Sunday, August 1, 2010


A couple of weeks ago we were hit by a summer storm. For awhile the clouds sat right above us, and we got a half inch of rain in a very short time with lots of big, booming thunder and lightning. Here's a view of the clouds after the deluge, looking towards Joshua Tree National Park.

The paper reported that three lightning strikes started fires, but fortunately none of those fires made any headway. One neighbor's house just escaped flooding. Our neighborhood's dirt roads, which had just been scraped and surfaced, ended up full of ruts and much work had to be redone. At our house, all that happened was a small pond of water accumulated near the front door.

The storm inspired a poem where the language is a bit overblown, just like the event itself.

Summer Storm

Someone rattles a sheet of metal
in the clouds, a hollow sound.
From a lost grief, thick tears
pelt down, slashing rivulets
on the mesa’s sandy face.
The deluge hits in waves,
pierced by the sudden flash
of a jagged platinum dagger—
fierce fire-starter, thwarted
by too much water. Engorged,
the electrified air wants more,
and the stalled clouds give their all—
until, cool and still, a hushed aftermath
fingers the horizon.