Die Gewitter (Thunderstorms)

Storms in Königstein would stall against the wall of Taunus Mountains.
Over Hilde Donath’s house a thunderclap exploded so hard
the shock wave emptied the air around me–I fell flat on the floor.
Only Jutta saw me fall. Her mother has since passed on.

Driving at night to Bad Homburg in wind-driven rain,
branches crashing onto the road, Ingrid said we must wait out the storm.
We sought refuge at the Rosenhof, where Tante Tulle waited out her years.
We stood with a party of ghostly elders watching the violence pass.

Last month in Görlitz flashing storms backed up against the Isergebirge.
Danni and I stepped into the courtyard to pick up hail the size of euros.
The wide-eyed desk clerk yelled, Auf eigene Gefahr!! “At your own risk!”
I told Danni the giant umbrella overhead would make a perfect lightning rod.
We scurried back inside to find refuge in fine white Meissner wine.

In Goethe’s novel young Werther woos married Lotte in Wahlheim,
really Wetzlar renamed. During the party a storm breaks out,
and gourmet dandies capture anxious prayers on the lips of ladies.
Werther later shoots himself in the head, and Lotte almost dies of grief.

On the autobahn to Bad Soden black clouds massed against the Taunus.
The downpour drenched us before we could make it through Peter’s door.
A thunderclap knocked me to the floor. The family laughed at me,
but nature always lets us know when we are running out of time.

Bill Siverly

About Bill Siverly

Bill Siverly was born and grew up in Lewiston, Idaho, and he has lived in Portland, Oregon, since 1972. He holds a Master of Arts degree from San Francisco State University. He taught Native American and World literatures, composition, and creative writing at Portland Community College for twenty-five years. Bill has published five books of poems: Parzival (1981), Phoenix Fire (1987), The Turn (2000), Clearwater Way (2009), and Steptoe Butte (2013). Since 2002 he has been co-editor with Michael McDowell of Windfall: A Journal of Poetry of Place, which features poetry of the Pacific Northwest and appears twice yearly on the equinoxes.
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.