Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fulminology: The Fury of the Gods

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:

    Dark Lightning.
        Dry Lightning,
            Heat Lightning,
                 Ribbon Lightning,
                     Forked Lightning,
                         Rocket Lightning,
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. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on Poetry Jam

Would you like the author to read this poem to you?


Peggy said...

I enjoyed this Glenn with all the information you got on lightning. Would like to see some of those form lit lightening--like a superbolt. That is a very spectacular photo too.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Your opening lines are a great hook - and your closing stanza is way cool.

Brian Miller said...

nice...agree with sherry...those first two lines have hook...and organic anger...very cool what you did structurally with this as well g...

Gabriella said...

I also loved the opening lines Glenn and how you weaved so much information in such a poetic way. The ending made me smile!

Mary said...

This post was very en'lightning,' Glenn. So much about lightning we don't really think about!

Vandana Sharma said...

Very wonderful description and so different definitions of lightning, I enjoyed this post.

Laurie Kolp said...

I enjoy watching lightning... from inside my house. Nice twist at the end.

Helen said...

Entertaining ... educational - you never fail to impress, Glenn.

Kathe W. said...

love it all- especially these lines:

you are playing hopscotch
in the middle of a freeway;

so much to asorb-thanks Glenn!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

so many great lessons here - thanks for sharing so much knowledge!

alan1704 said...

Wow a thunderstorm of images and words that just cause lightning. This has caught the essence of it, Wonderful.

janetleigh said...

This is a mind-tingler for me, Glenn, as someone who's survived being electriFRIED 3 times:-) Although I know lightning is different from electricity, shock is shock, and pain is pain, regardless of its source ;> and this poem is electrifying both in words and imagery.