About Wind: a few years ago we were living in an isolated valley on the south coast of South Otago where westerly gales regularly roared down our valley. One particular winter night Nigel was away and I was home alone. I guess there’d been a barrage of wind all day but I don’t recall it now. Somewhere between 11pm and midnight I was sitting on our bed reading, and I heard a thunder clap. Soon after, there was this massive BANG right above my head and all the lights went out – complete darkness. I was absolutely petrified! To make matters worse, soon afterwards I could smell the acrid smell of something electrical burning. The smell seemed to be everywhere and I wandered around with a torch trying to find the source. Eventually I made my way into Nigel’s office and found some plastic on the floor.. checking his desk I found the portable phone had exploded (to this day the scorch mark is still on his desk). The next morning I found exactly the same thing had happened to our nearest neighbour – her portable phone had exploded leaving a huge scorch mark on the wall and she’d also heard a terrifying overhead BANG. It turned out that 33 electrical transformers in our valley had exploded that night due to lightning strikes.
There was also a line of sizable gum trees (eucalyptus) lining our driveway, owned by our neighbour and on her side of the fence. Whenever we got gale westerlies the wind would shred leaves and branches, dropping them all over the driveway. In one particularly harsh event several whole gum trees fell over (on her side, not ours).
These memories have been on my mind over the last few days as I’ve written my poem. If you haven’t already, please see my recent post I Am Wind
Here’s a few lines from his poem:
Water Earth Air
I can be fire
I’d never thought about which element I identify with. After some consideration I decided it was Air… in the form of WIND.
Connections is about water, silence, stillness and reflection. Thinking about WIND, I recalled power, fury, noise and destruction. I was intrigued by the contrast and felt compelled to try and capture my thoughts and feelings about wind in my poem.
— Poem written by Liz Cowburn. For Damien. Response to ‘Connections’.
Cyclonic child of High and Low
Now.. gathering force
Wild Child slams the door
I play with wires
(hear them sing?)
I’ll WAKE you
West is best.. “Hi, I’m Gale”
Pressure’s on. I sigh, howl, moan.
Wild Child whistles
Buildings creak and groan
The Furies find their form
(batten down the hatches)
I’ll SHAKE you
Banshee screams and dervish whirls
I’m a runaway freight train
Wild Child wails
I’m HIGH, screaming on the downward ride
Trees bend and sway
(wind has its way)
I’ll SHAPE you
Shredding leaves and tossing trees
Get out of my way (or I’ll blow you away)
Wild Child hums
Power games are the best fun, baby
Swing the lines and sparks’ll fly
(I’m in power, I disempower)
I’ll BREAK you
Equation finds its balance
Sum = Live fast, die young
Wild Child sighs
It’s only in
We’ll FORSAKE you
Poem by Liz, weather vane photo by Ellen Jennings, tree photo by Nigel
Exploring Colour (2019)