Publication News: Petals in the Pan Anthology

Nancy Flynn Apostrophe Blog Archive, Publication News

The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

Remember Hurricane Irene? You know, the storm to top all storms a full year before Superstorm Sandy? Frankly there have been so many apocalyptic weather events since Irene and Sandy—well, they are all becoming a bit of a blur for me.

“Weather Hysteria,” my poem written when the 24/7 news media was a chattering frenzy about Hurricane Irene barreling hither and yon threatening to destroy East Coast civilization in August 2011 was published in the 2015 anthology, Petals in the Pan, from Kind of a Hurricane Press. It is the “featured poem” which means it started off the volume, announcing the themes to follow. About the anthology from its editor, A.J. Huffman: “In creating the first anthology of 2015, Kind of a Hurricane Press asked our authors to let travel the lines of the blossoming and the discarded, by exploring the themes of flowers and dust. As always, our authors dug deep into the crevices and soared straight into the sun to find a way to present us with amazing work that married these two emblems of life. Petals in the Pan has something for everyone.”

This poem won 4th Honorable Mention in the You Do, Too! category (second person point-of-view poems) in the Oregon Poetry Association Fall 2011 contest. It was also included in my poetry collection, Every Door Recklessly Ajar. And it was also featured in Storm Cycle, a “best of 2015” anthology from Kind of a Hurricane Press.


Hurricane Irene has the eye
for the East Coast and what I do is open
my wooden-sash windows, and doors.
To let the morning air in sweet,
a field of Crayola
“mauvelous” cosmos on the parking strip
in their confusion/profusion
to beguile
as if it’s Van Gogh’s Provence garden,
eyes squinted, bedazzled
as he seizes the brush,
always going for the devilish
verb, forget about any diluting adjective’s addition —
he channeled crux.

It is Saturday.
I have been feral, alone all week,
hunkered with the gerunds and the ferns.
Watering the lazy housewife beans
climbing their tipi of bamboo poles.
Snipping the dying
blooms of dahlia, zinnia, phlox.
Cutting back the windowbox geranium,
leggy because it’s starved for bright
this northwest summer that lasted all of
six or seven days.

There’s a bug with a face, an African mask —
shaman or unremarkable god? —
above my desk between window and screen
waving Hello. Any body in there? Does anybody see
how already one burnt
sienna leaf fell,
brittle but unbroken,
caught by the thorn of a climber rose?

Because, of course, I never got around to
pruning this season, captured instead
by the parts of speech,
stringing them daily,
lexical hankies on the line
across the driveway
where they dry, sometimes sail,
evaporations toward every lie

hoisted above my unintelligible
hopscotch chalk.

Because a sidewalk can never
yield the truth, night upon night,
this earth spinning that sun,
reckoning with
earthquake, heat wave,
ice that melts,
and every door in this house
recklessly ajar.

As if I could crayon a sonnet
from whatever makes a hurricane
first category 1, then downgrade
to tropical storm,
these sentences that never rise,
my free-verse floods —
disaster longings that reach
then retreat into the invitation
that is an August shower overnight,
its rooftop serenade. Then poof!
It’s this coloring-book poem
with a magic wand to wave.
Oh, look
how painless it is
to change the weather
and the station.

The public domain photograph above was taken by the GOES-13 satellite a half-hour before Hurricane Irene’s landfall in New York City.

Nancy Flynn
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