Welcome to Waterworld!
Water. Water everywhere! While many things have been occupying the eyes of the nation this week (and rightly so–many tugs of the heartstrings have gone to many corners of the U.S. these past few days), but locally, nature has been at the forefront of things.
Michigan, my home, is a land of water. It surrounds us. It pierces into the very heart of our state in its many rivers, lakes, and ponds. This is, truly, the Great Lakes State. Yet this week the state has been rocked by record rainfall. The end result: flooding. Massive flooding. And when I say record-breaking, don’t mistake me: the Grand River, in western Michigan, was predicted to hit a 24.76 foot crest today. Compare that to previous floodings here, as listed from the Grand Rapids Press…
24.76 feet on April 21, 2013**
19.64 feet on March 1, 1985
19.54 feet on May 27, 2004
19.50 feet on March 28, 1904
19.29 feet on March 8, 1976
19.25 feet on April 3, 1960
19.25 feet on September. 4, 1986
18.83 feet on March 3, 1982
18.60 feet on June 9, 1905
18.5 feet on April 18, 2013
17.87 feet on February 25, 1997
17.84 feet on December 31, 2008
Flooding is not new here, but bloody hell, this one takes the cake. Large swaths of the city of Grand Rapids and western Michigan are going underwater. To prove that point, I took a little photographic adventure. Here are just a few things to show you what we’re dealing with up here. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
No walkway for you.
At least the cops get to bust out their boats!
Waiting. Watching. Wondering.
Under the Sea.
Kayak business? Probably booming.
It was such a pretty house, too.
Beach? What beach?
And the real kicker? More rain is expected to come…
born of flesh
borne by earth
choked divinity caught at the thresh
lay numb beside the kindled hearth—
fall down, fall down,
let vaulted rain yet drown—
the wriggling flames
of dancing dreams
cannot survive the niggling games
blacktop shadows wove within the seams—
lie down, lie down,
buried by the wetted crown.
The lake is empty.
Roots have left this shore.
Freedom to be free,
containment shattered by the waves of yore–
all of It will cease to be
before they see that less is rarely more.
Empty Lake Bed, (from iDesign iPhone Wallpapers)
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~ Native American Proverb
Nothing clears the mind quite like a weekend in the mountains. A (surprisingly) stifling heater in the cabin didn’t hurt of course, but it just made the impact of walking out those doors and into the sunny, snow-struck earth all the more striking. Now it’s back to the real world. At least I face it refreshed.
Sitting on his stool
the old man strains notes
convoluted and convalescent
in the grey-grey dawn,
the pitter-pattering pour of
earthly power, reverberating
like the subway’s urbane roar.
Blinded in years,
He is the maestro resurrect
On the days when the long rain fell.
Pellucid peyote visions
strike evanescent evocations of eagles
caught in flight, failing
on the wild winds–
it hisses as their haggard drop
and rushes up to greet them.
At the Beach
It’s been a while, and a long weekend to boot. In sum: got some sun, traipsed some beaches, wondered and waxed philosophic and photographic somewhere between the trees and the waves, and tasted of the delicious sensation known as BBQ. It was a long weekend, but a good one, and I can honestly say it was the most relaxing I’ve had a good long while, even if I was still running all over the place.
I get the wanderlust, you know?
C’est la vie, though, as they say. To those Americans among my readership, here’s hoping the fourth of July (the USA’s Independence Day, for those of you not up-to-the-know on your history of the land of the stars and stripes) was a delightful blend of summer warmth and rapturous relaxation with those you hold most dear. Plus, if you got to see some of the shiny explosions that were lighting up the country’s night sky, all the more power to you.
What’s the night without a little boom? Whether it’s a spiritual or a physical or even a metaphorical boom, well, that’s really up to your preference. I’m just the humble fellow wishing you a good time, regardless.
But I digress…and supposing you One Stoppers have sifted through my silliness and well-wishes, I’d like to kick off my return and the week with my latest submission to One Stop Poetry’s One Shot Wednesday, a tanka titled: “By the Sea“…
Sunlight on white sand
Refracted in pillowed veils
Hiding sand castles
Bronzed amidst unyielding tides
Sprouted in short-short visions.