Gimme Shelter To Ride Out the Storm

‘Riders of the Storm’ is the prompt in the inbox from #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge this morning. Certainly this month has seen some uncharacteristically stormy,thundery weather, the kind of weather that broods like Heathcliff- the drama never seems to be able to hit its climax and resolve. It’s true that we have seen some extreme rain storms after a relatively dry (for Ireland) winter and spring this month. Deluges that last five minutes and can manage to make the storm drains overflow shift into bursts of sunshine. It has been close but not particularly hot, although when that sun does break through it can feel clammy. The air felt extra heavy . The old dog moped. The cats were fractious with one another. You longed for a breeze. Or a real storm to clear it all up. So the Poetry Daily starts the week with one song from my teens as the prompt and another one lending itself to the title. (It is chastening to know that you are old enough for songs that were the playlist of one’s youth are now ‘classic.’ It feels like I have been relegated to the same category as vintage cars!)

Gimme Shelter

Fickle month of flinching showers
alternating with deluges
guillotining the gladioli.
You never know where you are,
or how to dress. Who to be.
Or prepare.
Weather is the autocrat
in the oligarchy of climate change.

Though it can be, sometimes
a season of fierce sunshine
cracking through the downpour.
There have been rainbows
to wish upon...

that we may all be well,
be happy, be released
from the terror of close thunder
that shakes,
the lightening
that strikes,
making the house's foundations
shudder.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured image Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash

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When the Wind Blows

I am writing this as Storm Ali’s wind is blowing across our little acre in West Cavan. Living out in rural districts makes you pretty sanguine about extreme weather, but I will admit it is a bit bowel loosening (in a Stephen King kind of way) as you sit on the loo to hear tree limbs scrape across the flat roof of the bathroom extension.

When the Wind Blows

But you sleep through most of the storm
snug in your strange dreams of fictional spinsters
named Miss Milner
who presents you with a shoebox of incomplete accounts
that you heroically have to get
into chronological order.

But timelines are skewed.
They also overlap.
You can taste the “Eat Me!” Cake
that makes your head scrape the ceiling
until you want to donate it
to the Red Queen’s chopping block.

When awake
the storm still stews in its teacup.
The cats do not want to go outside.
Even The Wild One purrs by my side
as I draft this account.
The urge to huddle is strong.
Even among Cool Cats who would like to consider themselves
Street Fighting Men.

The willow’s trunk-
the one by the prayer cairn
in the Fairy Garden-
has split in two.
The sunflowers –
The ones called American Giant –
are lying face down.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith