Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Painting by Cash Garrison


In the hollow of the mountain,
thunder booms and reverberates
like the sound of kettledrums,
- rising and falling -
resonating over the maidenhair
ferns and wild orchids,
blowing chaotically in the wind.

Searing flashes separate
darkness from light,
and, for a split second, we
see the crown of the mountain
looming high above us,
and below us the bright
rush of the creek water.

In the explosion of light,
the tall pitch pines seem
newly created – then,
quick to disappear again,
they leave us only with
their brilliant negatives.

Our faces press the windowpane
to feel the notes of the rain
and the percussion of thunder
- a crescendo -
exhilarating, yet, terrifying.

As the storm passes,
we listen to the eerie melody
rumbling down the corridor
of Appalachian rock
in a haunting echo.

Deep in our sleep, we dream
about the music of the storm.
We remember being a drop of rain
in the torrent – becoming one
with this primitive world,
still in the making.


Karen said...

This is a powerful description of nature's glory and the wonder we feel as we safely press our faces to the windows. The dream pull us back into the primal beginnings and the music of the storm.

Love this "Appalachian Rock" (my new name for this one)! Cash's painting is a perfect accompaniment. What a creative bunch!

By the way, I'm glad to see your new poem and to have heard your beautiful poem on Cat's site.

Writer on Board said...

Lawson booms and reverberates.

RachelW said...

I miss those wonderful storms; we don't get them up here. Storms that boom, shaking the house, throwing off the electricity, demanding our attention.

KGT (aka Cagey) said...

...loved the line "they leave us only with their brilliant negatives." The piece does a wonderful job of placing you unmistakeably where the writer wants you... stormy brilliance.

Rick said...

Hello, K. Lawsen! It's been to long since I stopped by your blog to be entranced by your poetry. I've been studying and training and thinking a lot over the last few months, and I've come to the conclusion that there is no more meaningful meditation than the music of poetry. This was a lovely, lovely piece.

Aniket said...

Loved it all K.

Especially the last line stuck with me...

"becoming one
with this primitive world,
still in the making."

Beautiful description K... :-)

Selchie said...

Ah glorious storms I haven't seen one since 2003.
I really love the way you tied it all together at the end, I didnt see that coming, great closing stanza.)

happy day,


trooping with crows said...

What a brilliant analogy, Mom. A storm as a symphony not only in sound, but in sight as well.
"exhilarating yet terrifying"
is a perfectly captured feeling.

.."primitive world still in the making" Unbelievable, Mom! I never really thought of the earth that way. Love the obvious yet overlooked truth of that! A profound thought.

(Cashy's painting looks amazing, I showed him that it was on here. He just said "Cashy peent-ing")

Julie said...

K, your work at Cat's site was brilliant, and I also love this poem. You're really setting the world on fire, and I'm loving it.

You have recreated the music of the storm with your beautifully musical lines. It was hard to pick a favorite stanza, but this one really leaped out:

"In the explosion of light,
the tall pitch pines seem
newly created – then,
quick to disappear again,
they leave us only with
their brilliant negatives."

"Brilliant negatives" is a perfect description. It's the season of thunderstorms here in the land of the long leaf pine, and I saw some of those negatives last night:)

I love thunderstorms, though. And I love this beautiful poem.

Aine said...

I love how storms draw me into similar thoughts of being one with the Earth.

Your descriptions are all so vivid and right. Kettledrums, waving maidenhair ferns, the flash of images like the creek and the crown of the mountain.... Amazing how the words you have typed have created the full experience for me. Bravo! (And encore!)

jack sender said...

A great storm you've captured.

"Still in the making" is a profound observation and ending note.

Hoodie said...

...And then we awake
To the shrill screams in the night.
The child whose years number five
Is sure the sky will render
The very foundations of our home.
The rain pounds with fists of
Minutiae on the window.

The five year old feet finding
Home in my ribs.

joaquin carvel said...

you have an unbelievable connection with, and ability express through, the natural world - here, pulling the symphony from the storm - "notes of the rain / and the percussion of thunder" - kettledrums and eerie melodies - you let us drink it all in with you.

we don't get many of these kinds of storms out here - but "exhilarating, yet, terrifying" reminds me of the ocean - the beautiful but limitless power that reminds one how small and fragile one really is - and the last stanza, i think, carries and completes that idea beautifully - where we truly stand.

amazing work - with a fantastic bit of art to boot!

also - thought "resumption" was great - and just seeing this post made me happy.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Karen - many thanks. I am back for now...I hope for long. Your poem on A Tapestry of Spring was amazing, too.

This is not Cash's first painting -not bad for a two year old, eh?

Hi Writer on Board - lol, thanks for that!

Rachel - Storms definitely can demand our attention! Thanks!

Cagey - so great to see you. Thanks for letting me know that you felt present in the face of the storm. Made me smile!

Rick, whoaaa! Welcome back. Are you back??? lol - Wonderful to see you, my friend! I miss you. Aww, you are always so sweet and supportive. You were my first non-family member follower. You are so special to me. Thank you.

Aniket - you have chosen my favorite line, as well. Glad this resonated with you. Being one with nature, is something for which I strive. I love the work you have been doing over at your place. ;)

Hi Selchie, so happy that you enjoyed this. I can't imagine not experiencing storms on a regular basis. Although, there is too much of a good thing, at times, with storms! They are dangerous to be sure. Thanks so much.

Merissa - Thanks so much! We've seen and heard some bad and/or beautiful ones right here in the Endless Mts., haven't we? Teeth rattling thunder...

Yes, a primitive world is still in the making - at least to someone in the far off future. (a topic for our next pow wow)

Cash's painting does look amazing. I'll lend it to you for the next gallery show! (maybe) ;P xo

Julie - Oh, why thank you very much. I appreciate the great compliment! I feel like I have dropped the poetry/blog ball so much in the past few weeks, so your comment makes me feel a whole lot better about things. I struggled mightily with that stanza - for a long time. I am glad it stands up pretty well under scrutiny and can be appreciated by as fine a poet as you. That is a compliment. ;D

Hi Aine, Aren't you sweet? Thanks so much for your kind remarks. I was hoping to transport the reader into the heart of a storm. I think, by your estimation, I have succeeded to some degree. That is gratifying! We share in a common feeling - or hope for a feeling, being one with the earth. Thanks, again and again.

Jack, so nice to see you. That line seems to have struck a chord with other readers, as well. I appreciate your observations!

Hi Hoodie, yes, everything IS relative! Hey, great lines! And how are all your sweet babies??? Cute as ever, I'll bet! Thanks a bunch. I'll be over to place later on.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Joaquin - I welcome your warm and sincere comments so much. Yes, I would say that one could compare the awesomeness of storms to the ocean - each so vast in it's fantastic power and might! It does make one think about how minuscule we are, but only in size - in spirit and thought, we are as mighty as the earth around us. (or so we can tell one another)

Thanks for mentioning the art. That was painted by Merissa's & S's son, Cash, age - almost 2. Can you tell I am a proud Oma?

Your poem, Ides, was just fabulous! And thanks for all your kindness and support....it helps and means a lot to me! ;D

Mairi said...

Hi K. Thanks for coming by my site and deciding to join me. I love company. This is great. I particularly like the pines leaving only their negative. I wrote a character once who was remembering a lightning storm on her honeymoon and afterwards was trying to find her way around her kitchen in "the black-branched aftermath of looking." "The world is charged," as Hopkins said.

Catvibe said...

Oh K, K, K, K, oOh.... don't you love the electricity? Like everyone else, my favorite line/stanza was the 'negatives' one. You are brilliant in your imagery. Just exquisite, and I'm so glad you're feeling well enough to post again.

Meanwhile, I await the next thunder storm. The one on Friday night was absolutely amazing...love these Appalachian mountains, I'm so glad I live here now...

Margaret said...

K. I certainly not only heard but also felt the "Music of the Storm". It was brilliant.

Your poem, like the thunder is exhilarating! Like many of your other readers I just loved the lines:

"they leave us only with
their brilliant negatives."

It left an extremely vivid picture in my mind.
And the last stanza gives the poem a superb ending.

And thank you for putting my award on your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful and powerful imagery! It feels like you wrote it in the midst of the storm.

I wish I could write more that way. Right in the middle of the experience.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Mairi, Hopkins was so right!

Love that line of yours -
"...the black-branched aftermath of looking." Very original.

Thanks so much for stopping in and leaving such a nice comment.

Hi Cat, Oh, yeah...I do love it. It is really scary sometimes, but mesmerizing - and beautiful.

Thanks so much for the enthusiasm for this poem and for your unwavering support of my work. It mean a lot to me. ;)

Hi Margaret, What a nice compliment, thank you! That "negatives" line seems to strike a chord with many - I am so glad that I worked it out. I really was going to ditch it all together...I kept putting the word "only" in the line before it too...I have to say I struggled with it. ....Soooo, many thanks for the nod to that part.

