Two Cones

A short collection of poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)

What Toppings Would You Like on Your Hurricane Cone?

Two cones? I’d rather just one. Vanilla.
And Maxwell Smart’s Cone of Silence was fun
I had to sort out conic sections in math
But cones like that are lacking in good taste

And now two cones are moving up the coast
Maybe tomorrow they’ll move back down again
While we stack toilet paper and MREs
Perhaps the ice cream truck’s an ice cream float

No one knows if the cones are there or here –
That’s pretty much a metaphor for this year


“Make Sure all Your Devices are Fully charged”

Nothing about a storm respects our trifles:
A flashlight is no good against the rain
A MePhone cannot block a falling tree
A watch cannot divert wild thunderbolts

“Make sure all your devices are fully charged”

A wireless doorbell cannot stop the wind
A radio cannot swim to save its life
A tablet cannot operate a boat
A laptop is quite unable to float

“Make sure all your devices are fully charged”

That’s thin advice when facing the eternal:
Nothing about a storm respects our lives


Upon Return from the Hurricane Evacuation

“…and that the fury of the storms may pass away.”
-Missale Romanum, p. 1612

The temperature is 97
The hummingbird feeders must go up first
The humidity is 77
The feeder for the birds and squirrels is next

The temperature is 97
The outside cats are nowhere to be seen
The humidity is 77
But food and water are waiting for them too

The temperature is 97
The largest oak has lost much of itself
The humidity is 77
Red oak – more firewood for the winter

The temperature is 97
The electrical lines are down – how long?
The humidity is 77
But happiness – the house itself seems okay

The temperature is 97
Leaves shoal across the lawn and against the walls
The humidity is 77
Insulation from lost houses reef the fields

The temperature is 97
Debris, human and natural, debris
The humidity is 77
The world is covered with a litterfall

The temperature is 97
The generator coughs and barks and starts
The humidity is 77
We will sleep under electric fans tonight

The temperature is 97
Electric cords slither across the floors
The humidity is 77
The refrigerator takes turns with the coffee pot

The temperature is 97
The window unit that worked two weeks ago
The humidity is 77
Failed – everything is damp and hot and still

The temperature is 97
The damp and rot make sleep impossible
The humidity is 77
Dawn is but headaches, heat, dampness, and despair

The temperature is 97
Shifting fallen limbs from the driveway and lawn
The humidity is 77
And breathing heavily in the soggy heat

The temperature is 97
The road is blocked down at the other end
The humidity is 77
Strangers back up to my lane to turn around

The temperature is 97
We share information, rumors mostly
The humidity is 77
And wish each other well in this fallen time

The temperature is 97
The cats return, shyly, and one by one
The humidity is 77
From among green cover new to them

The temperature is 97
I sit in the shade and drink lots of water
The humidity is 77
And sweat and stink and try to catch my breath

The temperature is 97
An insolent hummingbird buzzes me
The humidity is 77
He wears a green coat and a bright red tie

The temperature is 97
The bees are back at their freshwater pool
The humidity is 77
I poison the ants who are invading the house

The temperature is 97
Day after day, like The Ancient Mariner
The humidity is 77
Becalmed for days on a sunbeaten sea

But then: today, to everyone’s great joy
The electrics were restored by the rural co-op
And I stopped cleaning up the yard and house
To kill the generator and roll up cords

And to write to you to say that all is well
At our little house
Because we have houses to live in, you and I,
But lots of people don’t, and that’s easy to forget
At the foot of the thermostat

Peace especially for the displaced and the exiles
And for you too

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s