The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm [1]

by Rabbi Corinne Copnick


Today’s bold headlines, honed in

humanity’s ugliest image,

permeate this peaceful retreat,

stratify the morning mist with

savagery’s ominous shadow,

blaspheme this sacred rock.


Here, amidst primeval peaks,

a prophet’s prescient sorrow

waters the pure, thin air, and

frozen, trembling,

shudders the perceptive earth

in persistent, icy warning.


Here, shades of old battles fought

stalk children of freedom,

sharing transitory pleasures

while war portends,

unaware carnage beckons

a new generation, multi-hued

and dreamy-eyed, once again

to become its bride and groom.


©️Corinne Copnick, Banff, 1990; Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.

[1] The author originally wrote this poem, first titled “Hail Storm in Banff,” at an artist’s peaceful retreat in Banff, Alberta, as newspaper headlines predicted the imminent Gulf War.