I thank you so much for the award, Margaret. You are welcome for my posting it. I just have to send it around to others in a few days or so! ;)

Jason, I think you write smack dab in the middle of the experience - or at least in the imagined experience. Even if it is totally fabricated, what you write seems very real.

I guess what I do is record life with all my senses, then play it back to get a poem.

I appreciate your favorable remarks on this work.

Lena said...

good poetry is like fresh air... any time i come back to your blog it is like i am learning to breathe again :)

Loved it :)

laughingwolf said...

i find a thunderstorm soothing to my soul and look forward them, rare as they are in this area...

nicely wrought, klg :)

Bob said...

I love this Kaye, especially those lines about the trees appearing and leaving negatives... very evocative, the whole piece! Ok, my day, no, my weekend is set now! Thank you for this, my friend.

Sarah Hina said...

K, these lines and images stretched the imagination toward the actual experience in all of its harrowing vividness. I like, yet fear, those flashes of light, and the sharp, unworldly forms we glimpse in the illuminated cracks. The world does feel like a thing of current and becoming. Which is why I loved the last line, in particular. We have such a small place in the giant symphony.

This poem is particularly meaningful to me right now, because of that novel idea I'm tussling with. Let's just say the book might start out, It was a dark and stormy night... ;)

Beautifully vivid, and present, as always, K. Just loved it.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Lena - what a very lovely compliment you pay me. I do appreciate it so much! I love the work you are doing on your blog, Colors of My Soul. You always have something fresh and innovative posted. ;)

LW - yes, I can see that you would love a good storm. ;) Thank you so much for the kind comments.

Bob, thanks a million for those good remarks. I am always anxious to hear what you think about a poem. Your opinion means so much to me. You made me smile.

Hi Sarah, I appreciate your keen insight and kind comments. Like I said, I love storms, but fear them, too.

You made me laugh out loud:
---Let's just say the book might start out, It was a dark and stormy night... " hahahah

Wouldn't that be great... What would Miss Snark say? - or E. Bulwar-Litten? ;P

Thanks, Sarah.

Linda S. Socha said...

INCREDIBLE. I could feel the being there...and I love that. In fact , I love storms... the last stanza connects with me ....love your poetry

Linda S. Socha said...

P.S. LOVE the painting!!! HOpe you will frame it. I have one my granddaughter did when she was 4 framed in my office.

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

This poem made me think of the music of Wagner or Mahler... The painting is also very cool!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Linda, so many of us love storms, and respect their power. I have to admit I am afraid of them, when they really get cranking!

Oh, I already have that painting framed and hanging. ;D Thanks!

Minister, I love the way you pair things - music with poetry, art with music, poetry with art, etc. You have a good classical sense,
and always see, or hear, beyond what is in front of you.

Thanks for the nice remarks about this post. So good to see you back.

Karen said...

Love your Whitman quote.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Karen - that line is one of my favorites. He was one of a kind - larger than life. I love him, as well as his poetry.

Did we have Dr. Kuhn when we studied Whitman? The mind is starting to go...lol.

nollyposh said...

oh wOw i love this X:-)
i so ~love~ a storm! and the way you describe the trees in the lightening flashes... fabulous <3

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Vicki, thank you so much. Glad it resonated with you. XO

Karen said...

Kuhn = American
Klein = British, all periods
Kiley = all Shakespeare
Colville = **ing gerunds (that's an old Danny Maroney joke)
Kessinger = OMG!!!!


K.Lawson Gilbert said...

LOL!!! I remember Danny's "****ing gerund" joke!

Yeah...that is the way I remember things.

World Lit with Kiley (and his dog) was remarkable. He named me Antigone that first year.

All K's but Coville, but his first name was Kester!!!! I learned so much from that old teddy bear.

and - right - EKK OMG - in advanced public speaking, telling us to "git rid of that twang!" While her twang was so much worse than any of ours. ;P

Unfortunately...I have finally gotten "rid" of it!!

Karen said...

...and we were K's, too! One more, though: "My K is name Lawson!" I am really laughing out loud at this one.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

LOL - toooooo funny! Like you said Kessinger - OMG!

Dave King said...

Very apt pairing of image and poem, both strong in their own right, they add to each other. Excellent.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Dave, Your kind and complimentary comments are so appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Lovely rhythm - I have been in an Appalachian storm and here you bring back the memory ---

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah A - I don't know what happend to your comment. I read it and published it - but it didn't show up. Anyway I want to thank you so much for visiting me here. I am glad you liked the poem. Hopefully, I will see you here again. Thanks! :)

Soulintention, Many thanks for stopping in. I am glad I could help you recall those storm memories. Please visit again. ;)