Wednesday, April 27, 2011

After the storms, how do we pray?

It is quiet now except for local traffic, which never stopped even during the several nights of thunderstorms. Though more storms were predicted for today (Wednesday), before noon the clouds rolled away from the sun, like the stones rolled away from the tomb at Easter. The sun was a welcome, welcome sight.
At 2:30 a.m. last night, the ringing phone woke me. Probably some drunk from the VFW calling a wrong number, I thought, but padded in to answer it. After three rings, it stopped, but as I turned to head back to bed, it rang again. Collegian-grandson/ward answered, his voice sounding like sandpaper. "Grandma... the power's off here (Henderson State University, Arkadelphia AR) and I can't sleep without a fan; it's too hot. Can I come home and at least get six hours of sleep?"
I said yes.
"I won't wake you when I come in," he said.
After hanging up, I turned on the porch light, unlocked the screen but kept the door locked, turned on the fans in his room, left a hall light on, closed my door, and prayed, "Lord, he's yours now," a prayer I lift each time he drives away from anywhere. Of course, I believe Billy is God's wherever he is, but especially on the highway.
This morning, sure enough, he was piled up in his bed, the AC and two fans going. Not too much later, he came to the door--I was reading the paper on the front porch swing--and said morning classes had been canceled and he was going back to sleep.
At noon, after bell rehearsal and while I was at the dollar store, he called saying even though afternoon classes had been canceled also, he had a choir rehearsal at 2 for the final concert of the year on May 2.
He must have passed the store while I was inside. I prayed once more, "Lord, he's yours again. Have mercy."
But what does one pray when entire towns are wiped out by tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes?
Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Couchwood* in mid-April

I sit in sight of both perimeters:
as I look left, the road, a fence row once;
and on my right, a chain link fence, unseen
by decades-growth of privet (used to be
a sweet gum climber--we'd go to the top)
and honeysuckle-wrapped crape myrtle, all
so dense, a day of clipping, pulling work
would add a like amount to burning pile.

I used both batteries to weed-eat grass
around the shed where tansy, lamb's ear thrive,
and filled a barrow high with last year's stalks
and this year's spreading grasses. Still some light,
I bring a chair out, tea and journal. Cats,
like whispers, maunder here and there. I find
four kittens! They'll soon leave this hill. A trip
to Doctor Pat-the-vet will be their end,
humanely. Insects force a close to this
as darkness of the spring-leafed trees absorbs
the waning, cloudy light. And so good night.
~~ c 2011--Pat Couch Laster dba lovepat press

* the name I gave the old homeplace where the Couches have lived for four generations.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April poems from earlier years

tulips tightly closed
after last night's thunderstorm
her two lips tight, too
(Haiku Headlines)
Easter egg hunt
the strong whiff
of honeysuckle
(Parnassus Literary Journal)
the family scattered~
Easter lunch for two
at Taco Bell
(MSPS Spare Mule)

April rain
between me and the mountain~
snug writer's digs
( Calliope)
redbud in full bloom~
poet colleague discovers
he has lymphoma
( Hot Springs AR Sentinel Record)
an apron full
of fallen dogwood blossoms
on Easter Monday
( Haiku Headlines)
c lovepat press 2011
Pat Laster