Vox Populi

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Dawn Potter: Island Weather

Outside, in the sodden dark, the maples

rustle in a switchback wind.


I lie alone, restless and ungrateful,

too aware of my skin,


hot and cold, hot and cold, legs tangled

in the humid sheets. Into the room,


austere as plainsong, drifts an angle

of street-shadow, quivering blue on blue.


All night, the storm rattles on vents and panes,

on slow cars sluicing up the narrow hill,


their headlights painting streaks of rain

on my pale window, and still


the torrent comes faster, faster—bluster, leak,

and squall. Frame shakes, glass moans.


How dim my heartbeat feels, how meek.

Once, I lined the sill with stones


stolen from the sea.

Washed up. Washed down. Debris.

Copyright 2021 Dawn Potter.

Dawn Potter’s many books include Chestnut Ridge (Deerbrook, 2019). She directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost’s home in Franconia, New Hampshire. 

4 comments on “Dawn Potter: Island Weather

  1. Rick Kunz
    November 22, 2021

    Hi Dawn
    Another great job at capturing the aura of a setting. Your poem made me think of when one is lying in bed alone with their thoughts, a moment without escape, a place with nowhere to hide.
    On my first night in basic training about 100 or so of us were tucked into in a large room filled with bunkbeds. During the day, we were 100 boisterous young men able to put up a strong front. With the lights out, everyone was alone, many away from home for the first time. We all fell asleep listening to a few softly crying — future warriors with a long journey before them.
    I think echoes of that experience lingered in my mind and shaped my thoughts when I wrote the song, In The Night. The first verse is as follows:

    There in the night
    When you reach out for someone
    Who will you find?
    Will there be someone there?
    Deep in the dark when your thoughts
    Turn to someone
    What have you done so that someone
    Is there?

    There is having someone and there is becoming someone. Both efforts need occur simultaneously. Failure to do either will result in an incomplete human being. Both often occur In The Night as we sometimes lie alone, restless and ungrateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Huntington
    November 3, 2021

    Love the stormy rhythm and rhyme. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2021 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , .

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