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Passions in Poetry


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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

0 posted 08-21-2003 11:49 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I like a good thunderstorm. I especially like a good thunderstorm in the wake of an oppressively hot and humid August day in Michigan. A cold front sweeps in from the Northeast, picking up moisture off Lake Michigan, then hits our hot air like a high-speed Amtrak colliding with a barely struggling freight train. The inevitable result is a release of energy in the form of rain, hail, winds, thunder ...

... and lightning.

When I know a squall is imminent, as I learned one was about nine o'clock tonight, I head for the garage. I like to sit just inside the open garage door, where I can feel the shadows of wind and rain on my face, safe from the full fury of the storm but close enough to know my protection is really only an illusion of civilization. Tonight's storm passed quickly, fifty mile an hour winds coming first from the North, cracking the heavy rain like a whip, then as the line of energy passed over our heads, changing direction and coming equally strong from the South. Fifteen-year-old silver maples, normally towering over the garage roof, bowed to the storm, first one way, then the other.

Soon enough, the rain died to a drizzle and the winds became a brisk and very welcomingly cool breeze. The temperature had dropped twenty degrees in as many minutes. I grabbed my doffed jacket, my unused flashlight, my bottle of now lukewarm Lipton, and headed reluctantly back to the house.

I didn't make it, though, not immediately. My garage doors face North, and as I exited and glanced South, into the retreating storm front, I was bedazzled by the most prodigious display of natural fireworks I have ever seen in my entire life. I stood there long moments, watching. Then I returned to the garage long enough to grab a chair and move it to the middle of my front yard. I just spent almost an hour staring into the face of God.

The lightning was so high in the sky that the thunder was little more than a rumble, like a distant sound the mind can't quite place. The most amazing thing was the constancy of the light. It would pale, it would dim, it would brighten to the point of burning itself into my retinas, but never did it seem to ever darken beyond what seemed an artificial dusk. Most of the lightning was hidden far behind lower storm clouds, highlighting the dark frothy shapes as if they, and not the lightning, were the star of the show. The braver fingers of jagged light, though, would leap from one dark cloud mass to another, sometimes sideways, sometimes straight up as if trying to reach the heavens, sometimes, and frighteningly, towards the Earth. Every few moments, almost as if two or three bolts collided in an attempt to claim the same point in space, a jagged starburst of lightning would explode. I dared not blink. I think I hardly managed to breath.

It was at once beautiful, awe inspiring, and absolutely humbling.
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA

1 posted 08-22-2003 12:12 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

What area of MI are you in, Ron?

We got teasers from that front down here in Toledo... I was driving home from work around 11pm, enjoying the lightning, waiting for the downpour... it lasted for exactly the ten seconds it took me to get from my car to the covered walkway at our apartment... and it did absolutely nothing to cool the night down.

So I'm sitting in front of my computer around midnight with the fans on high (we're not rich enough for the luxury of AC ) and it's still at least 80 degrees in here.

Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US

2 posted 08-22-2003 12:24 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm roughly a hundred miles West of you, Amy, and probably less than thirty miles North. If the wind ever blows much harder than 50 mph, I'll be living in Indiana.

You're also only about three hours South and West of Kit, I think.
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Ascendant
since 12-27-2000
Posts 5766

3 posted 08-22-2003 12:29 AM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire

Glad to see I'm not the only person who goes out during a lightning show. Wow, that description was amazing, I'm envious

There's nothing like a good fight with a horse to put your problems into perspective
Happy Trails To You

Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration

4 posted 08-22-2003 01:02 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

California, Central Valley.

God's laughing at us right now, in our confusion.

Nicely put Ron.
Poet deVine
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley

5 posted 08-22-2003 03:05 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

This is beautiful. One man admiring God's creation. Simply wonderful Ron.
Janet Marie
Member Laureate
since 01-22-2000
Posts 18986

6 posted 08-22-2003 07:10 AM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

This should be posted in prose...your oh so perfect words painted it for us in the minds eye.
What a treat to read you on this morn.
Growing dad was always on the porch during the storms...
thanks for sharing your light show with us poet sir.
Senior Member
since 06-23-99
Posts 1896

7 posted 08-22-2003 07:37 AM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

I'm with JM on this one.  Do you always have to write things so ... poignantly?  (not that I mind, mind you!)     You just keep it up, and we'll keep reading.  

Here in Florida, little bitty Keystone Heights, to be exact - during the summer we have thunderstorms every day.  It's always between 4-5:30 in the could almost set a clock to it.  I didn't believe it myself when I heard about it, but I sure do now!  I have to sit in my screened in porch though to watch them, because the mosquitoes are particularly fond of me. (I think my blood is still thick from living up north for so long)

Aren't they just...inspiring?  (the thunderstorms, not the mosquitoes)  I can't think of anything else that seems to put things in some serious perspective for me, on a regular basis.  I love it.

Kit McCallum
Member Laureate
since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada

8 posted 08-22-2003 08:29 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

I swear I was sitting right there beside you ... at least it felt that way in reading your words, Ron.

