Let me be

The storm – J.M.W. Turner (1840-45)


If that is all I learnt:
to see a storm and
draw a teacup around it
so I can feel safe
so I can stay calm
so I can be in control
if that is all I want now
if that is all I am now
then I don’t want
this growing up

Let me look that storm in the eye
Let me paint it bigger
so it swallows the horizon
Let me paint it louder
so it can match my scream
more anger, more anguish
more hyperbole, more
theatre of wet and light and dark
Let me chain that feckless moon that
slips in and out of the churn
Let me mock the heaving sky
that turns itself inside out
Let me feel the trembling
underbelly of the universe

Let me shatter your teacup
Let me steal all your boats
Let me be until I am
Let me be that storm

13 thoughts on “Let me be

  1. Pow! Your poem reminds me of Anecdote of the Jar by Wallace Stevens, in which we sense how commentary shapes/defines reality–as your teacup constrains it. It is so hard to see the entire storm–to know all we could be–many of us never try. Safety inside the lines!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what Wallace Stevens was thinking when he wrote that poem- there is possibly a personal subtext? How to rage against that which will not rage against the storm, that will not even acknowledge it?


  2. This poem intrigues me, as it is an unexpected point of view. I love the idea of drawing a teacup around the storm, to try to feel safe……..and the change of perspective in the closing stanza, where the narrator becomes the storm. Very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rilke detested what he called “narrow similes in heated rooms” — teacupping, as you put it, which I take as formal restraints on what its termed adult art. The academic journals love that arid erudite stuff, all porcelain and pocket tempest. Let ‘er rip, friend! You keep my sails filled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brendan… I totally agree with your take and Rilke’s! I think my poem was a reaction to how people tend to trivialize others’ life or pain waving it off as a storm in a teacup.. the poem is a rant against all the toxic optimism and yes social restraints against what the “erudite” consider negative experiences.

      Liked by 3 people

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