Tuesday, March 17, 2015

They Call the Wind Tornado


image borrowed from niltoid.com


They Call the Wind Tornado

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed
shaken in the wind.”--Johannes Brahms.

Granted          there a lot of ways        one can be
        an adrenaline junkie,
                        can court danger, but         being a storm chaser,
        especially playing tag or hop scotch with a tornado
                        always seems to top the list for me. 

You are hip to tornadoes, right?
       a violently rotating whirlwind bitch
                     column of rogue air extending from
                                   fecund storm clouds all the way to the ground,
                     like Satan’s whores whelping
        wind demons, whipping up turbulence
up to, or even exceeding 300 m.p.h.

We often hear about                 Tornado Season,                  usually
                during Spring & Summer, when the hot gas warriors
         get romantic with the cold air maidens,
but the truth is               there is no set date or end date
               for these hellish whirling behemoths, because
         if the conditions are considered “just right”,
a tornado can occur
anytime of the year.

The Storm Lovers & Chasers,
both professional & amateur,              will be on alert continuously,
                ready to run north & south,
                               up & down the Midwest within
                                                 the parameters of Tornado Alley,
from North Dakota south to
        the edge of Minnesota,
                           South Dakota,
                           Nebraska,
                           Iowa,
                           the edge of Colorado,
                                              Kansas,
                                              Missouri,
                                              Illinois,
                                              Indiana,
                                              Ohio,
                                              Kentucky,
                                              Tennessee,
                                                Oklahoma,
                                                Arkansas,
                                                Texas & Louisiana.

I once was in Louisiana           during a zero visibility       thunderstorm,
                      when a EF3 tornado touched down
                      only a half mile away, as it became
                                                 midnight at noon, & the wind howled
                                                 like a vicious pack of banshees.
                      Luckily we outdrove it, but the nightmare memory
                                                                                           persists.

For the hardy macho Storm Chasers,
                      their achievements & bragging rights
                                         relative to specific tornadoes, ranging
                      in width from a few meters to more than a mile,
                                         deal with their ferocity, which
                      is measured in EF levels.

                         EF0
with winds ranging from 65 to 85 m.p.h.,
doing minor to no damage;
maybe tearing off a few shingles 
& some siding, 
                            maybe breaking off some branches, or
                            knocking over some small trees.

                        EF1
with winds ranging from 86 to 110 m.p.h.,
doing moderate damage;
downing power lines from fallen trees,
              severely ripping up roofs,
                          overturning mobile homes,
                                   while tearing off roofs, exterior doors,
                                                     & breaking out every kind of glass window.

                        EF2
with winds ranging from 111 to 135 m.p.h.,
doing considerable damage;         tearing roofs completely off,
                                                      shifting foundations,
                                                      mobile homes completely destroyed,
                                                      snapping large trees in half.
                                                      toppling commercial 18-wheelers,
                                                      lifting cars off the ground, &
                                                      turning light objects into missiles.
                         
                        EF3
with winds ranging from 136 to 165 m.p.h.,
doing severe damage           tearing the top story off of houses,
                      damaging large buildings,
                      derailing trains,        tearing trees out of the ground,
                                              lifting up cars & tossing them around.
                                                      
                         EF4
with winds ranging from 166 to 200 m.p.h.,
doing devastating damage,
completely leveling houses, with
cars & trucks & large objects
lifted & tossed about.

                         EF5
with winds ranging from 200 to 300 m.p.h,,
causing complete destruction
hitting like an atomic bomb,       homes leveled,
                                                   foundations swept away,
                                                   collapsing tall buildings,
                         or causing severe structurial deformities.

Damn,
don’t even get me started
on all the other                        Acts of Nature,
                          like floods, hurricanes, typhoons, &
                          volcano eruptions.                    


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics


20 comments:

Claudia said...

dang - nature has immense powers.. wind with 300 mph... we don't have tornadoes over here... luckily..

lindakruschke said...

