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This Storm

Author: Magnolia
ASL Info:    31/ F
Elite Ratio:    6.14 - 402 /377 /27
Words: 548
Class/Type: Poetry /
Total Views: 2356
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For healings sake...

with special thanks to magnicat and David.

This Storm


under the mossy eaves of this porch
I hum softly under my breath
( a lost melody I cannot place)
and look for messages in the stucco.

It's a sort of scrying,
a way for me to dream
and plot my way on the map of
this life.

My breathing has settled
to the rhythm of the neighbors
leaky gutter and
as the late summer storm rages around me,
I wonder what it would be like
if I was struck by lightning.

This house is worn
and well-loved like an old towel;
torn and tattered.
On these muggy nights
in the cradle of this porch swing
by candle's glow--
I think of you.

Maybe it is because
all of my senses are awake;
the little hairs on the back of my neck
dancing toward the angry skies.
They say that's what happens when
the dead are near.

We dreamed of a place like this.
I am here--
and you are not.
And there is guilt in this fact.

Our daughter plays
beneath these maple trees,
whispering make-believe languages
and I wonder...
Is she speaking to you?
When I ask her what she said
she answers,
"oh, nothin' mama."

You would be twenty-eight this year.
I dare say you would be mature
and we would have moved past
childish arguments and lustful anger.
I would love to think
we would have mellowed
and grown to be good friends.

People say Savanna looks like me,
but sometimes when I am doing the looking
I only see you.
And then you come to me in snapshots,
just moments really
and I try to forgive myself for
forgetting so much of you.

That first glimpse of you,
beautiful you--
slivered green eyes--
through binoculars,
knowing innately that you would
change my life.

Making love on a bridge
over the Missouri River,
and talking by the railroad tracks
until dawn.

Swimming in the
warm green creek in Valley
before a catfish dinner
and the expert way
you pulled a sliver from my foot.

Your strong shoulders,
comical voice,
cowboy boots,
and every picture I have
of you looking like
you knew how handsome you were.

The time you locked me out
8 months pregnant--
the next day you cried in my lap
and then went stone-faced as you
told me you were moving out.

And that morning,
when your mother called
and told me to be strong--
come and say goodbye to you,
your broken body
the Last Rites
a circle-chain of family members
and the erratic beeping
of a machine that could keep
you alive
in name only.

...then the return
to a small child
who couldn't understand--
who wouldn't cry
while my tears threatened
to choke us both.

I need nights like this,
my bittersweet time with you
to see I have come full circle
and that you have come with me as well--
and I feel you
in the electricity of the storm
under these mossy eaves
sending me messages in the stucco,
while our beautiful girl catches
raindrops on her tongue.

Submitted on 2005-07-27 14:47:32     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  It is difficult to add anything that others have not already said. This is a very honest and sad and you have skilfully expressed so many emotions in this beautiful poem. The image of your breathing having settled ‘to the rhythm of the neighbours leaky gutter’ is sensitive and yet the storm also works so well for your relationship. The consideration of what might have been:

You would be twenty-eight this year.
I dare say you would be mature
and we would have moved past
childish arguments and lustful anger.
I would love to think
we would have mellowed
and grown to be good friends.

Is beautifully understated and the final lines are stunning.

while our beautiful girl catches
raindrops on her tongue.

Thanks for sharing such a sad experience.
| Posted on 2005-09-09 00:00:00 | by comradenessie | [ Reply to This ]
  This is an amazing piece my dear, -though whatever words I try to think of to describe it fall far short of what i feel each time i read it. There is just so much honesty here, so much love and pain, -and above all a beautiful strength that speaks far beyond just your own personal experience here.

Your story,-and his story, -your combined lives , the love, the tradgedy is all so poignantly told here, but most of all I feel that resilient and shining spirit that makes us move on. You show how the fabric of our lives is woven of a medley of experience, and how each patch of that fabric, a single life, is intertwined with all the other lives. By sharing your loss and your healing, you affect everyone who reads this, and they in turn share part of that experience with others-

This is simply beautiful and compelling, and an instant favorite of mine.
| Posted on 2005-09-03 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
  I will not go into a lengthy comment on this because it is hard to comment when you are choked up. That is what good poetry does, it brings out the emotion of the reader to feel a liitle of what the writer is trying to portray. You have succeeded with this. I can't say that I know how you feel, but I can say that I understand a little better the emotions you are going through. You wrote this so well, that I was there with you. In every memory and every though, I stood by your side in that storm.

