Fall 2012 “The Water Calls”
Our hearts break as we watch the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. For those of us in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the images of destruction and the stories of loss are particularly heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to those still suffering in the Northeast and we are sending donations and trying to help in any way possible. A lot of our friends just got power back on yesterday. I’ve decided to post my poems about Hurricane Hugo. Sometimes reading a poem about what you’re going through can provide some solace. It reminds you that you are not alone and that others have been through it and survived. Losing your home and everything you own is like losing someone you love. It hurts that way, and you don’t get over it you just learn to live with the loss. It takes a long long time, and you must be patient, humble and accept all the help you can get. You will find the courage and strength you need to rebuild your life. I include some of poems that articulate my experience. I also include an article about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which includes lines of poetry, “The Water Calls” By Bruce Smith.
(from Noticing Eden)
Boats fly out of theAtlantic
and moor themselves in my backyard
where tiny flowers, forgotten
by the wind, toss their astral heads
from side to side. Mouths ablaze, open,
and filling with rain.
After the hurricane, you can see
the snapped open drawbridge slide
beneath the waves on the evening news.
You go cold imagining
such enormous fingers of wind
that split a steel hinge until
its jaw opens toward heaven.
Above the twisted house,
above this island, where the torn
churches have no roofs, and houses
move themselves around the streets
as if they were made of paper;
tangled high in the oak branches,
my son’s crib quilt waves its pastel flag.
But the crib rail is rusted shut.
And you can’t see my children
huddled together on the one dry bed
of this home filling with birds
that nest in corners of windowless rooms,
or insects breeding in the damp sand
smeared like paint over the swollen floors.
The storm will not roar in your sleep
tonight, as if the unconscious
articulations of an animal aware
of the end of its life were trapped
in the many cages of your brain.
You can’t see grief darken the wind
rising over the islands. Tonight,
as the burning mountains of debris
illuminate the sky for hundreds of miles,
I see only the objects of my life
dissolving in a path of smoke.
All the lost and scattered hours
are falling completely out of time.
where endless rows of shredded trees wait
with the patience of unburied
skeletons, accumulating in the shadows.
(from Noticing Eden)
“My wound is my geography.”
Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
The blood moon thirsts. All night,
listening to unspoken prayers,
she tugs the sea beyond itself
until redundant waves retreating
wash the yellowed marshes clean.
In the heat that follows too much rain,
people crowd the churches.
On this September Sunday morning
their hymns begin to rise
and slap the winds still raging.
This is the music of bones
entwined in mortal language -
words of those who know the wind
erases every footprint carved in earth
where water, tired as a dreamer,
circling beneath oblivious clouds
blurs the variations painted on each human face.
Into the open womb of the sea
descend the ashes of our sins.
What keeps us here? Not gravity
or light, but rust on fences, holding
every house of swollen wood, an ache
a tooth, the day moon adrift
grinding tiny islands down to bone.
The danger increases, but still the water calls – Marj Syndicated in AP