clouds still roil, dark as wraiths,
while cattle graze, forgetting
how the storm bruised,
how they bawled, eyes flashed
with lightning.

I still feel the drench —
thunderous dread crippling me,
how I flattened my soul
against the earth
to escape notice
by the gods.

– Sarah Russell
Painting by Arkhip Kuindzhi

It’s quadrille day at dVerse, with the prompt storm.  Come join the fun.

45 thoughts on “After the deluge

  1. Thanks, Jane. I like his work too — in this case, the overwhelming sky and the stabbing light that seems so eerie after a storm. I had a line about the light in the poem, but with only 44 words to play with, alas, it was left on the cutting room floor.

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  2. It brings back the memory of getting caught in a storm under an elm (before I knew better). Gave me the shivers. I’m sure that means your poem is effective… at least for unfortunate storm riders like me.

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  3. I like the contrast here, between the cattle who are so forgetting of fear, and the writer who is still caught up in it. And I love the word roil, and wish I had remembered it for my poem. Dammit.

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  4. This is incredible.

    I especially like this section:
    “forgetting
    how the storm bruised,
    how they bawled, eyes flashed
    with lightning.
    I still feel the drench —
    thunderous dread crippling me”

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  5. This painting is gorgeous .. the greens, the roiling sky, the smallness of humanity tucked into all that nature…after the deluge is a wonderful title. Deluge is that magnificent expanse and then we “flatten our soul” and are so glad to be alive after the roar of a deluge of a storm. Nature dwarfs us in so many ways…

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  6. My son is an artist, and a few years ago he did several very large canvases of storms, with the land and buildings in tiny perspective at the bottom of the painting. They really put man/nature into perspective for me, and they remind me of this painting. Thanks for your kind words.

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  7. “a wonderfully crafted poem” indeed. You had me, of course, at /eyes flashed with lightning/–Bjorn is a storm; smile. Strong use of the 44 words–excellent metaphor–post-truama, a false calm ensues.

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