wrist.

“Who is it?” I asked.

There was no answer. I tried to free myself from the grip. “Who is it?” I asked again. Still there was no reply.

I thrashed with my right arm, flaying it about so as to hit the owner of the grip. There seemed to be no one there.

“Please let me go,” I said. “Please let me go.”

The grip was released. My frozen mesh stainless steel watchstrap had fallen off. I made it home.

2031. The open window

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Noelle of Sayling Away. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

The sky outside the open window was dark with the portent of a storm. Philomena went over to close it. Several times in the past she had left the window open and a squall had come and blown rain on the furniture. Not much mind you. There was no substantial damage, although she kept a doily on top of the sideboard to hide a small water stain.

The window was on the ground floor. The television news had recently announced the escape of a dangerous murderer from the local prison. “Do not approach”, they had announced. “Things like that never happen to me,” thought Philomena, “but I had better err on the side of caution.”

It would be easy for a lithe man to climb in through the window. She didn’t know if the murderer was fat, thin, or somewhere in the middle. Usually in prison the inmates are fit from spending too much time in the gym with nothing better to do. The television news had not shown a photograph, so she didn’t know if the murderer was handsome, ugly, or somewhere in between. Suddenly a great rumble came from the black cloud. There was going to be a downpour.

Philomena shivered. There seemed more to it than bad weather. She had goose bumps on her arms. She almost felt a presence. “How silly,” she thought. “It must be the combination of a black sky and the news of the murderer.” A blast of lightning forked. She began to count. Thunder came five seconds later so the storm was only five miles away. At least that was the method she had learned as a girl; count the seconds, count the miles.  Another lightning flash! She shut the window tight.

“Rain! Rain! Go away! Come again another day,” chanted Philomena. She turned back into the room. There was an ugly stranger standing behind her.

1823. Adventure on the high seas

Look! It’s not Maxine’s fault that her husband was a sour-puss from the second he stepped onto the cruise liner. Gordon was determined to make Maxine’s longed-for cruise as unpleasant as possible. There were several reasons for this: Maxine had been planning this cruise for a year and Gordon was sick of her going on and on about it. Also Gordon was worried, if the cruise was a success, that she’d want to waste even more of their hard-earned savings year after year on further cruises.

They had been befriended by a Mr. and Mrs. Calvin and Gail Harlick of Cabin 1763. He was a buffoon if ever there was one, although Gail was quite nice. Actually a little more than quite nice, Gordon thought. But Calvin went on and on about nothing. He would monopolize the conversation at dinner and it would inevitably be about himself. The only saving grace at dinner was that Gail sitting opposite would affectionately rub the calf of Gordon’s leg with the toe of her high heels. It was their little joke.

Maxine and Gordon were always invited back to Cabin 1763 for a little drink after the meal, but so far they hadn’t accept the invitation. And then a storm hit. It was so rough that the passengers were confined to their quarters for a brief time. Gordon insisted he and Maxine go up onto the deck. “This storm is the only exciting thing to have happened thus far on the trip.”

That was when Maxine gave Gordon a push over the side, saying “Go join Gail Harlick.”

Steadying herself against the railing, Maxine made her way to Cabin 1763.

1595. Weather report

The jolly internet has gone down. It sometimes does that during a storm. Apparently there’s a raging wind outside so I’m not surprised that things have got a bit shaky. The trouble is I’ve got a deadline to get an article to a local paper within the next two hours, which is why I got out of bed so early to write it. The Tourist Bureau puts out a free newspaper every week. I had better get the article ready in preparation to send the minute the internet connection comes back. I said I would report on the weather and surf conditions at the beach at Whangamata, which is fifty miles away. It’s the summer season, and people will want to check things before coming to the beach.

Early this morning I took a stroll along the beach at Whangamata. People, even at this early hour, were taking their dogs for a walk, throwing sticks and Frisbees. A couple of runners were enjoying the early morning to get in their exercise for the day. The sunrise was magnificent. It transformed the sea and its gentle waves into summer gold! Already several groups of people were setting up where clearly they were going to spend the day, swimming and lying in the brilliant sunshine. I expected the beach to get fairly crowded as the day progressed, and indeed I was right. As I returned from my walk a lot of sun-worshippers had descended on the beach with hampers loaded with picnic lunches. It was to be a typical day at the lovely Whangamata beach.

I asked one gentleman with a fishing rod where the best places to fish were, and he said anywhere beyond the swimming flags placed there by the surf life-savers. I also asked if he ever caught anything, and he said he got the occasional snapper and also gurnard, especially when the weather was brilliant like it is today. With his electric Kontiki longline fishing line the baited fishhooks could be taken way out to sea in such calm weather. The snapper and gurnard come a bit closer to shore in the spring and return to the depths in the autumn, so hooking them in summer is within the Kontiki’s range.

So come on down, visitors to the region! It’s safe! It’s sunny! Grab a towel and head for the beach! It’s always summer at Whangmata!

I see the internet is now back up, so I’ll send this article to the editor before this frightful weather outside causes an electric blackout.

Poem 67: Broken branches

The wind that broke the branch
forced it to twist and dance before
it died. And what is more,
it stripped it to the core and slashed
its leaves and bark, and bashed
it ‘til it snapped and crashed upon
the ground. Its life had gone.
Death ended all the fun the wind
enjoyed.

The young girl danced at his
command; her captor’s wish;
his power; his lust; a dish; spittoon;
his weekly afternoon
delight. She fell quite soon. He spread
her legs and shot her dead,
a bullet to the head. He’ll get
another bit of meat next time
he goes to town.

(The form of this poem is based on the Vietnamese Luc bat. The poem was “driven” by the abduction of 110 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in the Nigerian town of Dapchi).

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

1238. Sunset

What an unbelievably beautiful sunset! Spectacular! It changes from blue to green to red to pink to white. It’s like watching coloured theatre lights change on the pleats of a hanging curtain. Blue to green to red to pink to white and back to blue! Part of its beauty must surely be that it passes. Things disappear so quickly. Just a fleeting glimpse into the expanse of the sky and then… darkness.

But this sunset seems to linger. Could it mean a storm at sea? A fine day tomorrow? An portent of better things to come?

None of these. It’s near midday, and I’m watching the nuclear fallout drift this way.