I will never understand storm chasers. Just seems stupid to me. And I'll take living in the shadow of a potential volcanic eruption (think Mt. St. Helens) any day over living in Tornado Alley. Peace, Linda

Mary said...

Good descriptive writing here, Glenn. I think storm chasers have to be crazy....I can't imagine seeking them out. They scare the heck out of me. Last year was the first year in a long time that we didn't even get ONE warning. I hope we will be as lucky this year.

Björn Rudberg said...

The might of wind can never truly be understood till you have seen the aftermath of such a beast... There is only one thing that make me shiver more and that's a tsunami.. Sweden is spared most forces of nature.. a few low-pressure storms, but so far from what happen in other parts of the world---

Grace said...

I have seen tornadoes and hurricanes and they are scary indeed ~ Our big fat tree at the back of the park was uprooted by a tornado ~ I can't imagine the life of a storm chaser but I guess its all the excitement and wonder of science ~ Enjoyed this one Glenn ~

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

We live not far from Joplin, MO and watched the storm cloud move north of us after it had completely devastated that town. The storm dropped debris hundred of miles away. I have lived most of my life in tornado country, and had gotten a little careless at the sound of the sirens. But after Joplin, we head to the basement.
Wonderful, Glenn, this certainly gives the feeling of the danger of those winds.

Brian Miller said...

it is crazy the power of the wind in that regard...we don't get tornados here much...other parts of Virginia get them...the derecho though gave us a taste of the power though, knocking out the power for a week ...hottest week of the year...crazy...pine needle through trees...

Delaina said...

Love your poem tonight and as I live in one of those tornado alley states I can most definitely relate. Cheers!

Hayes Spencer said...

Wow. Powerful on many counts, not to mention the description of the wind. Scary indeed. I was in university Nashville TN when a tornado whipped through the campus. And you are right, that is one nightmare you never forget. Equating this with wild forces, ancient powers is excellent. Really says how wild and visceral these monsters are.

ayala said...

Nature is powerful...during Hurricane Wilma we saw just how much. Good capture.

quest4peas said...

I remember when I was a kid, a tornado ripped the top storey off of a chicken barn and tossed it into the farm home right next to it (family friends' place). Thankfully they were or visiting elsewhere that evening

m said...

Wow! What a powerful poem!

Truedessa said...

I have seen a tornado and it certainly was a wild beast. I've been through a hurricane as well and that wasn't pretty. Thanks for taking me on that stormy ride. Very strong imagery as always. Enjoyed it Glenn.

Marina Sofia said...

Well, now I've learnt a lot about the classification of tornadoes. Never understood the thrill of chasing those storms - I'd run in the opposite direction!

Kathy Reed said...

My, I can't imagine being in a storm with winds over 75 mph..one here plowed through clear cuts with a vengeance and a lot of trees are now being sold as firewood..the root ball of one as big as my house almost. The tornado is one negative thing about the Wizard of Oz that stayed with me for a long time

Myrna R. said...

I live on the foothills of a mountain. When the winds are stron here, it feels like the house is going to fly away. I can't imagine being in the full force of a tornado. You describe this power of wind so well.

bwfiction said...

Vivid imagery here Glenn -

I live just outside the tornado alley in Chicagoland - if a storm could be full of malevolence that describes a tornado.

angieinspired said...

I am hip to Kansas tornadoes. Native to nature's fury.

Sabio Lantz said...

Verbose son of a gun (child of a tornado)
But always fun ! Great fun.
Why it has to to be in "verse" is beyond me
Why broken lines and spaces escapes me usually
I guess that makes it a poem.

I look at your "poems" as rambling essays
by a mad genius who compassion settles him
and then their whirlwind nature is very
enjoy a b l e

Sabio Lantz said...

Glenn, Suggestion:

When you comment on my blog, it does not link to your poetry blog -- it would be cool if you could change this. Or update your Blogger profile to link to your blog so I could click that.

You know, I think I told you this before.
Forget it!

;-)