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August 26, 2011

Poetry Friday--Hurricanes

With Irene expected to visit us sometime this weekend, I thought I'd share one of the poems I wrote for an unfinished book on the Great New England Hurricane of 1938. (The working title was Wild Winds and Whopping Waves: Poems of the Hurricane of 1938.)

At that time, there hadn't been a New England hurricane in many, many generations. There was no advance warning like we have today with satellite tracking, so the east coast of the U.S. was totally unprepared. The resulting death and destruction was unlike anything before. It was horrific.

Needless to say, the poems were mostly grim, so I put the project away. That was back in 2003, and in rereading them, I believe it was a good decision. However, this one's not too depressing:
Casting Call

I had heard that MGM
was making a movie
of the Wizard of Oz,
starring Judy Garland.
I reread the book, but
I couldn’t see Judy
in the role of Dorothy.
Never in my wildest dreams
would I have imagined
myself in the role,
but today, when the wind
lifted my house
and threw its pieces
into the bay.
I had visions of me
learning to sing
and heading out
to Hollywood.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
Today's Poetry Round-Up is being hosted by Irene Latham. Check it out then go lock away your lawn furniture. Keep safe.


  1. Great poem. Keeping all of you up there in thoughts and prayers - and hoping Irene veers east.

  2. You might consider submitting a few of your "storm" poems to Birmingham Arts Journal (I am poetry editor) and we just put out a call for a storm-themed issue that will be released next April. birminghamartsjournal dot com

  3. There are indeed occasions when the writing of verse and reciting poetry is akin to prayer. This is one such example. Do keep safe.

  4. Thanks for commenting, Ladies! Irene, I'll be submitting something to the Birmingham Arts Journal. You don't care that I'm from New Hampshire, do you?

    Everyone take care this weekend. I know that by 2 this afternoon people were coming into the library saying there wasn't a battery to be found on store shelves. I have bunches of candles--you know, those scented ones that everyone gives when they don't know what else to get you! They make a lovely light, and are really appreciated at times like these. Now, I just have to find the matches...

  5. The Hurricane
    Threatening our tenacity that summer
    were the most turbulent vandals of weather.
    We drifted, guarding our freedom,
    and not thinking the errors we’ve made
    could prove our fragility. But then
    a gloss-over in pewter at Hatteras
    by that discreet brush of fog preceded a languor
    at the marina where boats were sponged up like milk
    into the null and void. Out of the southeast,
    out of a free will that went undisciplined
    all day and night, the wind looted the coastline
    with more than one accomplice,
    stealing in quick swiping gusts the sheen
    of a generation’s endeavors. The sea in its turmoil,
    rode a fast shuttle back and forth
    into an outbreak of foam, a sparkling seltzer
    of sea water that kept striking somewhere onshore,
    housebreaking and plundering. Terror lit up
    the eye of the lighthouse that stood on the edge
    of familiar warnings, listening—
    ever so much in those desperate hours.
    What does it mean to violate an appeal
    for salvation; to surrender in exile
    when at last the final scene plays out?
    What will it mean to be left without bread,
    without the reserve to take back, to take over—
    given nothing but the astonishing ruins of a landscape
    we merely have the means to stare at?
    --Joanne Monte

  6. Thanks for sending the poem, Gillena. These are some great lines:

    out of a free will that went undisciplined
    all day and night, the wind looted the coastline
    with more than one accomplice,
    stealing in quick swiping gusts the sheen
    of a generation’s endeavors.

  7. I'm sitting here in the calm of Ohio finding it hard to imagine the chaos that's going on on the East Coast!