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Saturday, June 01, 2013

A TORNADO CHASER

by Martin Elster


Image source: FEMAcontracts


I chase tornados all around the Plains
like a knight-errant looking every day
for fresh adventures. Just can’t stay away.
She’d say that a devoted spouse abstains
from risky trips. I’d tell her I take pains
not to crash my jeep, yet her dismay
hung like a storm cloud when I went to play
and photograph Earth’s mightiest winds and rains.

It’s true folks sometimes lift and whirl like leaves;
yet funnel-hunting’s fun. A thousand suns
are not as grand as watching barley sheaves
rise from a ranch and vanish in a breath.
I think now, as I race one, how she runs
with Ian — safe, monotonous — toward death.


Martin Elster is a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems have appeared in journals including The Centrifugal Eye, The Chimaera, Lucid Rhythms, Mindflights, Scarlet Literary Magazine, Thema, and in the anthologies Taking Turns: Sonnets from Eratosphere, New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan, The 2012 Rhysling Anthology, and Poe Little Thing. Martin’s poem “Microchiroptera” recently took first prize in The Oldie’s 2013 annual bouts-rimés competition. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Poetry Award.