Into the Maelstrom

Maybe some of you heard, we (Dallas) got clobbered last night (surprise!) by a massive wall of thunderstorms. Internal winds reached 70 mph, and the outflow boundries exceeded that. Some property damage was done, and hundreds of thousands were without power well into the next day.

The line pounced on us from the northwest, moving at over 50 mph. As a motorcyclist, this presents unique challenges.

Not sure if what follows meets the technical definition for a poem, or what . . . but it is what came out . . .

Into the Maelstrom

Swiftly I ride.
Frequently looking back into the night.
There is beauty, and splendor, and terrifying power behind.
I am hunted, and this kind has hunted me before.

But I am The Dragon.
A complicated, intimate union between passionate man and intricate machine.
And power I possess in my own right.
I laugh and twist the throttle more.

But this hunter is swift and decisive.
Very big and brutishly violent.
Following, gaining, sure and focused.
Relentlessly it stalks me.

I can fly, but not in the fashion of my pursuer.
So my route is indirect.
I can hear him now, feel his breath.
My hunter gains.

Closer he comes, so sure of his catch.
I can see others fleeing his path.
Some trying to warn me of what is behind.
Another turn and I am sure, we will meet.

A conflict now is imminent.
I sigh and prepare myself.
And I smile, a dangerous smile.
My reaction is not the one expected.

He pounces, primal violence unleashed.
Rarely have I felt the like.
And I have been hunted by many of his kind.
Lightning bolts fly.

I scream defiance into the storm.
The Dragon plows on, our course unaltered.
I laugh out loud in sheer joy, or maybe madness.
The storm howls in frustration and redoubles his efforts.

Others huddle in the shelter of a bridge, while works of man and nature fall.
The Dragon and I fly by.
Whooping, laughing, reveling.
Maybe crying.

Its force spent quickly by its very violence, the storm finally fades.
On the air a promise to return, to finish the hunt.
Then something else on the air, a fleeting thought, a pang of fear.
Is the prey . . . really the prey?

My mind is clear, my tension released.
My life is mine.
And I like that it is in my hands.
As I am the only one qualified to guard it.

Speeding ever onward, roaring into the night.
I think of those huddled.
The difference between us is clear.
They are victims, reacting to attack.

I am a participant, reveling in the experience.
Never passive, never fearing, always seeking.
To the storm my message is clear.
Although not very eloquent:

“Is that all you’ve got? HA! You’ll have to do better than that!”

Is the prey . . . really the prey?

Daniel Meyer

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