Tag Archives: Frankenstorm

Willow at Harlem Meer 2

Central Park is closed until further notice. The park closed before Sandy arrived. It remains closed. The park sustained damage during the storm. The closing protects visitors from falling branches or trees. It allows park personnel the opportunity to clean the park.

Updates as to the progress of restoring Central Park appear on the park’s Web page. On the page today are photos of the damage. That includes the uprooting of a willow tree near Harlem Meer.

Immediately upon viewing the photo, I recalled that, a little over a year ago, I walked around Harlem Meer with my friend Peter Tibi. We passed this willow. I took a photo, not of the tree, but of its branches dipped into Harlem Meer. I wrote a poem – of sorts.

Now it stands, toppled. In no way does this compare to the loss of human life or the destruction of homes and the disruption of lives wrought by Sandy in New York, New Jersey, other parts of the United States, including Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Canada, and Jamaica. Nor does it compare to such losses brought by Cyclone Nilam to brothers and sisters living on the Indian Ocean.

Still, the fall of the willow that I sought to capture in photo and words tugs at me, a reminder of the storm’s power and life’s fragility.

See you along the Trail.

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It is morning

It is morning.
It is after.
For those who passed through
Hurricane Sandy
Tropical Storm Sandy
Nor’easter Sandy
Frankenstorm
it will,
as for anyone
who lives through any
significant, dramatic, traumatic event,
always be after.

It is morning.
It is after.
In varying degrees of
shock and grief,
faith and hope,
assessment begins,
analysis begins,
recovery begins,
rebuilding begins.

It is morning.
It is after.

30 October 2012
Shire on the Hudson

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Tears and smiles

From the comfort of my home,
I watch NYU Hospital being evacuated –
patients, sometimes children,
carried down the stairs
(for the elevators do not work),
riding on gurneys,
accompanied by medical personnel,
emerge from the building
whereĀ EMTs meet them –
shield them from the wind and wet –
hustle them to the first ambulance
in the queue, its lights flashing.
As the patient gets on board,
the ambulance leaves
and another takes its place.

Tears run down my cheeks
toward a broad smile.

29 October 2012
Shire on the Hudson

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1:00 PM EST, 29 October 2012

I wait.
I watch.
I see the pictures.

Flooding streets.
Pounding surf.
Fallen trees.

It has only begun,
my imagination runs.

My heart breaks.
My spirit grieves.
For sisters and brothers
already battered by the storm,
lives lost, homes gone.

My heart wrenches.
My spirit aches.
For sisters and brothers
who have no shelter
from the storm.

My heart leaps.
My spirit soars.
For sisters and brothers
who go into the storm
responding to human needs.

I watch.
I wait.

29 October 2012
Shire on the Hudson

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Privileged waiting – again

Again I wait in privilege.

This time the date is with
Sandy, not Irene.
Hurricane?
Tropical storm?
Frankenstorm?
Whatever name,
I wait.
Sandy approaches.

I have worked my way
through the preparation drill.
Candles bought.
Batteries obtained.
Electronic products recharged.
Water bottled.
Food purchased –
what happens to year-old applesauce?
Does it go bad?
Does it ferment?

I straighten the apartment,
move and position items –
later tonight I will fill the bathtub
and light again the sentinel.
I prepare.

I wait.
Watching football.
Tweeting, posting.
Contacting family, friends
I wait.

I wait and I remember,
yet again,
the privilege that is mine:

I have a place,
a solid place,
a dry place,
a safe place:
a roof above,
walls around;
I have
water to drink
and water to flush;
I have flashlights, candles for light
food that needs no cooking;
clothes to keep me warm;
loved ones who will check upon.

So much I have,
while sisters, brothers have but little,
while brothers, sisters have none at all.

I wait and I remember,
yet again,
the privilege that is mine

I wait and I pray,
for those who have too little,
for those who have too much,
for myself.

I wait and as before I wonder,
after the waiting,
after the storm,
what I will do differently
with the privileges that are mine?

28 October 2012
Shire on the Hudson

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