Author's Note: Here in New York, we call these the dog days and, occasionally, they might be interrupted by storms. Sometimes such storms can bring relief; sometimes turmoil, outside or in. Of course, the blame for this angst, these storms, can be shifted outside ourselves, but then we might not have these poems to write.
A Kind Breeze
After so much heat, the clouds bear down but refuse to rain. Then a gift: a kind breeze picks up and you’d think the world was saved the way the windows fly open and breathing begins again as if oppression were a rumor finally nailed to the door. Still, the oil gushes out of the ocean floor just as we’d always prayed it would— surely a sign that any gods who haven’t left town for the season throw up their hands and laugh at the willful way we succor ourselves again. So much for this life and the petty delusions that make it work so well. I’ll take up with the breeze and throw my hands in the air. Not the mad man next door muttering how it’s all gone to hell, but one who’s wise enough to rise above the heat and makes himself accessible to assess damage, reconcile loss— perfectly deaf to any wailing below.
Originally published in The Moon Magazine
Hailstorm (August 1, 2011)
The rages of recent days settle upon us, grow into practical comforts: those we’d trusted to allay the silence are silent; one-time lovers barely recognized in the hall; what might have been called kindness once —a nod as we pass, a door noiselessly latched, Such a handsome tie — become particular annoyances. As is this sudden sun, the way it nudges us unwilling into a mood we’ve lost the context for. So let’s remember with nostalgia just yesterday when the rain turned to hail the size of lab rats, translucent, fat and blind— they made that scurrying rat-tat-tat on the roof and those death-defying dents in the parked cars and even the ones trying to escape though there was nowhere to go. It’s harsh weather that could comfort those who lose sight of what life is about— ducking shards when the glass shatters about us even in the so-called safety of our homes. Here’s real running through the rain and not even vaguely romantic. The drops, suddenly so visible, might turn out to be much less hazardous to our long-term health and well-being.
Originally published in Red Wolf Journal
©2022 Alan Walowitz
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