The Water Calls

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.

 

CarolinaUmbra

(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.

 

Hurricane Season

(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.

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The danger increases, but still the water calls – Marj Syndicated in AP

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