Against the rain and threat of oil spills,
bombs and gunshots,
going underground is best

There a fan cools and curtains shut out
the shocked horizon where hurricanes come

Long ago, the fathers built bomb shelters,
stocking soup and boxes of candles
to light dark rooms
when the end of the world hovered

Five years old, I dreamed there was
a rocket launching pad
at the end of Cornwall Lane,

crawling into bed with my mother,
anxious all things could end.

They often don’t.
A hurricane churns up twenty foot waves,
throws sand around like a mad artist,

palms spin and break
and roofs groan like dying men

though there is no catastrophe this time
when I live underground,
hidden from bullets and the big bang.


Artwork © TJ Edson

Artwork © TJ Edson


Carolyn Gregory’s poems and music essays have been published in American Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Off the Coast, Cutthroat, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Stylus. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is a past recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award. Her first book, Open Letters, was published in 2009 and a second book, Facing the Music, will be published in Florida this year.

TJ Edson: “I have the tendency to funnel the chaos and madness of my own mind’s intent into digestible artistic forms. The value of documenting the journey that this entails is becoming more and more important to me. Through this practice, I am able to better understand and grapple with a manic chemistry that drives me to create and to destroy.”