Now that is poetry.

Brightest Blessings,
| Posted on 2005-08-30 00:00:00 | by lenotoire | [ Reply to This ]
  i feel so selfish right now...
i read this and i am crying... crying for myself and what never was...
my boyfriend killed himself a year and a half ago... he has been in my face all night... i didnt sleep a wink and now i read this and i cry even more...
ok... now for my comment...

this is so beautifully written... it really is... the way you take the reader through the full circle... starting in the now, sliding back to the then, traisping through memories and bringing us back to the right now... all done so tenderly, so beautifully, so lovingly...

I hum softly under my breath
( a lost melody I cannot place)
and look for messages in the stucco.

i understand this part... lost melodies of a long ago life almost... and you can vaguely remember the tune and the words are kinda at the tip of your brain and yet you cannot find them for anything... looking for messages... looking for anything... looking for a sign its gonna be ok... its gonna work out...

My breathing has settled
to the rhythm of the neighbors
leaky gutter

this is a cool image... it gives me the idea of like when you are at a rave or something and the bass is turned up so high that it shakes through the ground and alters your heartbeat... it really does... and your heartbeat is that of the bass to the techno house music...
this image also keeps the whole write real... leaky gutters... the drip drip drip that would usually drive you mad but right now your otherwise occupied and you are aware that this leaking is going on and is somehow a part of the bigger picture but its just ion the fringes of your consciousness...

I wonder what it would be like
if I was struck by lightning.

i understand this questioning... i really do... while death can seem appealing at moments of contemplation one wouldnt want to purposely end their lives and you know... if i was wondering about being struck by lightening my luck would be i wouldnt die... lol... not that you do wanna die but the wondering is there in the background somewhere... somehow...

the next stanza keeps the poem based in reality... it grounds it all... the wornness of the house but also the happiness of it... this is home... i think of you... maybe coz all my senses are alive... the next stanza is awesome... when someone has died there are moments when you feel like they are with you... they are talking to you... they are near... i cannot explain it but you seem to have hit something within me with this write... i guess i just realise that im not insane for thinking what i think sometimes... i dunno...

We dreamed of a place like this.
I am here-
and you are not.
And there is guilt in this fact.

i think its awesome that you have continued to live your life... that you have realised your dreams and while there is the guilt that he is not there i guess from this write he kinda is here... just not in the skin on way you would prefer... i understand the guilt...

the way you write of your daughter... breaks my heart... while part of me thinks you are lucky to have an immortal piece of him in your daughter... that you are able to see him in her it must be really hard sometimes... you have used her beautifully in here though... the imaginary language and the suspicion that she is talking to her father...
you know.. when ppl see me they say how much like my mother i look but no one knows my dad and if they met him they wouldnt be thinking i looked anything like my mother...

and I try to forgive myself for
forgetting so much of you.

i have to go now but not before i comment on this one line...
it breaks me...
you know.. i cant remember my boys voice now... ive forgotten so much of him... the only place i have any remaining photos of him is on my computer and my computer is in storage... i got angry when he killed himself and i ripped and burnt EVERYTHING that was him in my life (oh yup... i really regretted that as youd well know) but i was looking through my computer last week and all these fotos of him bombarded me and i just broke down... all the memories i had tried to block out came flooding back... i can think of him and smile now as i can hear/feel the smile in your memories of the boy you write about in here...

and the imaginings that things would be different now... you would have grown out of the fighting and into a contented kinda love... thats really beautiful that you can think such things...

im sorry if this comment seems selfish... i really am sorry for your loss and i hope you bring your girlee up telling her all the silly things her daddy used to do...
i wish you the best of luck in everything... if i wasnt late for work right now i would still be commenting... perhaps its a good time to stop though... ill be back to read more of yours right soon... take care of you...
| Posted on 2005-08-29 00:00:00 | by Someones Epiphany | [ Reply to This ]
  hoi hoi

well it seems you managed to get most people moisty eyed.. you even had me with a tear forcing itself though in the corner of my eye and a lump in my throat at the beautiful melancholy of your poem.

