Tag Archives: wind

1977. The way the wind blows

When Ingrid gave Harry a weather vane for his birthday he was more than pleased. He had always wanted one, and this was the perfect one to get. It was a metal cockerel whose beak turned to indicate the direction of the wind. Below the cockerel were four letters pointing to the directions of North, South, East, and West.

The corner of the roof of the garden shed was the ideal place for it. It could be seen both from the kitchen and the living room windows. Generally speaking, one should know what to wear when one ventured outside. Some wind directions were inclined to be cold; others warm.

The problem was Harry didn’t have a compass. He vaguely knew the direction of North. Having the N-pointer indicating that general direction would be good enough. The S-pointer for South was easy; it was opposite to the N-pointer! When it came to East and West Harry didn’t have any idea which was left and which was right. He imagined standing facing the North Pole with the N-pointer. He knew the capital city was on his right so the E-pointer went that way. The rest was simple; the W-pointer was opposite the East!

How fine it looked from the kitchen window. Ingrid would never be bored by the weather, and nor would he. There! The cockerel turned and was pointing south. So it was a southerly wind! Or should that be northerly? Did the cockerel’s beak in fact point to the direction in which the wind was coming or the direction in which the wind was going? The weather vane had come with no instructions. As for the nomenclature of wind – does a Nor-Wester mean that is the direction the wind is coming from or going to? Then some visiting know-all suggested that the East and West indicators were the wrong way around.

Anyway, it looks lovely from the house. It is an ornamentation; a visual enhancer. It’s been there for seven years now. It’s just that no one knows the way the wind blows.

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).

Poem 61: It just seems that way

Swaying grass in wind
teaches me to dance in one spot.
It makes the hillside waltz
but really not.
It just seems that way.

Rise and fall of waves
teaches me to dance in one spot.
It makes the ocean tango
but really not.
It just seems that way.

Alone, I sit glued to one spot,
cornered in this old folks’ home.
He’s long past it, so they say.
He dribbles in his chair.
He wheezes in his air.
His mind’s not very clear.
His bank account is bare.
Mostly he can’t hear.
He won’t see out the year.
His end must soon be near.
There’s a bloody waiting list as long as your arm for here.

And yet

Swaying grass in wind
teaches me to dance in one spot.
It makes the hillside waltz
but really not.
It just seems that way.

 

Poem 32: In love with the wind

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Let us dance at the top of a hill, in love with the wind;
Twirl, outstretched arms, in fields, like a mill, in love with the wind.

Kettle drums pound out the rhythm, the trumpets play fanfares;
Clarinets, flutes, and piccolos trill, in love with the wind.

On sleds on a slope, hair all atumble, mouths all agape –
Faster! Faster! They scream loud and shrill, in love with the wind.

The students kick footballs; they tussle and sweat as they brawl.
The ball soars up higher and hangs… still… in love with the wind.

Fires in forests, prairies, and farms show little mercy,
They stampede through landscapes all at will, in love with the wind.

Leaves in the autumn skate circles, waltz waltzes, turn cartwheels,
These joy clowns of leaves, they know the drill – in love with the wind.

Arthritic and shaky, slightly deaf, unable to dance,
Bruce sits quiet and watches. No, not ill – in love with the wind.

174. Wind in Spring

174wind

The late spring winds came. They would brown-burn the edges of the new season’s leaves, so that they looked worn and tired even before summer arrived. But the powerful winds were warm and lovely.

Tabitha and Justin were six and seven. As soon as the strong winds began they would rush to the top of the hill nearby. They would stretch out their arms and spin till they toppled. They would lean into the wind with arms outstretched like hawks in the air, to see how far forward they could lean without falling. They would squeeze into the shape of a ball and roll down the hill like hedgehogs. They would undo the buttons on their shirts so that the clothing flew as if they were airborne. They would shoot down the steep hill on old slippery pieces of plastic. It was such fun, especially with the mad wind blowing. The wind made them brave.

Great aunt Shirley from the city came to stay. She belonged to the Teachers’ Union. She knew the ropes. She thought that letting the children play like that was utterly irresponsible. They would hurt themselves. They would get grass stains on their clothes. They would grow up undisciplined. Tabitha would end up a tom-boy.

“Come here, children,” called great aunt Shirley. “The hill in the wind is a dangerous place.”

Tabitha and Justin’s mother told great aunt Shirley to go suck eggs. Politely of course.