Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When the lights went out

When the lights went out

And the winds blew hard, harder
Than Appalachian summer ever sees,
And the children ran dripping to the house
While Poppy held then gave the umbrella
To the yard, family and guests --
Fourteen in all, gathered beneath the stairs,
Children up and down like popping corn,
The littlest one cried mommy, mommy, mommy,
Who was somewhere, later learned,
Moving trees that blocked the road,
Unable to go forward or go back.
When the  winds died down
And the sky cleared off as if it never raged,
And the damage was surveyed,
And neighbors came together for a change
To tell their various stories (all the same),
The children gathered pool toys from the yard,
The men, the bent umbrella from the tree,
And the eerie sound of no electricity --
The lack of sound, gave life a different sound,
Pure and clear, the sound of feet and breath,
The sound of living on and living through,
The littlest gathered candles for the dark
And built a tale to tell again, again, again
As the power hums, of the fun we had 
when the winds blew hard on the day the lights went out.


  1. Really liked the scene you set with this poem...and some of your language is delightful. "Children up and down like popping corn" is wonderful. And I do think that it is true that sometimes these experiences we have which are annoyances at the time turn out to be the memories that turn into wonderful stories (and poems) in the future. I enjoyed this, Karen!

  2. i lived through this...was actually out when it hit and it was scary...a concrete umbrella base blew up on my car....transformer blowing...and that was only beginning...a tree went through my next door neighbors hard as those 9 days were, seeing people come togther was amazing....

  3. It's true that it can be fun when the lights go out b/c it stops us from doing all our other "stuff" and allows us time for togetherness.

  4. ...i think you have made quite a description of an experience during a sudden dark hours.... loved the progression of your scenes... smiles...

  5. that is so alive and vibrant. Really held me captive.

  6. Your poem is awesome ... the perfect description of what happens when a storm like this strikes .. the neighbors coming together, folks helping each other, a common bond. I also loved your description of the children.

  7. Love this poem! I felt I was there.

  8. If we went back to old ways of food preservation...

  9. This is just what such a storm is like! Wonderful writing.

  10. This is so vivid you really pulled me into your poem =)

  11. Reading again here at Poets United. In regard to my comment in the comments section, it was meant for people who ALWAYS post their links and NEVER EVER respond to even one poem of other people, nor (undoubtedly) do they ever read the comments. I understand people not being able to respond to all, but there are some who respond to not a one week after week. Not to people who do the best they can.


  12. love the description of children, specially when they 'gathered candles for the dark'. Little angels!

  13. I LOVE the sound when the electricity suddenly goes out...even if I didn't have anything on just prior to the blackout, I can still notice the difference of the sound in my apartment. I sort of take a deep breath, let out sigh, and feel like I too can take a break from everything and stop running.

  14. "the sound of living on and living through"... nice!

  15. I enjoyed reading this scene--very well painted. Thanks for posting.