the giant cloudman


looks at me angrily, his long tubular nose pointing down at the little leather cushion i have placed myself on. i’m here because i have nowhere else to be; the power’s gone, my phone is at 32%, and i’m missing acting class as we speak.

giant cloudman is here because he has nowhere else to be too, only, he is the power, and tonight is his night to expend it all.

“shouldn’t you be asleep?” giant asks me in much coarser language. a bolt of lightning runs through his body, causing me to jump. i don’t doubt he smirked at that in the darkness.

“probably,” i reply.
“then shouldn’t you be bloody well at it by now?” giant cloudman is a rough brit, apparently.
“perhaps,” i say, tilting my head up to stare at the immense space of sky giant takes up. moly and mice, he’s huge. imagine him picking me up from my small spot in the roof to have a sterner chat. i’d both be dead from fear and insisting he fly me over to the moon, and then we’d have a talk about different levels in the atmosphere, and probably out of spite he’d reluctantly zoom me over to my sister’s flat in the states and i’d have to explain why i was wet and also with no other clothes except a tank top and some shorts (typical jo) and then i’d turn around to blame it on giant cloudman and he’d be gone already—

giant sighs. thunder echoes through the trees, and i nearly drop my phone.

“then why aren’t you?”
perhaps his first sympathetic question all night.

“i’m a creature of obstinance,” i begin.
“ah, don’t fool yourself dear, you jumped with that bolt of lightning.”
“well. yes. but i’m still here, aren’t i?”
“you shouldn’t be—“
“precisely! and so i am.”

is that the wind flapping back and forth or is giant shaking his head?

“you— you—“ he stumbles in his words, taking a good look at my hunched over appearance, trying to figure out the right words to address and scold me by.
“take your time,” i tell him. i reach out for some crackers in my other pockets and munch in his confusion.
“—you young… people make no sense these days.”
“didn’t you just form like, tonight?”
giant cloudman laughs in my complacent ignorance.

“don’t you know the saying? water has memory. and i,” he gets closer, rain starting to fall.

“i remember everything.”

i taste the rain and brush off a struggling ant off my leg as i look the giant in the eyes. “how’s that been like for you?”

he seems taken aback at my camaraderie. “tiring. very tiring. in such a short time this place seems to be getting worse and worse, thanks to fools like you.”
“tell me about it.” i munch on a another cracker.

there’s a volley of lightning that ripples throughout the sky, evoking purple and red and blue all at once in the lonely, young night. i cross my legs and watch as giant cloudman has conversations with his coworkers in the storm making business, and he eventually returns to me.

“you enjoy this stuff?” his brogue tries, but it can’t hide his confusion.
“he— er, heck yeah,” i say through muffled crackers.
“do tell why. i’ve never seen a child grin at lightning. are you mad?”
“oh, definitely,” i say. “it must be amazing to have such power. so… gah. so cool, so strong, so in control.”

i might’ve stoked his ego a bit. the giant gets louder. “ahh, and you wouldn’t know what that’s like.”

i stop.

“no.” i say honestly. “i would never know what that’s like.”

it’s the giant’s turn to stop.
“oh.”
“yeah.”
“well… i’m uh, sorry,” he says gruffly. i don’t suppose he’s used to making apologies.

“you get used to it,” i tell him. i look around at the darkness around me and inhale. the power has been off for a while, and yet i’d rather stay here and have this little chat with a being that could potentially kill me given the right motives. i’m not sure what to make of that.

there are murmurs in the air as the storm people begin their nightly torrent, and giant man sounds quieter when he says “in all seriousness, you should go find some rest.”

i stifle a laugh. “hmmmm. that doesn’t happen for people like me. doubt you get any of it in your kind of work either.”

the giant almost smiles. or maybe that’s the sudden curve of electricity that runs through what i imagine is his mouth. “you’re observing. it’s people like you that can’t be left alone, you’d find out how the world works and try to fix all its broken parts.”

i would respond if he doesn’t immediately crouch down to where i am, the roof space around me getting darker and darker, and i’m about to back up against the wall when he whispers (well, rumbles, he is a cloud after all),

“don’t give that up now, alright?”

i manage to stutter. “i…”
“promise?”

he doesn’t have to get me to notice his quickly dissipating form, i can see for myself that it’s fading into the blanket of clouds that are coming to shred the sky with more electricity. it’s now or never.

