where the writers are
Cleaning Storms

1. Palms

San Diego, hit by a storm

is a city of joy.

There is a drought

and it still goes on.

The rain came as

a zephyr off the ocean,

beat on our skylight

like a bad drummer

and sucked me in

as I turned my ear.

The wind was a

slow-creeping giant

that finally ripped

with its powers

and captured my eye

with its force

on the palm trees

outside our windows.

What a lesson they

taught me in poise

and bending.

The wind went through them

as they showed grace and strength.

They were made

for this, their blades

cutting the air,

not as retort,

with no damage—

just a turnabout mystery

of nature.

Today they stand tall, loose,

poised for more to come,

refreshed sentries

reporting to duty.

2. Vanity

The storms and

their effects remain.

Even a tornado

hit Carlsbad;

a lady was killed

in her mobile home

by a crashing tree.

Our neighborhood spared,

my only effect—

a server down,

my computer limp.

Then comes calling

that tapeworm of vanity.

I’d pledged a poem today

on the main character

in the movie “Crazy Heart”

to my friends on

Facebook, Twitter and so on

who read my blog—

a smattering!

Get a grip.

The lady—friends and family,

In Carlsbad,

your day job,

the talented man

you’re meeting at lunch.

I would be embarrassed

save that it’s so common

and this situation

a tiny sideshow

of the center ring.

I look up and laugh pitifully,

then see the computer

sitting on its hind legs

like a playful puppy

smarter than I,

see it grin, shake its head

as if to say,

“See you later.”

 3. Abeyance

The hard rain

continues in San Diego—

four straight days so far.

More than one person

has brought up the unforgettable

skit by Bill Cosby on Noah

that’s probably now on CD.

Prolonged rain seems

to slow people down

even when required

to move around—

out in their cars,

trucks, catching buses

and what else.

The action in oneself

can almost feel heroic,

having coped

with the elements

and telling the story.

Despite such animation,

whether working or at home,

a look out the window

brings a kind of stillness—

a shutting down.

The mind, our emotions,

turn away

to some alternative

in slow motion. 


From Allan Cox’s collection, “Light Log on the Fire.”

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