Big-backed Rain by Patricia Karamesines

Supercell photo public doman courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Above Four Corners,
nimbus-shouldered gods
rev the engines
of their summer rainmakers.

East in Colorado,
up from Utah’s deep country,
rashes of electrical impulses
bloom on chaffing skins of water
and air-born ice.

One silver-plated maelstrom sheers
from Sleeping Ute’s igneous brow.
It steams into Utah, anvil raised
to the highest stratum of the day,
bottom, pressed black night.
Between the cell’s chassis
and the ground, grey velvet cloudburst
and lightning forging, breaking €”both €”
bonds hotter than the sun’s face burns.
To the storm’s starboard, Scorpio
surfaces in early twinkle.
Fulmination lights the cloudworks
then tats one billow edge in pearly scallop
as the bulk winks briefly out.
The approaching earthmover’s intermittent
Groan deepens to near constant grumble.

In Arizona, out of hearing’s range,
lightning flakes evening off mountains
in noiseless cracks of light.
A second thunderhead
fires bolts as orange as pumpkins
into the rooted spine of the Carrizos.
Shredding rain, crooked veins
of fire bind both bodies,
filling canyons and arroyos with watery flash.
The frenzy squalls west, lightning intensifying:
Firecrackers going off under a hat.
The Milky Way swells then swirls
into southern lightning chambers
until figuring where storm cloud ends
and star cloud begins
poses riddles too expansive
for the mind’s casual play.

The male rain*, the rain with big shoulders,
muddies boundaries between heaven and earth,
splits an evening hour into tiers of high day
and gradations of disquieted,

*NiÅ‚tsÄ… BikÄ…, Navajo for “male rain”: the rain that falls during summer thunderstorms.

Patricia and her family live in the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S.   She has won many awards for her poetry, essays, and fiction.   She is the author of The Pictograph Murders, a mystery set in the area where she lives.  Some of her poetry appears in the recently published landmark anthology of Mormon poetry, Fire in the Pasture. An adjunct English professor for Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah, she teaches English composition and also works as a tutor for English.   She is founding editor of Wilderness Interface Zone.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Orange Rain by A.J. Huffman

Orange Rain


This is the second in a triptych of poems by A.J. Huffman. You can find the first, and her bio, here.

Photo by Gary Curtis via Wikimedia Commons–“Gold Coast (from the Spit)”

A Break in Drops by A. J. Huffman

A Break In Drops

The storm rises, exquisite
dawn. Sun forcing backlit bows
of silver streaming about
the blustering black. Wind
rolls the picture; motion
floods the sky. A gravel’s whisper
now, but the image remembers
just how loud the lightning cried.

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.   She has published four collections of poetry: The Difference Between Shadows and Stars, Carrying Yesterday, Cognitive Distortion, and . . . And Other Such Nonsense. She is also published in national and international literary journals, including Avon Literary Intelligencer, Writer’s Gazette, and The Penwood Review.   Find more about A.J. Huffman,  including additional information and links to her work here and here.  

“A Break in Drops” is the first of a triptych of poems. Look for the second and third over the next two days.

Photo by the poet.

Storm Watch by Bradley McIlwain


for Brian G.

A ghost-like stillness

descends over open

Tornado weather.
From the window

you scramble to
recover the CD’s

and boom box, but
Metallica is already

electrified. Party on,

as silhouettes bloom
origami boats

paddling like ants
against the current.

Bradley McIlwain will be familiar to WIZards as a previous contributor and Spring Runoff contestant. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

Photo by Robert K. Bonine via Wikimedia Commons.

Northern Summer by Jeremiah Burrow

Winhall River in a dry month by Jeremiah Burrow

Five days good rain:
river wide as hips,
color copper.
Dog-happy to be outside
with Cold Mountain
squinting at pages
radiant under sun
breaking cloud cover.

Jeremiah Burrow lives an insanely domestic life in Vermont, where the winters are long, with his wife, four children, two dogs, and cat. He frequently dreams of the wild.

Cold Mountain, also known as Han Shan, was a 9th century Chinese Poet.

Photo by the poet–“Winhall River (Vermont) in a dry month”

Open on the Plain by Mark Penny


The plain stretched tritely left and right,
Flat as the sky it laughed at,
Which was gray
And rolled like prairie, but less wild.
Bands of rain scented the slow wind with their sweat,
Stalking through grass as yellow as a sun
Ripe on the lowest branch of waning time.
They’d be here soon, but not before I fled.
I sat with the dogs,
Facing the ruins of a fire:
Surly white stones speckled with planet dust,
Stained with the feeble fingerprints of flame.
The oil pump on a neighbour’s farm
Browsed on the beasts its shape bore memory of:
Big head, long neck, deadly indifference,
Sucking the black blood of the earth
The way mosquitoes have since blood began.
A piece of charcoal wound up in my hand,
Scraped a few lines of very basic art
On the disgruntled face of one white stone.
Meant to be Cat,
Looked more like Bison.
Something with spear and arrows in me danced
And caverns shook with earthy reddish light.

For recent work, a bio, and additional links, go here.

Image: Altamira Bison by Ramessos.

Deer Skull on Giant Stump by Mark Penny

I’m locked and loaded on a night of curtailed sleep
Curtailed at starting end
The movie was too good to sleep through
What was it called?

That paragraph I wrote for English-with-Foreigner 1-15
Is in my head like the aftershock of a bad-apple head-on with a truck
It gongs and dongs with it
So I’ll tell it here

It was the story of a day
So many days ago I laze to count
Thirty-six years of days, I guess

Remember jamborees?
Great, gaudy gumball gatherings of boys Continue reading “Deer Skull on Giant Stump by Mark Penny”