Poorly Labeled

A package arrived today
at my Albuquerque home.

The corners were damp.
The package was labeled Rain.

With a box cutter
I slit the tape and opened it.

What I first thought were packing peanuts
was a cloud.

The cloud filled
half the height of the box.

When I pulled the cloud out
it expanded and covered our ceiling.

It rained on the carpet
all through the house.

As rain pelted me
I looked in the bottom of the box.

I saw blackened cardboard
where lightning struck.

The house shock with thunder.
The guest room bed burned.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Lasso

The blue woman
wore white
with exposed shoulders
ankles and bare feet.

She lifted her arms
in musical notation
to conduct the thunder
like a symphony.

The crown of the open hill
where she stood
exposed domed granite
and sparse grasses.

As the storm advanced
across the valley floor
the thunder echoed
and reverberated its approach.

The electric blue lightning
leapt cloud to cloud
superheating the air
and expanding it rapidly.

The blue woman snatched
a shock wave up in her left hand
and used it like a lasso
to hold the storm over her fields.

She swiftly yanked the improvised cord
to squeeze the cloud into rain
but it groaned like her fat uncle
trying to button his blue jeans to no effect.

The storm bucked and kicked
and tossed its horns
like a plains buffalo
instead of an open range steer.

She recognized the futility
of trying to domesticate the storm
and set it loose
to speed northeast.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Thor

We met in an aspen grove.
You came from the mountain top
to meet me.
We were near the tree line.
The sun got under our skin.
The wind picked up
and the air cooled quickly.
The sun hid behind
a newly arrived cloud.
The cloud was crow-dark.
You lifted your smoking hand.
The leaves browned as you passed.
The aspen trunk you touched
burst into flame
simultaneously with thunder
that knocked me down.
The trunk split ground to bough.
You whistled to the cloud.
The cloud replied with cold rain.
Heavy shot-glass drops.
My head felt their blows.
My nose bled.
My ears rang for days.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

A few times in my life hiking above ten-thousand feet in the mountains, I have been caught by thunderstorms. Foolishness on my part not paying enough attention to weather forecasts or thinking I could get up the mountain and back with time to spare. It is quite the experience. Both terrifying and glorious.

Shell

Dora dressed up
as the Easter Bunny
to greet the plumber
on the theory
colored eggs
blocked the pipes
even though
it is a drought
ridden August day
and no rain dancer
ever wore
long pink ears
or hopped up
and down
turning this way
and that
seeking
distant cracks
of thunder.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Heralds

I failed to appreciate that this thunderstorm
formed a thousand miles ago
and traveled all this way for us.

It was an unusual storm.
It washed sin from the body,
but not dust from the sky.

The thunder rolled with laughter.
The lightning struck
like a flash of wit.

It affected only those people
who went out into the wonder
of the darkened sky.

Those who took cover
mistook the humility in the air
for public humiliation.

They hid behind brick and mortar,
unlike my dogs
who clamored to get outside.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Test Of Time

Dora sat writing poems with a fountain pen.
She wrote outside during a thunderstorm.
The armchair poets would unplug their computers.
The blood and guts poets would thrust their fountain pens skyward.

Dora’s three legged dog balanced comfortably.
Dora rescued the dog from the people who ran her over.
The people who ran her over loved her and owned her.
The dog was happy to be freed from their lazy love.

The dog refused to fear thunder and lightning.
Dora had taught the dog to count between flash and boom.
The dog calculated distance, thus threat.
She hobbled inside when the count got down to two.

Dora will teach the dog to write poetry next.
Three legged poetry will stand the test of time.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney