I am working on a series or long poem, titled The Hurricane Poem(s.) I think I can work this material (some old some new some yet to be) into a whole. The trick will be to secure the underpinnings.
What excites me is that I know there is material of substance under the surface of these words. I know that I can go deeper and deeper still into the raw hurricane experience, into the harrowing sights and sounds, ponder the force of nature to bring out something significant.
It is a demanding subject. There is much to say. I am so close to it right now that I am raw as well, and I will need some distance, but I want to capture what is so threatening to me, and perhaps acknowledge the after-effect of clarity and strength that I have also known.
I am excited to work on a piece that will require some time, concentration, fighting for ideas and letting them go, days of reflection and measured judgment.
I also have three writing-related engagements this fall, and my 40th birthday. I’m super-excited about that, surprisingly. I love my birthdays! I’m shameless like that.
Thank you for all of your prayers. We are safe and already surfing the Internet and checking email! Much to add later. Still processing the hurricane experience.
I presume I will be offline due to the hurricane. We have a plan and have made preparations as we are able.
After the storm clears and power and cable are restored, I’ll be back online. (I suppose I should use a battery-powered laptop with wireless Internet, but I don’t.) I’ll let you know of our condition as we are able.
Keep all of us in your prayers. You are in ours.
After the Flood
The city’s dead undulate in rivers.
They sing of loss, haunt
the haunted city.
The newborn is crying.
She is a loaf of discomfort.
Her cold mother was not swift.
We, hapless humans,
prepared the best we could—
wandered through clouds.
Clare L. Martin
“After the Flood” first appeared in the anthology, Beyond Katrina, published in 2005.