thunderstorm poems

Hi everyone! First of all, I hope this post finds you well on this holiday weekend. Secondly, you guys, THANK YOU. Thank you so much for reading this blog. Your views, comments, and shares mean so much to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This is a small collection of poems about thunderstorms. I hope you enjoy them.

With so much gratitude,

Georgie

thunderstorn in telluride

i could smell it coming.

it was summertime and I was alone.

those mountains hold sweetness and scent

much differently than the sierra.

they hold the smell of wildflower and mud like a mother

would hold a child,

an embrace.

the sierra doesn’t do that.

her arms are open and wide, fingers

splayed like the sun rays you drew with crayon

in the corner of the paper you were given

by your babysitter

saying, go,

you must go,

there is too much to see for you to stay here in my arms,

too much love and too much pain,

and once you find all the ways in which your heart

can break

nothing will

ever feel so yours.

thunderstorm at clark mountain

we could smell it coming.

it inked the clouds, dark and heavy

against

a metallic sky.

it turned the landscape silver,

stilled the air and suspended our breath

as we waited

for the inevitable.

the whole thing made me itch.

the sky churned

and twisted

and telescoped

just like his belly,

because

he could smell it coming,

and the tightness of his throat told him

that it was inevitable.

thunderstorm in tuolumne

she could smell it coming.

she said, we should get out of here

but i wanted to stay.

just a little further,

so we walked into the meadow between the Echoes

and

Cathedral Peak.

she said, okay let’s turn back now

but i needed something from the high country

and I didn’t care

if the clouds shattered

on my shoulders.

thunderstorm at lime kiln canyon

we could smell it coming.

and my thighs were stained with heavy drops already.

i tied into the rope anyway,

the air was electric, I had to.

the subtle bumps in the limestone were wet

and slick but

thunder cracked above my head,

and as I looked up a drop of rain fell into my eye

like Visine

and my vision got clear, I could see colors

that weren’t there before, indigo,

it was all indigo,

and I moved without thinking,

moved with the same force that beats my heart and

grows my hair, I swear

something else

was lifting me up the soaked face

I was a puppet

and finally free.

thunderstorm in savannah

the kittens could smell it coming.

i think.

huddled under my bed, four glowing eyes

so still as round after round

of thunder and bright lightening shook the frame

of our old house.

they were so young,

and i wanted so badly to tell

them that they were going to be okay

but there was no way,

i was too human

so on the floor is where i stayed,

belly down

i fell asleep

as the gutters filled with water

and wind threw rain against the window–

i was dreaming, and

woke with two kittens pressed

and breathing

contoured to the curve

of my side.

thunderstorm in appalachia  

i could smell it coming.

i had been in a bad mood for a few years and

the sky was sick of it.

give it up girl,

she said.

quit yer fussin’ already,

she said.

your fear bores me to tears,

she said.

she rained on my forehead and

i knew it was time.

my mask ran down my cheeks, dripped off my chin

and splattered into my open palms

and for the first time

maybe ever

i let it run through my fingers

and as it seeped into the red mud

she said,

oh thank God.

thunderstorm in wyoming 

we could smell it coming.

god, could we smell it coming.

the sky had been holding on for days, threatening

to pour out its insides but it was patient.

it was when the clouds were bursting at their seams that

i met him for the first time.

i didn’t know him, and then i did.

after just one word

a strand of lightening spindled between my chest

and his

so strong that it scared me

so magnetic that i had no choice

and i enjoyed the pull.

the rain flooded the grassy hillside into a vast ocean,

and we both ducked under the surface,

we were swimming,

breathing underwater as we marveled in

the way the other moved.

that springtime crazy

we’ve got that springtime crazy,

our hearts have grown hungry under desert skies.

we wanna

take shots of lightening and use thunder to make heavy hip

hop beats

frost a cake with the snowcapped peaks

scoop the cookies and cream stars from the sky and press

them on                             a waffle cone

just one taste of these vanilla bones and

we’re

addicted to the blooming                 cactus, we

know it won’t last us

because the summertime      is coming

but for now we

sip the springtime rains, ring out the clouds with open

mouths

and chug their milky nectar

because we’ve got that springtime crazy,

our hearts have grown hungry under desert skies.

we wanna

throw a slab of sandstone on the grill

sizzling and popping just like the              blood

of our hungry hearts, the thrill

to just be breathing!

synapsing and loud,

and now,         we crave a sage salad

dressed with the sap from a pine,

and a side

of yucca fries

sprinkled with our salty tears,

mined from these wild eyes

because we’ve got that springtime crazy,

our hearts have grown hungry under desert skies.

give us the moon!      the waxing moon,

we know the moon,

how her face can be caramelized and sliced,

sprinkled with a wildflower spice

and her craters are filled with a cream,

heavy and sweet

been surviving off those moon beams,       oh God

we can’t get enough

the dark of winter left us                so ravenous

because we’ve got that springtime crazy,

our hearts have grown hungry under desert skies.

we wanna

talk about this new space                   within us

fill it up with by letting               indian paintbrush

melt on our tongue

ah, to be this young!

we take the needles from a            cactus, push them into

our spine,

bathe our nervous systems in

a brackish brine

cause we want something with desert resilience

to make up our backbones               and you know it’s

because we’ve got that springtime crazy,

and these hearts of ours,

these throbbing hearts of ours,

have grown so hungry,

and of infinite size,

under these ever-changing desert skies.

jumbo love

I wish I could tell you all about Clark in the exact way that my brain experiences it. But that has proven to be very hard to do, because there is something about that mountain that is so far from tangible, so far from words, so far from emotion, so far from human. I don’t even really understand what happens up there. It’s the most subtle of all feelings, something that glimmers into my consciousness and then, in the instant, it’s gone. And I’m left wondering–what is that?

