Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Seasons

In Oklahoma, there are two seasons:
football season and tornado season.
Spring is tornado season.

Have you ever seen a tornado?
Imagine a big, beautiful beast
with two hundred mile per hour teeth
chewing up ground, houses, towns
and tossing ten ton trucks like toys.
Is that pride you hear in my voice when I tell you
that a twister can drive a piece of straw through a telephone pole?
Maybe a little.

See, I love these toil and trouble skies.
I love the green saturated stillness before a storm.
I love the warm/cold/warm crashing devil spin of air.
I love peering hard into a rain wrapped night
and knowing God is out there
walking and leaving prints on the prairie.
It doesn't scare me
much.

When I travel out of state,
people invariably ask me,
"How can you live there?
Why do you stay?"

"Well," I always say
(to the hurricane survivor,
the smog soaked Angeleno,
the sardine stacked New Yorker)
"it's amazing what you can get used to
and come to see as just routine."

Know what I mean?

For Grace's prompt at Real Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry.

23 comments:

Fireblossom said...

Kelli, you are SUCH an Okie. I don't know anyone else who is more part and parcel of the place they live than you are. It's cool.

Sioux said...

MZ--I lovedlovedloved the second stanza--along with the rest of your poem.

I only know two other Oklahomans...I imagine there are more than three of you? ;)

Sumana Roy said...

well MZ let me applaud you in my
mother tongue(bengali) first..the poem is
simply phataphati(can't translate it..awesome is lukewarm)..it takes courage to love a beautiful beast let alone becoming used to it...a fantastic take on the prompt :)

Gail said...

I love this. It hit very close to home...bad pun.

I love the power of the storm, the green stillness that comes before, the relief that comes afterwards when we still stand.

I was still percolating an idea for this prompt and you made me want to share my love of storms.

Thank you.

Grace said...

I have not seen a tornado but a storm yes, specially before and after it hits ~

Funny how things and people, like a beast becomes a familiar companion, almost like part of your routine ~

Love the creative response MZ ~

Sylvia K said...

Having been born and raised in Texas, I've seen my share of storms and tornadoes!! No one says it better, MZ!! Just stay safe!!

Susan said...

Love this personal exposure to the elements, the pride of place. I met people who felt this way on the treacherous ground of the San Andreas fault. I have been near one hurricane, trying to hold up circus tents in wind with ground flowing out from underfoot. Never again will be too soon. I retreat to the safe but dramatic northeastern US. But this explains one fantastic quality of your poetry, it doesn't linger, it gallops. Finished before the storm. bless you!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Pride of place--love it MZ--your love shines in this

Gillena Cox said...

be safe, and thanks for sharing your amazing words

have a nice Sunday

much love...

R.K. Garon said...

No one should be afraid of home :-)
Nicely written!
ZQ

Mary said...

I understand what you are saying, Mama Zen! We get periodic tornadoes here too....thank goodness none ever struck 'home.' But I wouldn't want to be in an area where hurricanes or earthquakes could occur. We all choose the things we can tolerate, I guess.

Grandmother (Mary) said...

We lived for 5 years in Nebraska and came to take very seriously the tornado warnings but that you have come to be so part of a state who spawns them and can say that via this poem- extraordinary.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love a good storm myself. On the West Coast we have some big ones.......am a bit more scared of a tornado. But the power of one is unquestionable. I likely would prefer where you live to the sardine existence of a big city - though some people love that.

Tatius Tobias Darksong said...

Loved it, don't hear many folks in these parts brag about tornadoes but you do a pretty darn good job at it.

Steve King said...

It sounds like you've learned to rise to the occasion and appreciate the world around you for what it is. That's a great lesson for anyone!
Steve K.

Moonie said...

Love the strength you build of the elements. Can't say I like tornadoes or hurricanes. I'm not afraid of earthquakes well not until they don't stop for days or weeks otherwise we call it a tremble.

grapeling said...

it's the green sky that gets me, MZ - I wonder what that's like? ~

Susie Clevenger said...

I lived in Tulsa for nine years...my daughter is still there. I know well the routine of tornado season. Yes, it is amazing what we can get used to!!

Hannah said...

Your description of the tornado is awesome, MZ...excellent piece.

rallentanda said...

yep...flood bush fires and drought a part of life!

Lorraine Renaud said...

Indeed I do...still stay safe!
oh and if you can take a photo lol now I feel like a wuss when people ask me how I can stay in probably the coldest area, to sometimes reach minus 38 In winter. phhhh that's nothing, now being in the eye of a HurriCane, you've got to respect that, I'm impressed...

Kerry O'Connor said...

This poem is so thrilling to me - I would love to see a tornado - from a safe distance - and I know it sounds like an ignorant person talking but I imagine the power to be as you have described it here. I also love how your poem almost takes the shape of a tornado on the page.

It is amazing what we take as routine.

Dinesh gir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.