Saturday, July 7, 2012

Poetics: Four way, Derecho

We grow our skeeters big around here

Across the sun-hazy street,
they drag bulky chairs
into the beauty shop
parking lot, sweating enough
for a wet t-shirt contest,

Seat the maids & proceed
to make-up slick skin, paint
fingers royal purple & roll
damp hair

In every effort to make
this bride's day special---

us powerless, and all.

~~~

130 trees fell, at the golf course
alone, who will mourn
           who will mourn

Their bodies line the ditches
stacked, waiting for pick up

~~~

A testament to poor product placement
the first book on the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble
is the Ultimate Guide to Survival

This is not that, though, but a slow boil
of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup
on a hot day ---
        no handshakes,
              no hugs
we taste each other with our noses

The earth moves beneath our feet, no one
still enough to notice, until this---now
each turn spins, spins, spins
in slow progress.

~~~

Someone asked about my mental faculties
in this heat wave, what a relief!
they're out on summer break

No worries though, they have tenure
and will be back next year.

Stu threw me a soft ball over at dVerse Poets today - asking about the weather. Well, I have been writing about it all week. I did have quite a few short impressions though that i figured I would never post, but here is my chance. I promise, no more weather poems for a bit. Smiles. Maybe your weather is better, come join us @ dVerse and write something poetic about the it or....well, see you at 3 pm EST.

94 comments:

Mary said...

One

Mary said...

I enjoyed the short poem collection, as together they give more of the big picture. Sad about all the trees. So much work ahead and so many fewer places for birds to nest, so sorry for the birds too. As for the bride, she will never forget the preps for the day. I wonder if where they chose to have a reception had electricity. Well penned.

Grace said...

Nice snapshots of your weather ~ The trees falling and mourning cry is specially touching ~

It has been hot here but mercifully our AC has been cooling us ~

See you later ~

Laurie Kolp said...

Poor bride! I love how you've captured many facets of the effects of the storm. It's like a movie almost. Can't wait to see what the prompt is.

Lorraine said...

trees are destroyed at the rythm of my heart, there is no many spaces left to break in my heart

Eva Gallant said...

Hard not to focus on the weather with what you've been going through, I'm sure!

izzy said...

Love the first one! and sad for the trees, unmourned...

manicddaily said...

I've really enjoyed all the weather poems, in part perhaps because I was In a cooler place. Ha. But they've been very vivid and also , sounds silly, but informative. We read about diasasters, very different to be in them. Loved the beauty parlor and noses. K.

Daniel said...

Glad you got this out of your system! (smiles)

DJan said...

All those trees, gone. Your description made me feel sad to have lost them. Climate is what you expect, but weather is what you get, I read somewhere.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Maybe if you write about the cold you'll find cool runnings... :)

Brian Miller said...

it is sad on the trees...that is just at the golf course, so i figure there are thousands down just in our area....and they are all on the side of the road right now so we have the constant reminder...dont know when they will pick them up...

the wedding was interesting...that was the day after the storm so a week ago...but they were determined...

Pauline said...

thought you said your mental faculties were on break!

Chantel said...

"we taste each other with our noses..." Vivid, slightly disconcerting, but vivid. :)

Pat Hatt said...

All the trees flew away
That sucks for the display
And your faculties are gone
You're running a con
As I knew that all along
But your gawker powers are still strong

annell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annell said...

The weather is around us, through us, perhaps is us? Hot is not comfortable, "cat on a hot tin roof," just a little breeze, we ask. We have been lucky "real rain" the last couple of days, blessing. Uaually if we get any rain, it is just a tiny tea cup. cooled thing down a bit, although it is said, you will see great change in the SW. Love for you to write about the weather, something we experience together, like the sun and the moon. Liked the collection.

annell said...

Heard the trees are dying in Arkansas, too hot, too dry.

The leaves are turning brown and falling to the ground.

Myrna R. said...

Now when I list to the weather report, I think of you and wonder how it's going. I don't mind your weather reports at all.

Love your poetic observations here. Sad about the wedding, the trees and your mental faculties. But I suspect there are plenty of non-tenured faculty that's hanging around all summer.

Take care.

Claudia said...

some great snapshots here..a slow boil of bones in a bag of flash..this is a felt image...and the tree bodies as well...and i was feeling so sad for the bride..a hot start into a marriage.. literally..smiles

Daydreamertoo said...

I can only begin to imagine how bad it was for you all there, especially trying to keep your tempers cool and the kids too. So many trees lost, and yet no-one knew how bad those storms would be, did they? Thankfully we've only been in the low 80's here and that was way hot enough for me.
Lovely read again Brian :)

Gloria said...

Hi mary lol

Brian is amazing like weather can change all our lifes and sometimes make the things difficult really!