I am awestruck indeed, both with nature ... and ... with your vivid recollections of the event.
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA

9 posted 08-22-2003 08:41 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

REEEEEALLY wanting to be peering through my skylight in Delphi now...
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

10 posted 08-22-2003 10:52 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Back in 1970, when I was in Lead, SD, visiting relatives, Dad and I sat out on the front porch and watched this very display...

and I saw the rerun of it again through your own observations, Ron.  Thank you, for sharing, and...

for skipping me back into a memory and more.

I miss Michigan.  I remember those fronts...I truly don't know of any other state where one can watch them come through, just like you described...
Member Empyrean
since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608

11 posted 08-22-2003 11:17 AM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Ron...I am so envious of you!  I love to watch a storm, be caught in the middle and see the power, and yes, feel how small I really am.  It is humbling.  You power of description put me there...thank you!
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 10-12-2002
Posts 3185

12 posted 08-22-2003 11:21 AM       View Profile for Wind   Email Wind   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Wind

I miss those big storms

insanity is not a crime

Susan Caldwell
Member Rara Avis
since 12-27-2002
Posts 8464

13 posted 08-22-2003 12:10 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

First, Nicole, we are neighbors, I am in Middleburg Florida

Second, Ron:  I grew up in Northern Indiana (Warsaw), I know exactly what you speak of.  I miss it so much.  Florida has thunderstorms but it never cools anything down and just isn't as colorful.  
I loved how you wrote it, took me right back home.


serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839

14 posted 08-22-2003 12:23 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

How odd.

I was just telling a friend how I sat outside under this metal awning the other night as a storm pushed through, and yes, how much I enjoyed that.

I love storms too.


Within reason.

I haven't been the same since "Lili". She scared the hell out of me.


So now I love storms cautiously.

(Beautiful writing, Ron.)
Marge Tindal
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since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores

15 posted 08-22-2003 01:00 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

In awesome wonder
The lightning speaks the thunder
We all stand amazed

'staring into the face of God'

Oh yes, Ron !  A moment of capture~
Beautifully relayed~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~

Member Empyrean
since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~

16 posted 08-22-2003 02:02 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

Ron, I watched this same storm last night as well.  I'm afraid I captured it in my mind's eye to relive, but to put it into words as you have...I can see I have a lot to learn. Yes, this should be in prose.  Well said sir..and very very humbling to experience.
Senior Member
since 06-23-99
Posts 1896

17 posted 08-22-2003 02:36 PM       View Profile for Nicole   Email Nicole   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Nicole

Susan!     You're "just" down the road!  heh  Nice to know one of my PiP neighbors is a neighbor in real life too!
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines

18 posted 08-22-2003 05:30 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

We had a storm roll by like that in the middle of last Saturday afternoon. I was  neighbor sitting for a week and the 8 year old had soccer practice.

We got into the car...( because in this area, one town may have rain and another not)then everything let loose and I tried to drive up the road. I got about one mile when the rain was so hard the windshield wipers wouldn't clear it enough to see.

So I turned around and  drove home at a snail's pace with tree branches swatting the car.
We sat in the car for atleast 45 minutes in the driveway, watching the lightning and listening to the thunder before we took a chance on running to the house.

Frightening, yet beautiful and the power in the air was unbelievable. Then the sun came out and the most gorgeous rainbow appeared...they said 4 inches of rain fell in less than an hour and a half.

I love storms, but when I am home and safe.

Dark Angel
Member Patricius
since 08-04-99
Posts 10270

19 posted 08-23-2003 08:42 AM       View Profile for Dark Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dark Angel

Ron.. thanks for sharing your storm with us, a storm you so beautifully described.

I was sitting there right beside you, feeling it all.


fate is not just
whose cooking  smells good
but which way the wind blows

(Ani DiFranco)

Member Elite
since 08-31-99
Posts 3430
Oregon, Originally From Alaska

20 posted 08-23-2003 10:37 AM       View Profile for Justbleu   Email Justbleu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Justbleu's Home Page   View IP for Justbleu

Thank You Ron for sharing that!!!!
Titia Geertman
Member Ascendant
since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297

21 posted 08-23-2003 02:57 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

This is one beautiful description of nature's playground Ron. Wished I could have sit beside you.
I love storms and lightenings (as long as they don't hit my house). We have them quite often in Spring overhere. And as our sky reaches the ground (flat country remember?) there's a lot of lightening to see and beautiful clouds too.

Sometimes when I see one coming, I hurry to get all the loose ends into the barn and then I wait...and wait....and see it pass me by in the distance.

One day Sir, I think I'll come visit you to sit in your garden watching the storms, if I may.


Like scattered words will flow

Member Rara Avis
since 03-02-2003
Posts 9998
New York

22 posted 08-24-2003 01:30 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

Ron, when we were little, we used to gather on our porch to watch the thunderstorms.  
Truly in awe of them, yes.  And also,
the garage as I grew older.

The ones of late, scared me out of my sleep though . . . but one day I hope to capture this on film or sound record it myself.

Thank you for the beautiful images up there  
Not A Poet
Member Elite
since 11-03-1999
Posts 4427
Oklahoma, USA

23 posted 08-24-2003 01:56 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

An exquisite description of an awesome display. Thanks for sharing your vision.

You should visit Oklahoma sometime. Our storms not only provide a fantastic visual and audible show but an exciting ride too. They can pick your ass up and set it down in the next county, sometimes even the next state. Woohoo!

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