Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yaquina Bay Gale

This is a real moment in 1976 or 1977. The central part of the Oregon Coast is subject to high winds and horizontal rain. They would call it gale but the winds actually reach hurricane force in the gusts. Our apartment was the upper floor of a duplex apartment in a line of four. Our view was facing south, the direction most of the weather came from. We were on a hillside overlooking the bay, a magnificent view. On the day of the boat parade people wouldn’t bother to ask, they would just show up at our place.

This particular wind was blowing across from west to east some of the time. At those moments the aligned apartment buildings acted like the top of a bottle, only the hoot was really deep in the bass range and actually shook things. Then the wind would shift and coming from the south would push and flex the walls in its force. Ann thought it just meant that the wind got in past the windows. She was partly right, it was leaking in also.

I pointed out to Annie that the wall was actually bending in enough in the wind force to cause the curtains to come away from the wall and then swing back as the wall straightened up again. She paled, went, “Ohhh…” and then went to bed in our bedroom that was at the back, the north end of our apartment. That was as far away as she could get.

Yaquina Bay Gale

Watching the walls breathe
with the big gusts that blew past
the side door entries
creating bass notes
that just shook everything.

When the curtains fell
away from the wall
you thought it was wind getting
through. I said it was
the wind bending walls.

You went to bed then, escaped
the gale force, dreaming.

April 21, 2009 1:00 PM

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