Watching the Storm Beyond the Window - Les Brown

Outside my window a hammered
steel sky cries through thunderous
blows where brilliant tendrils light
wetting leaves. Roots drink tears shaken
from the anvil of the heavens, violent
stars shine above in the forge of space.

How thin my window refuge
against such power unfolding
where fragile flowers bloom,
babies nurse at mothers’ breasts,
where lace-veined butterfly wings
will spread delicate from chrysalises.

Les Brown was born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on a large, self-sufficient family farm. He spent his youth roaming the mountains and working with his uncles, aunts and cousins. The valley, the farm and family are inspirations for much of Les’s writing and art. He attended Appalachian State University and The University of Southern Mississippi and spent his career as a biology professor at Gardner-Webb University. Upon retirement, Les continued pursuing his lifelong interests in art and writing. In addition to making pottery, he is a visual artist using acrylics, pen and ink, and photography. A Pushcart Nominee, Les’s poetry and short stories, art and photography have appeared in journals including Kakalak, Pinesong, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Avalon, Now and Then Magazine, Appalachian Heritage, and Moonshine Review. Les lives with his wife and one spoiled cat in Troutman, North Carolina.