Sharp lightning stabbed the clouds and pierced a hole
that scorched the greening branches down below.
Sun, much aggrieved, beamed fingers through, and stole
the sparking ashes’ phosphorescent glow.
The clouds, distressed at what the lightning did,
and wanting to conceal the dreadful sight,
built thunderheads to form a rumpled lid.
But sun whipped out its swords, resolved to fight.
Its nimble thrusts and resolute assault
cut through the blackened shield to slash a path
of blinding brightness, forcing gloom to halt.
Sky’s lamentation cleansed the aftermath
while thundered clouds now cut to ribbons, red
and streaked with evening’s blood, closed ranks and fled.



Beth Staas taught writing at the high school and college levels for some twenty years and has been listed in Who’s Who among American Teachers. She has been published in numerous national periodicals. Her poetry has won or placed in numerous contests and included in several anthologies and websites. She is past president and current treasurer of Poets and Patrons and member of ISPS and Poets Club of Chicago.

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5 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    A very crisp sonnet, with perfect iambic meter. Also, a rather nice instantiation of the pathetic fallacy, requiring almost no suspension of disbelief. We’d like to see more from you.

  2. James A. Tweedie

    Lovely and vivid. I have seen that battle played out many times in the High Sierra. The play of light and dark, the lamenting rain and sparking fire, the butchered blood of slaughtered day, the crack of bolt-lightning and the rebound of thunder’s roar from walls of granite . . . well done. Your words transported me to another time and place. I enjoyed the journey. Thank you.

  3. David Watt

    A lovely poem, brimming with complementary imagery. Your lines made me recall storms I have experienced, though none surpassed the drama of ‘Summer Storm.’

  4. Lew Icarus Bede

    Mr. Anderson is correct; this sonnet is crisp; and it could be even further tightened up with a punctuation mark at the end of line twelve. Mr. Anderson also noted the pathetic fallacy, which seems almost Popean, despite its cloak. Who, among New Millennials, captures such force? Not many…perhaps Mr. Palmerino. Despite occasional Latinate words, it is striking how much energy Ms. Staas achieves with her strong Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. In addition, her words are brilliant, like those found in Mr. Whidden’s sonnets, and they shine without indulgent enjambment.


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