Summer Storm


All day the storm’s
been squeezing out the light,
a huge mist grows
and the wind comes up —
nothing to take the boards off
the house, but enough
to set us all on edge,
although these winds,
unlike the easterly winds
of the Mediterranean
carry nothing but air.
Only a few gulls
climb the wind and swing
over the house —
the diving birds gone,
the herons that feed
at water’s edge gone,
and the ducks are sheltering
somewhere out of the storm.
I have the fire started,
a little broth on the stove,
and the house is closed
to the storm — only its light
can reach us.
It picks up the white boats.
                                      “Summer Storm” ~ Daniel Halpern


Comments always are welcome.
For more information on poet Daniel Halpern, click here.

35 thoughts on “Summer Storm

    1. Every place and season has its skies, and here at the coast, summer’s the time for building cumulus and colors as hot as the temperatures. Sometimes, the sky truly does seem to be on fire, and I was pleased to capture the apparent fire’s source.

  1. Great photo, and the poem illustrates it beautifully. We’ve had a couple of drying-out days, thank goodness, but I empathize with those stormy ones. Hard to get much work done then. Here’s hoping this won’t be a wicked hurricane season, Linda.

    1. I’m so glad to hear you’re drying out a bit. The farmers need it, and I’m sure more than a few people can use some sunshine for their psyches. We’ve rolled into our typical pattern of scattered afternoon storms, and their leftover clouds, like these, can be wonderful. As for The Season™, we’ve got our fingers crossed. One month down, four to go.

      We’re in the midst of quite a thunderstorm right now, and just as Halpern writes, the birds all are gone — except for the sparrows. I still can hear them chirping!

    1. It’s true, isn’t it? Big, white, puffy cumulus building up in a blue sky are one thing, but the same clouds in growing twilight, with the sun creating every sort of fiery effect, can be something else. I think the effect was heightened here because some of the clouds were casting shadows on the clouds above them — very dramatic!

  2. So nice! Thanks for the poetic treat and clouds of summer. Here all is gray and drippy nothing dramatic but a subtropical summer day!

    1. I remember some of your fabulous black and white photos of clouds — a different way of treating them, but just as dramatic. We settled into gray and drippy here after a bit of a storm this afternoon. I do see some peeks of sun and a lone dog-walker, so there may be a chance to get outside now that the drama’s subsided.

    1. A farmer in your state whose blog I follow has been having a terrible time getting hay in. She finally gave up with some of it — some good drying weather would help a lot of people. Here, the fishermen are the ones I most often hear fussing. So much fresh water coming down the rivers and bayous is sending the fish in search of saltier water — a different kind of issue, but a real one!

    1. I hope they don’t. I’m not sure I’m up to receiving that kind of company. On the other hand, that sky does look the perfect setting for them, doesn’t it? If winter’s our time for ‘blah’ skies, summer is the season of ‘Ahhhh.’

  3. We were supposed to see a sky or two like that today. Never happened. Same forecast for tomorrow. We’ll see. I hope not too many white boats were picked up.

    1. I wouldn’t give up, if I were you. I just peeked at the radar and there’s a little action to your NW. It may wear itself out before it gets to you, but they’re certainly the kind of storms that could produce this kind of cloud — if only it were light!

      We had quite a storm this afternoon, with seriously black clouds. When I saw a white egret fly across them, I sure did wish for a camera. It would havehelped not to have been on a highway going 60 mph, as well.

      1. This morning the radar looks like a repeat performance, passing to our north. But things change by the hour, sometimes the minute, here in New England so there is still hope. We could use a good day of downpours and drizzles but that doesn’t look like today. The rain that we should have received yesterday got me to get more outdoor tasks done while the ground and grass were dry so I guess the threat was fruitful.
        That would have been a great shot with the egret. Regrets. Isn’t it funny how often we see wonderful photos when driving and cannot stop?

    1. The orange clouds do match the orange on the current radar rather nicely, don’t they? I thought we were done with this, but I guess not. I believe I’ll make a just-in-case cup of coffee before it gets here, and see if I can find a two-storms-in-one-day poem. Stay dry.

  4. The word “incendiary” springs to mind. An incendiary sunset. I like that last line of the poem and the way it juxtaposes. .

    1. Isn’t that last line interesting? I’ve pondered it a good bit, and found several ways to interpret it: always a good thing. We had some potentially incendiary storms yesterday. The power companies still are repairing underground damage from lightning strikes; it was quite a show. Lightning is impressive, but I’ll take colorful clouds over lightning any time.

    1. I’m sure you have. Really, there’s something about securing things and putting a pot on the stove in the face of an oncoming summer storm that’s the very epitome of hygge — something you’re probably looking forward to at this point. I hope you get lots of fabulous skies and dramatic, non-destructive storms while you’re there this year.

  5. I looked at the previous comments, and agree with “quite ominous” and “Wagnerian,” there might be a few Valkyries or the Four Horsemen coming around the bend. What a great shot.

    1. I spent a minute trying to decide: Valkyries or the Four Horsemen? I decided for the Norse women over the horsemen, although I’d be just as happy to have neither showing up on my front step. Thanks for the good words about the photo. It’s another bit of proof that sometimes waiting…and waiting… and waiting can lead to something good.

    1. At least nothing came from the sky but color and drama. Some of our most dramatic skies actually appear after the weather has passed. It’s nice to be able to enjoy them without fearing what they might portend.

    1. One cup of broth, coming right up — and perhaps a cup of something a little stronger, to take the chill off?

      There is something pleasurable about a coming storm. I see it here even with hurricanes. Of course no one wants the trouble, but on the other hand? It is exciting to see nature stirring herself up.

    1. I thought they fit together well. There have been a good many winter-and-blizzard poems, but summer storms don’t seem as common. I really did like this one, and I’m glad you did, too.

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