Stormy Afternoon

I stand here in the semi darkness. Power went out about an hour ago. No surprise given the angry wind that grips and shakes the house. The only sound, the torrential rain. The incessant rain that assaults all that it encounters. Walls of water, beating down as if there was no sky. 

I gaze out, watching the trees, bowing to their master. Hoping they won’t break under His will. Small branches litter the landscape, scurrying about in hapless pursuit of unknown destinations. 

Soon will come the floods, small rivers flowing where there were none before, aggressively seeking the paths of least resistance, challenging all in their wake. Their strength and volume will peak, wreaking havoc as they pursue new conquests, and, like thieves, seize everything that they can carry. 

In the distance, I can hear the angry surf clawing at the shoreline, clutching desperately to the rocky wall, retreating but for a minute, only to return and try to climb it once again. Soon, the oceans cycle will reach high tide, adding power to it’s frothy attack, bolstering it’s quest to gain the high ground, intent on conquering my home. 

In a while, I’ll throw on my slicks and head down to the docks to check the boat. When seas get this angry, they take their wrath out on the small crafts that huddle in the harbor. I should have moved the Diane Marie away from the dock to keep her from beating herself to death against the pilings. Too late now. All I can do is make sure she doesn’t slip her mooring.

 A kerosene lamp in the kitchen emits a smoky glow. Shadows retreat to the corners, as if intent on hiding from the storm. The weather radio crackles on the counter, describing what I already know, adding only to my sense of isolation. 

I grab the pot from atop the wood stove and pore myself a cup of strong black coffee, while Mother Nature reminds me who’s in charge. It could be days before we’re back to normal. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just make due with what I have. 

The clock in the hall strikes four, the hollow sound echoing throughout the house. I seldom hear it, but today the sound speaks loudly in the silence, as if desperate to be heard. However, it’s message is of no consequence. The hours continue to pile upon one another, binding me to my reclusive environment.

I am restless. Not a man given to aimlessly passing time, I crave the freedom that has been denied me by the storm. I wallow in the frustration of having my destiny dictated to me. Patience is not my strong suit. 

Walking out to the shed off the kitchen, I grab an armload of logs and carry them into the living room. If the power doesn’t come back on, this is going to be my only source of heat. Better to get it going now instead of stumbling around in the dark later. 

Finally settling in a chair, I watch the flames grasp the logs, lazily dragging them down into the ashes. There’s something peaceful about a fire. There is a total lack of urgency, as if it knows it will survive as long as it’s source is renewed, diminishing and dying only after it is spent. I guess, in that respect, it has a lot in common with the storm with which it competes. Given my lack of control over either, I decide to sit back and wait to see who wins.


About oldmainer

I am retired and live in southern Maine with my wife and two dogs. I started Oldmainer as an outlet for my occasional opinions and random observations, with some poetry thrown in. I welcome anyone that wants to kick back and join me here on the porch, exploring all the gifts we have been given and the memories collected. Thanks for stopping by.
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14 Responses to Stormy Afternoon

  1. Cheryl says:

    You do a nice of job of painting images with your words. There’s poetry in your prose. These are just a few of the lines that I like: “Walls of water, beating down as if there was no sky”; “… I watch the trees, bowing to their master”; “it’s message is of no consequence”; and “I watch the flames grasp the logs, lazily dragging them down into the ashes.”


  2. Starralee says:

    Fabulous writing, I really enjoy your work.


  3. This is great stuff Bob, I actually think it’s the best that I’ve read of your work.


  4. Charlotte says:

    Your vivid imagery makes it sound like nirvana to me. 🙂


  5. Patty Q. says:

    Awesome! This is exactly the way my grand daughter Olianna, YOUR Great grand niece writes.
    She was 7th in the International poetry contest 2013. She has a grant to study in Singapore
    this summer. I imagine the 2 of you have the same writing skills as our great grand aunt
    Letitia Quigley.
    “I crave the freedom that has been denied me by the storm!”
    Well put, I know that feeling well, from all the hurricanes I’ve been through.


    • oldmainer says:

      Thanks Patty. And speaking of Letitia. Diane and I bought our funeral plots in the same cemetery as she is in. Actually about 50 feet away. Thought we might be able to compare notes to kill (pun intended) some time:)


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