in the eye,

the nice guy.


afraid of women.


no friends no


unless rueful.

cats shun him.


if religious

his would be a

severe god.



slow currents

of pain, fear,

hatred begin

to spin


until he



all sweetness.


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

17 thoughts on “hurricane”

  1. This is a quiet storm of a poem, and ominous for what it portends of seemingly fairly normal people … lonely, but not only: here you’ve got severity, hatred, pain, fear, and what is it with how animals are treated and how animals respond to a person? It is difficult to know what is beneath or inside anyone. This is such a succinct sad portrait, a comment upon our society I suppose, and then: the mirror… brilliant image, here. In a mirror we see…ourselves? Plus, there is the breaking of a mirror being bad luck, of evil having no reflection… so a scary and multi-layered image. Sweetness may have been shattered (by him), but you also end the poem with “all sweetness” – which makes me think again of the circular or unending nature of maladies, along the lines of evil begets evil, and of what lies beneath the surface of sweetness (“in the eye”)oftentimes things not as they seem, and how very easy it truly is to shatter the sweetness with which we are born. At least, this is what this made me think – and wow, how it does make me think. Thank you for that, and sorry for the ramble. ~ Peri

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The way the last stanza comes together, at first read, seems like it may even be a poem of redemption. But I don’t think this is what you intended, is it? Did you mean “shatters all sweetness”? It is pretty potent Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jana, I appreciate your observations. I don’t think that I want to answer your questions right now, however.

    As for the poem being potent, after attending a writers’ conference I have been concentrating on using images more to convey meaning while cutting out “small words” that get in the way. So perhaps those emphases are working. It’s wonderful to have you carefully reading and commenting on my poems. — Mike

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  4. Love how stark this is. Not a single word or period out of place. How you structured the lines after “within” gave me pause. It communicated a certain hesitation or discomfort with showing the truth. At the end, I took it to mean that the narrator shatters mirrors with sweetness, instead of shattering all sweetness. For me, that is even more frightening: somebody who is all sugar and lightness on the outside, but a hard muscle on the inside. However, he cannot fool the cats or his friends, if any. He can only fool strangers and those who do not know him well.

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    1. Sorry , L. T. but I got my replies mixed up and sent yours to outer space, I fear. I think sometimes we don’t even see who is in the mirror, we just see what we expect. Reminds me of my late mother who called me shortly after she had gotten a new pair of glasses. I asked her how she liked them, and she replied, “Fine. But I just looked in the mirror and I look like hell!”

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  5. Another great piece. I really appreciated the line breaks here and the pacing. These dynamics of quiet/loud, stoic/unpredictable, and calm/violent are so important in relationships. By the very syntax of the poem, you capture how difficult it can be to read somebody. I also see the poem as a fantastic, higher illustration of Larry David’s concept of “shy/a**hole confusion,” which can also be useful to consider on reflection of the people you know and meet!

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  6. …”he would be a severe god”… and maybe is, if we consider we carry the spark of the divine, however we may define that, within us. We are often are own worst critics, yet lash out at the world as if it has judged us. This is a moving piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The momentum (and direction) in this caught me off guard. The easy entrance took a hard turn at the severe god… and then the storm was unleashed. A complete character study in a few words and lines. Jekyll and Hyde in the wink of a hurricane’s eye. Nice work Michael.

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    1. The more times I read this the more I appreciate your moves. “The nice guy. shy.” is like a feint. It draws my mind in one direction (for a mere instant) and then it’s yanked in another. Off balance I’m drawn into the unfolding description and depths of the – um… nice guy? I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris, I am so pleased with your reactions to the poem. I have admired how you (yes, you!) keep surprising the reader, keeping her or him off balance, which is a good place to have a reader, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

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