After the Storm. ~ Patricia G. Horan

Via elephant journal
on May 2, 2013
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After the Storm
(for Raven Casey)

Last week a brazen wind bolted
from the unsuspecting
mouth of the dawn

Lifting the arms of the sleeping trees

I guess we are praising
they sang in their thin
morning voices
it must be that time.

Yes, said the wind, stripping the trees
of all who had dreamed about flying,
ending the town’s adolescent
affair with the grid

So skillfully that

the cappuccino machine
dribbled to a drip
like an old husband

A refrigerator whined to a stop as
one ice cube thought about dropping
and dropped

A politician’s empty face
shriveled from a TV screen
blessing it with blankness

The traffic signal hung there
with its mouth open

The penniless ATM glared indignantly

The diner was reduced to a mortuary slab of cheese
and yesterday’s bread

A computer hungrily swallowed blackness
with a delicate burp

The people reeled
waited for the moon to light a match
and gathered around the unfamiliar fires
in each others’ hearts

While three misty columns
white against the pewter sky
lifted from the foothills on the edge of town
the signal fires of a ghostly tribe
who once played this land as if it were a drum,
only the wind knows when.

Their rising signals told the night
It’s no big deal,
the white man’s phantom power
just escaped him
once again.

Patricia HoranPatricia G. Horan
is a veteran New York City writer and editor who now lives in a round house in Kent, CT, where she publishes books that pack a punch thorough her Round House Press.



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Assistant Ed: Lacy Rae Ramunno/Ed: Bryonie Wise




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13 Responses to “After the Storm. ~ Patricia G. Horan”

  1. EA Sabo says:

    I feel like I’ve just watched a full length play, just after which, we were all too stunned to clap. My mouth is agape, just like your traffic signal. Thank you for this extraordinary poem.

  2. Jessie says:

    "waited for the moon to light a match
    and gathered around the unfamiliar fires
    in each others’ hearts"

    love these lines.

  3. Nora says:


  4. Tracey Ferreri says:

    As I do each morning after turning on the days coffee, I turned on my darkened computer screen, while I waited at my desk, I looked at the window, seeing forsythea, tulips, green grass, and newly budded varrigated wigela, reading the first few lines, the bush shook, looking for wind, I saw none, checking for birds, none, squirrel, you quessed it…none, what shook my beautiful bush, I am so fond of? Believe what you will, but those who believe know. Thank you for touching my soul in the mornings light, and making me feel a part of….beautifully, skillfully written my friend!!

  5. Scott Henderson says:

    This is a stunningly good poem. The combination of the concrete with the metaphorical is superbly executed. The same can be said for the mixture of humor and the sublime. Finally, there is an emphatic love of language without an intrusion of the poet herself into the enchanting narrative. These comments aren't the sound of puffery, but of great admiration.

  6. Janet says:

    Patricia, what a wonderful poem! I keep reading it and finding new things to like. Thank you for sharing this! -Janet

  7. Karen says:

    Haunting and perfect Thanks Patricia

  8. Astute and evocative. Well done. Love to U, Raven and D

  9. Jude says:

    I love the powerful life force sweeping these words along…. and courage. Bravo, Patricia!

  10. Danuta says:

    Wonderful,evocative and touches a core.

  11. Erle Bjornstad says:

    Dear Patricia,
    Rich, flavourful and funny, just like you!

  12. Charlotte Berwind says:

    Aptly said. Haunting and perfect.

    Well done Patricia Horan.

  13. Sarah says:

    Beautiful, I truly enjoyed this, thank you!