A plume billows up from behind the mountain,
Swallowing blue, looming, mighty architecture.
Like a giant swarm, it’s poised to consume.
It grows and morphs, ready to attack.
Throwing birds out into the air,
They scatter and screech as they go,
A warning to take cover and brace
For something is coming.
The springtime buds shiver and shake
As the updraft pulls and pushes them
Sucking air into the beast
Making it stronger and more powerful.
The sun beams its last few rays
Before being overcome by grey
As a shelf of cloud rolls over the land
The herald of things to come.
All has silenced and darkened
A cold breeze blows excitedly
As the monster opens herself
And the deluge blankets all around.
The sky fractures, a crystal crack to the ground
Then a few seconds peace before the bang.
A clatter of hail, like pebbles falling
From a child’s palm.
The sun gains the upper hand once again,
Victoriously throwing out rays from behind.
Mocking the April storm, who retreats,
Like a scolded dog.
The rain pounded on the window like an angry drummer thrashing out a rhythm. The mottled grey sky, mirrored half heartedly in the slug grey Liffey, cast no light into the room nor the streets below where the splashes from each pedestrian’s footfall was a backing track to idling cars stuck in the riverside traffic. The wipers on each rain spattered windscreen swooshed back and forth, back and forth.
He hated Saturdays now. Somehow the endlessness of the day was further mocked by the busy street below: people rushing about, shopping, chatting, spending time as the day eased away from them. Such a stark contrast to his, being alone in this apartment that he had grown to hate over the past few months. He used to have days like the people below where he’d take her to lunch on Grafton Street, then stroll through the Green or shopping for her favourite thing: shoes.
He felt that familiar wedge in his stomach as he thought of her blue eyes, mirrored in the azure, spring sky, her long blonde hair falling into ringlets down her back, the way she smiled almost all the time.
His eye was drawn to the orange-yellow sunflower that was swaying in the breeze, the only thing of colour within his view, the only sun in his sky. He reminisced about the day she had planted the seed, the promise of sun that the little black, striated thing held: a world of colour soon to be admired hiding in that tiny little shell. She’d watered it, whispered something to it and smiled up at him.
That was the day before he’d come home to find a note from her mother. She didn’t love him anymore and was leaving. He ran to her room and what had been a haven of pink fabric and teddy bears was empty and grey. He’d read the letter again. It had gone on to say he’d be able to see his daughter once a month from now on, nothing more.
His gaze fell from the sunflower to the solicitor’s letter on the table below. He vowed that before that plant withered and died, he’d have his little daughter in his arms again, no matter how hard he had to fight.
As a fan of Tim Samaras and his team, I’m shocked and saddened to the core by their untimely and unfair deaths.
This poem is for them.
For Tim, Paul and Carl.
Today, skyward faces of intrepid chasers,
Are instead ground fixed and downturned.
Anemometers still, radars powered down,
Models neglected, ignored.
This brethren of hunters, these brothers of storms,
Mourn the loss of a father, a mentor.
Their everyday banter, emulous jibes
Are replaced by the silence of grief.
I ask of Mother Nature for a day of reprieve,
A moment’s peace for your fallen devotees.
Let the only rain be tears, no tempestuous games,
Give your soldiers of science time to heal.
To die in the field of battle,
Brings an honour that few can attain.
So rest easy, brave men of discovery,
Know your deaths will not let be in vain.