I’ve been trying to answer that question for the entire five weeks we’ve been in Vegas without much luck. Every attempt to write about it goes like this: I stare at a blank word document for an hour or so. I check the weather forecast. I go pee. I eat some chocolate. I convince myself I haven’t had nearly enough vitamin C recently. I eat a grapefruit. I sit down again, the cursor blinks back at me. I notice it blinks in rhythm with the song that I’ve put on. I get annoyed of the song. I get annoyed of the quiet. There is a fly somewhere in the house. My shirt feels itchy. I write three words and immediately delete them. One single strand of hair has escaped from my ponytail. I braid my hair. I get too hot. I change shirts. I google “writing inspiration”. Somehow I end up reading an article about how it’s possible to eat too much kale. I worry about my kale intake. I write a paragraph. I delete it because I used the word “magical” three different times. I file my fingernails. I read a poem by some woman I follow on Facebook. It’s good. I tell myself that she would probably be able to write about Clark without any trouble. I google “how to have more self-compassion”. I write a few sentences but they sound exactly like the passage I just read about self-compassion. I delete the sentences. I make tea. I take an online personality test. I get through about half of the questions. I Snapchat a really close up picture of my eyeball. I notice a small bird that’s perched on our clothesline in the backyard.

Okay wait. Birds? Birds. That’s bringing up something for me. Bird by bird. Anne Lammot, is that you?

Just take it bird by bird, Georgie.

Okay. I can do that. Or at least, I can try.

When I was young, my grandparents owned a cattle ranch in Northern California. It was there that my life-long love affair with places began. The ranch was the first place I learned to love, aside from my own house, but I’m not sure that counts. It’s different. Even with the things that scared me about the ranch–the scorpions, the pool cleaner, the snakes, getting bucked off a horse, having to talk to the grown-ups–I still loved it, because I knew it.

The ranch taught me that we fall in love with places not for their ease or even their beauty, but for the ways in which they allow us to know them.

I think that’s why we fall in love with people, too.

We’ve been going up to Clark so Ethan can try Jumbo Love–the hardest route in North America. I’ve found a project up there too, and so has Spenser. Update: we are all getting our asses kicked.

Clark is difficult. Everything on that mountain is abrasive, and will cut you. But sure enough, I fell in love with it this spring. Every day we spend hiking and climbing up there, some new piece of Clark Mountain reveals itself. It does this in ways that always feel like a gift, an offering, a confession, a show. The wildlife that calls the mountain home especially behave in this way: the two falcons that nest on the third tier with their chicks soar out in front of the cave, twist and dive through the air currents, and pass in midair what looks like a small mouse from one of their beaks to the other. A family of big horned sheep stand motionless in front of us as we round a corner. A hummingbird dips her beak into the blood red blossom of a flowering cactus. A single cow stands in the middle of the road on our drive back to the highway. My shoulder brushes up against a small sage bush and hundreds of moths are released and flutter from its branches. The green, blinking eyes of a poorwill catch the headlight and glow in the dark desert. Four baby rabbits huddle together for warmth and form a single ball of soft fur. It’s even cuter than you’re imagining it to be. Lizards tuck under rocks as I hike by their sunbathing spots. A snake with dramatic black and white stripes stretches itself long in the evening, its cold belly sliding across the desert.

The whole thing feels so special and rare, like a meteor shower, but instead of being some unfathomable distance away, the magic is right there in front of me.

It’s so close I could touch it.

Of course, there are things at Clark that scare me. However, now that I’m grown, the things I’m afraid of have become a little more complicated than scorpions and pool cleaners. I’m afraid of Clark for how glaringly obvious it makes my imperfections. I get mad. I’m shy. I tell myself I can’t send a rock climb, or write a book. Sometimes I say the most wrong thing. I am perpetually hungry. I am a slave to my ego. Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling.

My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. The day after she passed, I wasn’t sure if I could go up there. I wasn’t sure if I could do much of anything. But somehow, with the support of my friends and boyfriend, I got myself up to the third tier. I didn’t climb, but I leaned against a slab of limestone and shaded my eyes from the sun with the back of my forearm. I looked down the mountain, across the desert, up at the sky. She was everywhere. She was every wildflower, every wisp of cloud, every animal. I missed her. I missed the ranch. I missed being young. And even though as I got older I saw her less and less, I had never pictured my life without her in it. And suddenly she was gone.

The thing about Clark is that it doesn’t sugar coat anything, but it’s in no way pessimistic. It is so balanced I can’t even think of anything to say about it. That’s why I can’t hardly write about it. What is that, I ask. Over and over. I think it’s just all so real. Clark, the ranch, my grandma, every last one of us…it is all just so annoyingly realistic. There is nothing dishonest about living and dying. It’s not happy but it’s not sad. It’s precious but in no way rare.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to write about something so natural. All I know for sure is what I miss, and that I’m glad to have been where I’ve been.