Blue Turtle Crossing
A Poetry and Photography Showcase -- Summer Edition, June 2006, Volume 3
Home Poetry Photography Contacts

Poetry by Colleen M. Breuning

Parade of Clouds

Clumps of mashed potato clouds
parade on the endless horizon.
Regal, majestic white lions –
cumulus giants on the prowl
against plains of periwinkle skies.

Wispy puffs of cirrus float
like bleached starfish in the sea,
high above in the atmosphere.
They are tiny cotton snowflakes, melting,
doomed as they touch the sun like Icarus.

The linen field of stratus stretches,
and spreads its arms across the sky.
The ionic atmosphere electric, in transition,
as steely gray sheets of condensation
bunch up, ready to explode.

Heavy, lumbering indigo nimbus clouds threaten,
hanging low to the ground like iron anvils,
ready to drop and pummel the earth below.
White bolts of lightning streak, thunder rumbles,
as the clouds split open and quench the parched land.

Colleen M. Breuning
All Rights Reserved (c) 2006

Asheville, NC Clouds

Pink Clouds in Asheville, NC Sky

Cumulus Clouds

Cumulus Clouds, Plantation, Florida
Photos by Colleen M. Breuning, All Rights Reserved (c) 2006

If you live in the coastal South like my family does, you are no doubt painfully aware that we are in the midst of the 2006 Hurricane season. We've stocked up on water, canned foods, batteries and supplies. We've got our generators ready, our storm shutters or hurricane windows installed, and are physically (if not mentally) ready for the season. Some of us remember our devastating brush with Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. However, in the past two years we've faced a deluge of hurricanes. Our family was personally impacted by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma last year. This poem was written before Katrina struck us as a mere Category 1, well before it went on to devastate the New Orleans area as a horrifying Category 5. We have kept those victims in our thoughts and prayers, and hope that they are spared any more heartbreak and destruction!

    Hurricane Wilma's Fury, Plantation, FL
    Photo by Colleen M. Breuning, (c) 2006

Riding Out the Storm

The hurricane brownies are cooling,
sweet melted chocolate wafting in the air.
The house feels like a frosty icebox,
the thermostat turned down low to keep cool.

The drone of the familiar weatherman
is silenced, as he fades to black.
The power flickers off, then on again.
The talking head comes back to life, never missing a beat.

We string beads of brightly colored glass,
guiding silver thread through their centers
to pass the time. As rain pelts against the windows,
the wind is tossing broken branches across the lawn.

When the electricity finally gives out,
the glass religious candles cast a glow in the darkness.
We gather on the sofa and face the eastern window,
beholding scary and amazing sights.
Palm trees bending to the right, then left,
as rapid, racing gales quickly change direction.
The screen enclosure strains against the tempest,
bolts stripping, it nearly lifts off in the winds.

Spectacular hues of lightning fill the black void of night,
flashes of pale pink light the northern sky.
Shades of lilac and purple strobe on the south horizon,
as brilliant royal blue fireworks flicker in the east.

The warnings came too late this time,
but the chaos of the storm will eventually subside.
We can only hunker down, pray, ride it out,
and assess our losses by the morning light.

Colleen M. Breuning
All Rights Reserved (c) 2006

The black velvet sky prepares for its birth
as shooting stars streak purple, red and white.
The glowing embers float down to the earth,
passion burns deep inside of me tonight.

Explosions match the pounding of my heart,
rockets snag my soul and take me higher.
Watercolors in the sky, precious art,
mystery and love, entangled in fire.

Fireworks pierce the night, symbol of the free,
brilliant light caresses heaven above.
Sailing higher, I taste your ecstasy
and revel in your warm, protective love.

On earth, we catch a glimpse of afterlife
under God’s fireworks, joined as man and wife.

Colleen M. Breuning
All Rights Reserved (c) 2006

At Home in the Palms

A tall and majestic tropical tree
shoots out of the sandy beach
adorned with green drooping fronds
and brown hairy coconuts
dangling, clustered at the base.

Tiny brown sugar ants
marching in a military line
defy gravity itself,
crawling up the tree, toe to toe,
a vertical mountain climb.

Carved in the criss-crossed bark,
is a ragged circular hole at the top,
the red-bellied woodpecker’s front door.
He tap-tap-taps on the wood
to snag an insect for his young.

Nourished by summer afternoon rain,
the tree provides cooling shade
from the blazing summer sun
to carefree beachcombers by day
and shelter from the wind for the homeless at night.

Colleen M. Breuning
All Rights Reserved (c) 2006