I am guessing that your child is lost and the guy is in separate worlds .. or something like that is the image that i got from the poem . .although i was curious as to when the child went or .. how the poem doesn't seem to indicate. There could be a reason for that i guess so its quite understandable if you don't feel comfortable talking about that or answering that. I guess i am just sharing my reflections on the poem

having a look at your structure your punctuation is very good.. it's nice to see someone use this device properly.
In your third stanza , third line .. you end your line with and .. i'm not sure if this and is even needed and .. surely you'd want more pressure on the leaky gutter .. the and sort of detracts from it .. making me read it like ..leaky gutter AND .. if you get what i mean .. heh

another thing .. later in the poem you used two of these line thingies - to indicate a longer break .. also what is after the break is a reflection of what is just before the break .. so basicly I was thinking that you could just use a semi colon here instead ..

thanks for yet another beautiful poem .. you're truly talented
| Posted on 2005-08-29 00:00:00 | by x-ianhoyskolt | [ Reply to This ]
  I thought I would check up on you Magnolia and see what you have been up to. And with this piece I am truly surprised I have not stopped in far earlier.

I will try to make this short. This is the first poem on this site that has really brought a tear to my eye - for your predicament, for mine, for everyone else that I have talked to and shared beautiful, sorrowful words with.

I do hope this makes sense and I am not rambling on pointlessly. From this poem I get that the father of your daughter has died. Or else he has moved far away never to be seen again. But it speaks strongly of my first opinion.

I will not try to tell you what could work better, for what could seem more perfect than this picture that you have conjured for me? Everything that you write of seems real, it seems like I was standing there beside you while you saw or felt these things.

I love the evocative imagery and pure emotion in this and it would be a crime for me not to put this in my fav pile. For I am humbled by reading this and I feel like I need a hug right now; someone to tell me that everything is alright.

Well, this comment wasn't as short as I thought it would be lol.
What can I say? Astounding. Melancholy. Heart-stoppingly Wow.
| Posted on 2005-08-26 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
  In all the years of reading poetry, rarely have I ever read one so moving as this. The hope and sadness implied by your last line <which is great> really leaves an impression, and I am having some trouble commenting beyond saying how powerful and heartfelt and sad and yet glorious this is; an instant favorite and one I'll carry with me for some time.

I wish I had something in the way of technical advice to improve this piece, but truly, it's perfect as is.

A brave, stunning write, Mags.
| Posted on 2005-08-25 00:00:00 | by Vancrown | [ Reply to This ]
  Magnolia...Like Simon said on American Idol, "Where do I start, where do I start, where do I start?!". The only difference being, he used it to critique a voice that was worth nothing, where as I use it to tell you that this poem was one of the most ...(still thinking of the right adjective!). Sorry I give up!

Lets just say, that my mind had to be called back to remind me that the poem was over! I was staring at the screen, really not knowing what I was thinking. The poem was a power house of intense feeling.

The only thing that I felt could be "improved" though was the ending. I believe in knock out endings and feel that your poem would be perfect if it sent the reader through the roof with a more powerful ending since I felt that it was a little incomplete-

Catching raindrops on her tongue... and??

I am quite sure that you have got used to receiving a plethora of praises for your work! But honestly its no surprise...I am new to this place and writer Stollie recommended reading your stuff and I have to agree that you are one of the best this site has to offer.

Before I scroll up to read the poem over again(!) wanted to tell you finally that...I loved it!

Final judgment: One of the best I've read, would like a more dramatic ending since the poem is so intense

P.S. If that is you in the profile pic, then must say you are pretty ;-)
| Posted on 2005-07-29 00:00:00 | by Bobby_Dzyre | [ Reply to This ]
  This piece is so near perfect, the voice so honest. I feel like you are sitting in my kitchen telling me the story of your life, and you are. I can't say I would change a thing, you have expertly woven the ethereal with reality here, to me that's the mark of great work. I think this one is breakthrough for you, Rene'.
Because you have revealed so much of yourself, and I find your courage and attitude so refreshing. Not caring what others might think is a fine revelation and you should be proud.

