09 November 2013

Typhoon

The Trouble with Time by Mark Worrell (2008-9)



I cannot imagine 100 and
95 miles per hour winds coming through
and oceans following them.

So I watch disaster videos on
each hour while counting out the copper
coins I can and will send.

Still, when I close my eyes, it is as if
I am at the opera and music
starts an endless crescendo.

Around me waves of sound buffet my thighs
salt water drips from my lashes and cheeks
while calmly, I whisper prayers.



Inspired by Super Typhoon Haiyan and  Grace's Sunday Challenge: Featuring Mike Worrall at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.  Also posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #175.


Copyright © 2013  S.L.Chast





42 comments:

blueoran said...

Poetry allows us to empathize with the wide world, reaching all the places we otherwise can't go. You do a fine job of interpolating the picture as a person standing in some local room reaching across the wind-lashed world. - Brendan

Heaven said...

The country is very special for me Susan ~ I have witnessed strong winds tearing away houses & flooding up to my knees ~

We sent up our donation as well ~ Thanks for writing about the tragic event ~ Wishing you happy weekend ~

kaykuala said...

It's most sad to read of such calamities. One cannot imagine being swept away alone fighting for survival. The aftermath can be so shocking. Pray be the damage and sorrow are minimized. Nicely Susan!

Hank

Robert Bourne said...

you brought in a current event... I loved how you did this and used the painting ....

Kay L. Davies said...

So incredibly sad, Susan. My first thought (despite my age) was "We could adopt some children!" but of course that's out of the question because we're too old. Dick will send money from both of us to the charity he decides is most likely to use it to help the victims, because he researches everything. So many scandals about the high costs involved in charities.
Your response to this prompt is so like you, my friend. You're wonderful.
Luv, K

grapeling said...

apropos and touching, Susan ~

howanxious said...

Oh! That is a powerful write. How helpless we feel, when we read about such disasters and watch such videos. I remember the Japan earthquake of '11 and how it was to look at the destructive waves coursing through ruining everything coming in its path... carrying along with it, the debris of what once was a way of living.
-HA

Björn said...

Oh yes.. that's what a combination of a picture, a poetic soul and watching the news brings.

Nataša Dolenc said...

it's hard to watch..how strong nature can be..but glad to see, we're all connected.

Sumana Roy said...

it's amazing how you've used Worrall's 'The Trouble with Time' in a contemporary setting......

Bon said...

So heartbreaking - the human condition.

R. Burnett Baker said...

We seem so helpless to do anything.......

Brian Miller said...

i am speaking today on prayer being an act of submission...an actualization that there are things we can not control in this world...and things we can not understand in the grand scheme of things as well...we do what we can to respond...

Mary said...

What a tragedy. Your words brought it to the forefront, where it SHOULD be!

Susan said...

Thank you, Brandon. I enjoyed your poem for similar reasons.

Susan said...

Thank you, Heaven. I haven't put it in the mail yet, but heed Samuel Peraulta's advice to give to a Philippine source. I usually use the AFSC, but it is moving slowly .

Susan said...

Yes, Hank, Thanks. Keep on with the prayers.

Susan said...

Ah, Kay, thank you. (Takes one to know one.)

Susan said...

Thank you, Michael.

Susan said...

Yes, thank you. It isn't mere debris, but a culture and humanity, as you say.

Susan said...

Thank you, Bjorn. Always have to see through the moment.

Susan said...

I think I know what you mean. Those surrounded by media have no excuse for not knowing what our human companions are going through.

Susan said...

Thank you. You see it, though, don't you? Surreal and true--more real.

Susan said...

Yes, but if/when we help each other, hearts--the ones remaining--glow.

Susan said...

Thank you, Robert.

Susan said...

Only seems, though: money, prayer, witness, rescue, letters, etc.

Susan said...

Thank you for letting me know. We all do what we can, and--after prayer--do more.

Susan said...

Thank you, Mary. I was just thinking that this morning and so I posted my poem along with a NYTimes article on Face book.

Abin Chakraborty said...

such honest and evocative lines.loved the image of overwhelming waves.

Geraldine said...

it is hard to imagine that kind of reality. evocative words.

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your surreal approach to the theme does not detract from the sincerity with which you write, Susan. I felt the genuine concern in every line, and the final stanza is a superb summation of the whole.

Loredana Donovan said...

Oh, this is so beautifully written, Susan. The surreal tones in your poem compliment the artwork nicely. Strong emotions felt here and lovely imagery.

humbird said...

So visual images here...and 'music
starts an endless crescendo.' - very-very loud !!!

Sam Edge said...

There is a certain element of panic to this that read well to the topic. Very cool when combined with the Painting

Marian said...

whoosh, Susan.

Hannah said...

Your last stanza is so strikingly sensory, Susan. I enjoyed this!

Susie Clevenger said...

I cannot imagine the horror those precious souls in the Philippines have suffered...Your words and the painting join in the surreal feeling that though we see the devastation we cannot understand what it was to experience it.

awakenedwords said...

it would be nice if we could offer more than coins and tears and prayers. Sometimes that must do when no amount would ever be enough...

Ella said...

Wow Susan! It is so hard to imagine all the suffering!
Bravo

Other Mary said...

I love the comparison of sound and water overwhelming and nearly drowning one. Perfect with the painting.

Margaret said...

"and oceans following them"… 24/7 news keeps us informed - perhaps makes us become better people today - Many of us can only offer prayers, but so many others DO help out. Back in the day, they would have been on their own. But devastation and loss are never easy, thats for sure!

my heart's love songs said...

Super Typhoon Haiyan and the destruction it caused are beyond comprehension. i can only imagine that the people who lived through it are still in shock!

as for your poem, i LOVE ~

"Still, when I close my eyes, it is as if
I am at the opera and music
starts an endless crescendo."

brilliant!