Out Walking After the Storm

Walking along the river tonight

after the typhoon

I notice the newness of everything.

The sky seems closer,

as if it had come down

to inspect the fresh earth.

The moon too leans in,

face still raw

from the lashes of the wind.

Everything wears this new sheen

from the storm

which passed over like a mop,

washing off the mud

and the iniquity

of the bruising summer.

And the elephant clouds,

stragglers of the whirlwind armies,

lumber through the

clear pools of night,

dipping their white trunks.

Even the river rushes on

more quickly now,

flushed of all the junk

from the men and the mountains

that clung to his old hide.

There are turtles, backs glistening,

clasped to his swifter mane,

heading for the sea

and the gleaming plankton fields.

And on the blue bank

and the still reeling grass,

plundered by the fierce palms,

the old tree,

shadow of tendrils and leaves,

damp, creaking trunk,

strengthened by the

ordeal with the murderous rain,

exhales through his pores

the dark, calm scent

of the defeated storm.

Nature’s ancient capacity

for renewal spreads everywhere tonight.

And when we’ve, in our own turn,

laid her low

with our own catastrophes,

when we ourselves are amber

in her deep soil,

there will be dark, galloping mares,

ferocious rivers, silent moons,

purer than anything we’ve dreamed,

that know nothing of our capital.

Copyright Ricky Barrow 2014

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