Image by Jan Kemp

Hurricanes/wild water

Hurricanes/wild water

It happens when the wind blows
from the north - the south -
from whatever direction
the winds come from or blow to

the room suddenly cold, silent

bringing not only the welcome
& welcoming news of a lover
that she, that he’s still there
they’re both, however distant

covers thrown back, bed empty

close to each other & nothing’s
changed, that the immutable
is truly & forever immutable -
able to withstand the howl

what might happen but shouldn’t

& shriek, the ungovernable thrust
the burst of the hurricane when
it reaches the coastline, wind
& water swirl inland over towns

clothes on the floor, door open

cities, villages, country hamlets
the park across the street, the trees -
trees that have been there
a hundred years & will be there

a hundred from now ...

it happens


‘Hurricanes / wild water’, from Summer in the Cote D’Azur (HeadworX, 2003), © Alistair Paterson 2003, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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