Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership


Tim Ryerson Avatar Tim Ryerson - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Fredrick which was written by poet Tim Ryerson. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

Read Poems by Tim Ryerson

Best Tim Ryerson Poems

+ Fav Poet

Poet's Notes


What's this?


What's this?


What's this?


What's this?


What's this?

Become a Premium Member and post notes and photos about your poem.


He was coming.
He was coming fast.
He was coming to pay us a visit.
A brooding, lethal monster 30 miles out.
He was coming straight at us
and nothing or no one could stop him

Our house was on the back bay of Biloxi,
a short distance from the beach
so we evacuated twenty miles inland
to a friend’s brick house in the woods

I was afraid, yet fascinated
Curious, an irresistible urge 
drew me outside to watch
as he began his attack.

The first gusts were like a late summer breeze,
calm, stronger, calm, stronger, stronger
but the trees seemed familiar with that
bending, swaying and springing back upright

As the gusts blew in more powerful and threatening
they seemed a little unsettled and alarmed.
Their leaves were getting stripped and scattered
By five o’clock they were fighting for their lives

The older, stiffer trees were crackling and snapping
while the younger, more limber and flexible ones
were bending violently almost to the ground with each blow
then not back upright as before because the reflex action
and momentum sent them halfway back the other direction.

By nightfall there were no more gusts.
He came chugging in howling and screaming,
roaring and raging, shaking our foundations
with winds clocked at 135-140 MPH.
I timidly (and foolishly) slipped back out. 
I could not have heard myself scream...

For the rest of the night we huddled together
in the kitchen with candles and a transistor radio.
Windows shattered and blew out.
Part of the roof was ripped off.

Next morning it took all day to cut our way back home
Roads clogged with timber; the whole forest broken and uprooted
We came upon what at first looked like a new-cut firebreak,
a swath maybe fifty yards wide and five hundred yards long
We stood there kind of gawking at each other then realized
it was where one of his mighty spawns had touched down…

The power was out for two weeks
There was a dip in the road where a stream flooded
This is where we took our baths
The whole neighborhood met there
armed with bar soap, washrags and towels
Actually, it was quite pleasant and enjoyable
sitting contentedly, letting the cool water
flow over us while we gossiped with our friends

Pascagoula, MS and the Alabama coast 
bore the brunt of Mother Nature's fury.
One of the giant cranes at Ingalls Shipbuilders
toppled over and crashed in the water. 

Biloxi was in the western quadrant and got only wind and rain
Later I heard some life-long residents say
this was a minor nuisance compared to ten years earlier
when Camille made landfall…

*Hurricane Fredrick - September 12, 1979

Post Comments

Please Login to post a comment
  1. Date: 7/19/2015 12:57:00 PM
    Tim.. Congrats on your first place placement in Carol's "Story" contest.. Your story was terrifying, yet terrific!

  1. Date: 7/16/2015 7:53:00 PM
    Wow, that would have really been something! I think I will stay here where it is safe. Congrats on your win.

  1. Date: 7/14/2015 2:13:00 AM
    Hi Tim Congrats on Carol's story, poem CONTEST. Always ~~ LINDA ~~

  1. Date: 7/14/2015 12:28:00 AM
    TIM,, Congratulations on your awesome story win. Love SKAT

  1. Date: 7/13/2015 9:03:00 PM
    I've never known what is was like to face such a storm, now I know. Glad you survived…john

  1. Date: 7/13/2015 2:34:00 PM
    wow what a terrifying account so glad we don't get them in the UK - congrats on your win:-) hugs Jan xx

  1. Date: 6/8/2013 10:04:00 AM
    Congratulations Tim with this outstanding account of your experience...

  1. Date: 6/7/2013 9:51:00 AM
    Tim, CONGRATULATIONS!!! :-) this is a very pleasing poem... glad to see it on Gail's winning list.. xox~Linda

  1. Date: 4/11/2013 9:27:00 AM
    You certainly tell about the mighty force of nature, and the insignificance of we humans when it decides to act. It's tornados in my part of the country. I've read several of your pieces this morning, and enjoyed them all. Thanks for the fine writing... Jack

  1. Date: 4/9/2013 1:50:00 PM
    Hey Tim. Great story....and is memorable isn't it? Guess what I was in Camille! We lived in Gulfport where the eye hit...maybe I'll write about it have just inspired me...

  1. Date: 4/9/2013 12:17:00 PM
    That must have been scary Tim, thanks for sharing this pivotal moment in your life, xxx