The Storm Witch

The storm witch rolls in at any time
day or night, hair a gray twister

She often rumbles across the prairies
from Red Deer to Abbotsford
throttles open, her hog growling
a grin that brings a lightning flash

Her leathers have the power
of all special capes and cloaks, shield
from every curse and road rash
rogue or screaming bible thumper
hides her in the heart of the storm
where she sharpens bolts of light

When she laughs the wind howls
chills braggarts to their marrow
dances a dervish in her hair
speeds her on her rounds
cruising the Trans Canada

In fall, she brews grains and hops
potions to steel suspect nerves
but on occasion she distills
her special magical blend
mixed with Canadian Club burning a path
straight to every heart where wildfire
passions rampage
victims obey her desires
drinks the storm witch dispenses
always a tempest with no teacup

Men and women forgo tempered thoughts
go mad for her, chasing dreams
she needs no weapon; the pool cue
her wand for deflecting hurled insults
or creating lurid visions
when she distributes cold justice
inclement weather, shocking revelations
of partners perfidies, or a hidden cheat

Her divinations bring her money
in games of love or waiting out the weather
any attempt to subdue
tame the roving ways
brings a hail of words, a thunderous roar
turbulent, chilly relationships
flashes of ire whiteout everything for days
where she freezes the brashest souls
ice statues that wait for spring thaws

The storm witch moves on
as suddenly as she arrives
loud and proud, she fears none
brings balance in bluster
then sleeps as the pressure lightens
liaisons melt away
calm descends, a pause to gather resources
she will wait for summer’s heat-laden lull
return with a vengeance none withstand
and electrify lives with vitality
that will last for months to come

[Colleen Anderson is a Canadian author writing fiction and poetry and has had over 170 poems published in such venues as Grievous Angel, Polu Texni, The Future Fire, HWA Poetry Showcase and many others. She is a member of HWA and SFPA and has performed her work before audiences in the US, UK and Canada and has placed in the Balticon, Rannu, Crucible and Wax poetry competitions. Currently she is working on two poetry collections. Colleen also enjoys editing and co-edited Canadian anthologies Playground of Lost Toys (Aurora nominated) and Tesseracts 17, and her solo anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, was published in 2018. A Body of Work was recently published by Black Shuck Books, UK. Living in Vancouver, Colleen keeps an eye out for mold monsters and mermaids, and will be guest of honour in 2020 at the Creative Ink Festival.]