Monday, October 6, 2014

Typhoon Phanfone in Three Parts

(There are no photos because the rain and wind would have ruined my camera! I'll try next typhoon and see if I can capture the winds. The rains flood the area and drenched me to the skin.)

It begins with rain,
thick, heavy drops
that forms puddles
then splashes
into them

The birds still call
But the crickets
Are silent,
And my neighbors
Close their storm
Shutters, one after
Another with a screech
And a clank.

No person walks.
No dog barks.
No cat visits
my back door.

The breeze begins
slow from the south

It blows through thick
drops that fall
faster. It blows
the drops until they
no longer fall.

They fly into house
walls and windows.
The breeze becomes
barreling through my

The squall whirls
now, a train-like
roar, rushing past
my house,
a constant vibration,
a mechanical
engine roaring.

Small cogs sit
behind storm screens,
listening to the roar.
The flood reshapes soil,
the gales scouring the land.

The dull roar
becomes a constant,
a drone that buzzes
in the brain,


the singular sound
of rain

into puddles,
can be heard

The typhoon is on us, and like last year, it seems worn and tired by the time it reaches Hachioji. The winds are only fifty miles per hour. Rains fall and winds blow, to be sure, but aside from the racket, I am dry and safe in  my apartment.

I quickly learned how to shut my storm shutters, though. It took some finesse, but soon I slid the metal panels, one-by-one across my eight foot expanse of patio door glass. Breaking glass is a real concern because objects fly in the blowing winds.

The sounds outside dimmed immediately, and the entire process took less than ten minutes. (Hey! It was my first time!) My hands felt dusty, but not grimy, which was a surprise.

I sleep with earplugs, so the storm raging outside was reduced to a gentle murmur, and I slept peacefully through the night.

I’ve opened the storm doors this morning, but even as I sit here in the dim morning light listening to the rain, the winds grow stronger and louder, and I wonder if I should have left the shutters closed a bit longer!

Apparently the storm is not finished with us yet.

I hiked to campus in roads that have become rivers. My umbrella almost blew inside out, then out of my hands, but I hung on. The drips from my umbrella soaked my backpack, and the horizontal rain soaked my pants, but my new rubber boots and my gore tex jacket kept my feet and torso dry. My umbrella began to leak, so I wore my hood up.

There was one student on campus waiting for us, and later two more showed up. I only have Wifi on campus, so one by one, students started checking in, letting me know they were alive and well.

The typhoon gave one last burst at noon, with “death-to-umbrella” gusts, and bursts of rain, but by 1:00 pm, the skies were blue and the temperatures shot up to the mid-seventies. The humidity shot up too, but at least the storm has passed.

It’s like we had two days. One that began cool, dark, and stormy, and another day of blue sky, gentle breezes, and warm sunshine, not bad, Hachioji!

Angry wind blows rain
against my window. I wait

for calm to return.

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