2 Storms

8, 3×8, Storm 6

Then, I heard the thunder would come
but mouths murmered, the top end cut
So I never really got it

Their predictions had none or less
crunch or grind to my mouth, my eyes
now the thunder here, behind woods

does the scrape that only skies do
dumps all the folds in the stratos
rattling the bin of history.

We are talking, when the thunder
comes, stops us, sets us up on posts
ready for the whip-cracks, the fright

deep fright of the millions year
dark creep of the cloud-shadow, fast
ancestor. It puts us on edge.

I love it so much I could end
arms outstretched with one last static
shock to end all shocks, to end storms.

But you still tend orchids outside
As the rain tends all other plants
then sit close and we wait breath tensed

baited with small sounds to draw out
deeper ones. Each new paradigm
storm sound to teach all others how

2, 3×6, Storm 5

Thunder comes once when I
am stood among poetry
among the old books, new

Only once, but enough
to set a featureless
day in stone memory.

4, 7×7, Drive Home in the Rain

Outside this plastic-smell car
the rain whirls like a muscle
set off wonderfully, fine
brighted by the too-sharp lamps
in windy spasms of curve
and softens my face, cooling

I feel life has been jammed
like a filament burning
too hot to shed much lighter
than a dark emphasising
fizz and sticky resistance –
the rain and cold air soften

The car steams up, it’s human
my friends are drunk, I listen
to their lubricate jaw joints
It is strange and wonderful
music to hear them talk, now
In the dark roadway, I hang

I hang as the world unfurls
its scoreboard display signposts
a smashed out car, black wreckage
My throat twitches with a cold
surge, we fly home fast as time
I exit and crush a snail
sigh, the paths are full of them.

Music credit to Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow for ‘Ava’