image borrowed from bing
Fulminology: The Fury of the Gods
“I’d rather be a lightning rod than
a seismograph.”--Ken Kesey.
Lightning is organic anger,
the polar opposite of a rainbow;
man, throughout his reign, has had
good reason to be astraphobic;
creating gods & myths to place blame
upon for the constance of destruction;
Zeus for the Greeks,
Tialoc for the Aztecs,
Raijin for the Shinto,
Indra for the Hindus,
Thor for the Norse.
In the 1st Century, AD, there was a Macedonian
runner called Apollodorus, & after winning an event
at the Pisa Olympics, was killed by lightning while
on his way home--Zeus was blamed for his death,
slaying him out of envy.
Lightning is Nature’s infarction; intense
& too often lethal, it is a massive electrostatic
discharge, & it occurs 40-50 times a second
somewhere worldwide--when warm air mixes
with colder air, polarizing the atmosphere, creating
an electrically conducting plasma channel in the air.
There is an unfortunate village called Kifuka, high
up in the mountains of the Congo, that is loved
by lightning, embracing it with 158 strikes
per mile--per year.
As an advocate for the Devil’s bolts, I must say
in its defense, lighting is indiscriminate, hitting
the highest objects first, but passing through
them unintentionally during its driving need
to collide with the earth--
--like it did in New Jersey, striking a 6 Flags
steel roller coaster, the Kingda Ka,
--like it did in Brescia, Italy in 1769, striking
the church of San Nazaro, & killing 3,000 people,
--like it did in Rhodes, Greece in 1856, striking
the Palace of Grand Master, killing 4,000 people.
Like a thuggee, or ninja, or crazed assassin,
it comes to us in a myriad of guises:
even Superbolts, that are 100 times brighter
than normal--God’s flashbulbs.
We can protect ourselves, but we must remember
as we place metal lightning rods on our many rooves,
to include a wire, or electrical conductor, that can
be connected with the ground.
So if lightning becomes your outdoor entertainment,
be aware as you stand in the storm
to watch it,
you are playing hopscotch
in the middle of a freeway;
but hey, even if lightning does strike you, maybe
it won’t completely fry your internal organs, maybe
you will survive & live on to become
a empathetic healer,
a spiritual astronaut,
a professional golfer,
or a poet.
Posted over on Poetry Jam
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