Thunder

A rare sound in my part of the world.  The clouds that float over my home are often just fluffy bunnies or prancing puppies. Sometimes they contain rain or are blown by strong winds. But the empty tummy growl of thunder is rare and the stuff of a million Facebook posts.

Earlier there was sun streaming through the window, warming the office.  Now, the thunderhead blocks out the sun and the temperature drops sharply – making my cold hands colder.

I sit here struggling over the right words for today’s blog post.  Should I be funny or say something of importance? I was looking in my book, thinking I might put my headset on and record a reading of one of the poems.

A few days ago I was reading an article about, “poet’s voice.”  That strange way of reading poems that we sometimes fall into – the voice flattens and becomes almost staccato.  The sound devoid of drama and taking on an almost unearthly quality where we try to just let the words speak.

Then over head the thunder grumbles, rolls – sounding like a giant empty tummy complaining over the lack of food.  Then the rain starts.  How long before there is hail?

Perhaps I’m just a bit melancholy.  While flipping through, There was a Time, I reread some of the poems I wrote about my mother and I was reminded about her and our difficult relationship.  It was just last weekend I attended the memorial service for a friend’s mother and those memories of mother are surfacing again. 

As I was considering which poem to record and how I might record without falling into a monotone or starting to cry, the heavens grumbled and the rain hit harder leaving me to wonder if my mic would pickup the falling rain.

A written poem is about the words.  A spoken poem is the reader honoring those words with the performance – letting the words fill the heart and put life into the voice.  If the words are exuberant so should the voice.  If the words are sad, one should be able hear the reader cry.

The rain builds and then tapers off.

My recording is done – flawed and not exactly what I want, but I’ve uploaded it anyway for you to decide.  The nature of the poem causes me to fall into that voice of a detached poet.

Perhaps strong emotion causes one’s voice to fail.

Peace,

Andrew

Send Me

Read by me.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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33 Responses to Thunder

  1. CJ Hartwell says:

    I’m so glad you decided to do this! Your voice has the perfect cadence for reading poetry, which I guess isn’t very surprising.
    I don’t know if you ever listen to podcasts, but the New Yorker has one for their poetry. The editor meets with a poet who reads a favorite of his/her own, as well as one from another poet. Your recording reminded me of that.
    Anyway. Well done. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. George says:

    Ive always believed poetry is best appreciated when it’s read out loud. Love this poem, Andrew. Spoken in the tone it deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully written, beautifully read. My heart twisted with memories of standing in that place with my own mother all those years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for stretching your limits and sharing this audio clip of your poem. I just read a passage from Rumi this morning:

    …While the eye perceives reality directly
    the ear relies on the promise of words…
    Make the ear sharp so it becomes an eye
    if not, words become entangled in the ear
    and the truth can never reach the heart.

    You scored a bullseye with this poem and recitation.
    Ω

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debra says:

    This is beautiful and touching and wonderful, my friend. I am very moved, and hope you’ll share in this manner as often as it feels right to you. I do understand how memories and emotions are stirred when we see others go through a similar loss, as in your friend’s mother’s memorial service. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ckennedyhola says:

    I enjoyed this poem–and the recording as well–nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. grAnnie Roo says:

    I can be very simple-minded through the course of a 24-hour period, however I believe you’re reading allowed 4 the readers genuine emotions. Excuse me while I get another tissue.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dorannrule says:

    You have a melodic voice Andrew and the poem seems to echo your fervent wishes to help your mother find her way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have been there, Andrew, holding her hand, reading the Greatest Story Ever Told aloud. Wonderful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your poem, so nicely read and done. Brought my own mother to my mind as I remember standing by her bedside 20 years ago waiting for her to be sent to Jesus. Your words, written and spoken, are powerful, Andrew. Just like a thunderstorm (lots of those in our part of the country).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thunder. When God’s poetry isn’t afraid of being heard.

    I looooove me a good thunderstorm.

    Nicely done, Andrew.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jfwknifton says:

    Just to add one extra element to what you said about reading aloud, you probably don’t realise that for many people, the most striking thing about your voice is the really strong American accent. I don’t think that you will notice it, because most people who speak with a strong accent, myself included, are completely unaware of the fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • and a strong California accent. American’s from other parts of the country can normally place me as a Northern Californian. Last time I was in the UK visiting my wife’s family, my wife and I were having breakfast at a Premier Inn. During our conversation the man at the next table said, “Excuse me, but I noticed you accent, are you from California?” What I found interesting about the question was that he said “California” and not “American.” Turns out the man had lived in California for a number of years and had learned the many regional American accents. We had an interesting conversation with him.

      Like

  13. Ray V. says:

    Nice, Andrew. Nicely done 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A lovely poem, Andrew. You have a lovely reading voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, that was so powerful in voice. You read beautifully. I could sense pain as the poem came to an end. I need to work on reading my poems aloud. Thank you for sharing yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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