Wednesday, May 25, 2011


And so I ask myself
why THESE people
knowing it's a rhetorical question
there never being enough time
to subject the whims and wiles
of fate to psychoanalysis

Yet even the most callous
among us surveying this devastation
would surely give pause to reflect

Why THESE people?

These humble people
these salt of the earth people
raising families
making ends meet
one way or t'other
filling the churches to capacity
on Sunday mornings

And every year
it's the same deadly fury
touching down from the sky
like the fingers of God
so beautiful in its own horrific way

And yet
not cursing the dawn
just feeling thankful
to be alive
their faith undiminished
in the terrible awe-filled light
of morning

Yes they could leave
but their roots grow deep
in the earth and the soil
the seeds of their destiny
sown at an early age

Not like me
the kid who grew up among them
who heard the siren songs calling
on distant radio stations
deep into the night
the kid who was always going to leave
who nonetheless
never forgot
where he came from

So maybe you can understand
when I bow my head
and ask why THESE people?

These stoic people
these turn the other cheek people
these do with me what you will O' Lord people

Already contemplating the rebuilding work ahead

Just another of life's puzzles
I guess
the jigsaw pieces scattered
like the haphazard wreckage of their lives


  1. This is powerful and moving, Tim. I know those salt of the earth people, life one long series of picking themselves up after the latest devastation. In fact, I likely am one of them. Watching the news these days, seeing such havoc being wrought all over the planet, one wonders why these people, everywhere.

  2. Why bother asking rhetorical questions?

  3. SHERRY,
    I know you are salt of the earth...I know you're salty, anyway!

    The answer is blowin' in the wind.

  4. This is a beautiful poem and tribute to people suffering through these storms. Puzzle pieces indeed---

  5. A question as old as time and as unanswerable. We do indeed see through a glass darkly. I often wondered how my mother could hold on to her childlike (not childish) faith through the death of four children. Then I lost one of my own and I knew the answer. Good words, well said.

  6. ANNE,
    Thanks for being there!

    A voice from the heartland, and one we need to hear.

  7. Timoteo:
    This was great(sad) descriptive language. I was there...and frightened.
    Nicely done...

  8. I have been going through an extremely tough time and each time I feel like asking "why me? why again? why now?"
    I take a humble look and ask "why not me?" I just hoped that answer applied to winning the lotto and spending money like Paris Hilton as well...
    I do agree with you...some folks are just darn unlucky or the devil is out to get them because they are God fearing?

    enjoy the potluck!

  9. In Sweden natural disasters are uncommon (blizzards really) but my mom still lives in NC and they were hit hard by tornadoes she was lucky but her town was just devastated. You've really captured the tragedy and heartbreak, no one deserves to have their whole lives destroyed.

  10. It amazes me when people stay and rebuild. It amazes me when people are ruled by bastards, yet, stay in their beloved homeland.

    Well, you've got me thinking, Timoteo.

  11. thought provoking,

    life has its arrangements for all.
    one has to shift gears when thing don't work out.

  12. yes - i guess just another of life's puzzles..of these many puzzles we don't understand but nevertheless we shouldn't stop asking questions...and i like_ that you ask them

  13. I think devastation and ruin are pretty universal, but aside from a few McMansions mudsliding into the pacific every year, it seems to always be the poor and the salt of the earth world wide who bear the brunt of every disaster. Well-written and much appreciated from one who ran away also--to tornado alley, because there's something here I never had in the city.

    (My take on this subject is up here if interested)

  14. Y is a crooked letter we will never get straight...its a scary world out there...this year all the more...i feel for those that have been natures victim...very well writ...

  15. This is so eloquent and direct-- your soul is in this one and it shows in the intensity and purity of your language...xxxj

  16. Maybe these people love the land there, and thank God every day for such beauty...great poem, very well written.. 'but there for the grace of God go I'

  17. Why indeed
    Great read here at your feed
    As you came out direct
    Not with a redirect
    I guess the puzzle will never be solved
    Unless some day we become more evolved
    Who knows
    That just may be how it goes

  18. Such sudden, random fury would seem to have little truck with human questions, rhetorical or otherwise. And yet, we have to ask them, if only to try to fathom the unfathomable, and, as you have pointed out, to try to make some sense of the almost perversely cruel.

  19. T- thank you for the reflection for people who as you said were "These people"
    I also appreciate your inner quest.

    appreciate you :)

  20. very well many get ready to build again.

    I think we all know some of them

    "Yes they could leave
    but their roots grow deep
    in the earth and the soil
    the seeds of their destiny
    sown at an early age"


  21. Your question, most likely asked since the beginning of time, seems to show the strength we all should strive for.

  22. Thanks y'all...lots of insightful comments! I guess if we're going to ask this question, we might as well rephrase it as: why anything? Philosophy majors, take it from here!

  23. PAT HATT,
    You're a poet, and you know it!

  24. This is a great one it!

  25. I have asked these questions myself. Our town was one that suffered a great deal of damage, and a few years ago, my aunt and uncle died in tornadoes after moving several states over to take care of my grandfather. Why? Seems random, senseless, and beyond unfair, but I always think of the verse that says, "the rain falls on the just and unjust" (I think it's in Matthew). For some questions, there are no answers.

    Thanks for sharing. This was a beautiful poem, and I think it's okay to ask why? We just might not get the answer...

  26. LORI,
    Sorry to hear that...that struck too close to home for you. So weird...I grew up in tornado country and never saw even one first hand.

  27. You ask a good question, and you ask it beautifully.

  28. This blew me away (if you'll pardon the pun), truly. Your descriptions are fantastic, the poem almost seems to write itself.

  29. Earnest and oh so powerful! And very moving...
    I salute to the strength and grit of these people..

  30. and we continue to ask with no answer...very nice write. It touched me.

    Nice to see you here. Stick around, there are more stories to tell around the campfire.

  32. Timoteo,
    __So well posed; why they? _m

  33. An interesting perspective. Thank you!

  34. Excellent writing...the only thing that has ever made it clearer to me is spiritual advice that I seeked and found which said..'Nothing will happen to you, that is not meant to' I can live with that!

    That is sage advice...stepping back and looking at the big picture (which is, in reality, SO big that we, with our limited perspectives here, cannot fathom).

    But why was I meant to wet my pants on the way home from school?

  36. G'day Tim

    I bet you didn't expect to see me in your comment box did you?

    I just wanted to pop in and let you know I am back in the land of blog.

    Re this post...human resilience is an incredible thing. Australia has had some terrible disasters in the past 6 months and it seems like the same people get hit over and over again. Yet they bounce right back and just get on with the business of living. Truly remarkable and courageous.

  37. So that you stop making fun of those who do? or to teach you to sympathise when something embarrassing happens,hell I don't the answers, I don't ever get the questions :)