horizontal rain

When I was a kid, a weather alert meant grabbing the flashlights and transistor radio and hunkering down together in the basement until it passed.  Nowadays, I love watching storms.  Especially the fast-moving ones whose character changes every time you turn your back.  Skies morphing from eerie yellow-green to smoke and pitch, lightning zig-zagging in random flashes, winds blowing vertical downpours into gravity-defying horizontal ones, cold fronts flash-freezing raindrops into hail or even oversized snowflakes that spin out and splat against the windowpanes.  Below is one of my first published poems, about a real-life, five-minute April rainstorm.  It made its debut in issue 11 of Mock Turtle Zine.


A gray horizon met my sleepy eyes
as I let the dog out;
smells like rain, I thought.

She was back in a minute…
The sky had grown three shades darker,
angry clouds pushing and shoving in the wind.

The other dog demanded his turn,
the atmosphere now roiling, the air electric.
He hesitated, then made his move,

hovering in mid-squat when it hit.
No warning sprinkles,
a vertical deluge, like a beaded curtain.

He hastily concluded his “business”
ducking my towel and shaking water everywhere
before curling himself back into bed.

I gave him a pat and put the kettle on.
The storm had passed, the day brightened before me
Spring in Ohio, I thought, and smiled.

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  1. chevvy8 May 1, 2016 / 3:38 am

    Beautifully written intro and poem. Makes me think of out violent storms. I’d love to be able to walk in the rain and get wet. But our lightning strikes – too risky:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tippy Gnu May 1, 2016 / 8:51 am

    Reminds me of that old saw, “I wouldn’t send a dog out on a night like this.” You can keep your midwest thunderstorms. I’ll take my chances with the earthquakes here in Cali.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 1, 2016 / 9:06 am

      My dog often checks out the weather and changes his mind, decides he doesn’t really have to pee that bad. I love a good thunderstorm, perfect weather for reading or napping on the couch (when the electric goes out).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. L. T. Garvin, Author May 1, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Great poem! I live in the northern Texas area of tornado alley so I tend to keep a watchful eye toward that Spring sky.


  4. Julie Kadrmas May 1, 2016 / 11:05 am

    I read this last night in the middle of a 50 mph canyon wind storm. Cody didn’t really want to be outside either.


  5. circumstance227 May 1, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    Poor “other” dog and his bad timing. But well-trained too. Mine would have turned around in the doorway and just peed inside.
    And I remember hunkering in the basement during tornado warnings in my childhood too. It was so exciting! (Of course it helped that we lived in a well built brick house.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kutchie Kender May 1, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Received and enjoyed as the thunder and lightning dance around my home.Ursula

    Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 04:26:24 +0000 To: kutchie2000@hotmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kamunde May 13, 2016 / 11:46 am

    You once mentioned that you owned dogs or are they goldens!! This is a great peace after the storm, beautiful ending


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