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Monday, 12 March 2012

A Modern Mayan calendar

Must set a reminder for 2012 –
how to keep this within
the 250 character space limit?
Sun stretching arms to grab satellites.
Hide magnets. Turn off TV.
Cancel business trip.

It’s a storm.
We remember storms, don’t we?
Hatches battened down,
voices hushed, a single candle,
family all a-huddle?

It’s not like they’ve been lost
to living memory; the shadowy groups
we see from the corner of our eyes
still crouched beneath our stairs
or in tube station stairwells.

Coax them from their shelters,
turn off your phones and ask them to tell
their stories, no character limit;
make a living reminder,
a solar flare lighting the line
from the past to today.

© Jessica Traynor

Solar storm passes without incident so far
The strongest space storm since 2008 creates a dazzling display
Jessica Traynor is an Irish poet with poems published in New Irish Writing, The SHOp, The Moth and The Stinging Fly. She won the 2011 Listowel Writers Week Poetry Award.


  1. "a solar flare, lighting the line from the past to today" a great line,a memorable image and I like the idea of a "living reminder" too. Thanks for this thought-provoking work

  2. Thanks for the lovely comments! Unfortunately the solar storm proved less impressive than promised, but apparently we have a whole year of them ahead of us - will be watching the Scottish skies for northern lights!

  3. Really like this, great use of delicate prose to capture the sense of panic.
    nice work.

  4. a solar flare of creativity......lovely work

  5. From single candle to solar flare...., from sun stretching arms to huddles on a tube station stairwell.....,

    The images span the universal to the ordinary, and remind us that the 2 are inextricably linked.
    Beautiful, beautiful.

  6. I love the way you the poet gathers the readers together with her reasurring line, "We remember storms, don't we." and then she reminds us, and carries us back.

  7. Beautiful work Jessica. You just draw the reader in every time.

  8. I loved the line turn off your phone no character limit - it says so much about today!Alice C

  9. A very fine poem ... thanks for posting

  10. I love the idea of 'remembering storms', of harking back to a past in which the human response (awe, fear, gathering) to nature's power is emphasised. Very beautiful and relevant.

  11. Brilliant work! Delighted to have found both poem and site... will be back!