The Storm – David Strange

The storm gathered

Its fine white mist
Above the mountain tops,

Like the Holy Spirit marshalling Jerusalem to war

Drawing breath,
It swept down the valley
In a conspiracy
Of cut sandstone
Tumbling over itself in
Dark pockets of
Eucalyptus leaves
At five o’clock
Its smokey wet mouth
Exhaling on tree tops
Spitting ice balls onto our roof
And licking its tongue

Over the quivering window panes

My gutters heaved and groaned
Suddenly spilt its rainwater like a
Mother grieving her repatriated
Soldier-son on broken knees

Water stones smacked the
The back paddock
Like a schoolboy crying
Over his father’s lap,
Punished beyond repair.
White
bullets
littered
the
slippery
turf
like
falling
stars
A dozen stoned typists losing their Rhythm all at once
A banjo plucked without chords
In the shadows
A burning convert speaking in tongues
To a god he never knew.The sun reappeared

At ten past five
And fog lifted back
Water in steamy breath
To honeycomb bluffs
At Mount Pleasant
As quickly as it arrived
Blue sky mocked its existence
At only twenty past five
Said it could never have happened.
Dared me to tell anyone,
Smiling.