Poetry By Chuck



Caught in a storm of watery rage.
Tossed in winds that are tempest made.
Two struggle together completely afraid.
And pray to God their souls be saved.

"When I reached out my hand she took it.
Just a child struggling for her life in water.
When I reached out my hand he took it.
Just a man, trying to save his daughter."

Currents sweep aside still waters.
Gathering strength as the storm arrives.
Winds rip roofs from shelters,
and twist metal girders aside.

Street signs bend to the forceful wind
and trees are torn into broken limbs.
Churches flood despite the prayers
and people drown everywhere.

"I've never seen such destruction. Brand
new buildings torn to shreds. Insultation
flying around everywhere. Hundred foot pine
trees and oak trees completely ripped from
the ground and thrown 20-30 feet from where
they originally stood. "

So many cry for help to come.
Just a helping hand from anyone.
A blanket here or a can of beans
or a simple bottle of water

...so much it means.

"I waited in line two hours on Wednesday to get
water and ice only to be turned away, I waited
again Thursday for 4 hours and was able to get
water, ice and MRE, I was so happy I just cried.
I needed to bottled water for my son's formula
bottles. I was afraid I was going to run out.
I feel so sorry for those people who have nothing
left, especially those who are trapped in
New Orleans."

She is searching for her son
asking for help from anyone.
Tattered and torn in shreds
most of her hopes change to dread.

"Two officers committed suicide since the
hurricane hit, and at least a couple hundred
remain unaccounted for. "

He stayed to protect the innocent.
A badge he wore the day he died.
They stayed to provide for the oldest
the storm tossed them all aside.

Few knew the extent of the horror.
Fewer still the suffering it caused,
and less than that offered some help
not even a moment of silence.

But, in the cloudy mass of humanity
there exists a ray of sunshine.
Those who gather and dispense some love
and those send it generously.

"We have downed power lines, with poles
ripped completely out of the ground, trees uprooted,
and water in some of our homes."

He drove his mobile home to Biloxi
stopped and asked a woman beside the road,
"Do you have a home, today?"
"I have none." she replied.

He handed her the keys
then walked away.
Because of his generosity
her family has a home today.

"I am using a 5 gallon bucket with kitty litter
for restroom facilities (I am the Kitty)"

They drove all night in the wind and rain.
To arrive at the flood with a flat-bottomed boat.
There they helped to save many lives.
No one thought to ask their names.

"A 12'4" tidal surge took out homes, vehicles,
and fishing boats of hundreds of families. "

When is it time to cast some blame?
When help is needed or as it rained?
Why do we politicize the horror
and try to benefit from the pain?


A small candle casts a friendly glow.
In a city torn and tossed to and fro.
A small life exists in the darkness there,
just a child hoping for someone who cares.


 All rights reserved, © Chuck Johnson. Copying without permission is forbidden.

Author's Notes

My best friends Aunt was found alive yesterday.   I have no words for those still there.  
Written Sept 9th 2005


BlackMombaFairy on Sep 12, 2005, 8:11 p.m. 
6 critiques, 3 poems.
I'm crying. I don't know what to say. OMG. That was beautiful.  

shewolfnative on Sep 12, 2005, 9:55 p.m.  
2030 critiques, 0 poems.
Chuck, this is such a professionally done piece. You have a winner here for sure. How could it not be? Very emotive, very clearly, we are here for nothing more than to tend to each other.  

unfathomable on Sep 13, 2005, 7:49  
ouch! 111 critiques, 1 poems.
what a great concept
painful to read
yet very moving and powerful

caoline on Sep 13, 2005, 10:25 
1 critiques, 1 poems.
Verdict: captivating
this is nice subversion of the intense dramatic situation.  

FlipFlop on Sep 28, 2005, 8:51  
182 critiques, 21 poems.
This poem in powerful beyond belief, i came to your page to read a different poem but decided to read some of your others too, I am so glad I did. In the UK we can only imagine the horror of what has happened in America, we see it on the news and feel so lucky that we are safe. Your poem is full of the horror and tragedy that I can only imagine in my nightmares. That last verse

A small candle casts a friendly glow.
In a city torn and tossed to and fro.
A small life exists in the darkness there,
just a child hoping for someone who cares

it breaks you heart, something like this is horrible for everyone but it certainly pulls at your heart strings when children are involved. This poem is truly fantastic and I am going to read some of your other work. Well done  

kendalpalmer 12 hours ago 
515 critiques, 34 poems.
awesome write. I felt every emotion in this. Vivid, abstract and yet everything comes together. I truly feel the depth from this. So much truth. I loved every line of this piece. Stunning imagery and the flow to this piece is quite impressive. Lovely write!! Great message in this poem. Thought provoking, Imaginative, and I loved your creative imagery. Your carefully chosen words painted a picture as I read your poetic work of art. I am glad I read it. thanks for sharing. Keep up the great work. Best of wishes to you. good luck in all that you do....peace always in all ways.

 shzoosy 12 hours ago 
give love, share,love, measure your life inlove 575 critiques, 39 poems.
this was an extrememly powerful write.... i admire the way you've worded this so all may understand the horror.... peace to you..shzoosy   

 Blazing White Wolf 12 hours ago 
Confidence breeds success self-doubt breeds failur 4655 critiques, 708 poems.
thios is quite the powerhouse of a write it is such a sad tale the devastation that has taken place well done
love and light

 Glenda L Shank 12 hours ago 
from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming 702 critiques, 98 poems.
Absolutely powerful right, i love the way you wove first person accounts into the poem. Although I have never felt this devistation, we did have lots of damage to our home last year, thank God no one was hurt. I know the fear i felt in the basement though, and i feel for these folks very much.
Again excellent write.  

allforlove123 12 hours ago 
Live and let live! 245 critiques, 7 poems.
It is a nice reminder of how good some of us have it; and often take for granted. Thank you for reminding me that I am blessed and to say yet another prayer for those less fortunate to fing thier way back. It has been a pleasure.

mysticstorm 12 hours ago  
" May we never forget how to dance in the rain" 107 critiques, 21 poems.
Verdict: Excellent
Wondefully done, indeed. It is horrifing and heartwarming. We lived through 3 hurricanes this last year. Charlie did so much damage to Florida, it was unbelievable, but unlike the people in New Orleans and Mississippi. God blessed us with stopping the water surge or many would have died. A year and 1/2 later you can still see the devistation everywhere, weeks without electric, water, etc. So many people homeless, hopeless.
These is when I knew we still had humanity left in us. If one person managed to get water or ice, we got all they would allow us and passed it out. We watch out for each other, we feed each other and most of all we comforted each other.
Some much love from friends and strangers. The Red Cross did a wonderful, without them I doubt many would have survived, expecially the elderly with no relatives. Many lived alone in poor enough conditions, before the hurricane.
I helped for quite a while with fema, etc. and even though we had no home a felt so much more fortunite than most. I said my thanks everyday for all the lives spared. But the pain and sorrow in so many faces was sometime unbearable.

Thank you to all the great people everywhere, who came to help in our time of need and continue to do so for so many others.

You did a beautiful job on both the horrors of such tradgedys and the beauty of humanity.

Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world.