You had storms, hot westhers etc In the last summer we had a really hot weather. Was terrible so I understand and look now we have only cold days now!
So only I think the spring come soon and the summer and all again lol You will have your autumn and so is the life, have a nice day with your family!

Gloria said...

Im sorry by the trees are so important!
And im sure your mental faculties are perfect lol

kaykuala said...

A fine offering of varied poetry. The trees cut as confined to the fairway is acceptable as the greenery is still maintained. And the bride had her day for all to see. Fine write Brian!

Hank

Sue said...

Loved these little waves to the heat.

Can't imagine that poor bride, and losing that many trees is awful.

=)

PS. Glad your mental faculties have tenure...

Betsy Brock said...

can't even imagine a wedding in this. We walk outside and the humidity smacks you in the face. My jeep said it was 126 degrees on a parking lot yesterday.

Friko said...

I can feel the heat and hear the storm.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

with these amazing writes Sir Brian, i don't think your mental faculties have probs... keep cool this summer...

JJRod'z

hedgewitch said...

These are really pungent little nuggets of reaction, bri--and I bet you're glad that's all that's pungent now. I mourn your 130 trees, that took decades to grow, wiped out overnight--another poem in that, I think. See you at Poetics, cuz even when you have not much to say, you can always talk about the weather.

aprille said...

What a difference between continents.
And yes, mourning so many trees. Luckily no other bodies.
So impressive to have those reception centres set up straightaway. But you'll be glad to be home again.

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

Just awesome snapshots here Brian...I was thinking about you when I wrote the prompt ... We are drowning over here and you're baking over there....poles apart...but amazing the emotions that the weather builds in us.....I loved the images of the trees laying dead on the golf course...all alone....and the line about tasting each other with our noses....just took me there ..... Great to see these snippets...although I actually think they work great together!

David F. Barker said...

I like the variety you've created here out of the weather extremes. When do these extremes actually become 'the norm'??? Great stuff.

Tom said...

no, it's dreadful...i don't know how anyone without aircon could live through this shite

Wolfsrosebud said...

smiles... so much detail

Anne said...

Brian I think this series of posts is poetry in the finest sense of the word. You are capturing a moment in history, how it effects humanity and also demonstrates how art can create beauty from tragedy.

I hope your power came back on today as promised as the heat is up to 106 degrees here.

Natasha Head said...

When I made to the prompt...I of course, thought of you...timely, if nothing else! This is just a fantastic weave, Brian...Each one could stand so strongly, but you treat us to a tour de force of sensory overload...right up to our noses...awesome...awesome...awesome!

Charles Miller said...

This poem draws the sober reality of how we cope and bear up under the onslaught of nature's wrath. You caprure the stress as well as that seeping into the bones of life's struggles teaching the bidy and soul something about itself, about life that is and about you yourself. That's pretty fascinating to see unfold.

kolembo said...

Thought I'd come over for a gander- always find enjoyment here!

Good images (and I like the picture)...I REALLY liked the first impression like Cleveland, or a place called Kenyatta Market, here.

Nicely painted!

JeannetteLS said...

"no handshakes, no hugs
we taste each other with our noses"
Primal... vivid
And it makes me shiver a bit.

I think you could have a small book from the poems of this time. You have turned a widespread struggle into a personal experience, but you have offered us all access. I don't know how you do it.

You are a painter, as others have said. You just use words instead. The experience reminds me of our October blizzard, but we did not have the heat to contend with.

Strange times, these. Thank you again, Brian, for letting us all in. I could not imagine what people were and still are going through, until I read and re-read your poems.

Polly said...

Oh Brian, I so feel for you, the times you're going through in your community - what is it with the wretched weather? In the UK we had as much rain in one day as we normally do in the whole of July, you have storms - yet we are still unable to discover whether it's global warming or 'to be expected' ... thank you for a great series of poems

Marbles in My Pocket said...

It comes in cycles, Brian. Last summer we were dying down here; 100 degree heat for weeks and weeks, fires raging everywhere, and not a drop of rain. Now y'all are gettin the hot end of the stick. Hang in there!
A great write, and hey, if the weather is the hot topic, write about it!

Mama Zen said...

"This is not that, though, but a slow boil
of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup
on a hot day ---
no handshakes,
no hugs
we taste each other with our noses"

Damn, that is just GOOD.

Anna Montgomery said...

I so enjoyed the laugh at the end, heartened by your indominable spirit. We've had rain and 50F temps, wish I could blow some cool air your way.

Alice Audrey said...

We've finally warmed up. Seriously, it happened while I was on vacation. One minute highs in the 60's, the next highs in the 90's. I'm so glad my furnace isn't running still.

Dana Dampier said...

