The Poet and the Storm

Clouds gather
into themselves,

Through air’s hidden water
my breathing struggles

Rattling leaves
instruments of ancient dance
foretell intensity.

Across lake
Lightning punctuates sky,
opaque darkness.

By water’s edge
I brace:

What if I
copy John Muir,
climb the tallest sentinel,
throw out my arms
merge with wildness?

he fled toward storms
and lived
fearlessly solo
daring life to intervene.
saved Yosemite
(it would have been a dam)


someone died from lightning
just yesterday,
the second this week.

Energy thrums

Loving the excitement of storm,
I tense but thrill

Flash… pause… Roar!
thirty seconds and closer

What if I run
to the camper,
Safety on tires?

I crave storm’s
Electric aliveness —
To retreat seems tame

Flash! Roar!
fragmented seconds

I tremble

Crack! Smell! Tingle!

Slam the door

Contain my
Storm-power worship
to indoors and my trembling dog,
devotee of safety,
as rain
becomes the

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