Monday, July 19, 2010

Improvised Explosive Device (Poem)

Improvised Explosive Device

A cloud-charged sky
short-circuits a daisy chain
triggered by infra-red,
bringing lightning first, then the thunder.

And in between the two, the burning
strike path clear, each vein mapping effect
unseen till moment of impact

outside the recruiting station, within a burqa's
black billowy folds, along a clay-dusted road,
under bushels of purple eggplant and green squash
just wheeled to market.

The aim is always for the softer side,
disruption and melee both, time-delayed to hit
the team poised and rushing in for the rescue.

It doesn't have to be close to be effective.
Sometimes the most lasting damage
stores up inside, an unconventional hot zone
of reaction to the elements,

a mind forever trip-wiring tactics in dreams
shaping a charge, calling in for support,
imagining the kill.

© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.

I wrote this poem for Carry on Tuesday, which each week provides a prompt that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.

The prompt for Tuesday, July 20, comes from the first line of Samantha Hunt's 2008 novel The Invention of Everything Else: "Lightning first, then the thunder. And in between the two. . . ." Hunt is also the author of The Seas, which was shortlisted for an Orange Prize for fiction. She is a winner of a "5 under 35" National Book Award.

To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #62, go here.


Glynn said...

Good one, Maureen. I keep hear the scream of the incoming.

n. davis rosback said...

yes, i very much enjoyed reading what came out of the prompt.

well done.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Very powerful!

Laura said...

Wow. I am breathless. Seeing the violence of the explosion. Feeling what you write.

You always do that to me, Maureen. I don't think I"m the only one.

L.L. Barkat said...

Chills at the end.

Loved this...

"under bushels of purple eggplant and green squash
just wheeled to market."

jenne said...

Hi Maureen-- this is a very powerful poem. For me the most palpable stanza involves the folds of the burkah, the secret hidden in the vegetables; these are images of life and secrets-- very strong. If you revise you might aim for more showing forth, letting the images convey meaning; a terrific poem. xj

gs batty said...

interesting...felt I was there..glad I wasn't

Susanne Barrett said...

Very powerful--I can still feel the sucking in of breath when I started reading that whooshed out only when I finished the poem.


Jingle said...

enlightening piece.
how brilliant u r!

gautami tripathy said...

Like the ending..

cut and dried