I've been following the news in your area and hoping things will get better soon for everyone.

Don't apologize for your poetry... your putting your thoughts and emotions (which are affected by your surroundings) into words. That's what we do... and you do a great job.

lucychili said...

death of trees aches.
it is cold here
but the poem makes the heat tangible.

Wyeth Bailey said...

The bride poem is perfect. Letter perfect. It put me right there. But "a slow boil of bones in a bag of flesh"?! I think I love you :)

Siggi in Downeast Maine said...

Love these little gems.
Have to stir the gray matter here...
hoping for a cool front to roll in tonite.
Thanks for the post...
Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine

Rebecca S. said...

Your mental faculties appear to fine though perhaps a trifle sluggish...I'm having trouble imagining skeeters with purple rollers in their hair. But then, it's hot here, too.

Margaret said...

Oh, Brian. Virginian's are tough... it takes more than a bit skeeter to conquer them! A week or two... How about a whole season of smell? I can't even begin to imagine how the world smelt "back in the day"!!

All those trees falling though... wow. We are more green than say, IL or MI... so was it the wind that felled those trees? Oh Virginia... I so love that state! I'm determined to live there someday. Even if it is a get away cottage... I don't need much. Actually, the smaller, the better. It is the outdoors I want to enjoy.

Beachanny said...

Sending my airconditioned thoughts your way. There's joy in that rumble and the bill be damned! Hope you get power REAL soon.

Glenn Buttkus said...

4 corker poetics here, dude; love the juxtaposition, the hot thread running through them like a charm bracelet chain. Weather was dramatic in Canada, flooding in BC, tornados in Saskatchewan, terrifying prairie thunder storms in Manitoba, with 102 temps in between. Your take was pure Miller, always bang on, sir.

jane hewey said...

agh the heat and angst and still you wallop the ending with humor. love your writing, Brian. especially the trees stacked which paralleled nicely with bones in a bag of flesh and then of course how you all are tasting each other with your noses. NICE!

Sreeja said...

clear picture....Great...

sheila said...

great snippets here. I really like the one about the trees, and the one about the book on the bargain rack is rather ironic - smiles. I've been writing about the weather all week too.

JANU said...

The effects of storm on various aspects of life - wonderfully depicted.

vivinfrance said...

This year, on both sides of the Atlantic, there is one sire-fire topic of conversation. I like your attempt to avoid writing overt weather poems, even though it seeped in in places! Those loggers have a lot to answer for.

Archna Sharma said...

Wow, filling the ditches and tempting the groom with pretty things, what a turn of expression this picture paints. The determination is a blessing for the wedded two. :)

The thought of "boiling" and "eating" and the "taste" tells us of the strength you must have. Sheer testament.

The trees laid to rest make me think of the feeling I have after Christmas, looking at pines and firs laying in the gutter.

I hope that in shedding some of these thoughts there is healing. :)

Valerie said...

Oh what pictures you paint. So sad about the trees, and about everything other thing that nature throws at us. We're in the throes of being drowned... or so it seems.

Fred Rutherford said...

Brian, these snippets are fantastic. I've always said you really have a knack for packing the most reflections and images into a compressed poem, and these snippets are testaments to that. Fantastic snapshots. Thanks

Dave King said...

Soft ball or not, it still takes some doing to hit it out of the park. I revelled in this from start to finish,
needed something like this!

Arjan Tupan said...

Oh, I love your observations, brian! It's definitely part of a poet's job to observe, frame and report on life as it happens. And you did an awesome job.

the walking man said...

Nothing the matter with this weather--the chill has finally left the bones from winter and now spring can begin.

We greet each other with our noses ha ha ha ha ha you know if you don't put chemicals on you then your PH stays in a natural balance and you smell like a human not a plant.

So what happens to the trees? Firewood for the homeless or landfill?

CiCi said...

Even with mental faculties out on a summer break you are able to write with wit and humor. At least you have power again and your family can be more comfortable.

Tigerbrite said...

Sad about the trees, I hope we don't lose some this summer in forest fires as can happen. I sympathise with your weather, at the moment we are 35 to 40 C in the afternoon. Don't mind when it's dry heat but we have some humidity to drain us. That's South east Spain, but to the North our friends in UK are suffering the wettest weather they can remember.

Cressida de Nova said...

These are all so good. Heat stroke brings the best out in you..like the one about tenure and the mental faculties taking time out at the beach:)

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

It's so hot here that it can kill somebody! It's that bad!

website design adelaide said...

Heat can make you crazy! You'll start to imagine things and lose your bearings. Not good I say.

Tara Miller said...

Love all of these! But the first is my very favorite. They didnt let the results of a deracho put a damper on her special day!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"This is not that, though, but a slow boil of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup on a hot day ---
