Wind Talking

I remember the day that Hurricane Juan hit Halifax. I had spent the day at the waterfront at a Word on the Street Festival. I stepped out of the festival into the parking lot and the sky had turned a kind of color that was usually saved for cheap science fiction movies. Everything felt oddly still and you could hear the word “hurricane” being bandied back and forth like some strange noun from a language that nobody ever truly spoke.

That was the thing, back then. Hurricanes were something that happened in the newspaper or the movies. They happened in Florida or the Bahamas. They didn’t happen here in Halifax.

Well, this time they did. God said “Geseundheit!” and the whole city fell down. It was wonderful the way that everyone pulled together but still I would far prefer to have skipped all of those falling trees and flooded basements and just jumped into the kumbaya of sweet cooperation.

Since then, I have learned to beware of that word “hurricane”. Even when you spell it “tropical storm”. It is still a big old wind that is getting set to blow through Halifax.

So, I was tickled to read that some artists and writers have got together to create something positive out of this whole experience.

Read about it here.

Belinda and I have spent the day watching old movies and kicking back waiting to see what Irene will bring us. We watched “The Great Buck Howard” with John Malkovitch. Never saw it before but I enjoyed it immensely. Also watched “Secondhand Lions” with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine – another solid flick. Last night we watched Jeff Bridges in True Grit. I still prefer the John Wayne version, but they both manage to hit some awfully sweet notes.

And I’ve taken the time to put down my own thoughts on Hurricane Irene.


Talking Wind

The lawn furniture is hiding in the shed

where I padlocked it safely shut

the barbecue bungeed to the deck railing

the clothesline umbrella folded safely

beneath the dining room table legs.


I’ve picked up

as the wind picked up

and the sky gets set

to let all of her breath out

in one long sigh


Soon, the rain will fall

sheets of it beating

down upon the ground

torrents, buckets, deluge, splash

God has left the tap running all night long


Soon, the trees will bow down

power lines whirl like skipping ropes

window panes hum and walls shake and shimmy

rose blossoms learn to fly

hard green tomatoes never reaching ripe


My family and I sit and watch old movies

pass words back and forth

wondering when the power will go out

we sip on cups of hot brewed tea and whisper summer

holding our breath until the wind finishes talking.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

One response to “Wind Talking

  1. Pingback: Created in the Path of Irene: Links

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