When Lightning Strikes [poem]

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When lightning strikes
what will you do?
Run for the trees?
(there’s danger lurking there)
Wonder which of several gods
you must appease?
Throw yourself with weeping
to your knees?
Or will you simply freeze
in abject fear —
and huddle in sheer terror
on the ground?
(And did you know that
thunder’s just the sound
the lightning makes
because it travels slower
than the light
or did your parents tell you
as they tucked you up
in bed at night
that angels playing marbles
makes that sight?)

When lightning strikes
what will you do?
Pretend you’re all grown-up
and put your golf umbrella up?
(but danger lurks there too)
Pray to God you won’t be struck?
I tell you on that fairway
you’re a sitting duck!
For thunderclaps you cannot fight.
And if you ask me what I do
when fulguration flashes
lustre loomly into view
I fly my kite
and swim in lakes
then stand on mountaintops
with arms outstretched —
accept my fate.
Anything to have that lightning
in my face —
wait for it to blast me
into nothingness
without a trace

For lightning’s only needed
on this earth
and in its atmosphere
where fools escape from love
for all they’re worth
(true love I mean
which frightens with its volts
and only grows in stratospheres
where there’s no need
for thunderbolts or air
as everything one needs
in love’s already there!).


© Alan Morrison, 2015

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