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Tuesday, January 10, 2023


by Pepper Trail

Storm-battered California communities are bracing for another round of likely flooding, mudslides, toppled trees, closed roads, power outages and even perhaps a few brief tornadoes as the latest in an unrelenting parade of atmospheric rivers hits the West Coast. The storms Monday into Tuesday are expected to bring another surge of hazardous heavy rain, mountain snow and damaging winds to California, where thousands are already without power and some have been ordered to evacuate or warned they could be asked to flee. —CNN, January 9, 2023

Heavy current in the ocean sky
Twisting between black cliffs of cloud
You make yourself visible here below
As deluge, as flood, as smothering snow
Liquifying the air, breaking the fragile earth
Unruly twin to your silent brother, drought
You remind us of fables, forgotten curses
Visitations of judgement long ignored
As now we bend beneath your fury
Mumbling the magic trick of prayer

Pepper Trail is a poet and naturalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Cascadia Review, and other publications, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.