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Chip Bergeron

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Rafting in the Storm
by Chip Bergeron
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Chip Bergeron
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The past few weeks have been hell on wheels. I asat down last night to write and the following came to me


RAFTING IN THE STORM

 

Floating along on my Huckleberry raft,

Logs lashed together, sapling mast,

Lazing wherever the current takes me

When the barometer rapidly plunges,

And my voyage leaves placid behind.

 

Sky goes from blue to ashen grey,

Inky clouds obliterate a bright yellow day

And the water darkens from green to opaque,

To the color of dull lead, and its heaviness

Resonates in the pit of my stomach.

 

No longer gentle, the waters rise

And flume about. High waves crest

Seemingly on every side, crowned white

Like steep cliffs topped with drifted snow,

Bent on avalanche, mayhem and destruction.

 

My poor craft bounces and bucks

And I cling with whitened fingertips

To one of the logs, wrapping myself

To the mast with a bit of found lashing,

Knowing the mast won’t hold but hoping….

 

My peaceful sail now an insane carousel,

Rising up and plunging back, and I despair

Of the ride ever ending, the water again

Becoming glassy and tranquil once more

With no brass ring to show for the ordeal.

 

The twig misnamed a mast bends and snaps,

My lashings, now useless, fall at my feet,

A cascade of water smashes into me, shoving:.

I am pitched over the side, into the dark,

Waves pushing me deeper and deeper.

 

When panic allows me to think, I note

Something different. Here no waves crash

No waters swirl, no winds scream out my name.

Could it possibly be peaceful, this far down?

But no wondering; to survive I must swim.

 

 

I choose to stay under, and I swim and kick.

Forgetting my need for oxygen I propel myself.

“Got to get away, far away from here, fast.”

With all my strength I go, lungs near bursting.

In the quiet deep I orient myself, and move.

 

Finally the body can take no more. I must rise,

Expecting to meet the tempest, hoping for air,

Ready to gulp and plunge again if I must, if I can,

Knowing that the only peace I have found

Is down in the midst, in the midst of that storm.

 

Swimming hard under the torrent I had gone,

Faster, longer, further; impelled, impelled, impelled…

I broach the surface, as calm above as it was below,

Clear and smooth, no hint that a storm ever raged.

I find my raft, clamber aboard, and continue my voyage.

 

-May14,2011

Chip Bergeron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reviewed by Barbara Henry 10/2/2012
Moving,touching and frighteningly beautiful.
Continued success
Barbara J Henry
Reviewed by Regis Schilken 7/31/2011
Wow, what an exciting experience. I used to love to swim, every day if I could and when I could.

rege schilken
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 6/10/2011
I find your adventure metaphorically meaningful, Chip. Thanks for sharing. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 5/19/2011
Score:Tornado 1, Chip 1, a tie. Can't wait for the tie breaker. Patrick
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 5/16/2011
Sail on is right dear man...enjoyed stay safe and well..Hugss
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 5/16/2011
WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by John Flanagan 5/15/2011
Sail on, Chip!
the only way to go.
Love the directness and openness
you bring to this work, putting it out there.

John



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