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  New Poem by Chuck Kruger on recent storms on Cape Clear Island

God’s Sneeze?


Winter weather? Well, when you live on a pigwidgeon


An eight-mile journey out to sea, with a sixty acre

Hunk of grazing land, bramble, bracken, boulders, cliff,

Not to mention an organic garden that works

Year-round and a house that couple hundred feet above the swells,

Then you’ve luckily no choice but to become au fait with wind,

Waves, weather, the wild wonder of it all.

And what have we had these past two months

But storm after storm, day after day, white horses as high

As an elephant’s eye gads no. Why today

They’re often averaging 8 metres, with a new record set

Just east of us last week by a 25 metre monster off the coast

Of Kinsale. Imagine a frequent wave height some recent days

Of 15 metres, that’s over 45 feet to this old geezer’s mind.

And many’s the gust over a hundred miles per hour.

Weather? Climate change? God’s sneeze?


I watch as the combers roll by harbour mouth,

Once every minute or so a baby a good thirty feet high,

And the wind’s blasting slates off

Many an island roof, trees tumble helter-skelter,

Rain-soaked pastures metamorphise into muddy ponds,

Ten inches in January, seven plus halfway

Through this month of Feb. No electricity

These last three days, no phone for well over a week,

Ferry sailings cancelled frequently, though a quick

Dart to the mainland (and back) now and then.

But we’ve each other, and neighbours –

And enough food to last perhaps another week,

And coal, candles galore, new batteries for the radio,

A game of scrabble to replace TV and Internet.

And, I must confess, to watch the breakers

Exploding against the points at the mouth

Of South Harbour, to watch ’em burst

Brilliant white up the cliffs, to see them crest

In the middle of nowhere, come crashing down,

The most dramatic magnificent mothers

I’ve seen in all my 75 years.


And then the wash, an F-sharp symphony

Of cacophonous crests cascading off the keyboard

Of Cape’s cliffs. Yet somehow, this time,

Our slates stay on and the apple trees’ flexible branches

Snap mostly where I need to prune them anyway.

When I step outside, backyard gusts batter me about.

For the first time ever I can’t step up to what we call

Our Look-out Point. Yes watching the waves,

Feeling the wind, experiencing wild weather

Heaves my heart into my clichéd mouth and my mind

Into the savage wonder of it all, me but a grain

Of coastal sand in this prolonged sneeze of adventure.

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