Storm on the Island

The sky is a placid grey this morning, the wind is beating its drum upon to rooftops and we all know a storm coming.

We had a tornado in London last Friday, shocked the hell out of most of us. The only weather of this kind I can recall was a hurricane in 1987, me being only little at the time have a few rather vague memories of that day, except for the fact we had huge logs to play with at school. Despite that I grew up thinking we lived on a rather safe island far away from all those natural disasters areas. No fault lines, no Volcanoes, no tropical storms, safe as safe can be. Seems I was mistaken.

This sort of weather always makes me introspective but more then anything it reminds me of a poem by Seamus Heaney, of course he was talking about Ireland but its so evocative it always stayed with me...


We are prepared: we build our houses squat,
Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate.
This wizened earth has never troubled us
With hay, so, as you see, there are no stacks
Or stooks that can be lost. Nor are there trees
Which might prove company when it blows full
Blast: you know what I mean - leaves and branches
Can raise a tragic chorus in a gale
So that you listen to the thing you fear
Forgetting that it pummels your house too.
But there are no trees, no natural shelter.
You might think that the sea is company,
Exploding comfortably down on the cliffs
But no: when it begins, the flung spray hits
The very windows, spits like a tame cat
Turned savage. We just sit tight while wind dives
And strafes invisibly. Space is a salvo,
We are bombarded with the empty air.
Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.

by Seamus Heaney


  1. I have to admit, I felt the same way, strong winds and rain yes, but a tornado, I did not really believe until I saw it in the paper. Nice pic by the way.

  2. On the way into work this morning there was a massive gust of wind that managed to turn about 7 or 8 people's umbrellas inside out. It was amusing to watch them all struggling to get them back the right way round!

  3. the weather is going a bit crazy nowadays. it rains and rains and rains.

  4. I bet it was rather strange for you to experience that...We've had a few of them hear over the years and they' are, at best a lil scary.

    Great poem, btw.

  5. Oh, wow. Weather patterns are so weird in many parts of the world nowadays. That tornado must have been unsettling, to say the least. I'm glad you're safe and sound.

  6. Wow. Hell of a story.

    Pretty good poem as well.

    I remember tornado days growing up in the midwest like I did.

    Hiding out in our crawl space was mucho cool. ;)


  7. You all must not have trailer parks. We get tornados all the time.

  8. Aside from the horrible weather, I think that picture is beautiful! I have always loved pictures of scenery more than pictures of people... don't know why. I can't believe you had a tornado in London! Must have been scary.

  9. My first memory is of a Dr. trying to pull the tiniest piece of glass out of my foot from a tornado shattered window. My poor parents, they swept the entire house like crazy and I still managed to step on glass. Evil child to be sure.

  10. London seems to be a very resilient and I'm sure the city will bounce back stronger than ever. If wars and terrorist plots can't stop London, I'm sure a hurricane won't do too much harm! I do hope nobody that you know was hurt.

  11. Sorry to hear about the tornado that hit by your town. Strange thing to hear about around Christmas time. Hope their wasn't too much damage and that everyone there is alright.

  12. Tornado in London. Amazing. Reminds me of Gorgo. I am not sure where that reference is coming from,either.

    A few years back I had a chance to see a tornado over Lake Huron in Michigan. I'm not sure what the proper term is..water spout I think.

  13. I live jsut a few miles from the dreaded San Andreas fault. At least with most weather disasters, there is some (even if it's short) warning. Not with earthquakes. That's the scary part!


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