LAST NIGHT'S STORM


There are eight windows in this room, nine with the skylight.
So when you are lying in bed and a storm moves at midnight,
and lightning rides through the trees rinsing leaves white,
you may think of the apocalypse, or that you are drinking
at the shining river of God's pleasure.


And when the spider webs on the ceiling flash
fat with light, and walls blaze magnesium bright,
you may think of Thor and the rage of a hundred weathered gods
or an Elysian fountain, showering bodies with love.


And at that illumination you may be struck dead with regret,
for every failed encounter and opportunity ignored,
and every untried possibility, and each barbed word.


Or, you may be pulled above the covers by silken strings,
lifted by a sudden flood of forgiveness to sail the weave
of a silver web and emerge at the delta of all creation,
where history is reconciled and time redeemed.


And when the storm passes and all your thoughts
collapse like thunder upon your weighted world;
you may be wiser for the courtship of excess,
but more grateful that your restive self
can return to the flux of day.

Stephen T. Berg

About the poet: Stephen T. Berg is a frequent contributor to the Edmonton Journal (Alberta, Canada). He writes about faith, culture, social care and justice. His work has also appeared in weeklies and magazines including Orion and Canada’s Geez Magazine. Portions of his forthcoming book, Held Upon the Earth, have been performed in musical theatre. He blogs at GrowMercy.org