Looking at the Downpour

Calmkate posted a blogging challenge using the word “downpour” and I thought perhaps my muse would be intrigued enough to wake up and contribute. I was wrong. So I did what I had to do, I pulled her from the warmth under the covers. She put up a good fight but I had a firm grip on her ankle and was tickling the bottom of her foot. After much thrashing, she emerged grumpy and sullen. Forgive this entry as she is clearly having a temper.

Grey sky pressure builds
The wind pushes clouds through skies
Flips leaves upside down
Makes flags snap and flagpoles hum
I cast eyes upward
The sun blinks behind the clouds
Kites are pulled to ground
Mothers call their children home
Bring in the laundry
The air holds the taste of rain
And the sky glowers
A foreboding hangs heavy
A storm is brewing
Radio crackles warning
Severe thunderstorm
We wait with sinus headaches
Throbbing pressure builds
As the barometer drops
Sudden thunderclap
Lightning races between clouds
Wind gusts batter doors
Cherry blossoms stripped from trees
Lightning stabs the earth
Makes dogs bark and babies cry
The day becomes dusk
I walk faster toward shelter
My hair whips my face
The wind pushes and pulls me
Pebbles pelt my legs
A drop of rain hits my cheek
Too late caught in a downpour

This is a Chōka, a popular type of Japanese court poem in the 6th – 14th centuries. It consists of alternating lines of 5 and 7 syllables with an extra 7 syllable line at the conclusion. There is of course no required rhyme or meter, as this is strictly a syllabic form. There can be any number of lines…

38 thoughts on “Looking at the Downpour

        1. I can write a love poem, I just don’t often feel the need. Though I have plenty of material – being married for 38 years gives a different perspective on love. It isn’t about that hot and fleeting infatuation, the passion that burns out in a year, or that problem so many have – being in love with being in love (which can’t be sustained in the face of real life and real love… I’m flattered that you think I’m very talented – Thank you for the lovely compliment!

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  1. lol she sure is in a grim mood but this is very clever and often I think a build up to a big storm reflects our foul moods … thanks for yanking her out of bed and for joining in the fun πŸ™‚

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    1. Much thanks Carrie! I always like to explore new forms – keeps my mind nimble… The muse is less grumpy since it is National Mousse day and I fed her Chocolate mousse after dinner.

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    1. I’m trying to have a good week. I just finished a study and now it is time that they analyze the data. I’m really hoping it worked and I won’t have to repeat it. Glad to hear your week is going better than anticipated!

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        1. You are most welcome. Hope you have good weather – we are supposed to get more snow today. Yesterday was supposed to dump a huge band of lake effect snow on us but it stalled in IL, we got flurries that disappeared.

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    1. Thanks tons Kim! I’m gratified that you think I got it right… I like the Japanese forms. On the surface they are easy but that is just the superficial appearance. They are really difficult to do them correctly. I’d love to see what you can do with it. (I’ll keep that in mind for the NPM 2021)

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  2. -I read it twice, because the first time I kind of ran through it…. felt like I HAD to. πŸ™‚ very nice Val. You should go to the lands of the Monsoons and you will relish the downpours, seriously.

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    1. A warm rain is a delight. The rain that is cool when it is very hot is a relief but a cold rain in cold weather is miserable… I hope to be able to travel soon. This blasted pandemic is ruining my world tour plans… we were supposed to have gone to Alaska this last August and we were planning on Hawaii this New Year. Then in the spring we were heading to Europe. Not happening now. 😦

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  3. You mastered the Choka, Val! When we lived in Florida, we had a downpour every afternoon in the summer. Actually, I found it refreshing, and afterward, everything looked clean and bright.

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    1. Thanks a ton Eugenia! I had written some Tanka and a few Renga a long time ago but the Choka was a new form to try. My sister lives in Florida but in Pensacola Beach. They don’t get the daily showers like my grandparents used to describe when they would winter in Miami… They would welcome the rain as it would cool things off a little!

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  4. How I remember coming in from the rain, as a child, and being upbraided for “having the sense God gave a gopher”, for having not made it home sooner. Lightning was another matter, and I have ever been quick to find shelter when I hear rumblings, even whilst hiking.

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    1. I’m lucky – I think my mother’s view was a good soaking in the rain was as good as a bath or shower! We had to strip off wet clothes in the entryway and were given towels to dry off. Never did we get scolded… Of course if the weather turned toward tornado warnings we were inside in a flash!

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