The Approaching Storm
by S. J. Litherland
A grey interlude of calm and a whine
in the woods, a lone siren.
Diamonds arrive on my window,
tracery of casual beauty.
The grey overhang of cloud
tells us nothing, it’s blank
like a liar avoiding a question.
Seeds of rain and a lone bird aloft
as if scouting. Winter trees twitch
and stir. Forerunners in runes
if we knew signs like sea captains
in harbour. We wait for Storm Dennis,
an ambush of spiral galaxy arms
spinning clockwise in our waters.
We reap our harvest of CO2
turning wind into a whorl of isobars,
CO2 glued to our planet in an unkind
blanket. So the future is forecast.
In the calm nothing has arrived.
Seagulls in the west will brave the worst.
The storm front touches the coast
in a brutal blow of weather we trusted.
As if weather is a pet, in truth,
it’s always been wild, ferocious,
elements out of the cage.
How did we become so foolish?
The calamity before the storm
we didn’t read? The short-changing
of ethics and the purchase of greed?
as raindrops thicken like a rash
and weep like sores, like calligraphy.
The poem takes its title from Shelley, who hoped his words would awaken the world in the future. Likewise, the weather is instructing us about the danger.
S.J.Litherland is a life-long socialist whose 7th poetry collection Composition in White (Smokestack) is concerned with lost history, cultural and political, of England, looking back to the war years and working-class influences of Brummie aunts and grandmother.