Ars Poetica

“What we as writers attempt to do is akin to weaving lightning.”     
– John Rember

Let me have nimbus clouds and a purple sky,

black thunderheads massed against the mountains.

Let me gather electricity in my fingers,

send white-gold streaks splintering earthward

as the air grows thicker, hotter, then explodes.

Let me connect the streamers that rise from the ground

with zigzagged leaders trailing from clouds.

Let me superheat the air, five times hotter than the sun.

I want to feel the danger, hear it crackle.

I want to know I’m risking my life.


Katy McKinney lives and works in Trout Lake, Wash., where she teaches fifth and sixth grade. Locally she is better known for her worm composting than her poetry, despite having had poems published in The Sun, Manzanita Quarterly, and Windfall.