April 21: Stan Rice's "Tornado at Night"

A poem of wild weather from Stan Rice (1942-2002), whose concise songs of praise continue to fascinate.

Tornado at Night

They ran out in nightgowns to seek the protection
Of the overhang of the abandoned gas station,
And resembled the Erecthium’s female columns.
The broken power lines flashed white
When they touched the wet ground,
And the girls’ legs showed
As round shadows through their nightgowns.

I stayed in my apartment until the steps blew away.
My candle almost extinguished itself from sheer shaking.
A huge tree fell on my neighbor’s car.
He was in it for safety.
Out he leaped from the unsquashed half
Making the voice of Donald Duck running from death.

I jumped from my balcony then,
And went walking in excess, shirtless,
Praising, opening my mouth, sleek the whips,
Shirtless, as when gods were men.

Learn more about The Radiance of Pigs by Stan Rice

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