Sunday, February 22, 2015

Words for Weather (Poem)

Petrichor: meaning, the scent that rain makes on dry ground
when the clouds have finally given up, and released their payload
and the parching earth, the dusty or tarry or stony or shrivelled earth
relaxes, as do we, with astonishment into the water -

Brumous: meaning, of grey skies and winter days
An onomatopoeia, in fact, summoning brooding slated mornings
Afternoons that end at 3, and sunless sadness
Wintry, in that deep, bone-chilling, crushing way -

Chinook: meaning, a warm, dry, gusty wind to the leeward side of a mountain range
A lifting wind, an unsettling warm trickle
bringing ideas and notions, perhaps,
bringing unexpected serendipity and air-blown rages

Diamond dust: meaning, a fall of ice crystals in the form of needles, columns, or plates
Sharp as needles but much heavier; dangerous as knives
Ready to brain you even as you marvel at their intricately wrought perfection
Cold as the ice that forms it

Depression: meaning, region of low atmospheric pressure with low clouds and rain
not really in need of further explanation, having too close a parallel
in the human heart
to be in any wise mysterious.

Killing frost: meaning, frost severe enough to end the growing season
A blight to hopes as surely as to tomatoes
All it leaves is the sigh of endurance, in the morning after,
Clearing away the dead, and going on
Mammatus (or mamma clouds): meaning, hanging, rounded bumps on the under-surface of a cloud
Often tagging along with severe weather, but themselves benign
Maternal forms in the sky, promising a comfort they cannot, ultimately, deliver
(but soothing, nonetheless, on the eye)
Weather: meaning, state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness
The shifting conditions of the world whose skin we walk
while we also walk our own skin
internal climate control variable.

- Kathy, 22/2/15

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