Poem with an explanation: drifting after the storm

in darkness the storm
the leviathan thunders
drifting out to sea

 

This poem is a haiku.  It is written in the 5-7-5 format.

This poem about the first signs of a serious illness.  In the poem, a person wakes up in bed, covered in sweat.  At this point, the person feels that something is physically wrong, but is not aware of the seriousness of it.

The poem uses idea of the sea as a metaphor.

The first line says, “in the darkness the storm”.  This alludes to a few things.  “the darkness” refers to the night as well as to the idea of the negativity of the illness.  It also refers to the idea that the person is “in the dark” in regards to the condition they have.  “the storm” refers to the person sweating, and again to the negativity of their condition.

The second line says, “the leviathan thunders”.  A leviathan is a mythical sea monster.  It is representative of the illness the person has.  The thunder the person metaphorically hears is not natural thunder, as a storm might suggest, rather it is the sound of the leviathan.  The idea here is that the person thinks what is happening is normal, like thunder during a storm would be, but what is happening is not normal.  The person is seriously ill but thinks they are just having a temporary condition.

The third line says, “drifting out to sea”.  This line changes the tone of the first two.  The first line had a storm and the second line had something thundering.  This line has something that sounds calm – the idea of a person in a boat drifting out to sea.

The idea is to reflect that the person is going on an unknown journey where they lack control.  The person is about to be faced with an illness they know nothing about and over which they have no ability to control.  Something is happening to them.

While this may be something that could be described as abrupt, for example with the line “over waterfalls”, in this situation that is not what is happening.

The person is about to go on the journey of their illness.  This journey has not really started though.  The person has not had the moment of diagnosis.  They have not had the “waterfall moment” of finding out they have a disease.  At this point, the person is in the dark and in some way slowly moving toward their journey.

As the person lays in bed, they have the abrupt moment of waking up covered in sweat, but this moment subsides as the person thinks they are just not feeling right.  They believe that the feeling will pass and they will return to normal soon.  They do not know what is really happening to them.

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Poem with an explanation: guilt

On the outskirts,
hearing the thunder,
seeing the lightening,
and in the darkness,
wondering.

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
a breeze is blowing,
and all is calm.

In the light of morning,
through the glass,
the river rages,
and all is gone.

In the field,
having dodged the bullet,
seeing the form,
upon the ground.

It seems injustice,
to sit in the breeze,
while the river rages,
so nearby.

It seems injustice,
to feel the thoughts,
then turn the eyes,
to something new.

 

This poem is about the guilt that comes with being near a natural disaster, but not severely impacted by it personally.  Think of someone, for example, in the area where Hurricane Harvey hit, but they and their home are fine.  They see all the devastation on television and feel a sense of guilt that, although they are part of it, they aren’t experiencing what others are experiencing.

In the first stanza, the person is on the outskirts of the impacted area.  They hear the thunder and see the lightening, as the storm happens around them.  At night, they look out at the rain, and wonder if their house will flood.

In the second stanza, the day after the rain ends, the person, in the morning, looks out their window and sees nice weather and that all is peaceful.  Their home did not flood.

In the third stanza, after the person looks through their window, they turn on their television.  They see the flood waters and the destruction.

The fourth stanza switches the scene.  It uses the metaphor of a battlefield.  The person in the poem is shown as standing in a battlefield.  They have just had the terrifying moment of being closely missed by a bullet.  As they stand there in shock, they see someone dead next to them, who the bullet hit.  This is a metaphor for their situation.  The storm came near to them, but impacted someone else.

In the fifth stanza, the person feels guilt that they are alright, while nearby, there is devastation.

In the sixth stanza, the person realizes how they feel.  They realize that they feel bad about what is happening, but more so, that they will soon turn to something else.  They feel bad that they are going to get on with their lives as if nothing happened.

In terms of form, the poem has six stanzas.  The first stanza has five lines and all of the rest have four.  The first two lines of stanzas two and three are the same.  In stanzas two and three, the first three words of the fourth lines are the same.  The first lines of stanzas five and six are the same.

Bilingual Poem: lifeboat

Out in the ocean,
floating with an empty soda bottle under each arm,
there in the distance,
after five years,
a lifeboat

 

a storm came,
the lifeboat sank.

 

Afuera en el océano,
flotando con un envase de soda debajo cada brazo,
ahí en la distancia,
después de cinco años,
un bote salvavidas

 

una tormenta vino,
un bote salvavidas hundió.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: 8-4-6 ordering: The thunder

The morning sky was dark and gray,
a mist flowed in,
and soon the rain did fall.

The dogs they sat within the porch,
and looked into the gloom,
of rain that fell.

The thunder cracked,
and as the porch did shake,
the dogs looked up with sudden fear.

A voice spoke soft,
“It is alright, it’s just a storm.”
and patted their small heads.

But then the light did flash,
and apprehension filled the porch,
with mallet raised.

The thunder cracked with force,
and all were braced,
for drums that would so soon play loud.

 

(15/40) Experimental Poetry Form: 8-4-6 ordering

Post Series: The Tea Series: Experimental Poetry Form: Brewed Tea

This is the second post in The Tea Series and is an experimental poetry form based on tea.  The form has the following appearance and attributes:

A
B
B

C
D
D

E
F
F

There are three stanzas each with three lines.  The first stanza is expressive and direct, the second stanza is expressive and obscure, and the third stanza is subdued and obscure.  The second and third lines of each stanza rhyme.  There is no meter or syllable count in each line.

Here is an explanation of the form:

  • Three stanzas. Each stanza represents a phase that brewed tea goes through over time.  When hot water is poured on tea leaves, two transitions happen over time: the liquid darkens and the liquid cools.  The liquid starts out hot and clear and ends dark and cool.  The phases are: hot/clear, hot/dark, cool/dark.  Each stanza represents a phase.
  • The expressive/subdued and direct/obscure qualities of the stanzas. From the above explanation of why there are three stanzas, the temperature represents the expressiveness of each stanza, with hot being expressive and cool being subdued.  The color represents the directness of each stanza with clear being direct and dark being obscure.  The attributes of the stanzas change as tea changes.
  • Three lines per stanza – there are three letters in tea
  • Rhyming pattern in each stanza of having the second and third lines rhyme. This matches the consonant/vowel configuration of the word tea.
  • No meter or syllable count. Tea brews in a somewhat random fashion as the water molecules interact with the tea.  The lines of the stanzas are similar in that they have no set configuration.

Here is an example of a poem using this form:

The Storm

The pot boiled and water overflowed out,
as the window glass shattered as the wind blew,
and into the room the rain flew.

Shadows fluttered on the walls,
as mice hid on the floor,
as fear blew through the door.

Quiet filled with light,
was there as water steamed,
as from the sky the sun gleamed.