It Takes a Storm

church with roof damaged in Hurricane Matthew

We gathered together to wait out the storm,
certain of its coming,
unsure of its effect.
Our singing was accompanied
by nature’s woodwind and percussion—
then a crash of glass like cymbals rang.
It raised the roof,
and the flood of rain
drowned out the voices.

savage winds whip through—
daunting display of power
trees bow in reverence

Some years have passed—we still are picking up the pieces.
Though life has changed for us, our music never ceases.
Our city suffered far too much to be restored,
But hope survived, and hope can never be ignored.
We will not flee. Together we will stay and build;
Our selfishness, the only thing this tempest killed.
And with that shell removed, in unity we’ll grow—
Sometimes it takes a storm our pride to overthrow.

Written for #OctPoWriMo and dVerse Poetics: Beauty in Ugliness

My husband and I had an opportunity to drive to Panama City a couple days ago and deliver some food and water to people there. Just last week Hurricane Matthew was gaining strength in the gulf and aiming at our city. But a cold front pushed it away, 100 miles to the east of us, to Panama City and beyond. We were spared, but hundreds of thousands more have been devastated by this storm. Yet when my husband and I visited the city where the storm made landfall, the folks we talked to were not despairing. They were grateful that the damage was not any worse than it was, and ready to rebuild. They determined to help their neighbors get the immediate help they need and rebuild as well. I saw no trace of selfishness here. They told us that although recovery in that area is estimated to be long and slow, most of the people want to stay and rebuild. I was greatly encouraged by the courage and solidarity of these dear folks. The storm may have turned the cities here upside down, even leveling the barrier islands, but it has stirred up something beautiful in the hearts of the people.

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Invented by Matt on
Consists of 1 stanza of rhyme + 1 stanza of haiku + 1 stanza of free verse.
The rhymed and free verse stanzas may be of any length, and the rhyme is at the poet’s discretion.
Evidently, the stanzas may also appear in any order
Length varies

9 Replies to “It Takes a Storm”

  1. I really like this, and the form is intriguing. I love the part about “Our singing was accompanied by nature’s woodwind and percussion—”and the fact that everything survived the storm except for selfishness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jenna. I like this form too. It’s a new one for me, but already I’ve written two of them. In both cases I wrote the haiku stanza first, even though I didn’t place it first. As for the subject, that’s what I see: people helping people. Sadly, the selfishness will return when the crisis is over, but for now, it is gone. I do believe it takes this kind of unity to rebuild a community.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Gospel. It was an honor to get to meet these dear people and to help them in some small way. And yes, tragedy often brings about good by ridding us of our vices, pride being the prince of them all.


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