Readers' Write: Poems About Irene

Good Night Irene
All week long we watched it progress, from Bahamas to Main it left such a mess.
Mayor April told the people it's time to evacuate, you must leave now before it's too late.
Door to door she went knocking, begging people to go, and they heeded her warning and rightfully so.
Everyone left their homes and were happy they did, when off the foundations those poor houses slid.
The wind how it howled, the sea how she roared, reducing our houses to piles of boards.
The day after the storm, we looked all around, and saw all the cottages knocked to the ground.
We cried and we mourned our beloved Cosey Beach, but alas do not worry, help was within reach.
They came by the dozens the National Guard; they cleared the debris and were working so hard.
The Red Cross was there and FEMA was too, helping all of the people with what they went through.
And let's not forget our police and our fire, who worked hard through the week and not once did they tire.
The insurance adjusters were walking the block, signing up home owners who were still in such shock.
Bless the volunteers as they came to help too, doing whatever was needed to do.
They sent up a tent with water and food, to nourish the people and try to lift up their mood.
But rebuild we will, Cosey Beachers are tough, we've been through hurricanes, floods and all kinds of stuff.
Since 1938, this was the worst storm we have seen, I am so glad it's over and Good Night Irene.
God Bless Cosey Beach
~ Linda Acevedo, East Haven

Irene's Silk Purse
For a few days,
Before the power returned,
Before the lights reenergized,
Before the village recovered its commercial glow,
The Milky Way visited,
And brought with it the illumination of millions of stars;
And exposed the gift we previously traded
For all that is sold to us by Edison and GE and CL&P.

For a few days,
Before folks made adjustments,
Before roads were cleared,
Before cable and Wi-Fi and Skyping returned,
We walked onto our streets,
And enquired about our neighbors,
And met the children who have lived on our street for over a decade,
But previously where kept away by prior commitments and video games.

For a few days,
Before the Buckeyes arrived,
Before Les Canadienssontarrivés,
Before the caravans of linemen came to our aid,
We walked to the shoreline;
And spoke of our challenges,
And surveyed the debris that included a TV,
And wondered how a stick chewed on both ends by a beaver ended up on Shell Beach.

For a few days,
Before the blame game,
Before the theoretical conspiracies,
Before the stories of price gouging,
We celebrated our ingenuity,
And bragged about our grill-only cooking,
And cracked open the books we always meant to read,
And we went to bed early hoping that we wouldn't run out of water to flush with.

For a few days,
Before things were normal,
Before the traffic lights worked,
Before we lost that spare moment needed to talk to acquaintances,
We were offered free water,
And showers and swims at homes we had never visited,
And sockets on generators that were freshly bought,
And immeasurable acts of kindness and innumerable offers of help.

For a few days,
Before modernity returned,
Before the linemen departed,
Before our lives were rebooted,
We gathered at Cilantros, and Auger's and the Food Center,
And paid with cash and IOUs,
And retold stories of great storms past,
And created the stories to be retold by candlelight when given the time.

For a few days…

~ Dennis Culliton, Guilford


(Sung to the (old) tune of Goodnight, Irene)
Irene, good-bye. Irene, good-bye.
Good-bye Irene. Good-bye Irene
Please head on out to sea.

Last Saturday night you started formin'
You damaged Bahamas and more
Now you might see fit to visit
We're gonna head away from shore

~ Lori Rackliffe
Deep River Marina

Everybody is making a big deal out of it
But it was really nothing
Everybody was just unfit
We all complained about something
All in all I thought it was lame
Just a small hurricane

~ Samantha Pansa

Untitled (in the style of e. e. cummings)

If wind had swept, and rain beset,

And trees quaked and quivered,
Irene would have been fair.

But the lights went out,
for 8 days dim –

A 21st-century timeout, in.

~ Barbara Douglas
Shore Publishing, Director of Online Content


From the Musical "Power Is Best" (With apologies to G.Gershwin)

And the storm gales were long,
Trees and wires down all over,
The power's long gone!

I'm tired of peanut butter,
And my energy has failed.
Where is my shower?
Gone with my e-mail!

In bed at nine,
Looking for the yellow truck,
That one? No, just a neighbor,
Six days so far, as yet no luck!

One of these mornings,
I'm gonna wake up singin',
My alarm clock will buzz,
And the phone will be ringin!

But till that morning,
To fill my leisure need,
I'll lie in my bed,
With Hoffman to read!

Irene, you nasty lady,
You thought you had me out,
But, as is usual,
Patience will yet make me shout!

And the living is hard,
But I'd rather light candles,
Than rake up my yard!!

~ Larry Rush


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