Forecast

This entry is part 10 of 38 in the series Bridge to Nowhere: poems at mid-life

Highs will exceed 100
with a 30% chance of suicide.
We will envy dogs their long tongues
& they our ability to shed.
Rain will fall part-way
to the ground & evaporate,
like a name you almost remember
& then you can’t.
You’ll see a rabbit sprawled
in the shaded driveway:
its lucky left foot points
toward hidden water.
An earwig in the kitchen
will carry its calipers upright
like the nerdiest of engineers,
& later on you will consider this
to have been a portent,
because the power will fail
& the air will go unconditioned,
shutting down cities
throughout the effete northeast.
We will give up on
the power company,
decide we are the ones
we’ve been waiting for
& reach for our genitals as if
they were real flowers.
We will think the next
wandering breeze was meant
just for us.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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  1. You mean it wasn’t?

    Love this, Dave, as much as I’m able to appreciate anything while being this uncomfortable! I especially like the bit about the earwig engineer and the effete northeast.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I see from your sketching that you are dealing with the heat as I am: staying inside watching the World Cup match.

      Reply

  2. this is terrific. damn. it’s great. i especially like:

    “We will envy dogs their long tongues”

    “evaporate,/ like a name you almost remember”

    “decide we are the ones
    we’ve been waiting for
    & reach for our genitals as if
    they were real flowers.”

    wish i’d written it!!!

    Reply

    1. Really? High praise. Thanks. This poem definitely benefitted from a good night’s sleep: I posted what turned out to be a premature draft last night, then looked at it again first thing in the morning and rewrote quite a bit of it.

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  3. well done…I like best the lines carolee quotes, quiet jolt

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  4. I wish I had read this forecast earlier. Our AC broke today, and I had to stay home to wait for him. His dispatcher gave me a very large window for his arrival, and he came at the end of it (and through the door, ironically) (sorry). While it got to 102 outside, it didn’t get above 94 in the house or above 89 in the basement, where I was.

    It really wasn’t so bad. But, being effete, I was glad when the guy replaced the compressor.

    Reply

    1. 89 in the basement? What kind of basement is that?

      It hasn’t gotten higher than the mid-90s here on the mountain, and it cools down fairly rapidly at night, so we’re doing OK with AC. During prolonged heat waves, though, we do tend to retreat to the basement.

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  5. This poem is making me glad to be by the ocean where there’s a breeze blowing just for me. I wonder if that was arranged by the group of earwig engineers who have commandeered the kitchen?
    Thanks for the smorgasblog shout, Dave.

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    1. Hi Bev – I hadn’t realized you were that close to the ocean — I’m sure you must’ve mentioned it, but I missed it. Lucky you! Does that keep down the biting insects, too?

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      1. Yes, it’s actually not too bad here. I’m not right on the ocean, but in a place that is very much influenced by the temperatures in the Bay of Fundy. My place is on a brook about a half mile upstream from the confluence with the Annapolis River, which is tidal and joins with the Annapolis Basin at the tidal generating plant about 5 miles downstream. In fact, this brook is tidal at it’s lower reaches and I think the spot where it becomes tidal might be right around my place as sometimes it looks like the current is reversing. It can be a hot day here and then the tide comes up the river and cools things down considerably. There are a few large marshes nearby – Belle Isle and Pre Ronde are just a stone’s throw from here. Sometimes there are mosquitoes, but not really that many. I was told the blackflies can be wild here, but there barely put in an appearance this spring.

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        1. Well, maybe you just got lucky this year. (Note to self: don’t visit Bev in black fly season.)

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  6. Fantastic piece Dave. Carolee is spot on about those lines.

    I had no idea the heat was wringing you out over there. Makes me glad that we live in a fairly even-tempered climate here in Wales, as the heat just doesn’t suit me at all any more, especially when things get humid. But given that the uncomfortable temperatures your way have clearly fuelled your creativity to great effect, then maybe the weather-man should turn up the thermostat!

    Reply

    1. Lord forfend.

      North America as a continent is marked by extremes of temperature compared to Western Europe. That was one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the early English colonists — they didn’t realize just how bloody harsh conditions could get compared to what they were used to. And of course with global climate change, those extremes are going to get worse and more frequent — possibly even in Wales.

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  7. So it appears to be warm where you are (and in many places over this continent). YIKES!

    Sunblock and hats. And ice cream.

    But apparently, it makes for darn good poetry.

    Reply

    1. Well, it’s not as bad as it could be. The salt still comes out of the shaker. It was a good deal more humid the week before last.

      Reply

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