Distant storm

A quadrille for dverse.

Distant storm

In the dark of turquoise dusk,
a half-moon and the brightest stars,
the world of silence bathed in light;
prepares itself for restless night.

A single cloud mass, heron-grey,
squats in the east lit from within,
a billow-tide worked through with gold,
lightning-silvered thundergod.


Storms that pass in the night

Storms that pass in the night

Storm of no storm
only drum rolls and light
bright as sun breaking through dark clouds
flickering, faulty wiring
but not here
not over this house

over the hill along the river
the storm strode
following the smoothest path
and the sound of its passing roared
like a torrent
like a gale in the poplars

with not a drop of rain
and no leaf stirred
in the phantom wind.



Storm came in a torrent
of orange light colour of clay
in a slick wet field.

Storm came in a flurry of rain
that cooled the torrid air
and brought out the toads

to blotch the lane
silent sentinels
waiting for the toad god.

Storm came and went
and the air is cool

like a pool mud-troubled
by frogs hunkering down
against calamity.

Storm birds

Storm birds

The storm has come again,
the same that girdles the earth
with serpent breath and bull-bellow voice;

the green is doused and dripping,
chaffinch-tongued by the house,
indefatigable warblers in the hedge.

Birds have little time for posturing;
not even the unchained ranting
of the sky will keep them quiet
while there are still songs to sing.


What do they hear in the storm
the birds in the swaying trees?
What tongue speaks to them from the clouds,
who watches, predator-patient in the light-flicker?
And what metaphor suggests itself to souls
that have never known a faulty fuse?

We watch the lashing boughs
bending and trembling, wind-whipped,
and worry about cables, damage, insurance,
the work of weeks among the plants wrecked.

House-boat creaks, timbers crack, rain seeps,
cats hide where the fearsome dark won’t find them,
but the child sleeps in her mother’s arms,

chicks too perhaps in their storm-tossed nests,
while soft-padded hunters prowl the rain shafts,
indifferent to the growling of the beast.

Haibun for midsummer storms

For the dverse prompt

Another night and day of storm and picking up the battered tomato plants. Another day of light that changes with lightning rapidity, booming with the drum roll of thunder. No fire this longest day and shortest night, the sky too charged. Who would tempt the force that draws up wind and tempest with our puny defiance?
an ocean of clouds
sails the sky all the shades
of the storm
and we watch and wait for the deluge, the rattle of rain and the detonation of thunder echoing in the attic, sending the cobwebs flying while
cats cower
no mice-dancing matters when
the sky is unchained
In the dog chamber, a sleeping hound, deaf to the bombardment, sleeps. Night is night is night, a time to let the bones rest and dream dreams of those young days of the wild hunt
the balm for old age
a moon sighs.