Witnessed from a Tree-house
& Aftermath

                         by   Larry Kimmel 


small rain ahead of storm
a white butterfly crawls
under Queen Anne's lace

leaves of maple
their pewter undersides
against the wind

And to the west the sky is gunmetal; 
and Soap Hollow is cast in a steely light; 
and the wind sweeps the field above the house - flash -; 
and to the west, a gray curtain moves over the opposite hill - flash -; 
and to the west, thunder rumbles and the earth thuds - flash-flash -;
and wind sweeps the field; 
and leaves tear off; 
and branches karack!
and dust swirls from the dirt road below; 
and a willow by the house frays to strings; 
and whole patches of grass in the field lie flat, spring back, go flat again;
and raindrops pelt the dusty road, sting the woods, drench the field; 
and wind-blown sheets of rain damp the dust and slap the creek that 
             runs toward Whip-poor-will Falls; 
and the wind knocks apples from a lone tree; 
and the woods are whipped about;
and thunder cracks and rolls - flash-flash - sharp cracks of thunder
            - flash - black rolls of thunder; 
and at the height of the fury, lightning strikes the apple tree--the tree 
            bursts, throwing punk in explosion, exposing yellowish guts; 
and the earth is dark; 
and the air is suffocating;
and there is chaos within chaos—

To the east, now, the storm has passed over the distant hills and away.  And in the gathering dusk, rain-drops drip through wet trees; great swaths of grass lie flattened in the field; rillets run in small-scale gulches over and along the dirt road; and the road is muddy and the air is cool and new.

      the loudness
           of their twilight songs
What stands of the lightning-struck apple tree stands lopsided and jagged against a swirling charcoal and pearl-gray sky – lurid and lemon-edged to the west.  And in the hollow, below, the sound of the swollen river gushing – gushing into night.
curtains billow
through my bedroom window
the crescent moon


"small rain ahead of storm" -Haiku Headlines:  August, 1996
“leaves of maple” - adapted from Haiku Headlines: June, 1996
"thrushes" - adapted from Haiku Headlines: April, 1996

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