no handshakes,no hugs
we taste each other with our noses..."


Hi! Brian and Mrs.[Tara] Miller...
What a very descriptive poem...[Your stanza above jumped right out at me too!]

Once again, Tks, for sharing! and let us all hope that the heat-wave is now, just a memory for you, and your family.

[By the way, the image is funny...too!]
deedee :-D

Susan said...

I like the snippets, would be object lessons in hot imagery that will not be used by those returning to teach. As the trees fell at he golf course I could not help thinking of the trees chopped by the Devil in the Hawthorne (?) story "The Devil and Tom Walker."

adan said...

that's a nice idea though, posting a grouping of tidbits, it works! and life, in those kind of temporary (we hope) weather-stress situations kind moves like that, bits and pieces i think

esp liked,

"The earth moves beneath our feet, no one
still enough to notice, until this---now
each turn spins, spins, spins
in slow progress."

so much we become aware, nice take brian, thanks ;-)

ps - don't be afraid of dropping us another weather piece if need be, momma nature's 24/7 ;-)

Chris Lawrence said...

This was full of brittle emotion wonderful

Goofball said...

we have 17C and pouring showers and a guest room. let me know if it sounds attractive ;)

PattiKen said...

"we taste each other with our noses" - I've been thinking about that...

Great word pictures of weather run amok.

Poet Laundry said...

I really like:

This is not that, though, but a slow boil
of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup
on a hot day ---
no handshakes,
no hugs
we taste each other with our noses

The earth moves beneath our feet, no one
still enough to notice, until this---now
each turn spins, spins, spins
in slow progress.

...great way to describe these moments..

Annmarie Pipa said...

gives anyone experiencing the heat a new perspective about what we take for granted.

Luke Prater said...

I thought it was only the British who talked about the weather all the time? hehe... hot and sweaty there in the first...

ayala said...

Rough week , you captured it well. Sad for the bride... and the trees and everyone. Sorry.

missing moments said...

So sad about the trees, I do mourn!
Love the line of your mental faculties having tenure!

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

These are just excellent. You should do more short form poetry. I really like how you handle it and grew them thematically!

cloudia charters said...

Foreboding, and a final line that is a fit finale, Brian


Wishing you a pleasant week with
Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

> < } } (°>

farmlady said...

"This is not that, though, but a slow boil
of bones in a bag of flesh, eating soup
on a hot day ---
no handshakes,
no hugs
we taste each other with our noses"
(Great last line.)
It must be awful there.
What did folks do before they had air conditioning?

Magpie said...

You observations are always appreciated, be they about the weather or something else. :)

Grandmother said...

I love your images even if they describe such difficult weather that trees and people can die! Drink lots of water and talk/write as much as you want about it!

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, I hope by now your situation is slowly improving, it is the wrath of nature that makes us realize how vulnerable we really are, despite all technology we posses.
I am happy to read that you did think about trees, those beuatiful life forms that fall too and as you say, no one mourns...
Have a great Monday, if possible,
xoxo

Raven said...

OK, I'm chuckling here! No, not at your plight ... and I do know and have much gratitude for we have been exceptionally lucky. Our electric only went out for 1/2 hour. My love and prayers have gone out to all who have lost their power. I am sorry this happened to your family ... even though it spawned some fantastic writing. Hope it has come back on. Before we left St. Louis we had 8 straight days of 103 - 108 degrees, to be followed up by 2 more days - 109 and 110. Glad we left when we did.

kez said...

loved this collection ...but the wedding one makes me shiver ...my daughter marries in a month and at the rate of the weather in the UK it maybe in an ark !thanks for sharing x x

ladyfi said...

LOL - you made me laugh with your 'my mental faculties are out on summer break'.

Hope it's cooled off now!

thejuliebook said...

I hope you work some of these into fully fledged poems, Brian, because you've got some great stuff in here. I want to hear more about the purple-nailed bridesmaids and even the trees that made me think sadly of mass graves. And I loved--an was mildly disgusted--the nose-tasting idea.

Thanks for your comments on my piece too--I'd been playing around with ideas for it in my head since it happened, so Stu's prompt was nicely timed for me to get it down on paper. And I even managed to work a button reference in! :)

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, I always mourn for dead trees...

this is filled with such perfect little snippets of life, the reality, the reminders that we will never control Nature, the big events, the small moments, so much we take for granted in this world.

Ravenblack said...

Awesome work here, especially the bit describing the heat and what it does. Tasting each other with the nose, more than enough I think!

Enjoyed reading this overall.

numbeuphoria said...

Woah, highly impressive blogging.

Marie Nicole said...

"on a hot day ---
no handshakes,
no hugs"

Sometimes it is too hot for love...

"we taste each other with our noses"

Such a cool image, like the Inuit who kiss by rubbing their noses together...