“yeah, no, absolutely,” i say. “i’ll… i’ll keep… observing.”

giant cloudman drenches me in water. i imagine that’s cloud affection for ruffling someone’s head. “good. good then. i better be going.”

but then he turns. and stops. and turns back to me. “i never caught your name.”

“i never caught yours either,” i reply. “perhaps it’s not very important.”

giant cloudman doesn’t seem content with that. “then i’ll have to name you. let’s see… small, cocky, slightly tragic, i’m calling you little storm. farewell, little storm.”

he turns to leave, and as a goodbye i yell through the steadily pouring rain, “why little storm?”

giant cloudman keeps floating away, but his voice echoes in the next rumble of thunder that passes over me.

“because you’ve got a bigger one coming.”

ethereal

the sun shines through a foggy pastel sky
burning orange against faint pink and blue
it peeks behind a mountain,
hiding from the ocean in its view.

the rain has been pouring for hours,
wailing in the darkness, crying in the showers
puddles lie in the crevices of the ground
drops falls from leaf to leaf and roll all around.

blue streaked feathers dart amidst the trees
like this place is an early morning sacred sanctuary
a second of peace to be gleaned from the sky
this moment is ethereal, and passes from all unobserving eyes.

i’ve been enjoying watching the storms pour and staring at the clouds for hours on end, hence all the weather poems. idk i just think they’re neat

thunder eulogy

photography of lightning storm

i wonder if all the storms
are the heavens’ way to truly mourn
nature’s personal funeral
for those without a memorial

i wonder if the sky weeps
for those who left unwillingly,
unknowingly; the lightning strikes—
electric horror through a child’s eyes

i wonder if the big clouds roll
black in their misery, like the ones below
who chant and scream and plead to live
barely heard by greedy cowards with privilege

i wonder if the entirety of space
trembles at the chaos and violently shakes
then, realizing the weight of such a lost cause
declares thunder for this tragedy:

a planet that exists only to haunt.

~jo~

let the storm in

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Okay, okay I have a thing with song lyrics being titles.

But no joke, it actually is about to storm. The sky is dark and gray.

AH. THUNDER. Thor’s making a random call, I see. And on Thursday too. Ironic.

To be honest though, I love storms. (er, the non damaging kind, that is.) Storms mean all light gray and dark gray and those colors swirled together, the air smelling different, a whole new tension in the sky, and on the ground, and thunder and lightning-

And then the rain falls.

It’s a sweet relief. It’s scorching outside.

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You can’t control a storm. You can’t tell a storm to do this or that. You can’t schedule an arrangement for Tuesday at 10 am sharp. Storms come and go and just are. You have zero power of a storm.

But you can control how you respond to it.

You can study storms, to protect yourself and others. You can hide from them, which is probably a good thing because self-preservation is sometimes important. Or you can be completely dumb like me and actually go out and get drenched.

I highly suggest not doing the last one.

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Because not everyone has bleary eyes from doing everything and doing nothing, not everyone laughs their heads off at Youtube at 12 am because they can’t sleep and then find actual true comfort in handlettering Psalms even if it’s bad handlettering, not everyone likes how the rain smells and how the drops feel on dry skin and wet cement on bare feet. Not everyone likes dancing in the rain and the wind in their face, not everyone grins when thunder sounds or when lightning strikes, and not everyone can fall asleep in a storm.

Right?

Right.

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Storms bring rain, relief, a sigh of air. A whisper of longing, a hope. A chance to start over new while everything gets washed away, and maybe the world will be the same after the storm ends, but for now it’s new and different and another world entirely.

The world comes together for the big storms. People support each other, protect, send aid. They don’t do that when it’s dry.

People hide in the little storms because… storm. Water. Getting wet. Most of them, anyway.

But I’m tired. I’m tired of hiding, I’m tired of being, I’m tired and I like storms. They’re beautiful things, really, if you poke your head outside.

Are storms scary? uh.. yes. Are they kinda intricately fascinating? also yes.

And do I feel like they’re kinda like how life is? very yes.

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I know Who controls the storms. I know Who controls life. And even when there’s no rhyme or rhythm so therefore no reason to their ways, when it seems like nothing and nobody can control them, and they wreck and rampage on whoever they will, they’re not the masters of their own fate. God is.

By all rights, it shouldn’t make sense. By all rights, it doesn’t make sense. But here we are. You can either hide or just breathe in and enjoy it.

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And I know which one cracks a smile in the end. Which brings some semblance to joy, if you will.

It’s the rain and letting go and being.

So yes, let the storm in.

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I’m already broken, but slowly becoming whole.