I think the story left on your page about my own dilemma might serve up a decent poem in itself, thanks for the inspiration, you're a wonder, it's great to see you shine.
much love,
| Posted on 2005-07-28 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
  there does have to be a measure of hurt for a writer to use as a benchmark, to give them something on which to balance their words.
within which to frame them.
and the deeper the hurt, the broader the brush and richer the colours.
that's just how it is and, as a sentient and receptive being it's then down to them to interpret that and pass it on.
so that others can nod.
i have to say that I nodded with you mate, in both empathy and approbation.
i think i suggested to Grace that she had been brave to articulate her sense of loss, so that others could nod with her too.
whenever you tell people something because you need to, there is a momentary balling of that spiritual fist.
and this is the sort of work where flat palms only rest on beaten up armchairs at the last full stop...
| Posted on 2005-07-28 00:00:00 | by Awkward | [ Reply to This ]
  you already know how i feel about this so i won't ramble on here. it seems the healing is taking place, and that is a beautiful thing. i know that this was difficult for you to write and your courage and compassion shine through in brilliance. you have such a beautiful heart and soul, my friend. i am honored to know you.
xo xo xo xo
@ Cat
| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
  I'm speechless. It is a beautiful poem that made me cry. It sounds like you and your love have been through so much, and so you're apart. And you said it just like you wanted to say it. Like you were in a conversation. I like poems like that. Here's my fave part:

That first glimpse of you,
beautiful you-
slivered green eyes-
through binoculars,
knowing innately that you would
change my life.

and this one:

...then the return
to a small child
who couldn't understand-
who wouldn't cry
while my tears threatened
to choke us both.

It's filled with so much emotion. I like how you put your all into it. It's so sad yet so beautiful that it's unexplainable.

| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by _NowOrNever_ | [ Reply to This ]
  rene, none of this inspires pity, nor is it too much of a show of private things. but where do we draw the line of what is private, and what is not, anyway? what is too much? everything we are is inextricably connected to what we do, there's no divorcing ourselves from it. what we write is what we know, because all that we know is who we are, even if who we are doesn't have a name that fits inside a box of text. therefore nothing is too private if we know it to be something that has to be written about. and this is something that was necessary to write about. it was necessary to look for messages in the stucco. (which is a gorgeous line that i am extremely jealous i didn't write myself)

so i'm sitting here, having found the words to say that which i could not say the first time through, listening to a song by luke wilson, appropriate for your storm: "call for clouds". it's a great boon that he shared it with me today when i come to write about what you have so beautifully written, proving that the universe does exist and coordinate sometimes for specific purposes.

"scrying" ... a typo or a combination of "scream" and "crying"? either reason will do, as it works, i just wanted to know. i love how this isn't flowery poetic by force, but by virtue of the truthful beauty of thoughts that are written down without censure or check. communication like this is rare and to see it so wonderfully executed and formed into poetry, it is art. at every period of this, i feel healing wounds lose its bandage, and i'm just as empty as you are, ready to be filled up again with things not often thought of.

it seems like a very raw and tempestuous relationship, and it's easy to see why the humidity and summer storms might bring him to mind. i don't know how else to tell you what i feel ... that when you write like this, you go deeper than you usually do, taking more risks and i'm glad you did. this is what the end of reading a good novel feels like - like you have been included in someone else's body for a time, and felt the longings, joy, guilt ... indescribable stirrings of a heart that could never be called untouched.

gorgeous, this tragic [his]tory, and so a fave. thanks for posting this. for going deeper and allowing me to go with you once more.

| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by blueorchids | [ Reply to This ]
  I think this is so beautiful that it's beyond words. I couldn't even begin to say I understand or know what you went (are going) through. I feel that you poured a bit of your soul in this piece and it shows. The wording is amazing and it's perfectly titled. I know what I said, isn't much help, but I thought you should know that you wrote something beautiful. ~SirensSong~
| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by SirensSong | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow. You've shared so much of your soul, your heart, of who you are and who you've become, in this piece. Wow. So many little details and stories and it's all so amazingly tragic yet it's really not. It's hopeful in rememberance. You have your beautiful little girl to always remember him by. He will live on. Great job. This is so powerful. I've read it at least 5 times already. I can't relate to this type of tragedy. Everyone experiences it or something like it in their lifetime though. And through words and rememberance it helps ease the pain. Excellent. Hugs and love my dear!

| Posted on 2005-08-03 00:00:00 | by borderlinetears | [ Reply to This ]
  I'm sorry I didn't get to this earlier, though I know you know how I feel about it through our PM's. I just want to go on record as saying that I admire your strength and your ability to pull off what is one of the most difficult tasks in writing and that is to take a very personal subject and make great poetry of it. You expressed to me before posting that you were too close to it to judge whether or not it was good poetry and this just goes to show what a great instinctive writer you are. This is extremely powerful and well written...heartfelt, obviously, honest, a nice mix of coy symbolism and direct narrative, clear images, colorful language...but most of all, you seem to be able to step back and, while speaking from the heart, share a wistful tone while never asking for sympathy or overtly pulling at our heartstrings. The subject matter does that for you, but often times pieces like this go a little overboard and sacrifice poetic integrity in the were able to keep a balance, use your instincts and lay it out there for us to feel in our own way.

