The Poem of the Week is 'Texas Tornadoes and the Power of Prayer' by Randy Horton
Our Poem of the Week this time round is 'Texas Tornadoes and the Power of Prayer' by Randy Horton, a tale of small town apocalypse that beguiles us with its use of language and narrative. Randy foregoes traditional poetic form and delivers a short, sharp piece of foreboding dark comedy, needing only a few lines to transport us to the world he has created, where the 'sky is darker than Brother Jimmy’s sermon last Sunday'. Below, Randy answers our Q&A:
Where do you look most for inspiration for your poetry?
This month, I've enjoyed writing from the prompts for National Poetry Writing Month.
Apart from poetry, what is one book you would recommend everyone read?
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume.
What is your favourite style of poetry? Do you favour the constraints of sonnets and villanelle or the freedom of free-verse?
I write formal poetry for practice and discipline but usually veer toward free verse when being serious. I use rhymes for playfulness or comedy.
If you could give one piece of writing advice to people what would it be?
Read a lot and then write a lot.
What do you look for most in a poem?
I like poems that are either absolutely gut-wrenching (e.g., Sylvia Plath) or clever and funny (e.g., Billy Collins).
Texas Tornadoes and the Power of Prayer
by Randy Horton
Oh, Good Lord, y’all, I thank we better git in the house. That sky is
darker than Brother Jimmy’s sermon last Sunday, and it’s flashing like a
God-damned disco. It’s gonna be a gully washer, all right, but Ronnie’s
got the big truck if we git in any trouble, and we can surely trust Jesus
will be with us. The last time we had a toad strangler like this, a big ol’
twister turned Alma’s roof inta toothpicks.
They say on the news that Greens Bayou is outta its banks, so y’all
come on and let’s pray that God will watch over us. Come on in here away from those windows, and if you
hear sumpin’ that sounds like a train, let’s hide in this closet and trust Jesus to know what’s right.
Some time later:
It’s over, so y’all come on give us a hug. It just goes to show Jesus is always by our side, watchin’ over us
and protectin’ us. Uncle Raymond just called and said a tornado blew a tree on Bobby’s house and kilt him.
God bless his sweet soul.