The Weatherman Said It Might Rain by John C. Mannone
Spring edges into my April bedroom, scents of hyacinth and lavender stir the air, and the sky is blue like the hazel of your eyes when they’d open for me on those yawning mornings. I remember the spring of our lives when we were still too naïve about spring, when love grew like the honeysuckle vine and we’d kiss those flowers with our eyes. And our lips. The sweet dew always seemed to linger. I wish you would have lingered too in the coming years. We had forgotten the summer isn’t too far off from spring and everything doesn’t stay green in the heat. Today, that heat rises early turning sky’s blue away, its eye jaundiced and the air unsettled. I can hear the distant rumblings of a locomotive wind.
White Lightning by John C. Mannone
Jim Beam, that bourbon whiskey, still
in a warehouse when lightning struck.
Fire-gutted walls gave way to deluge
of 800,000 gallons of liquor, burning
all the way down the throat of the
mountain side to a retention pond.
This lake of fire—swill and swirl—
caught the thunder of a devil-mean
tornado. It sucked up the fire liquid
into its own mouth.
Hundreds of drunken fish stared.
Based on a true event, a Firenado:
Lights Out by Carl Palmer
We never had a volcanic eruption on Old Mill Road.
Tornados, floods and earthquakes hit someplace else.
What we do get are thunderstorms that knock
power out immediately after every first lightning strike.
Six kids huddle on the porch watching it pour down,
ordered inside by Mom before getting struck ourselves
find no television, radio, record player or lights other
than the Yankee candle burning on the kitchen table.
Sitting in our regular chairs, three boys on one side,
three girls on the other, all looking at the candle glow
while Dad lights the coal oil stove in the living room
for Mom to heat up refrigerator leftovers for supper.
Unable to see what is put on our plate, we eagerly
dig in to a squash, okra, turnips, liver and peas,
picked over and whined about at any other meal,
now hidden in scalloped potatoes and scrambled eggs.
Spigots are avoided during lightning storms in fear
a strike could be conducted through pipes to the sink,
another reason to eat everything on our plate because
the girls won’t be able to wash the dishes tonight.
Not wanting to venture from the candle or each other,
we do knock knocks, riddles, sing songs or tell stories
to not-be-so-quiet Mom will get her rosary to lead us
in Our Fathers, Hail Marys and forever shall it be, Amen.
About the Contributors
John C. Mannone, three-time Pushcart nominee, has over 500 works in venues such as Inscape Literary Journal, Acentos Review, Windhover, Artemis, Still, Raven Chronicles, Town Creek Poetry and The Baltimore Review. He has several collections, including Disabled Monsters (The Linnet’s Wings Press, 2015) on disability poetry. He edits poetry for Silver Blade and Abyss & Apex and lives between Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN. He’s an adjunct professor of physics in area colleges. Visit http://jcmannone.wordpress.com
Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway VA now lives in University Place WA. He has a 2015 contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl, president of The Tacoma Writers Club, is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. http://www.authorsden.com/carlpalmer