by Gideon Burton
As heaven’s rivers overflow, cascade
in shearing cloudbursts gray as coal and cold
as wet and naked skin by wind betrayed;
a tumult of the elements grows bold
as timid earth its muddy meadows shrugs,
then coughs in thickened rivers till their seams
unweave fresh powers that with forcing tugs
uproot the oak, bring down the trusses, beams–
so I have been a passive party, mute
in elemental resignation, calm
as nature’s fractured skies or hungry brute,
as ribby children holding up a beggar’s palm.
As weather will explode then ebbing, slow;
the fury comes as sure as it will go.
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