Incremental Poetry ~ 72 Lines

Winter’s Storm

See the flashing
of the lightning;
hear the rumble
of the thunder;
feel the pelting
of the raindrops
in this, the first
of winter’s storms.

Night has come
when all is quiet
TV off, we go to bed.
Nestle down,
turn out the light, then
look beyond the shaded window—
in the darkness
see the flashing.

Close your eyes,
permit the slumber
to erase the cares of day,
‘til a little
brightening wakes you.
In the silence of the midnight,
faint, the flashing
of the lightning.

Turn away
from yonder window;
once again resume your rest,
if you can—
then stretching, yawning
as the storm outside implores you:
“Leave your dreaming;
hear the rumble.”

Sleep is gone.
Lie still and listen
to the music of the night:
grand percussion
playing softly,
then crescendos to a climax
by the rolling
of the thunder.

Now the second
movement opens
with the coming of the rain;
thunder claps
while lightning dances.
Lift a prayer of thanks for shelter
as the shingles
feel the pelting.

While you lie
and calmly listen
to the raging of the storm,
think of those
who have no shelter.
Offer prayers for their protection
from the beating
of the raindrops.

And consider
other measures
you can take to keep them warm:
extra jackets
can be given
to the shelter down the street.
You are not
in this the first,

but you may
yet be a blessing,
putting them before yourself.
Time to rise
and face the day;
newly washed, the dawning glistens
from the first
of winter’s storms.

Copyright © 2021 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.


Each line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of succeeding stanzas, with no set stanza length or line length.
Thus, a Cascade may have as few as 6 lines (3 couplet stanzas), with no maximum. But always, it will have one more stanza than the total number of lines in each stanza.
Rhyme scheme of triad stanza: ABC xxA xxB xxC, where x may be rhymed or unrhymed.
Rhyme scheme of quatrain stanza: ABCD xxxA xxxB xxxC xxxD
Total line length: 6, 12, 20, 30, 42, 56, 72, etc. lines
Total line length formula = x(x+1), where x = # of lines in Stanza 1

I’ve always found storms to be soothing—as long as I don’t have to be outside in them! As I lay in bed one night, listening to the storm rage outside, I remembered earlier in the day when I had driven past the cold shelter and noticed that it would not be open that night. I wondered what other options our many homeless have for nights like these. How many of them are cold, wet, and afraid? Then I thought of all the coats and jackets I recently purged from our coat tree. I’ve been meaning to take them to the shelter. That’s well and good, but it won’t help anyone until I put shoes on my intentions.

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