During the night a
Fearful wind battered the shutters
Against the stones, and
Screamed down the chimney,
A maniacal ghost whirling dead ashes,
Flinging the kitchen door open,
Smashing it against the wall,
Shattering the panes.

This silent morning-after,
Only broken glass, ashes everywhere
Witness to the night’s frenzy.

Leaves in the grape arbor whisper,
Grieving the torn tendrils, while
Fig leaves, great flat hands,
Flutter  limp-wristed.

Sound leaps through the scoured air –
Down in the valley a dog barks,
Across the village a shutter screeches open,

From somewhere, the crystalline laugh
of a child, while
Dark cypress’  and silver olive trees
on the hill opposite stand etched
Beneath a garish blue sky.

A sudden gust creates confusion
Among the leaves, blows hair and dust
Into my eyes, passes.

If the wind picks up again
I’ll close the chimney trap,
Bring in the flower pots,
Close the shutters.

In the meantime,
On my sun-drenched terrace,
I sip my morning coffee,
Hot in a white china mug,
Sweet with sugar, smooth with cream.
Cherishing this time
Between the winds, knowing
This pause will
not last.

August 17, 1994


One thought on “POST-MISTRAL

  1. Jim

    Great details, but what I like most about this poem is the energy in the language–as befits the subject matter, of course–and how that energy eases up during the pause, as it should.