Tuesday, November 05, 2013

TUESDAY POEM | The Storm by Philip Beynon

Storm painting (detail)  |  CB  |  Oil on paper 

                    The Storm

                    It started out
                    with a midday shout!
                    The thunder rumbled
                    The clouds tumbled.

                    The breeze blew strong
                    with a bird’s new song:
                    “Home, home, rush, rush”
                    before the rains begin to gush.

                    The lightning struck with a blinding crack
                    The violent voice of thunder roared back,
                    The purple clouds cut out the light
                    The creatures cowered with sudden fright.

                    The rain hit hard and fast
                    People hoped the storm would last,
                    The earth was so dry
                    and gave a huge sigh …

                   The rivers were rising
                   with a speed quite surprising
                   The rain was bucketing down
                   Flooding the tiny town.

                   Then the sky began clearing
                   The sun was appearing,

                   The freshly drenched earth
                   had given new birth.

                   Philip Beynon

 Meet my dear, gentle-spirited nephew, Philip - the author of this week's chosen poem.  12 year-old Philip - his birthday was a week ago - lives in Johannesburg with his younger sister Victoria, his parents John (my younger brother) and Lesley, a collection of Venus Fly Traps and two eccentric cats. Philip is a voracious reader, a deeply kind and perceptive young man with tender eyes on the world and a great love for people, animals, gardening and poetry. He has remarkable green fingers, keeps a thriving veggie garden, cultivates rare varieties of roses, knows how to deal kindly with aphids and how to graft fruit trees. Phil's lemon tree in Parktown North, Johannesburg, bears the largest, most fragrant lemons I think I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Amongst a good many other things, we share an appreciation for Lemon Meringue pie. During my last visit to South Africa, he coordinated a cook-up, challenging his Mum and I to new Lemon Meringue heights.  A smart way to ensure there'd be a reliable supply of LM pies in the house for several days in a row! 

I am honoured to feature Phil's poetry here today. Thank you, Phil! Keep filling your notebooks with your wonderful writing. . . Your poem perfectly evokes the power and relief of those late afternoon electricity-laden highveld thunderstorms. . . . xo


This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is Helen Rickerby (Seraph Press | Words that Matter)
with No time Like the Eighties/No Future 
by Whanganui-based poet Airini Beautrais.
Excellent poem. Excellent commentary.

'I'm a sucker for hope', wrote Helen in response to Airini's poem.
Yes. Hope is the place to stand these days.

To read Airini's poem and to follow the usual fine trail of Tuesday Poems, please click on the quill. 


  1. Dear Phil - my friend Maxine read your poem and left a comment for you on Facebook. She said

    'I felt as if I was there among the storm when I read your poem, Philip. Keep writing!'

    You might enjoy finding out more about Maxine and the books she has written on her website here --- http://www.maxinealterio.co.nz


  2. NZ poet Kay McKenzie-Cooke also left a message for you on Facebook -

    She said "Oh what gorgeous-coolness! A beauty of a poem - it really rocks.Congratulations to Phil Beynon."

    You can read more about Kay here ---

    or here http://kaymckenziecooke.com

    and this is Kay's blog - many of her poems are about the landscape and her concerns our natural world http://andbottlewasher.blogspot.co.nz


  3. Dear Phil,
    Here in Canada my whole family read your poem.We all love the rhythm of your words and we wonder if you might be a songwriter too.

    1. Dear dbs - thank you. Such a lovely message. I agree, there's a wonderful musicality to this poem. Phil plays a brass instrument - I always get confused re; which one it is (sorry Phil!). Trumpet, I think. Perhaps he could try setting his poems to music one day. Warmest best to you and your family in Canada.

  4. Dear Philip, Here in Southern California, a land of too-little rain except for the rare years when we get too much, it is easy to feel the welcome excitement of your storm. Do, please, keep writing, noticing, caring and doing all that you do. Many a friend has been found through a shared lemon meringue pie. Congratulations. xo

    1. Thank you, Marylinn - 'keep writing, noticing, caring and all doing all that you do' is a wonderful dictum for all us. And yes, many a friend has been found - and kept - through the sharing of pies. xo

  5. Oh how very wonderful this poem is! I love storms, and this poem brought me smack into the middle of one. Thank you, Philip! And Claire!

    1. Seattle-based poets know all about storms, don't they, T! I wonder how yours and Phil's in Johannesburg would compare - lots of thunder and lightning in both places, I imagine? Phil has definitely captured universal 'stormness' here! Thanks, T x

  6. Wow Phillip felt like I was right in the middle of that storm you described it so perfectly - thanks!!! Jen Long (Dunedin)

  7. Great energy in your writing Phillip. Thank you for this powerful and evocative poem. (from Elizabeth Brooke-Carr, Dunedin)

  8. Congratulations Claire, for him and for you! And he is so young... beautiful. (Maria Christina Amarel, Brazil)

  9. What a Beautiful boy! (Ludmila Sakowski, Christchurch)

  10. wonderful poem, Philip! (Camila Randall Edstrom, Nelson, NZ)

  11. Thank you, friends, for your wonderful messages to Philip (some of these have been transferred across from Facebook).

  12. I've just found this. What a remarkable person Philip is to write such a poem: such rhythm and movement, that build like the storm .... and are released — a birth indeed. (And evidently illustrated by a like mind!). Penelope Todd, New Zealand

    (thank you, Pen dear x)