FIVE POEMS by Caroliena Cabada


In the Midwest, storms go as soon as they
arrive. Torrential downpour of water
in liquid form or ice. Everyone stay
inside; this is not weather to dance. Turn
the lights off and observe the sun shower.
Clouds diffuse the glow and turn to static.
Witness the sky falling in past the hour,
weather mimicking moods, turns erratic.
Earth, maybe, is stir-crazy, too, wishes
for a spring of realignment, bringing
chaotic blossoming, and finishes
with a steady drip of robins singing.
Here, the sunset shines throughout the rainstorm,
gives thunder lurid color and its form.


Give it a name. If you
name it, you own it: ask
Adam and the God he’d
chosen. Dominion is
another word for only.
Ask Eden. It was growing
wild just fine until
these humans
arrived. Give it back
its terrain: it will
mend, and still.
Give it a name—it will
take a body, too. Give it
an inch, it will blossom
for miles. In the end,
dominion sounds nicer
in a poem, and a naming
seems innocuous: that’s
innocent. A name
can still strike fear,
retain its feeling, be
said wrong: make it right.


light brightens horizon,
dissolves darkness

sunrise reaches the bed
we’ve slept in,
smooth again for dozing
afternoon on top of covers
of course we are lovers

we hold each other’s worries in
our stomachs, feed them
with every bite of news
scrolling our screens

in this life there are beds
and there are beds

listen, birdsong
heralds springtime

flowered trees
lose blossoms in the hail but still
we’re awe-struck transfixed
blink the storms away

rub eyes, stare sunlight,
tomorrow do it over again


Gusts sucker punch

    straighten gnarled
branches into wicked sharp
scratches in the screen door
At best
    this is all
More often trees
stretch then fall into the door,
knocking so hard glass
    into every reckoning
    What’s with the tornado
warning? It’s only a little
bit of wind, it’s only a summer
    storm gone
than it came on, lingers
    in the power lines felled.
Every gust is a body slam.
    slam is another day
left in the dark. The trees do
their part.


East wind changes, lightning illuminates
the bedroom wall, thunder smacks skin, rumbles
soothing after. Night passes, at this rate
sieves through eyelids, gone with gentle grumbles
of an empty stomach. This, too, shall pass.
With sunrise comes shadows and greying light
thinned by tiny water drops gaining mass
into another thunderhead; it might
break on this great plain, or travel on wind
to the mountain. But days will be long dark,
sunshine found in cups, robins determined
to out-sing the gloom. A calendar mark
to remember another day is gone.
The year passes and always feels so long.

Caroliena Cabada is a writer based in Ames, Iowa. She enjoys warming her feet in the patch of sunlight that crawls across her bedroom floor as the day passes. Her poems have been published in Verse-Virtual, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Eunoia Review, and The Orchards Poetry Review, as well as anthologized in Lyrical Iowa.


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