Distant Lightning [from The Artificial Horizon, 2013]

Distant Lightning

Thunderheads cover the western sky
As I drive down the mountain.
The lightning shoots out, four or five bolts
At a time, some cascading to earth,
Others quilting clouds together
Into a single silent storm.
For here there’s no sound.
Only as I drive into town does a soft
Rain begin to fall.
As if someone were fighting their inner demons
And projecting it to the sky for everyone to see,
Even though it was happening only in a hallway
Of a small house somewhere.
And from that struggle comes that softest
Rainfall which does no damage
And from which lilies will bloom anew,
And peonies, and dandelions and a thousand
Things unnoticed in the grass.
And now through a window of open sky
The smallest hint of sunset on one cloud’s edge,
And the calming cool breeze that tucks
The entire town in is the result
Of that struggle, won or lost
And hidden somewhere behind
A single blind.

9 thoughts on “Distant Lightning [from The Artificial Horizon, 2013]

    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      Thanks! It’s not a new one but it seemed like a good one to revisit. I haven’t posted most of the poems from that book. Good to see you here, and love your poems on optionalpoetry…

    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      Thanks AWF! I like what you say there because that was exactly the feeling the poem arose from… More recently, I was in your neck of the woods last weekend for daughter’s soccer game. Right near the end of the first half a crazy squall hit us, the wind driving the rain sideways, grandmothers running for cover into minivans, the abject terror of soccer mom hair losing its poise! –and the kids kept on playing, and the wind died down and the whistle blew and it was just another halftime. I figured if you were there you’d have been the only one dashing about and taking joyful photos of the havoc…

      1. A // W // F

        I love that you thought of me … Because it’s true; I’m completely exhilarated by storms.

        Your little anecdote made me laugh… I can just picture those flustered soccer moms now. šŸ˜‰

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