Current Events 2012


I.  The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado

A silhouette is forming in the door.
From reel to real, the armor comes alive!
As bullets rain, we cower on the floor.
How can we hide from this attack?  Survive?
Staccato gunshots punctuate our air.
The desperate screams we hear, and casing sprays
We feel — so close — the danger everywhere.
We try to gaze through smoke bombs’ acrid haze.
An exit there!  And then our frantic flight.
Our ordinary innocence now gone,
We stumble out into the darkest night.
Aurora will not know a peaceful dawn.
This movie’s midnight madness must impart
The horror!  Horror!  Evil of the heart!


II.  The Derecho, June, 2012

Before the storm, an unremitting heat,
Intense and feverish, with record highs,
Assaulted us, and there was no retreat,
We soon would know defeat by swift surprise.
The windstorm led a fierce attack in fast,
Direct, undeviating line, so straight
It blew toward us in unabating blast.
Aghast, in fear we trembled at our fate.
The first to yield were ashes, fragile trees
That could not bear the brunt of tempest air,
Extremis, in despair they knelt on knees.
The world could end.  Is anybody there?
No fire or ice, apocalyptic frogs —
Just landscape strewn with fallen, lifeless logs.


III.  Indiana Wind Farm

Unheeding, fast we drove through hinterland,
Where fields were flattened into fadeaway,
Until we came upon a strange ballet
Which captured our attention with command.
Projections from each windmill were unmanned
Rotations from the core, the legs to splay,
To slice the air in scissor-step so fey
And futuristic — Could we understand:
How energy is harnessed in this dance?
How spinning secret sources come from wind?
How vital is the heartland’s in-between?
This choreography needs hierophants,
Interpreters who won’t detach, prescind,
But will convey the power of this scene.


Betsy Hughes first encountered the sonnet form while a student at Vassar College, where she developed a particular appreciation for sonnets by Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Millay, and cummings.  She taught high school English for 30 years and, since retirement, has taught courses in creative writing at the University of Dayton’s Osher Lifetime Learning Institute.  Betsy believes that poetry is vital to health and to staying young at heart.  She lives in Dayton, Ohio.  Husband, two children, and four grandchildren comprise the living, loving poetry that surrounds her.

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

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One Response

  1. Elena

    Your poem ”The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado” is very moving and brings out the emotion and terror of that horrible tragedy. Excellent poetry!


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