Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
All history is a rumble of weather making. The worst
Long grass-killing summer of dependable wells dry
Comes round to water again, whatever the sayings say,
As surely as someone must have said the same thing first.
The Romans believed thunder on the left was ominous.
I cannot think what thunder the other side should mean,
A flaw in old sayings, if you turn them upside down,
Makes either end true, or both thunders ridiculous.
It rolls right. It rolls left. Thunder, lightning, rain
Upon rain, lightning flashes before and after, and night
Sky seared, streets slashed on the black of the wet,
Children and aunts in closets, dogs under beds again.
Count between flash and crash, on fingers or by centuries,
What the bolt struck, how near. The noise is nothing.
Louder than slamming to front door. Unusual. Nothing
A Roman need have been scared about. We, weather-wise,
We say we know change is coming when we hear wind rise.
We know the biographies of hurricanes we never see.
Flood-calendar is known, and air-mass a national law.
And the blue beautiful high blue weather-breeding skies.