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Force Seven

Force Seven


In the lusty wind the cables whine

From pole to pole bending the matchwood

Wands by the throat fiercely.

Riding at high mast the grim-eyed beetles

Clamp their spiked boots deeper and check

The safety lock on their leather girdles.

With unnatural fingers they fumble for the

Lurching wires that clash spitting sparks

And lunge apart merrily hissing.

Rude logic measures the steel, the wind, the wand,

And knows one fateful gust will undo mathematics;

One dancing wire with threaded jowls

Could tear a man’s head from his fearful shoulders

And send it flying into the gale

Like a funny ball,

Into the maws of the thrashing trees spewing

Great cracking branches

As dandelion hair.


Frantically we bang the shutters together

And throw the lawn furniture into the shed


Push the picnic table against the side door

And try to grab the jumping clay pot that

Leaps out of its macramé net upsetting the

Surprised ivy on to the porch steps.

Leave it! Get in! Get in!

Cowering in the heart of its snapping bush

One gorgeous red hibiscus not yet shredded

Bleeds on my eye.

Blindly I dash to its rescue, and pluck it free,

Cupping it in my small hands, gently.

And back through the gale I jack-knife crazily,

Cradling its unblemished beauty.

I put it in a glass of water and set it in the window

To shine

For the men on the lines.



Cynthia Buell Thomas

◄ Blue Moon Tonight, People

Waiting for Mummy ►


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Steve Regan

Wed 13th Jan 2010 12:58

You've captured the drama and the power of nature here, and man's vulnerability within nature's big tantrums. Theb poem positively fizzesd and cackles with energy.

I like the prayer-like ending and I like these lines from the body of the poem...

"by the throat fiercely". This has the same rythmn as "through a glass darkly" which is probably my favourite phrase in the world.

and also liked

"one fateful gust will undo mathematics;"

Best wishes, Cynth, wherever you are, and God bless the people of Haiti, who might be not that far from you.

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sian howell

Tue 12th Jan 2010 20:23

I agree with all of the above contributions...this is beautifully told and not only in story form but carefully poetic too. thanks for your comments you were spot on by the way re liberation ...thats what I was trying to convey....most of my stuff has 'hidden' meaning so it's lovely when someone spots it...thanks Sian X

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Dave Bradley

Sun 10th Jan 2010 20:45

Hi Cynthia

I enjoyed this - very vivid. But I did feel sorry for the poor chaps working on the line while it was still LIVE. Heavens, what happened to Health & Safety? Thanks for commenting on the Puzzled poem. I've never got anything so annoying out of a cracker!

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winston plowes

Sun 10th Jan 2010 07:45

Hi Cynthia. A heavtweight poem this. Impressive. Made me tired reading it. lol. a difficult and lonely job for these men on the lines. It reminded me of the lyrcs in a Nanci Griffith song (below)

Nobody seems to care about you
With your tool case by the roadside
There beneath the power lines
Or the pallor of your skin
Paled beneath fluorescent lights
In a Greyhound station's cruel midnight
Where you can't afford the ride

Oh, the power lines
They go from sea to sea
They carry voices
Love from him to me
The power lines you fall beneath
Are the rainbows you can't climb

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Tom Harding

Sat 9th Jan 2010 15:51

excellent rhythm, meaty syllables and strong imagery. well done.

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Rachel McGladdery

Thu 7th Jan 2010 12:17

Wow, wow, wow. This is an immense poem.Fabulous imagery, every line had me nodding and smiling in recognition, it was so absolutely 'right'. I really do like this.

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Cate Greenlees

Tue 5th Jan 2010 14:27

Very impressive Cynthia. You have captured the essence of the forces of nature here, and like Isobel says, the imagery is rich and powerful. Im not sure the line "higgeldy -piggeldy" fits in with such subject matter, {but its a personal opinion!}
I love the line "One gorgeous red hibiscus not yet shredded
Bleeds on my eye." Lovely!
Cate xx

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Tue 5th Jan 2010 10:24

I am not a fan of heavily descriptive poetry, particularly when it dwells on nature, but this one is very cleverly constructed and rich in imagery. I like the ending very much. Exactly how an ending should be. Simple, subtle and a great contrast to the rest of the poem.

Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 5th Jan 2010 00:36

I really like this Cynthia.
I enjoyed the drama, the construction, being taken into the wind and feeling it's threat and the suprise of finding one last bloom, perfect. I liked the final sentiment best...
Wonderful stuff! Now I'll have to read more on your profile. Thank you.
A new fan.

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