Wednesday, May 25, 2011

surviving, a poem

scattered in the gales,
arms flapping and body spinning over
and over
and over
into a tree
stripped bare,
naked fingers pointing heavenward

he fumbles for a moment in the branches
before breaking free and plummeting to the ground

cold. piercing. personal.
slapping the body over
and over
and over
his eyes watch the clouds gyrate,
hefting automobiles and crushing houses,
sending them all hellward

he cries as a photo of his daughter dances above,
and sees her for a second before its whisked away

louder than the storm,
pulse throbbing over
and over
and o v e r
a n d     o      v      e     r
a     n     d               o          v          e          r
its rhythm a lullaby
he sleeps. he dies. he’s buried. he’s found,
barely breathing and busted up, but alive.

his daughter’s eyes,
and she hugs and kisses him over
and over
and over
professing her love,
as does his wife,
beautiful as the morning sun

It's tornado season.  After seeing the devastating pictures of Joplin, I thought it prudent to create something with a shiny side to it.  To all the Joplin tornado victims, as well as others, know that I'm praying for you.


Angie said...

Wow. That's terrific! My heart goes out to the tornado victims too.

David Wagner said...

Nice elements. Nice wordplay. It's cool when a poet can play with the presentation as well as word choice. Although, to be picky, "flapping" doesn't do it for me... I would consider a less grating synonym...

Good work, Dr. Stewart!

contemplatrix said...


i do like those repetitive elements and the play with form, especially the spacing of "o v e r". some really lovely images as well. nice resurrection imagery there.

I think this would be striking in a roughly scratched but fluid handwriting, a masculine hand with a bit of a dramatic slant (still holding the lines you've formed).

~L (omphaloskepsis)

logankstewart said...

@Angie: Thank you!

@Dave: The word flapping makes me think of a flag slapping against itself in the wind, which is what I envision this man's arms doing. Hey, now don't you go calling me a doctor, too. Already too many folks do that!

@L: Thank you, for both the comment and the idea. Handwriting evokes a certain response that typed text loses. I've got one [frame] story where this is what I've been doing, switching from journal entry (handwritten) to actual plot. Who knows if that'll e'er show up here... Anyway. Thanks again!

logankstewart said...

@Dave (again): Sorry if that sounded rude or like I was aggravated that you didn't like the word choice. That's not the case at all. I love getting feedback, and think that it only improves my writing by seeing what works and what doesn't. So, yeah. Keep it coming!

Paula Titus said...

I just loved all of it. Beautiful.

logankstewart said...

@Paula: Heh, thank you. I appreciate it.