By Joy Clumsky
Tearing through my dreams and slumber golden,
The muscular, Hemingwayesque thunder, waxing, waxing,
Its pulsations closer than my own heartbeat.
With burning-bush drama, the hell-and-brimstone thunderbolts
Strew sheaves of sparks across my squeezed-shut eyelids,
And, between fire-scatterings, design of dark descends.
Wildfires are ignited in the mirrors,
And Ides-of-March gusts grow grand in scale,
Dissolving the long night's ragged edges in torrents of rain.
Trees rise up startled from their shadows
In the fitfully illuminated woods,
And the fawn, it quakes in fear.
They create a celestial sideshow, a gaudy spectacle,
This thunder-lighting-wind trinity of deadly guests.
Between the knife-edges of blinding light,
I hear the barn door beating itself
And the criminal currents air-wrestling the old cottonwood
Cowering outside my bedroom window,
And then my father's assertive footsteps
Powering down halls and stairs and down into it.
I surrender the storm to him; silver sleep again enfolds me.
He'll latch shut the battered barn door
And secure the slack-jawed windows
And maintain an all-night vigil on the front porch,
As if holding the sky-passion in his sway,
As he slow-smokes his aromatic pipe
And measures the charged heavens for malice.
He'll remain there, observing the diva-sky-encore
Until the incendiary fury is spent and weak.
He'll mention nothing of it come breakfast,
But his dark hero's eyes will be rich
With thunder-libretto and slashes of fire,
And his fine, dark hair will be mad-wind ruffled.
- Joy Clumsky lives in Lawrence