Friday, June 6, 2008

Another new poem: Where there's smoke

Where there's smoke

The thunder came back for a third time last night.
Explosive light spattered behind and beyond,
too far up the county to preview the drums
with a white, sharpened, spark bone
jammed into your eyes.

Sitting, not sleeping (for how could we sleep?),
as the fists of the clouds beat down on the tent
that night stretches over our streets and our eyes
now pointless as shelter
from violent light.

Each rumble is different, a fingerprint boom.
One feels like a train rolling over our graves.
While the next is a branch cracking under your foot
in a forest of black fingered
dry-as-dust wood.

The first wakes us up and the next pulls us out
of our beds with a fist of sound gripping the sheets.
By the third... we've relaxed, and got milk for the wait
while mountains of air
converse with the heat.

They talk to us, too, of course. Querulous bombs.
The volume is such that it's hard to make out
what the words are. But listening, closely, we hear:
"Don't fear us -- we're only
the gentlest of signs."

* * * * *

[with thanks to Shannon whose comment improved this]

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