Tuesday, August 31, 2010

After the Storm

Clive James

We used to call what ruined us the storm,
though that suggests we could have seen it break
And barred the door. But it was multiform;
It got inside, it made a teacupshake,
It sought us out where we lay half awake.
Now it was here, what would it make us do?
When we were thrown together, then we knew.

It sometimes hit us even while we fought.
One sideways look, and soon the skin and hair
Were flying in a different sense. I thought
The consequences too extreme to bear:
This was the lion's den, the dragon's lair,
The storm. You used to say you felt the same,
When you could speak again, and spoke my name.

When the storm raged, I tried to hide in you,
Your only refuge was to cling to me.
The way we rode it was why it grew
In fury, until you began to see
Your only chance to live was in liberty.
So now you have the life you should have had,
And I am glad, No, I am very glad.

Visiting you, i see that it was worth
My loss. A family picnic on the beach,
Your beauty, still like nothing else on earth,
Here shows its purpose. No regrets. Yet each
Of us is well aware that your sweet speech
Is only tender, my glance merely warm.
This is just love. It is nothing like the storm.


  1. It's intriguing, and I like the rhythm. Wondering ... what was it that struck you about this, Shalini?

  2. The writing... the distinction between love and 'the storm'...

    "The way we rode it was why it grew
    In fury"