I don't feel like I am doing any better a job expressing myself on this comment than I did in my PM's, but this is the best I can do. My heart is with you. I think you know this... Again, I admire your bravery and your strength, not to mention your obvious talent. I hope that someday this record of your feelings will help your child to better understand just who her father was and what love you shared and how important he was to you.

much love
| Posted on 2005-08-04 00:00:00 | by deadndreaming | [ Reply to This ]
  It sounds or in our case "reads" like the memory is still really vivid in your mind.

You have such a talent for reflection! I'm very impressed with this.

{People say Savanna looks like me,
but sometimes when I am doing the looking
I only see you.
And then you come to me in snapshots,
just moments really
and I try to forgive myself for
forgetting so much of you.}

This part was absolutley beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. When you read something like this, or witness someone else's reflections, in movies, news, church, sympathy you feel is only an illusion, its actually a tranquility within, a silent comfort that reminds you that you are surrounded with genuine and kind hearts. Its a great feeling.

Thats exactly how this poem made me feel.

| Posted on 2005-08-10 00:00:00 | by iShoes | [ Reply to This ]
  hey there,
it seems you have captured the hearts of your readers and you have captured mine.

the thing about works like this: works of infinite sadness, and i think i speak form a small amount of experience, is that it is just the capturing of the moments and the feelings that are relevant in writing of this nature. it is easy to over elaborate or use arty farty fancy poetic devices to describe something where all you need to do is say it as it was to you and let the air and the spaces around the words do the rest; and it does here.

the thing is, life is poetic. i think we forget that sometimes. i think we forget that all poetry is based on the things that happen in our lives, right back to the year dot, and sometimes we see poetry as something higher and less reachable.

but that is not the case, at least not how i see it. it is the things you can reach out and touch that really do touch, and really are whatever it is that poetry is.

what really works here for me is how level headed and down to earth you are here. i feel there has been a good amount of time between the event and the writing, whether fictional or not, [though it does not read that way] and for me that gives your piece much more perspective and grounding. you are not just yearning for a profound loss here, but you are speaking of how it was: the good and the bad and everything in between. it is so easy in these situations to just remember all the good things and punish yourself so much not putting things into perspective. i find that it can be human nature to hurt too much sometimes: but it is the way you seem to flick between the romantic and dreamy and beautiful to the realistic and sometimes cold and hurtful that makes this all the more real and true to life.

it would be easy to go by and say that this is perfect and to say that these are your words and feel slightly insensitive to offer 'improvements,' but this is a poem and this is a site for critique and i do have a couple of minor suggestions that you may want to look at that are just of the detail and not indicative of my feelings in any way to the piece as a whole:

'This house is worn
and well-loved like an old towel;
torn and tattered.'
you seem to make a habit of over describing. i dont think that you need the third line of this section here, i think you have described enough about what you wanted to say in two lines.

'On these muggy nights
in the cradle of this porch swing
by candle's glow-
I think of you.'

you have repeated the word porch here from your first stanza and i dont think you should. this is one of those pieces where distractions should be kept to a minimum and repetition is one of them. it just shows a little hesitancy, not only in the repetition of the word but the repetition of the description.

'And there is guilt in this fact.'

i think this line is a little out of place. it is the sort of sentence you might say in an argument when you are trying to argue a point not in a piece like this. i think there are many ways you could reword this to fit more into the mood of your piece.

but these are small details and i could go on for much longer about the things i do like. your mood and tone are spot on. as is your grounding and realisation. the pace is relevant and you let your words and stanzas breathe to give us time to take in what is unfolding in your piece. it is like the time it takes to find out that bit of bad news: the time that seems to be forever at the end of the phone, or the apparent age it takes to open and read that letter.

take care indeed,
| Posted on 2005-07-28 00:00:00 | by | [ Reply to This ]

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