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Friday, 22 November 2013



 Gale (Lower Darnley, Prince Edward Island, Canada): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 16 December 2011

wild skyfalling night
tail of first big storm front of the season slashing through
last loose leaf debris hurried along
"as before an enchanter fleeing"
branches clattering against metal
trash cans banging around
all that's not securely fastened
caught up and blowing -- apprehensive
electricity in the streets, guy wobbling little progress
on toppling bike against the gale
sidewalk woman head down moving slowly uphill
into northeast wind grabbing at swirling blown ends
of long diaphanous pastel scarf
Ninth and Bancroft, West Berkeley
insecure householder half dressed
emerges from behind barred gate
looks up into dark sky
one arm bent over head as if to shield, crouching --

Storm Surge (Lower Darnley, Prince Edward Island, Canada): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 12 September 2011

Gale #2 (Lower Darnley, Prince Edward Island, Canada): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 29 September 2011

Swept Away (Lower Darnley, Prince Edward Island, Canada): photo by Jim Rohan (LowerDarnley), 19 November 2011

Gust No. 2: photo by efo, 13 August 2008

Communication (Point Reyes, California): photo by efo, 4 September 2011

  Grass and wind, Sauvie Island: photo by Austin Granger, 26 February 2011

  Pierce Point (Point Reyes, California): photo by efo, 4 June 2011

  Eucalyptus and wind, Drake's Estero (Point Reyes, California): photo by Austin Granger, 26 February 2011


TC said...

surviving a wind event

ACravan said...

I'm feeling it and thinking it. The words (it's nice to see the lower case title and description rescuing "skyfalling" from bad James Bond movie memory) and images put you in several storm geographies. I love all the photos, but the efo one really gets to me. Storms around here, which are on the way, I'm sure, are more and more treacherous and difficult to navigate. That's something that has changed as I got older and moved away from the big city. Curtis

TC said...


We've been riding out all the weather the North Pacific has thrown this way over the past half century or so, and naturally that includes a deal of wind. In '68-'78 we lived out above Duxbury Reef, where the microclimate resembled that of the Point Reyes peninsula, the next promontory just up the coast, pictured in three of the last four photos here. There were some impressive storms. For example, this one in 1969:


The weather over here is relatively tame in comparison, still there are "wind channels" created by the configuration of coastal hills and Bay, and for the past thirty years we have inhabited one of those. In short, then, this time of year, big winds are pretty common.

But this particular event, which is now thankfully easing up a bit, had a special quality to it, perhaps having to do with an atmospheric pressure drop, or some other sort of pressure drop. In any case, having hobbled out into it, I quickly came to rue my mistake, but too late to keep from joining those whose debilities called for extreme caution in avoiding getting blown away.

Nora said...

We were just woken up by the dinghy, nearly broken free, banging against the back of the boat. I have to admint though that I kind of love the urgency of these windy nights. Standing out on the heaving dock, pulling ropes and tying lines under the clear dark sky, is kind of wonderfully alive. Even if Brian did step on my toe.

Anyway, now I'm awake, and it's nice to feel solidarity with Berkeley and its denizens. The ducks too.

TC said...

Nora, Now I'm sure of it: you were destined to be a Sea Dog. Or perhaps I ought to make that Bay Duck. No, that sounds wrong somehow.

And oh, Brian!

TC said...

And World, let me tell you about Nora's boat...

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

Hey Tom in all kinds of weather:

I so love your posts, and their uncanny photos. While in Turkey for 2 weeks recently as well... These most poignant since our daughter and family live in Point Reyes, and have experienced inclement weather...

Here's a poem I found on my Indices file under "storm," taking you up on your invitation to append poems whenever... with all due respect.


Gorky yelled, “Flood, flood!”
Cork saw the fire coming and ran.
The cold black mountain rose on its heels.
They thought it’d walk away.
Raindrops big as ton weights.
Everywhere the sky was upside-down.
Dop-dop held on, but was scared witless.
Hak drew pictures on a napkin.
Kanji sang at the top of her lungs.
The cats crouched so low they became rugs.
I’ve seen earth open up.
I’ve seen earth close up.
But raindrops coming down like houses.
Aw, nothing could stand up.
The horse blew up like a balloon.
A black blimp with legs.
Floated through the drops.
Cork thought the fire was coming and ran.
Everyone sat with shut eyes.
“I can’t do it alone,” they yelled.
A rat came out, a pig and a fox.
“Don‘t shoot us,” they cried, but the
others only wept.
Lightning cracked and the women had babies.
The sky rolled its iron roller across its iron floor.
Light sang a high note, then fell silent.
Green became black. Red became black.
Only brown and cobalt blue remained.
We sang in five parts.
“The gate is stronger than a hair.
The hair is stronger than an atom.
The atom is God’s anger.
The atom is God’s Grace.”
Cork swooned in Kanji’s arms.
Gorky and Dop-dop held on.
The cats melted into the earth, crying.
Hak sang the same note until he died.
Kanji went over the edge not laughing.
Londoon sang another note at the
flash of light.
Happy is he who was never born.
The atom is God’s anger.
The atom is God’s grace.

8/25/99 (from I Imagine a Lion, The Ecstatic Exchange, 2006)

Unknown said...

Skyfalling, sky fell. Google likes to celebrate certain anniversaries on its home page. Today, the 50th anniversary of JFK's great fall, Google is celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Dr. Who", the British sci fi series. It's been quite a storm these fifty years since. Touching to be distracted by Dr. Who weathering it.

Harris Schiff

Nora said...

I'm definitely more duck than dog (a sea dog would probably have more sense than to wear flip flops out on the heaving docks at three in the morning).

And speaking of boats, ours was named (by the previous owner) after this one. Ours doesn't have the sauna, library, or any of the fancy equipment, but I do fantasize about adding an observation bubble.



Great photos of Point Reyes here, and Prince Edward Island too for that matter -- "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!" And blow it did here last night too (still going on, but diminished now), this one from the northeast like never before, branches down, wires down, power out (for a while, somehow came on again), Terrace closed this morning -- wind howling down off the ridge all night, slamming into the house, rattling windows and doors and nerves ("crouching"). . .

Poet Red Shuttleworth said...

Appropriate coordination between wonderful photographs and a splendid poem at the hazards of hideous weather. Terrific, Tom, grand!

Wooden Boy said...

The wind rushes through the lines. Each image blows into the head and gives way to the next.


Where's the quote from, TC?

TC said...

Thanks everyone for helping us batten down the hatches so that the bats won't escape the belfry.

And Daniel, many thanks for that tremendous storm epic.

Steve's report from the damage zone reminds that I had a Bolinas wind and rain and can't fix the roof poem, once upon a time, in which the sentiments expressed by the struggling amateur roofer approximately echoed "Happy is he who was never born".

WB, that line was meant to evoke this poem:

Shelley: Ode to the West Wind, st. 1, with note, in Prometheus Unbound, 1820

Unknown said...

Aye, Tom, your words struck me on a personal level, as a little over twenty years ago I lived just two blocks from Ninth and Bancroft, and my slightly neurotic ex still lives there, in the same house behind a barred gate. So, when you wrote, "insecure householder half dressed,
emerges from behind barred gate", I just had to chuckle...